Steelhead fishing on the Clearwater is good, with fish being regularly caught. Although the large “B run” fish have not returned in expected numbers and the Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) has reduced catch and keep limits to one fish smaller than 28 inches per day, the enthusiasm of fishermen seems undiminished.
According to Evelyn Kaide, owner of The Guide Shop in Orofino, there was great concern when the projected numbers of Clearwater bound steelhead continued to drop from the optimistic original levels to a paltry 7,500 or so big “B run” fish. It was thought that fishermen would decide to forego this season on the Clearwater and seek other waters where the limits were more generous. This has not happened and there have been few cancellations.
Furthermore, anglers are catching steelhead every day and have been enjoying excellent weather on the river. She said there are lots of happy fishermen with lots of success stories as well as stories of the “monster that got away!” Most anglers are appreciative of the restricted limits, realizing that IDFG must save enough of the big “B run” fish for the hatcheries to assure we will enjoy larger runs again in future years.
It seems that the small 2013 return of the big fish is a mystery. Whether the numbers were reduced by ocean conditions, extreme in-ocean commercial netting, or other events is currently unclear. However, it is certain that all efforts to assure the hatcheries achieve a full complement of “B run” eggs must be taken to make recovery in future years probable.
Currently fish are being taken by the three basic methods commonly employed, Fly fishing has been very popular during October with good results. Fly fishing is exciting but somewhat less productive than back trolling plugs or side drifting eggs or shrimp. To rate the three methods is impossible because each angler has a preference.
There a few openings for guided fishing trips in late November, December and January. It is certain that the steelhead are here and that to get one you must put your line in the water!
Provided by Evelyn Kaide of The Guide Shop
Try this recipe to prepare a wonderful grilled Steelhead or Salmon at home!
First, fillet your fish and remove skin.
Second, prepare marinade in a plastic bag:
- 2/3 cup Brown Sugar
- 1/3 cup Rock Salt
Third, place fillets in bag shake well and let marinate for 2 hours, turning occasionally. (Do not exceed 2 hours.)
Four, remove fillets rinse with cold water and dry with paper towels.
Five, sprinkle with coarse pepper and grill!