Latest on the Owyhee

26 May 2006 By Dan Bachman • Fishing-Spots • Comments (6)

After hearing the Owhyee was down to around 1400 CFS, I drove over to take a look last Tuesday. With the flow at 12,000 CFS just about a month ago I was curious to see what it was looking like.

I had heard quite a few people talk about how bad the smell was right after the flow was dropped from 12,000 from all the rotting fish washed down from the reservoir. The smell was only marginally bad in the 6 or 7 locations that I stopped along the river.

Owyhee at 1400 CFS on 05/16/2006 Caddis hatch on the Owyhee

In one location I pulled my car down along a dirt road near the river only to see the debris line was literally 5 or 6 feet higher along the bank than the roof of my car. And my car was parked 50+ feet from the waters edge. Looking to the debris line on the other side of the river I could see that at it’s peak the river was nearly 200 yards wide. It must have been a site to see.

The water was very muddy with visibility at maybe 5 or 6 inches. The good news is that I saw fish rising in several sections and as dusk approached a substantial caddis hatch moved up the river.

Since visiting the flows have fluctuated from 900 to 1700 CFS and is currently running at 1330.



  1. 27 May 2006 Jim Batsel

    That spot has fond memories for me. Last year,I had a ball just below that channel on the right. I was fortunate to be there for a massive trike spinner fall.Just above that island and all the way up to the next large riffle is great PMD water with lots of big fish, or should I say was?

  2. 27 May 2006 Jim Batsel

    Those caddis look like a flock of birds when I clicked on the picture. How large were they?

  3. 28 May 2006 Dan Bachman

    Jim-I saw fish rising along this part of the river so I think the fishing will recover this year.

    I caught a couple of the cadids for my collection. They are just over half an inch.

  4. 30 May 2006 Courtney

    Owyhee flows dropped below 600 cfs on 5/29/06. Still hard to fish anything dry, but those with the itch should try to nymph it. Careful wading, it is slick and the banks are unstable.

  5. 3 June 2006 Jim Batsel

    They’re back!! My brothers and I fished the Owyhee yesterday and I’m pleased to say both the fish and the bugs ( PMD’S ) were out in good numbers. We fished about a quarter mile below the tunnel from 3:30 till dark with duns hatching in good numbers till 6:00 or so. Hope to see you on the water.

  6. 3 June 2006 Dan Bachman

    Glad to hear it! I’m off to Yellowstone for a couiple days. When I get back I’m going to have to go check it out.

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