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Have you ever wanted a chance at a 20lb + steelie (thats over 40&quot; of one of the fightingest fish you'll find)? Watch the Snake and Clearwater River this fall, everything is pointing to a great steelhead year! 1999 was a high water year in this region which flushed the out migrating smolt to the Pacific in record time (that = high smolt survival). The ocean conditions have been great the past 2 years (that = high survival at sea and good forage). Add that up and you get lots of fish-<b>Big Fish!</b> You want some proof you say. Well......[crazy]I don't have any proof!! But I can offer some interesting facts. The conditions that suggest a fantastic steelhead season are the same conditions that contributed to the Spring Salmon return (one of the largest in recorded history) that will soon close in Idaho waters. This provided a 3 1/2 month fishery with a 4 fish limit. Right now we are watching fish counts at the lower Columbia and Snake River dams that are well above past years, early return (the Springers were early too). We have been hooking steelhead while bass and trout fishing since the first week of July (way early!). Speculation?..Optimism?... Of course it is-but let me keep that one please. <br>All in all it looks very good for a lot of fish and some of the large sizes that we remember from past years, keep an eye on Idaho this fall for some Hot Steelhead Reports!<br>If you want to monitor the counts you can get the full story at the Fish Passage Center website,log on to <br><A HREF="" target="_new"></A> for counts at all of the Columbia and Snake River dams. There is a graph on this site, as well as the stats, which compares last years run to the current run, it's a fun thing!<br>Good Fishin<br>Pat<br><br><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by PatLong on 07/20/01 05:13 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
i have not had a chanch at a 20Lb. steelie<br><br>
Hi Jeff, put Idaho on your list of places to fish! The fall months from late Oct. thru Dec. is the time to be on the Clearwater, the fish will average in the 12 to 15 lb. range and with some luck you can find that 20 pounder. Fishing techniques vary- backtrolling, drifting bait, flyfishing, spinners-you name it. If you find yourself coming this way let me know and I'll point you to some good water.<br><br>Good Luck<br>Pat<br><br>

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