Idaho’s premier Clearwater River offers some of North America’s best fishing for spring-run Chinook salmon. After spending 4 or 5 years at sea (when they’re called King Salmon), the Springers are big and they have an attitude. On average, the Clearwater’s spring salmon weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. They’ve also been getting larger each year, some weighing up to 40 pounds.
Some stretches of the river have places that are 70 or so feet deep, which make great holding water to hammer large pods of fish. We use a combination of fishing methods including back-bouncing bait and back trolling. It often turns out to be a rock and roll event, sometimes with three fish on at the same time or a 30-pound chrome monster exploding four feet into the air.
Our clients frequently take home their daily limit of 30 pounds of fish. And these Clearwater Chinook are darn awful delicious to eat. You’ll be the king of your barbecue by offering up the King of the Pacific.
Book your trip well in advance, though. The fish are plentiful, but fishing during the spring salmon run is limited. The State of Idaho sets a quota which, once met, closes the season.