Guiding for Steelhead
As an avid angler and long time resident of Idaho, I have experienced just about every kind of fishing there is in this great state. I have fished from Priest Lake for lake trout, to Henrys Lake for rainbows. I fished from Salmon Falls Creek for walleye and bass, to the Clearwater and Salmon Rivers for steelhead, but I must say, that with out a doubt the most frustrating and rewarding times Iíve had, have been steelhead fishing.
by Dennis Udlinek
Like most avid anglers, I always felt I could figure any fish out with a little knowledge from reading a few articles, and using my wealth of experience of about forty years as an angler. Yet with all my worldly fishing possessions, I had never landed a decent steelhead until I went with a guide! A professional fishing guide that is, someone who knows more about a particular method, body of water, and the fish that lie within those depths, than most people will ever know, even if they are avid anglers like myself.
This past year I was fortunate enough to be invited to experience the famed Clearwater "B" Run Steelhead by the great folks with the Clearwater Drifters and The Guide Shop in Orofino, Idaho.
I can honestly say that I learned more about steelhead fishing, landed some great steelhead, and refreshed my spirit for steelhead fishing. I realize guided trips arenít for everyone, but if youíve been frustrated by hours of casting practice, and spent lots of dollars on some strangerís advise (like mine!), itís time you got yourself a professional guide. Those days on the Clearwater, I learned the difference between gently drifting baits along the bottom, and dragging them onto the rocks. I learned that line size, hook size and weight effect the drift angle which plays a big role in the presentation of the bait, thus increasing the percentage of strikes. I learned that when drift fishing from a boat, different styles of boats react differently to the current, which effects the way the angler is able to drift the bait along the bottom.
I also learned that fishing holes named, Black Rock, the Pinch, and the Pink House were all prime lays for steelhead along the Clearwater River near Orofino. Sure, I suppose I could have found some of this out by reading my favorite fishing magazine, book, or by asking a few questions of some local anglers. But, only in general terms, and only second hand through someone elseís eyes, who may or may not be any more experienced than I. Or, as many anglers are, a little protective of their "honey holes!"
One doesnít learn all there is to know about steelhead fishing by going a few times on your own, no matter how experienced an angler you might be. You know itís strange, Iíve been a fishing guide, and I never realized until I hired a guide, how important it is to be on the water with someone who knows! Who really knows what's going on with the water. By all means, hire a guide!"
With all the best gear, and an "all you eat lunch" provided, the cost is little more than you would otherwise pay on your own, and the experience could be the best you ever have without spending half your life and money trying to figure out steelhead fishing. It just doesnít get any better than that! For more information about fishing the Clearwater River for "B" Run Steelhead, call The Guide Shop at (208) 476-3531, or E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org