Clearwater Springer Fever

by Adam Hocking, May 03, 2016
Spring is one of my favorite times of the year. As the days grow longer and the temperature starts to rise, the rivers swell with the first run-off of the year. This tells me to start watching the fish counts over Bonneville as I eagerly await the best eating fish around “Spring Chinook”!

Idaho’s Clearwater River has by far some of the best Springer fishing around. Spring Chinook are highly sought after with their deep red flesh packed with Omega 3 fats. Springer’s are known to be tough to catch, but not on the Clearwater. “These fish like the taste of hooks” is what I tell all my customers! That being said if that hook is covered in a nice fresh cured glob of salmon eggs your chances greatly increase!

With the Clearwater at its spring-time levels, back trolling diver and eggs, K14 and K15 Kwik Fish, or Brad’s MagLip’s in sizes 3.5- 5.0 bait wrapped with sardine or tuna will all work very well.

Anchor fishing in the lower river is also very popular, with most anglers fishing Kwik Fish, MagLips, Superbaits or cutplug herring. If bank fishing is your cup of tea the North Fork of the Clearwater has good access and is excellent bank fishing. If you haven’t fished the Clearwater for Spring Chinook you are missing out. Like I said these fish like the taste of hooks and man do they fight hard! Once the counts reach 1000 or more a day at Lower Granite Dam it’s time to hit the water! Springer’s come up river fast. A fish that cross Lower Granite can be 50 miles upstream in a couple days.

This year the preseason prediction puts our quota at just over 7000 fish which is the third highest in history. If you come to Idaho looking to catch Spring Chinook on the Clearwater remember to be safe and courteous and most important have fun! FISH ON!

By Adam Hocking Owner
Steel Dreams Guide Service

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