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Mania Country

March 21st, 2011 @

Jeff Jarrett, the man, the myth, the legend, and my friend. Everybody has to learn somewhere and I learned the Clearwater River by asking questions and watching professional fishing guide, Jeff Jarrett, do his magic. The man made his professional debut in 1978 and has been a full time professional guide since 1984. Jeff was raised in Lenore, Idaho. If you look across the river and see some tepees on the reservation this is the area he grew up.

Jeff has learned to catch steelhead and salmon on the Clearwater River from Kooskia to the confluence of the Snake River, a 70 mile stretch. One sunny day while I was guiding on the Clearwater, my clients were hooking many steelhead but were unable to land a single fish. I stopped Jeff on the river and asked him for some advice. After looking at my shallow diver set up, Jeff smiled and said, “If you find one of my 50 divers down river, save it for me”. This was his way of telling me to fish deeper. I switched my shrimp rig from a 20 ft. diver to a 50 ft. and the next three fish went in the net.

Jeff operates a power boat sometimes, but mostly Jeff is a rowing machine in his drift boat. He works smart and plays the game his own way. Clever as a fox, I have watched him wait up to two hours to let other fishermen and guides pass through a hole before he moves in to start catching some of the fish they left behind.

Jeff has taught me when and when not to set anchor, and how much anchor rope to use in a given situation. Jeff has mastered gear fishing of all methods and is an excellent fly fisherman. Yet, he is humble enough to admit that he is still learning new tricks.

The Myth:

I’ve heard people say, Jeff can be ornery at times. Fact: Jeff takes his job seriously and knows what works. So if a client rattles his cage by not following directions, he might bark a little to get things running right. But Jeff doesn’t bite, the fish do! Jeff is really a nice man and has a wealth of knowledge about the Clearwater River system and other fishing systems from Idaho to Alaska and provides honest helpful advice.

In the world of professional fishing we have A, B and C guides. “C” type guides will not last long if they don’t bring their average up fast. Outfitters cannot afford to put clients with a C average guide. Jeff has trained some of these men and women to become excellent “A” type fishing guides here on the Clearwater River. The “A” guide will be safe, courteous and an effective fisherman.

The Legend:

Legend has it that Jeff Jarrett is 7 foot tall, looks like Andre the giant rowing a drift boat, and no one wants to make him mad. Truth is he’s only 6 ft. 7 in. and he’s my good friend. A gentle giant well on his way to establishing legendary status as one of the best drift boat fishing guides to ever place an oar in the water on the beautiful Clearwater River.

Jeff can be reached at 208-476-3791 or www.wefishhere.com .

Good luck and for further information or training classes contact Riverside Russ at Riverside Motel & Guide Service, 10560 Hwy 12, Orofino, ID 83544 phone (208) 476-5711.

Category : Steelhead Fishing Tips

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Contact Info

Riverside Guide Service
11360 Highway 12
P.O. Box 1369
Orofino, ID 83544

Tel : (503) 871-1339
Email : russiott@yahoo.com