Steelhead fishing is still happening on the Salmon River in Challis, Idaho. Fishing has slowed down some due to some recent fluctuations in river flows and storm fronts rolling in, but all in all, fishing has been good. Some fisherman have caught a fair number of steelhead in a day, but 2-3 in a boat for a day’s fishing seems to be the norm around Challis, and fish in the 30″ plus size are being caught. I think that”s pretty good steelhead fishing. The Salmon River is off color today, more of a tea stained color, with visibilty around 2 feet, but should clear up with the cooler temperatures.
If your flyfishing, nymphing is probably the best bet. Swinging flies is still productive though, and there’s nothing better than to have that big jerk on the end of your line when swinging a fly. Try Hot Butt Stones, Scrambled Eggs, Phsyco Spawn, Meg-A- Eggs, Stonefly nymphs, Salmon Candy, or a Boss for nymphing. If you’re going to swing flies, productive fly patterns on the Salmon River have been the Chrome Candy, Poker Face, Little Eddy, General Practioner , Under Taker and the Green Butt Skunk. You might also try a purple/pink Lead Eyed Rabbit Leech (but don’t tell anyone) to dredge the bottom also. With the stained water the darker, larger flies tend to work a little better.
Roe, shrimp and nightcrawlers if your fishing bait are productive, and KO Wobblers (blues and greens, and fl orange are always a favorite) and the new Blue Fox UV spinners are great.
Water flows on the Salmon River peaked last night at 1300 cfs (up from 1100 cfs) and has leveled off at 1200 cfs. In gauge height that’s from 3.2 ft to 3.7 and back to 3.6 ft for now. Higher than normal for this time of year, but still good.
Here are a few photos taken today of the Salmon River to give you an idea of water clarity.