SF Clearwater

#16
I was so curious I actually went to YouTube and watched a video some "guide service" put out. This guy is running a jetboat somewhere on the Upper Clearwater and his clients are wailing on steelhead (gear not fly)...the video shows his clients winching up a bright red unclipped steelhead (which I assume is a wild fish), laughing and frolicking while it bounces around in the bottom of the boat and then he proceeds to tell his client to "toss him back in"...which the client willingly does by launching the fish over the side of the boat back into the middle of the river. Crazy stuff...
 

ribka

Active Member
#17
I think only about 30-40% of the hatchery fish are clipped on the CW according to F&G.

The fish I caught were not clipped but did not look like natives.
 
#18
The SF is great.... if you don't get bombed by gear chuckers. My two biggest steelies are from that river, 45 mins apart. I was pooped after that! Nothing like the westside chromers I'm sure, but I'll take 18 and 19 lb pound slightly spotted fish anytime. One spooled me out four times.

I've noticed however, that you have to think "outside the box" there. Some folks seem to forget, that steelies will take the path of least resistance when heading upstream. That is true anywhere, but really seems to be the case on the SF. I've stood in the water there, 1 ft deep, and had two steelies swim 6" from my ankles.
 

Codioos

Active Member
#19
My buddies were there two weeks ago and got 20 fish between 3 of them, both swinging and nymphing. How do you have sweet spots when you're asking us where to fish while also getting skunked 2 days on the SF, which I thought was impossible this time of year. Don't mean to bust your balls, but come on now!

-No worries man, I have been fishing the upper SF for a few years now but have only been there in May. I didn't know what March had to offer and what the water was like. I stick to the SF from the Idaho Mt Road that leads south from Grangeville and fish upstream from that (avoids all the road chuckers). Did your buds fish near Harpster? I was throwing purple pats, nymphs, swinging purple woollies and even used beads. Sucks I didn't even get a bump, and your right that it's unheard of to not have any action with that kind of water. All of the sand and gravel bars were bare. Oh well I'll give it another go in a few weeks.
 

hydrological

beads are NOT flies and snagging is just ghetto
#22
this thread is like a bad fatal car wreck, no matter how much it turned my stomach, i still read the next post. i've heard about the mentality on the clearwater this time of year, just didn't realize there were so many fly? "anglers" participating.
 

ribka

Active Member
#23
this thread is like a bad fatal car wreck, no matter how much it turned my stomach, i still read the next post. i've heard about the mentality on the clearwater this time of year, just didn't realize there were so many fly? "anglers" participating.
if you are truly that passionate about the steelhead fishery on then CW then start sending letters, petition the ID F&G to get the fishery shut down earlier in the year .Whining on here won't do any good.
 

Panhandle

Active Member
#24
Hydrological, embarrassing would be the best way to describe it. The mentality over here is totally different than on the west side. Most people don't understand the life cycle of a steelhead and don't understand the difference between a chrome and beat up fish. They don't understand the difference between a summer and winter run fish. If its in the river in January, it must be a winter run fish, right? The SF is as much a donkey show as any fishery you've ever seen. It is what it is. If you go into it knowing that, it can be both comical and fun. If you're expecting a classic steelhead experience you will be traumatized for life. Having said that, I'm driving 9 hours tomorrow to fish the OP.



 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#25
this thread is like a bad fatal car wreck, no matter how much it turned my stomach, i still read the next post. i've heard about the mentality on the clearwater this time of year, just didn't realize there were so many fly? "anglers" participating.
I love chrome as much as the next guy, but if I lived on the eastside and didn't have too many more options, I'd probably participate too. It's all about opportunity, and if it's close I can understand. The thing I don't get are guys going from Seattle to that fishery. That in my mind is inexcusable.
 

Abomb

Active Member
#26
Yup-
Summer Run fish- predominantly hatchery. "Pounding the nest..."
I've been there- buddies are there now texting hero shots, but not for me.
It's a harvest fishery, and can be fun. Just not my Steelhead Experience of choice.
Yeah, kinda like the hen in your avatar that you picked of a "nest"? The smug is strong in you!
We have caught fish WAY brighter then that in the SFCW.
 

Abomb

Active Member
#27
Hydrological, embarrassing would be the best way to describe it. The mentality over here is totally different than on the west side. Most people don't understand the life cycle of a steelhead and don't understand the difference between a chrome and beat up fish. They don't understand the difference between a summer and winter run fish. If its in the river in January, it must be a winter run fish, right? The SF is as much a donkey show as any fishery you've ever seen. It is what it is. If you go into it knowing that, it can be both comical and fun. If you're expecting a classic steelhead experience you will be traumatized for life. Having said that, I'm driving 9 hours tomorrow to fish the OP.
This......

Still pissed I cannot make the trip with you guys. I know, priorities.......
 
#28
"...The SF is as much a donkey show as any fishery you've ever seen. It is what it is. If you go into it knowing that, it can be both comical and fun. If you're expecting a classic steelhead experience you will be traumatized for life..."

That's some funny stuff! Sad, but true. Holy crap can it be true.
 

Codioos

Active Member
#29
Yikes. The last thing I wanted was to cause a mess like this. I had never fished that river in March and was just looking for some helpful info and what to expect. I'm fairly new to the steelhead gig and would like to get better by going more and more often. My experience thus far is to hit the upper part of the SF. I probably should have tried Harpster and downriver as I heard there was more fish activity there. I'm also tring to get better at swinging in the pools of relief water just above the fast water the steelies have to navigate up. Like I said, I will try to go back for another day or so in a few weeks.
 

Benjy

Active Member
#30
I am guilty of beating up on those poor old rotten tomatoes. Those fish have such a tough road, getting netted and put in barges or trucks to get around the dams. Then they run a gauntlet of nets and gear to their final destination where there are people fishing 24 hours a day with battery powered bobbers and glow in the dark shit on their jigs/corkies/whatevers. I have got to wonder however, why would anyone want to close the fishery? It is such an artificial fishery as it is, and despite what the adipose fins say, IMO 99% of those fish come from the massive hatchery program. It's all so perfectly Idaho.