Salmon and Steelheadby Alan Liere
Spokesman Review, December 29, 2006
Lake Coeur d'Alene chinook are hitting from the surface down to 85 feet. Herring, whether fished deep or on a planer board, are bringing strikes. The Clearwater River is running clear at 36 degrees and anglers are averaging six hours per fish. On the North Fork Clearwater, the average is 17 hours per fish. Two friends and I hooked 11 steelhead from shore near Orofino last week using a bobber and jig setup with no bait. The fall steelhead season remains open through Sunday, but the spring steelhead season starts Monday. Clearwater anglers will need a new steelhead permit and a 2007 fishing license.
The Snake River steelhead bite is picking up in Hells Canyon, said Steve Porter at Camp, Cabin and Home in Lewiston. He recommends a black jig with a white head.
The Grande Ronde was running at about 1900 cfs and rising slowly at midweek, but colder weather is expected, so it should be good by the weekend. Call Bill Vail at Boggan's for current conditions: (509) 256-3372. Fly fishermen had good success earlier in the week on black leech patterns.
On the Cowlitz River, 116 bank anglers kept 42 and released six steelhead plus two coho. Six boat anglers kept three steelhead. The steelhead were sampled at Blue.
Fishing for winter steelhead had been good near Salmon Creek Park (Clark County), where 13 bank anglers kept 11 hatchery and released four wild steelhead. Bright fish up to 13 pounds were observed.
A fair number of fish have returned this past week to Kalama Falls Hatchery. Water conditions have not been favorable to boaters this season, but the river is still fishable.
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