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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 02-11-2014, 11:00 PM
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Default Idaho Steelhead

I am going to Idaho at the end of March for some steelheading, this will be my first year fly fishing for steelies. I have been numerous years before with conventional gear. (Spin and bait cast) I have a 7 and an 8 weight, both 9ft. Not spey. Suggestions for fly patterns would be most greatly appreciated. I will be just north of Ellis at Royal Gorge Resort and the surrounding area. I will be avoiding the shooting galleries as crowds bug me. (Crowd = more than 2 people within 100 yards) I may venture out to the hi-way between Challis and Stanley, again avoiding the crowds. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Idaho Steelhead

What river? If its the Clearwater 'your guy' is Mike at the redshed fly shop.
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Old 02-12-2014, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Idaho Steelhead

Sorry, I meant to note that we would be on the Salmon River.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Idaho Steelhead

Hi,

I have fly fished up there for many years (over 20, wow I am getting old).
It is tough fishing, long hard days, but you can sight fish for them at times if you can spot them well. It is easy sometimes to see a 30 inch shadow moving upriver and other times a light colored female can be right near you and you won't see it right away. It can also be frustrating when you fish to one for 30 minutes and they won't touch the fly (changing flies can work).

Usually near Challis the last week of March is just right and then the fish move up to Stanley around April 5th. It is weather dependent, if it is warm they move a week earlier than if it it stays cold. You should be prepared to drive a little if needed. I would guess towards the towns Salmon and North Fork.

As long as it is not Saturday the crowds near that section are not bad. There are a lot of spin fisherman hitting the large holes around the area near Ellis but not a ton of fly fisherman. I try to arrive Sunday as some folks are going home. Then fish Monday and Tuesday. I would say 70 % spin, 30 % fly fish.
You should be able to find some great sections of river runs above the main holes up river from the hatchery if you drive and look. Look for sections where the river has channels or braided areas for spotting fish.
For flies I would have some bright red and orange and some skunk patterns.
I make up my own kooky skunk patterns (usually while drinking a pint) and they look bad but seem to work. I weight them and usually fish a floating line, 10 foot leader with 1 or 2 split shot at times. I also have a sink tip I throw but never feel that confident on the drift and feel of it but usually will try it for blind fishing a classic looking run. One of this years it will work.

I may be up there this year around that time, but have not planned yet.
If you want I can e-mail you or reply to this thread if I decide to go. I am only a mid level fisherman but have success thru determination.

Let me know if you want more input.

Rob
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