Smallmouth bass fishing on Salmon River

This week we finished a trip on the Lower Salmon River, a combination of whitewater rafting and smallmouth bass fishing.  Bass fishing was good, with fish in the 16-17 inch range being caught.  Size of bass on the Lower Salmon has increased in recent years.  In the past, there was a 12-inch minimum to keep bass, and very few made that.  Several years ago that regulation was changed, and average size is much larger anyway.  At any rate, there were lots of bass for the frying pan, and damn good.  Many bass had bellies full of crawfish.

Daytime temperatures have cooled by this time of year, making a more pleasant trip than in mid-summer.  Still, afternoons reached 90 degrees or so.  There are few people on the river at this time.  All in all, it is a much more pleasant trip in September than in mid-summer.

Temperature of the Salmon River was in the upper 60s, though the Snake, as usual, was warmer.  We thought we saw a few steelhead rolling, though there usually aren’t enough steelhead in the Salmon River at this time to get very excited about fishing yet.  Usually by the first of October there are reasonable numbers of steelhead in the Lower Salmon River, and by the third week of October we have steelhead in the Salmon area.

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