Lochsa, Selway and Clearwater.

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Ron Eagle Elk, Oct 5, 2005.

  1. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,741
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    The wife and I just returned from a week long trip over to Lowell, Idaho for a little fishing. Man, What a beautiful area! We stayed at Three Rivers Resort in Lowell, overlooking the Lochsa River. Unfortunately, according to the biologists I met, the warm summer and low water made the fish move upstream to find cooler, more oxygenated water. Most of the good fishing on the Lochsa was around mile marker 150. That was fifty miles from the motel. We only made the trip once, but it was worth it. Landed and released several nice cutts in the 15 to 18 inch range. A couple others reported fish to 22 inches from there.

    Seventeen miles up the Selway we found the cutts and spent most of our week exploring this area. The water clarity is unbelievable, but the cutts are not at all leader shy. After loosing several fish when they parted my 4X tippet, I switched to 3X. We took several fish from one pool and even after being released they attacked our dry flies with abandon.

    The cutts were in very deep holes, hiding under rock ledges and in shadowy areas of the river. They would not hit nymphs or wets, but would rise out of their protected areas and smash anything on the surface. Very exciting takes, because you couldn't see them until your fly disappeared in a splash. No gentle sipping of bugs for these guys.

    Large October or Cinnamon Caddis were the flies to have, though one guy went through his fly box to see if there was a fly they wouldn't hit. There wasn't. Small black or brown winged ants were also high on the piscatorial menu.

    We fished the Clearwater a couple of times. Once down river from Lowell, where I ran into the Biologists. They had been shocking fish and let us know that the Cutts and Bows had moved up river. In the upper Clearwater there were a few Whitefish and Suckers, not high on my list. On our way home we did stop and swing a few flies through some likely looking steelhead runs with our 6 wgt speys, but no love there. It was fun anyway.

    Smallest fish caught was by yours truley, abour 2 1/2 inches long on a size 8 October Caddis. Largest fish caught was by the wife, Vickie, 21 inches on a size 18 Parachute Adams. Go figure.

    REE
  2. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Ree,

    Thanks for a great report and some nice photos. I'm headed back that way the end of next week. I can hardly wait.

    Randy
  3. ibn Moderator

    Posts: 1,885
    Federal Way
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    Nice report and nice pics, looks like you guys had some good weather too.
  4. Jim Jones flytosser

    Posts: 575
    Woodinville, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for the report Ron. I have never made the journey to fish those waters, but may be headed over soon to attempt a shot at some Clearwater steelies.

    Jim
  5. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,741
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    flytosser, If you make it as far as Peck, ID, make sure you stop in for a visit with Mike at Red Shed Fly Shop. He is mostly spey, but his knowledge of the river is terrific. We did see several folks out on the Clearwater as we were making the trip home. That incuded a couple guys spey casting from a drift boat. The guy on the oars looked mighty nervous.

    Randy, Take some small ants (14's and 16's) and some cinanamon caddis dries. The October Caddis hatch is all but over. The cinnamon bugs are about size 10.

    ibn, We couldn't have asked for better weather, warm days and cool nites. It rained a little on Friday morning, but soon cleared to sun and set off a nice hatch of midges and BWO's that had the trout rising in a hurry.

    REE
  6. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for tip, Ree. Ants it is.

    Randy
  7. flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    Was out that way a couple of weeks ago for the Clearwater Clave! I drove down highway 12 right next to Lochsa and it looked great! I'll definitely head back that way to actually fish next time, but I spent all of my time out on the Clearwater. No fish, but it was a great time!
  8. Jim Fitz Member

    Posts: 446
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Nice report. Love that area. Grew up downstream in Lewiston.

    I have camped at Powell a few times in recent years. Better fishing (C&R) up that way and a lot of area/tribs to explore as well as some lakes that aren't too tough to hike into. The lodge and accomodations near the campground are nice. Fly shop there to boot.

    Looks like you had a great time.
  9. Ron Eagle Elk Active Member

    Posts: 1,741
    Yelm, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +110 / 0
    Jim,

    We had a great time. In fact we're looking at property over there. May be making the move in a couple of years.

    REE
  10. rockymountain_brown Senore Member

    Posts: 300
    Montana.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I also had a great trip to the Lochsa and Selway this year. Went mid august. It was great fun, fishing seemed to be better on the Lochsa than the selway. We camped about 10 miles up on the Selway, and in the huge campground on the Lochsa( I forgot the name). Beautiful rivers, and amazingly clear. I actually saw a smallmouth bass swimming around in the lower lower selway.
    Glad to hear you had a good time.
    RMB