Tuesday, February 15, 2011



Weight, it looks like old man winter is giving us a little break from the mini ice age. It is nice to walk out of the house, with out have to bundle up as you ware on a polar expedition. It probably will not last long, but it is good while it last. We will have to wait and see if we get enough snow melt and more importantly rain to below open the frozen over river and creeks. It may be next week bee for we know for sure. The Oak Orchard reservoir is way low and sandy creek is frozen tight. We need a good push of run off to get things going.

For now the Salmon river remains the best bet for steelhead fishing. The water flow has not moved, still at 285 CFS. The lower fly zone is ware all the consistent fishing is for now. This part of the river is full of fish. The steelheads have been slowly trickling in with the low water flows. This means the fish are thinly spread out throw the river, until they reach the upper river. I suspect ones we get a good push of water, we will see some strong runs of fish. I am hopping for some good late winter fishing, later this month or early March.

The steelhead fishing has been good but on the technical side. Some of the fish have been in the river for some time. This normally may be an issue, but in this case I think it has been beneficial. As most of you know I have mentioned in the past how the aquatic bug life on the Salmon river has sharply improved. This has created some unique water steelhead fishing. Once a steelhead enters the river, they do not need to feed. They have enough body reserves to hold them over for over six months. One of the biggest challenges to steelhead fishing, is how to get a fish that is not eating to eat your fly. In our case the Salmon river, which is so loaded with aquatic insects. Especially stone flies that steelhead are presented with such a unique feeding opportunity, that they are taking advantage of it. This means fishing nymphs size 12 to 8 on 4X tippits. Good fun big fish, small flies, light tippits. When the sun gets on the water the bug activity can become very active. Especially true for the winter stone flies which are now just starting to hatch.

What does all this make for us, simply put, fish stonefly nymphs. When the sun comes out and lights up the water. Try swinging small wet flies sizes 8 to 6, make the flies look buggy. When the sun does get on the water, this may also be a good opportunity to try swinging some intruders. Keep the flies about three to 4 inches long.

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