the bent rod

Fishing Report

Challis Area Fishing Report 02/14 – 02/21

Salmon River

Spring must be in the air, what with all the fishermen and a few drift boats seen yesterday. We had some reports of Steelhead being caught below the Pahsimeroi, and river conditions are excellent. This shot was taken just north of Challis this morning (02/14).


No reports on float conditions above Ellis- there is likely some ice cover in spots. There is still quite a bit of ice upstream of Challis. The forecast for the next week shows temperatures in the 40’s, so water should remain fairly slush-free. This time of year, drifting stonefly nymphs can be very productive, and if the Steelhead aren’t biting, the whitefish will readily take nymphs. The whitefish are fun to catch, and some can be really large.


A fisherman recently reported catching a few Steelhead on cured roe, and certainly shrimp or nightcrawlers will be effective too.

The Big Lost River

Flows are still very low, so concentrating on deeper holes with long, light leaders is necessary. Midges and a few BWO’s make up the bug population right now, so try a Griffith’s Gnat with a Zebra midge tied below. After you’re pretty sure you’re done fishing, strip a small black Wooly Bugger through the deep spots to see if there’s a Brook Trout lurking in there.

Mackay Reservoir

The ice is still good at Mackay, although the edges are getting slushy by the afternoon. The fishing is still good, especially when the Kokanee come through. This writer and her better half spent last Sunday landing seven Kokanee in about 2 1/2 hours, and then landing 23 in about 20 minutes, jigging small jigs tipped with spikes.

Jimmy Smith Lake

Jimmy Smith is still fishing well with good ice.