One minute the tailout on the Salmon River was tranquil and the next minute a wild steelhead grabbed the Hot N Tot lure and took off across the river dancing on the glassy waters.
The fishing rod bent down and telegraphed the power of the ocean-run fish that didnt want any part of the drift boat or net.
We were 10 minutes into a fishing trip on the Salmon last week when the fish hit. It was a signal of things to come.
Our group ended up with five fish. Four were wild and released to continue their journey to spawning grounds upriver. The hatchery fish ended up on the grill cut into steaks. There was enough left over for Dutch oven steelhead scramble eggs the next morning. Camping, fishing and camp cuisine, you cant beat it during steelhead season.
The season got off to a slow start earlier this month with high and murky water from rainstorms but things have cleared up this week.
I checked with other anglers on the river who caught fish and they said nine out of 10 fish were wild. An Idaho Fish and Game technician taking a survey said it was about 50-50.
Anyway, fishing was decent and it should get even better in coming weeks.
My wife and I got our fish on gold and pink Hot N Tot plugs, pictured, and we never changed the lures. I love Hot N Tots and consistently back troll with them.
Well, that brings me to another point to this column besides bringing you good news about steelheading.
Steelhead anglers have their favorite lures. What are your favorite steelhead lures? Id like to do a story on Idahoans favorite steelie lures. Email me what lures have worked for you during the years.
Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors