the bent rod

Fishing Report

Salmon River Area Fishing Report 12/29/2021

New Regulations for the Salmon Region that has been implemented starting Jan1,2022

  • Lemhi and Pahsimeroi rivers
    The 14-inch minimum length limit on trout was removed, but maintains no harvest of cutthroat trout
  • SIDE NOTE: December 1st through Friday before Memorial Day weekend –  Trout limit is 0 , catch and release only
  • Stanley Lake
    The lake trout daily bag limit was reduced. Of the 6-trout bag limit, only 2 may be lake trout.

STEELHEAD – Because of low steelhead returns in 2021, the spring 2022 season has a reduced daily limit in the Snake, Salmon and Little Salmon rivers of two fish per day, and one fish per day in the Clearwater

Ice Fishing Jimmy Smith Lake has been fishing well so far this year. Use Meal Worms or Wax Worms for best results. Nightcrawlers will work also, but not as good. I did hear today that there was water on top of ice right now.

Mackay Reservoir – The ice on the reservoir is about one foot thick. Fishing for Rainbow Trout has been great with fish up to 17″ being caught, Kokanee fishing has been slow with only a few being caught so far. Try fishing closer to the dam where you be able to fish the deeper water. Pink, black and various other colored skirts tipped with Wax Worms or mealworms are working for trout.  Fireball or pink skirts tipped with wax worms or spikes will work best if you are targeting Kokanee.

Mosquito Flats Reservoir – No Information


Just want to say a big Thank You for all of your business and support this past year and hope you have a Happy New Year !  We look forward to serving you in 2022. Greg, Cheri, Dustin and Gretchen


Salmon River Fishing Report November 23,2021

Steelhead fishing on the Salmon River has improved this past week. Fish are being caught below Salmon and up river to Deer Gulch. Water clarity has improved but is still cloudy at times. Water temperatures in the mid to high 30’s during the day. There was ice on the river in the Challis area this morning and will probably start seeing ice more often.  That said, mid-day temps are moving to the high 40’s to low 50’s, making it awesome fishing weather. Bright patterns have been the best while the sun is on the water with black, purple or blues in the shade. Copper, Green, Brass and Gold spoons have been working for the spin fisherman. Even though its cold in the morning, there have been a few fish caught when the sun first gets on the water. Water flows below the Yankee Fork just above Clayton is 388cfs and down river towards Salmon 1010cfs.

Trout fishing has been fair with Cutthroat and Rainbows taking streamers and stonefly nymphs. Try Pat’s Rubberlegs, Tung Nemic Stones, Conehead Bunny Muddlers, and Sculpinators.

Salmon River Fishing Report 03/23/2021

Fishing on the Salmon River around Challis has been steady. Fish are being caught up river from Challis to the Yankee Fork, but still a little slower than down river. Most anglers are still fishing below Challis towards Salmon. There’s a good group of steelhead coming up river according to the pit tag monitors, so fishing should be picking up. The Pahsimeroi Hatchery has trapped 198 hatchery steelhead as of Monday, March 22nd. Additionally, and the Sawtooth Hatchery installed their weir last week with a few fish in the traps. The Sawtooth Hatchery will report the number of fish in the hatchery next they begin spawning the fish. Water temperatures are in the low 40’s still and the Salmon River is lower than normal. running at 2.15 ft. at the Clayton gauge. Darker flies seem to be working better than egg style patterns currently, but there has been some good results on chartreuse also. You might also try nymphing some stone fly patterns since the water is still a little cool.  Spin and drift anglers should try copper, brass, green or blue spoons.

Salmon River Fishing Report Mar-04-21


The Salmon has opened up in most places around Challis and all of the boat ramps are open down river except Cottonwood. The Challis Bridge ramp you will have to drop your boat down over the ice, but it’s not as bad as last year. There is still a small ice jam at Deadmans Hole. Steelhead are being caught from Challis to below Salmon. Last weeks F&G report shows that above the Middle Fork in section 15 the average was 19 hours per steelhead caught, upstream of North Fork in section 16 the average was 14 hours per steelhead caught, and upstream of the Lemhi River the average was 12 hours per fish caught. We are hoping that Deadwater at North Fork will open up this weekend with the warmer temperatures. Temperatures around Challis are expected to be in the mid 40’s through next week so expect some off color water from melting snow and ice.

