Coeur d'Alene River Report
June 16, 2017
So, we are off and running to a great spring and looking forward to a great summer with all the water we have. The Coeur d' Alene River has been fantastic and the St. Joe coming into shape as well. The CDA is primo right now, and flows are more conducive to wading—but still very float-able. The upper stretches are starting to get a bit skinny in spots, but still doable in a raft or drift boat.
I fished last week in a couple of runs mid-river. They had a pretty broad range of sizes of fish in them. I fished the same runs yesterday, and it seemed that either the weather had them off, or most of them had moved, as I only caught 2-4 fish per run. Last week those numbers were much higher. So, as the flows drop, the fish seem to be moving to some of the faster and/or deeper runs.
The St. Joe is fishing great, however, it’s not perfect for wading in most spots, but, like the CDA, it’s dropping fast and will be more wade-able as the days go on. We’ve been getting great reports from folks that are floating it. Nymphing and streamer fishing has been good on both the CDA and Joe early in the day, and, as the temps warm up, we start seeing our bugs come out.
We still have a hand full of golden stones, and/or the occasional salmon flies; green drakes are still a player, but not until later in the day. Caddis are out, along with PMDs mid to late day. We’re seeing some clouds of rusty spinners and yellow sallies—quite a lot of them. With the overcast, cooler weather, morning fishing has been a bit slow, so pull some streamers and/or nymph rigs, then move over to your dries and emergers later in the day.
I had great hopes that the Clark Fork would fish well this week as it was on the drop hard, but it looks like over in the headwaters in Montana, they got a bunch of rain and bumped the Fork from 19,000 cfs to over 30,000 in short order.
NOAA, Northwest River Forecast estimates that the Clark Fork at St. Regis should be back on the drop this week, and roughly in the mid-teens by the 25th—so, hopefully… GAME ON!
And if you’re tired of catching massive beautiful stone fly eating wild cutthroat on the CDA and Joe?
Well, you could move over to the local lakes and catch some smallies and spiney rays, which have been good, but the cooler weather slowed that action down a bit as well. Next week looks promising, and with warmer weather should have the bass and pike back at it as usual.
Food for thought, if you haven't fished the Grand Ronde in the spring for smallmouth on the spawn, it is supposed to be a kick. I have a group of buddies that do get down there and keep telling me I'm missing out. I did a 3-day smallmouth float trip on the John Day many years ago, and it was one of the funniest trips I’ve done.
So, the flows on the Ronde are just about right and the weather should be perfect in the next couple of weeks. If you need a change of pace, there’s nothing wrong with catching piglet smallmouth on poppers and streamers by the dozen. Good luck and tight lines.