Fish managers in Idaho are expecting a strong run of steelhead this fall, with about 34,000 fish forecast to return to the Clearwater River. This would be the third-largest run since 2011. Another 26,000 steelhead are expected to return to the Snake and Salmon Rivers in Idaho.
The steelhead fishing season opens in Idaho on Friday, September 1st, on the Snake River and the lower Clearwater River and its North fork. The rest of the Clearwater River Basin opens for steelhead on September 10th.
Washington’s steelhead fishing season on the Snake River also opens on Friday.
The start of the steelhead fishing season also marks the start of coho salmon fishing in Idaho. The Snake, Lower Clearwater, and its North, South, and Middle Forks are open for silvers. This is the 5th straight year for coho fishing in Idaho since the Nez Perce Tribe reintroduced silvers in the Clearwater and Snake River Basins. This fall’s coho run is expected to be the 3rd largest in recent history.
However, anglers should not rush out to fish for coho just yet. The coho run arrives in Idaho later in the season, usually in October. So far, the closest silver salmon have been counted over Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River outside the Tri-Cities, Washington.
Anglers who are planning to fish for steelhead or coho this fall should be aware of the regulations. There are bag limits and other restrictions in place to protect these fish populations. For more information, anglers should contact the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
Here are some additional tips for fishing for steelhead and coho in Idaho:
- Fish during the early morning or late evening hours, when the fish are more active.
- Use a variety of baits and lures, including spinners, spoons, and flies.
- Be patient and persistent, as it can take some time to catch a steelhead or coho.
- Release any fish that you do not plan to keep.