Feb. 25: Poor weather conditions over the past week on the upper Salmon River resulted in very low steelhead angler effort. Afternoon temperatures on Thursday, Feb. 21, and over the weekend were warm enough to allow a break in the frazil ice, and some anglers were able to get out and try fishing.
Anglers who were interviewed during those days did not report catching any steelhead. River conditions remain highly variable with frazil ice still affecting most of the upper Salmon.
Currently, the Salmon River is flowing at 1,200 cfs through the town of Salmon, which is 110 percent of average for Feb. 25. River temperatures remain in the low 30s with clear visibility upstream of Deadwater. Downstream of Deadwater the river has reduced clarity, but it does improve towards the lower end of location code 15, near Owl Creek and Colson Creek.
Feb. 19: Steelhead angler effort on the upper Salmon River over the past week was light with most anglers only fishing for an hour or two during the afternoons. The majority of anglers were observed fishing near Salmon in location codes 16 and 17.
Anglers interviewed downstream of the Lemhi River in location code 16 averaged eight hours per steelhead caught, and anglers interviewed upstream of the Lemhi River in location code 17 averaged five hours per steelhead caught. No interviewed anglers reported harvesting a steelhead.
Current river conditions vary greatly depending on location. The Deadwater ice jam is still in place, and shelf ice is prevalent in location code 15. The river typically has poor visibility downstream of Deadwater for a few miles, but it starts to clear up below that.
Upstream of the ice jam in location codes 16 and 17, the river is the most accessible and visibility has been clear. Upstream of the Pahsimeroi River in location codes 18 and 19, the river has a high amount of shelf ice, and multiple ice jams are still active.
The Deadwater, North Fork, Bobcat, and 4th of July boat ramps are currently closed because of the ice jam. Due to conditions changing rapidly this time of year, anglers are advised to check the current conditions of any ramps they plan on using before launching their boats.