By the way, it’s time to clean those fly lines you haven’t used since last fall,(or get a new one) or change your mono line on your reel ( we can do that for you). We have new flies, lures and what ever you need for catching a steelhead so drop by the store before you go out. Greg

Salmon River Fishing Report


Temperatures have been bouncing around the past couple of weeks but we are seeing an uptick in catch rates for Steelhead between Challis and Salmon. Flows are just a little low for this time of year for the river but definitely will pick up with warmer weather and snow melt. There has not been much fishing below the Middle Fork , with the best catch rates in section 16. Try Green Butt Skunks, Freight Trains, General Practioners, Steelhead Muddlers, Intruders or nymph with stonefly nymph patterns like the Hot Butt Stone, Pat’s Rubber Legs and Tung Nemic Stones. If you fish conventional tackle, try gold, copper , blue or green spoons. A few Cutthroat, Rainbows and  Bulltrout are being caught also while steelhead fishing. Water temperatures are still in the low 30’s so don’t worry about getting out to early. Let the sun warm the water some, maybe hitting the water around 10am.

Upper Salmon River and Central Idaho Area Fishing Forecast

Steelhead fishing continued to improve during the past week on the upper Salmon River. There have been a few wild fish caught in the Challis area but most of the fishing is from the town of Salmon and down river. The most productive fishing is still below the Middle Fork,  with catch rates being less as you move up river. The main Salmon has clear visibility with water temperatures running in the mid thirties. Try smaller flies like General Practitioners, Hoh Bo Speys, and Skunks for fly fishing.

The Big Lost below the dam is going to be midges and Blue Winged Olives. Perdigons , Pheasant Tails, Griffiths Gnat, Zebra Midges and Parachute Adams All in sizes in 18 and smaller.



Salmon River and Central Idaho Fishing Report

The main Salmon has been fishing very well around Challis. As the temperatures rise during the middle of the day the fish become more active rising to Wulff patterns 14-18, Stimulators 10-16, Chubby Chernobyl’s10-12, Parachute Adams and Purple Haze 16-20, Humpies 14, and Hippy Stompers 12-14.  Other patterns include Pats Rubber Legs 8-10, Caddis Pupa 12-14, Duracell Jigs 12-16, Pheasant Tails 16-20, and Streamers. River flows are very low and the fish will be holding at the bottom of the runs and in the deeper areas with good holding water. Trout fishing this time of year along the bank is just as productive as floating the river. Steelhead fishing forecasts for this year are looking up with more fish coming our way than the past few years. We will keep you posted as more fish start showing up.

Fall has brought on Baetis and midges on The Big Lost River. Try Pheasant Tails and Prince Nymphs and Zebra Midges for underwater. Ther are still some Crane Flies around also.

Lake fishing around Chaliis at Mosquito lake and Bayhorse have been great using Wooly Buggers and Leeches. Herd Lake will producing some Tiger Muskies with the water temperatures dropping.

Salmon Fishing Updates

Low returns cause F&G to close some areas to Chinook salmon fishing and alter others

By Roger Phillips, Public Information SupervisorThursday, May 14, 2020 – 12:03 PM MDT

Idaho Salmon Report

Chinook run size is below forecast, and it was forecasted to be below average

Idaho Fish and Game has closed Chinook fishing in the Clearwater River system, and will end fishing on portions of the Salmon River and the Little Salmon River on May 17. Fishing days per week will also be reduced after May 17 on sections of Salmon and Little Salmon Rivers that remain open.  

Recent changes include: 

  • Salmon fishing is closed on the Clearwater, Middle Fork of the Clearwater, North Fork of the Clearwater and South Fork of the Clearwater rivers. Returns to the Clearwater River are below forecast and no harvest share is available.
  • Fish and Game Commission will end Chinook fishing at the end of fishing hours on May 17 on the Lower Salmon River from the Time Zone bridge upstream to the uppermost boat ramp at Vinegar Creek, and also from the mouth of the Little Salmon River upstream approximately 0.7 miles to the Big Salmon Road Bridge that crosses the Little Salmon River. 
  • Starting May 18, the Lower Salmon River from the Rice Creek Bridge to Time Zone Bridge and the Little Salmon River from the Big Salmon Road Bridge to Smokey Boulder Road will only be open to fishing for Chinook two days per week, Saturdays and Sundays. Limiting fishing days further will stretch the season out longer and reduce the potential for overharvest. 

