First Fishing Report for 2016!

First off, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Warmer weather plus the holidays and time off work gave way for three days on the river in the past week. To start off, the weather has been perfect for winter steelhead fishing which has given myself and whomever has been in my boat plenty of opportunities at catching a few of these winter beauties on a daily basis.

My buddy and his girlfriend where home from Bozeman for Christmas and we picked the Monday after as our day to fish. Wouldn’t you know it, that ended up being the coldest day of December and the onset of a wicked winter storm. They managed one a piece and both came towards the end of the day. I’d assume there was a brief window when the water temperature stopped plummeting and some fish finally started to feed. They definitely worked for these steelhead as each spot was fished for 20+ minutes before we were able to entice anything to bite.


Bottom of the 9th… Way to get it done Jen!

The following day brought better weather and better fishing! Unfortunately, my friends from Montana couldn’t stay for a second day, but that made room for my buddy Andy who I always enjoy having in the boat. Lots of laughs and lots of fish! Took a water reading and was surprised to see 35 degrees. Also, the water was still pretty stained up but was clearing fast. I’d say three feet of visibility on that Monday and although we moved up stream a touch, we had four feet on Tuesday. That four to five feet of visibility is my absolute favorite, you can get away with 8 lb test and that makes a ton of difference when it comes to keeping these fish out of the logs and in the net!

DSC_0277 DSC_0294


Finally got my wife out over the weekend. Forecasted high was 32, but with the sun out all day it got up to 36. We did a half day trip and managed to do pretty well for ourselves. I never grabbed a water reading but I’d guess the water temp was in that 34-36 degree range and was warming throughout the day with the sun beating down on it. Some fish still had quite a bit of spunk in them and others did the typical winter barrel roll. Water had a slight stain to it and should be running pretty clear by now. Fishing pressure has still been pretty high which isn’t surprising given the nice weather. I noticed a few fish we caught had some sore lips and I suspect the bite moving forward is going to get a bit tougher as these fish start to wise up.

My Jenni showing off her bling while holding her first fish of 2016!
Gotta love double stripe males!
Number 2 for my wife.
Double bead got it done!
Steelhead are absolutely beautiful this time of year!

All in all it was another fun week of steelhead fishing. Another fisherman mentioned he did have some decent browns follow on the swing. Like I said previously, expect fishing to remain consistent and begin to get tougher as we get into the heart of winter. I can’t imagine too many new fish will be showing up anytime soon and the fish we have right now will begin to wise up on us.

If you like reports like this and want to see more up to date info more often, check out my Facebook page, Hybrid-Outdoors. Give it a “Like” and a “Share” while you’re at it! If you have any questions feel free to privately message me.




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  1. I’ve struggled on that river this year which is kind of unusual. I’m not able to go as much as I like so I only go when conditions are ideal and it’s been 1-2 fish per trip. Nice to see that someone is catching them! Great report!

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