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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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new to the clearwater

I recently moved to Montana after winter in oregon and summer in island park. so my closest Steelhead or salmon rivers are gonna be central Idaho. I've been looking at trips to the Clearwater and was hoping someone could point me in the direction of a good book for that area.

From the looks of it theres lots of little tributaries. Are these fishable or just the main stem?
I have a homemade two hand bamboo and a single hand 8 weight Tfo so i wouldnt mind even getting into smaller stuff for short swings.

Im looking for any pointers to the area! I appreciate any info and will definitely be stopping by the redshed to say hello.
Thanks everyone!

Bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 01:45 PM
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Red shed...

...Better than any book
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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I suppose mums the word... I'll load up the car and try to make a trip soon.

If anyone would mind answering this question though, is there flows i should watch for the clear water? I can head out quickly if i know a website to watch flows

Bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 10:20 PM
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Red shed has all the info you need on the home page. I would focus on the main stem, heard that's where the big ones are
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-28-2012, 10:47 PM
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clearwater

go check it out, much of the river is roadside tons of good swinging water to be had. have fun
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 01:03 AM
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Clearwater steelhead regs...

I'm pretty sure all the tribs other than the south fork Clearwater and that little nub of the north fork that's left, are off limits for steelhead fishing.

Other than that, you can fish the Clearwater from the mouth all the way up to just upstream of the SF. Motorized boats aren't allowed upstream of Orofino.

I've only ever really fished around the Cherry Creek bridge near Lenore. It's fun. Big water even in the winter.

Also: here's the link to the USGS real-time streamflow data: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/id/nwis/current/?type=flow
The Clearwater gages are near the bottom. The Spalding gage is down by Lewiston. The Peck gage is upstream near the Potlatch confluence. I the Orofino gage is just upstream from the NF confluence. The flows you see right now are pretty good, but the main thing to watch for is the trend. Visibility can suffer when the flow bumps up too fast.

"I was spey casting for sure. Everything else I'm unsure about." ~Mumbles
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 10:52 AM
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Potlatch creek is a few miles upstream of the Spalding guage not Peck. No motors upstream of the orofino bridge.

The best way to learn the river is to go fishing. You have more roadside access then you will be able to figure out in a lifetime.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 10-29-2012, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information. I'm gonna plot on a Clearwater trip soon for suuuure. I've only hooked two and landed one steelhead before, which both interactions made my hands shake a little afterwards.

Bet this mighty river's both my savior and my sin
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 06:08 PM
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...and those b runs are brutes too. Ive shaken hands with two. One broke me off straight away and the other unbuttoned after a 10 minute battle where I didnt see my mainline again once he took off. Friendly little river to swing but two hands make your day much easier.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 07:19 PM
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Hey Greatwhite:

I just made my first trip there. (Skunked, but inspired.)

We were talking to a guide and asking where he thought the fish might be. He said "Well... they are definitely somewhere between the left and the right bank. And heading that direction." (points upriver.)


Good luck!

Slint
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 07:51 PM
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As Poppy once said:

Find some fishy looking water and fish it!

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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-09-2012, 05:26 PM
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GreatWhite:

Earlier this year, I reviewed in the Book Review subthread: "Steelhead Fly Fishing Nez Perce Country" by Dan Landeen, a 2006 paperback from Frank Amato Publications. That book gives more lore and history about the Clearwater than anyone needs to get them slavering to head that way. It doesn't have detailed maps or directions to specific drifts. Nor are they needed. Highway 12 stays close by the river from the outskirts of Lewiston to above Orofino. Just look for parking areas. There are a number of steelhead guides in Orofino.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-11-2012, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slint View Post
Hey Greatwhite:

I just made my first trip there. (Skunked, but inspired.)

We were talking to a guide and asking where he thought the fish might be. He said "Well... they are definitely somewhere between the left and the right bank. And heading that direction." (points upriver.)


Good luck!

Slint
I love it! Very prophetic. Just returned from a 5 day trip on the Grand Ronde. Beautiful water ( a bit low) and weather, Steelhead were limited but the native trout were amazing. The largest trout for me was an 18" native, a personal best. I love that part of the world...
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