Steelhead angler effort on the upper Salmon River began to progress upstream during the past week. The highest amount of angler effort continued to be located downstream of North Fork in location codes 14 and 15, but angler effort upstream of North Fork increased considerably as more drift boats were observed in the area. The best catch rates for the week were once again found downstream of the Middle Fork Salmon River in location code 14 where interviewed anglers averaged 30 hours per steelhead caught. Anglers interviewed downstream of North Fork in location code 15 averaged 157 hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of North Fork in location code 16 averaged 57 hours per steelhead caught. Angler effort upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 was very low, and no interviewed anglers reported catching a steelhead.
River conditions were consistent throughout the week with cloudy visibility in all areas and water temperatures in the upper 40s. Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 1,080 cfs through the town of Salmon, ID which is 82% of average for today’s date. Precipitation is expected throughout the area over the next few days, and this will likely cause the river’s visibility to deteriorate as the river continues to transport silt downstream from the blowouts that occurred near the East Fork Salmon River in early August. River conditions can change quickly, but a webcam installed this year in Salmon, ID will allow anglers to view the Salmon River in real time. To access the webcam, anglers can navigate to visitsalmonvalley.com/webcams/ and click on “Rivercam”.
We would also like to remind anglers that the steelhead bag limits for the fall 2021 steelhead fishery are 1 steelhead per day and 3 in possession. For additional information anglers can visit the IDFG Steelhead Seasons and Rules webpage.