An increase in steelhead counts at Lower Granite over the past few days combined with dropping flows have led to an increase in catch rates on the Lower Clearwater. We have been having consistent success swinging small traditional hair wing type pattern near the surface during the low light hours as well as small dark leachy stuff on light sink tips when the sun is high. Our key to success has been to cover lots of water and fish hard. When the water is still high in late summer guys need to approach the Clearwater a little different than you would during early October. During August and the first half of September we look for fish in areas that will have little to no water later in the year. Fish the fishy water and donít be afraid to fish runs with your back in the brush and you will find fish. The river is very big this time of year so fish the water you can effectively and forget about the rest. Overcasting is one of the biggest mistakes we see from many anglers on the Clearwater. Look for fishing to continue to improve during the next few weeks. Discharge from Dworshak Dam will continue to decrease as the flow augmentation period for the lower river draws to a close. The river will be slowly stepped down over the next week and a half and by the end of September the Clearwater will be in her prime low fall flows. The fall is a magical time in the Clearwater Valley and should be on everyoneís to fish list!
Gear anglers also saw decent results over the past week. The most consistent success has come back trolling plugs such as hot shots. Guys have also been doing fairly well pulling lighted plugs after dark near Lewiston. Fish plugs with metallic type finishes over good water and you will be rewarded. As a reminder to all anglers the Clearwater is only open to catch and release fishing for steelhead above Memorial Bridge in Lewiston, and all fish need to be handled with great care. I canít think of a more enjoyable time to be out on the water steelhead fishing. There is just something about fishing in shorts and t-shits!
If anyone is interested in booking a trip with us this fall I suggest getting in touch with us ASAP because we are starting to fill dates quickly. Although we can most often find some room for guys on short notice, we canít guarantee that you are going to get the days you want. Also if you have a large group where we will need the use of more than one boat I highly suggest you book early!
As most of our subscribers know, we tell it how it is and give an honest report, so when we say not to miss out on the catching we mean it.