The salmon are usually as reliable as a calendar. The steelhead start rolling in during late summer and hang out until spring, and they offer good fishing between those times unless the river is frozen or blown out.
Well, it hasn’t frozen, but it definitely blew out, which brought angling to a screeching halt during high, muddy water.
It’s now dropping and clearing, and hopefully, will stay clear for a while. That means if you’ve been waiting to hit the river, it’s time to go. Fish are moving in, and the fishing should be pretty good throughout the road-accessible stretches from Whitebird upstream to the wilderness border.
That’s both a bold and safe statement. Bold because it’s a below-average run so there are fewer fish to catch. Safe because I assure you people are still going to catch some steelhead there this fall.
I don’t claim to be an expert; I reserve that title for the guides and guys who live on the river.
But I’ve spent a lot of time there and know the key to catching steelhead is more about putting in the hours than using some super-secret steelhead techniques.
The first step is figuring out where the fish hang out, and where you find them one day, you will find them again.
Next is being there when the fish bite. Have faith, it will happen. You just have to be there when it does.
Steelhead run update, Oct. 10,Lower Granite Dam: 65,473. Same time last year: 70,000. 10-year average: 119,809.
Roger Phillips: 377-6215