Some of the closures to the Salmon and Little Salmon rivers are an effort to protect the community of Riggins from potential hazards associated with COVID-19. 

“Riggins is situated right at the confluence of the Little Salmon and Salmon rivers, which is  a very popular fishing area, and anglers typically access the river bank through downtown Riggins,” Fish and Game Fisheries Bureau Chief Jim Fredericks said. “Under normal circumstances, the city is happy to have large numbers of anglers come into town, but with the concerns related to COVID-19, there are legitimate concerns about creating a situation that funnels large numbers of people through the center of town.”

All other previously established salmon seasons, limits, and rules remain in effect. For more information, see the Chinook fishing seasons and rules. 

For more information about the Chinook returns, see Clearwater Regional Fisheries Manager Joe DuPont’s analysis of the 2020 Chinook run. 

Salmon River Fishing Report and Info on Salmon Fishing

Steelhead fishing has been fair this week with most fishing going on towards Stanley, although there are still a few fish at Ellis and and around Challis. trout fishing has been good, with some decent fish being picked up an streamers. Stonefly patterns also are working.

Chinook opens April 25th in the lower sections but per Fish and Game reports , only a few have arrived to Idaho. As of April 19, only 6 fish had crossed Lower Granite Dam. That’s not even close to the 10 year average, but the forecast is for more fish this year than last. We will just have to wait and see.Anglers can learn more about the fishing season on the Chinook salmon seasons and rules webpage. Anglers are also reminded to abide by the Governor’s guidelines for safe recreation during COVID-19. 

To learn more, read Clearwater Regional Fisheries Manager Joe DuPont’s analysis of the upcoming Chinook season

Chinook salmon
Creative Commons Licence

Photo by Roger Phillips/Idaho Fish and Game

IDFG file photo

Salmon River Fishing Update by Idaho Fish and Game

Nonresident licenses, permits, and tags sales temporarily suspended by F&G Commission   Nonresidents who purchase a 2020 hunting license may still apply for controlled hunts that will occur this fall. At their April 4 meeting, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a rule that temporarily suspends the sale of several types of nonresident fishing and hunting licenses, tags, and permits.  The action is effective immediately and lasts until the rule is repealed consistent with relevant state of Idaho public health orders. The Commission found this rulemaking supportive of the protection of public health consistent with the March 25 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Order to Self-Isolate for the State of Idaho in response to COVID-19.  Fishing and hunting licenses, tags, and permits purchased by nonresidents prior to the April 4 Commission action are still valid for existing hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons, which remain in effect. Nonresident hunting licenses along with currently available nonresident deer and elk tags are not included in the suspension. Nonresidents who purchase a 2020 hunting license may still apply for controlled hunts that will occur this fall. The Commission action does not affect Idaho residents and there are no new limitations on resident purchase of licenses, tags, and permits or any changes to existing seasons. Nonresidents and resident hunters, anglers, and trappers are reminded about state of Idaho guidance for outdoor recreation: follow social distancing directives of at least 6 feet, day trips are encouraged, check before heading out because many recreation sites are closed, and bring your own supplies. Outfitting and guiding are permissible with adherence to outdoor recreation guidelines. The following is the list of nonresident items suspended from sale Nonresident annual and three-year combination, fishing, and trapping licenses. Nonresident Hunting Passports. Nonresident junior annual and three-year fishing licenses. Nonresident annual and 3-day small game hunting licenses. Nonresident daily (including consecutive day) fishing licenses. Nonresident 3-day fishing licenses with salmon/steelhead permits. Nonresident nongame hunting licenses. Nonresident game tags for black bear, turkey, mountain lion, and gray wolf, including nonresident junior mentored and nonresident disabled American veteran tags for these species. Nonresident permits for black bear baiting, hound hunter, salmon, and steelhead. Nonresident falconry meet permits. Nonresident sport dog and falconry training permits. Nonresident fishing tournament permits (suspension of sales of resident and nonresident tournament permits was implemented by Order 20-30). Nonresident dog field trial permits. F&G COVID-19 Updates  Idaho Department of Fish & Game P.O. Box 25, Boise, ID 83707
600 S. Walnut, Boise, ID 83712 (208) 334-3700 Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.