Running High and Muddy


Jan 18, 2012
A couple buddies and I headed up to the Clearwater a few weekends ago to chase some Steelhead. The water had spiked to over 3000 cfs and the river was crazy high, swift, and really off color. Looked like mocha. We usually wait and fish the river when it is well under 1000 cfs but one of the guys I went with was moving to Texas so we made the trip anyway. Drove all night Thursday night and got to the river around 5am. After a quick nap in the car waiting for the sun to come up, we hit the river. I love it up there. Everything is covered with moss and so green even in the early spring. The fishing was extremely hard because of the high water level. We ended up finding a small area just below some rapids where we thought the fish might be holding because the current was a little slower. After 20 min I had our first fish on....and then off. As soon as the fish figured out they were hooked they would get out into the current and it was extremely hard to get them in. Trying to get a 10lb+ steelhead out of a heavy current and back towards the near shore is no easy task. We ended up landed only about half the fish we hooked into because of the water conditions. My buddy hooked into a really nice male on the second day and we ended up chasing it through a few rapids and down the river about half a mile. We had it at the net a couple of times but in the end it came off. Farthest I've ever chased a fish on foot. Still, all things considered, we all landed fish and pretty much had the river to ourselves because of the conditions. All making the trip a success. We also had some stellar weather while we were there. Hardly any rain and temps got up into the 50s every day which is rare up there during that time of the year. Here are some pics for your viewing pleasure.


Chasing it down the river

Trying to catch up





I love this part

This was one of the small waterfalls that were flowing into the river and making it so high


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Jan 23, 2012
Looks cold, but great looking fish Justin!


May 14, 2013
Awsome looking fish.


In search of Fresh
Oct 17, 2012
Really sweet TR!!! Nice chromers!! Great job finding and hooking fish. That's the toughest part.
I've always wanted to fish the Clearwater. Been by it a few times on the way to the Grand Ronde. Only Idaho steelhead I've ever caught was near Riggins at the confluence of the Salmon and Little Salmon. Water wasn't spectacularly clean that day either. Making me miss my yearly trips to the Deschutes, John Day and Grand Ronde.

Hooked up on the Grand Ronde
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