The Latest and Greatest Fishing Report

I’m Baaaaaaaacck…., I just arrived back home on 11/1/11 from my month long guiding adventure at Heller Bar, WA on The Snake River.  I was able to guide 27 of those 30 days with some great people on my boat.  The scenery was epic and the weather except for 3 rainy days was fabulous.  Summer Run Steelhead were the fish of choice…, but we caught many Chinook adults and jacks, plus catfish, squaw fish, white fish, sturgeon, bass, and suckers all side-drifting good eggs.  The Snake is a very healthy river system to say the least. 

If you missed this fishery in 2011, not too worry…, as I am already working on my 2012 season on The Snake River at Heller Bar, WA.  I will start around 9/15/2012 and finish up around 10/10/2012.  I would recommend 2 days on the water if at all possible.  This year was Wall Tent central and I’m looking to rent a house this next year.  If nothing is available I will run my trips through the Red Lion in Lewiston, ID which is 45 minutes from the boat launch and is surrounded by restaurants and stores for your convience. Otherwise your more than welcome to camp out at Heller Bar right at the mouth of the Grande Ronde River with me.  Fish, Big Horn Sheep, Turkeys, Chukar, Deer, fires, glo corkies and spinners from the bank, drinks, and that days fish stories are all a part of The Heller Bar experience.   

I was looking over my fish log for the month of October and my boat landed over 250 Steelhead, not including King Salmon and Jacks!  You can expect double digit fish days on this river.  We did have a couple of slower days where we caught 5-8 Steelhead and Kings.  But again only a couple of slow days.  The water was at a 20 year high for that time of year which definitely changed the fish holding locations a bit…, it took me a day to re-figure it out.  But after that day it was on.  Our best days were 25-30 hook ups on Salmon and Steelhead…, NO joke!  Below are some of the fish that we caught.  FYI those un-clipped fish (you will see in the pictures below) are legal to pull out of the Water with an Idaho fishing license.  Get a hold of me with any questions regarding my favorite Jet Sled Steelhead fishery, hands down!

I am now booking winter run steelhead trips on the Cowlitz, Sky and Snoqualmie Rivers starting 11/29/11 through 12/30 /11, Get your date…, before your too late!  FishON and see you on the water :-)   Also, don’t forget to check out Steelhead University’s fishing report as I put up a fresh weekly report there, you can go directly there through the links section on my mywebsite’s home page.  Mention Salmon Steelhead University and take 10% off of your next fully guided trip from now through December!!

Bonner Daniels


Since the June 1st opener of the Snohomish River System life has been good…, to great for the local fisherman.  The Sky River has been showing consistent results for Summer-run Steelhead and king Salmon.  These fish come in almost everyday on the bell curves due to the snow melt and rain.  This means chrome-bright, sea liced, scrappy fish that fight like crazy every day!!  My boat has been doing very well side drifting eggs and shrimp.  The water is running quite high and heavy, which is typical for June fishing on the Snohomish system.  With that stated…, the jet sled has been the top choice vs. my drift boat.  If you want in on the action get a hold of me before your, too late.  The King salmon retention closes on July 31st. I do have a few prime dates still available.  Again…, this fishery is only 30 minutes from Seattle!! 

After the 31st of July, comes the August 16th opener for The Pink Salmon run on the Snohomish river system (odd years only).  This system should see more than 500,000 of these Pink Salmon!!!!  If your interested in catching limits of salmon GUARANTEED…, get a hold of me sooner than later…, as I only have a few select dates still open.  This fishery is great for the family, friends, kids and less experienced fishermen and women…, along with those of us die hard fishermen whom simply want to catch salmon, after salmon, after salmon :-)  

The walleye action continues on a strong note over on The Potholes and Moses lake.  Trolling worm harnesses and crank baits are the top producers.  Crab Creek, Lind Coulee, and the mouth of the Frenchmen’s have all been super productive on the reservoir.  Fish early and late if you are targeting trophy fish.  The Large and Smallmouth bass are in full swing.  This year has given up some of the biggest bass we have seen in years on the Potholes.  The bass we target will average right around 3lbs…, with the bruiser’s pushing near 10lbs!!  My favorite fishery on The Potholes is chasing these Lunker Largemouth bass…, hands down.  If anyone wants to see a little slice of summertime, WA State, heaven get a hold of me for a Sand Dunes Large-mouth Bass adventure.  Top water fishing at dawn and dusk…, soft plastics and spinnerbaits in between and your in for some serious BIG bass action from now through September.   

Here are a few pics from our guided adventures since I last reported:

See you on the water…, Tight lines and screaming reels to you and yours,

Bonner Daniels


Wow…, another month has flown by since my last report!  I completely switched gears over to the Potholes reservoir to catch Walleye, Bass, and Trout.  The weather and the fishing has had it’s ups and downs, but that’s why I head east this time of year.  With all the different waterways to fish and different species of fish there is ALWAYS a bite going on somewhere within a 30 minute drive from my place on the Potholes golf course…, no matter what the weather situation is.  If your interested in getting bit multiple times per day, and simply relaxing while catching a bunch of fish this is your kind of trip. 

On to the fishing report: 

Fishing has been fantastic for my boat.  Big Bass and big numbers of bass have been the norm.  I prefer to fish plastics and crank baits this time of year.  Crawdad imitations are always a top producer.  When the bite gets slow try searching the same water, or new waters…, with your favorite crank baits.  The potholes has some real big smallmouth and they are not line shy, so beef up your tackle if you want to land those large reservoir bass.  The water levels are super high at press time, so I have not been focusing on Largemouth Bass…, but they are my favorite warm water species of fish and the fishing for these bad boyz will get good any day now.  Especially when we start to get consistant  80 degree weather days.  It took 51lbs to win the potholes open this year and the guys only weighed 11 of their 12 fish limit…, that is a new lake record!!!  Largemouth took home the 1st place check again this year…, that’s why their my favorite fish…, big money, big fish, tough fighters, spectacular scenery, all great attributes :-)

When the wind picks up.., so do I and then we head walleye fishing.  The winds over east have been putting a nice “walleye chop” on the water almost everyday.  I prefer to fish walleye in the wind.  Trolling worm harnesses has been the golden ticket on my boat.  Use bottom walkers, beads, corkies, and blades and your good to go.  Walleye are some of the tastiest fish in fresh water, so bring your fish cooler :-)  

For you rainbow trout enthusiast’s out there…, we have been smoking the trout!  Expect limits every time, if you would like to do some trout fishing.  I typically troll for these fish.  I also fly fish a few “special” lakes at the potholes for trophy trout, as well.  If your interested let me know.  Drift boat fly fishing over on the eastside is very relaxing and productive all at the same time. 

NOW BOOKING:  Summer Run Steelhead and King Salmon trips on the SkyKomish River.  Opening day is June 1st and King salmon closes August 31st.  Book earlier in the season for Prime-time Steelhead and a little later for prime King Salmon fishing.  Then on August 16th the opening of “The Catching Season”!  The Pink Salmon run is this year and not again until 2013.  This is hands down the greatest catching season of the year on our west-side rivers.  My dates are August 16th-September 11th.  Expect to bring home the boat’s limit of chrome-bright, Pink salmon and to release many, many, many more!!!  Give me a call and get a date…, before again…, your too late :-(

I will let the below pics speak for themselves on how great the fishing has been over on The Potholes Reservoir. Here are a few pics from the last month of fish catching:

See you on the water!


Bonner Daniels