How To Catch Steelheads- Fishing Tips To Carry To The Banks

The rainbow trout is one of America’s most prized fish, a cousin to the steelhead. These fish are Asia, North America, and Pacific Ocean natives and are also found in the rivers that flow into the Pacific Ocean. Steelheads are anadromous-they don’t spend their entire lives in the rivers like the Rainbow Trout but migrate to oceans and other large water bodies.

With a big supply of food in the sea, the steelheads attain a much larger size than their other river counterparts do. They return to the river to spawn. It is this spawning period that is the prime fishing time for the Steelheads. They return to the river in two runs; summer run and winter run. Summer run steelheads migrate from the sea between May and October and swim further inland in longer rivers. These summer run steelhead spend some time in the river to mature before spawning. Winter run steelheads leave the sea when they are mature enough to breed, usually between November and April. They travel short distances upriver and take a short time spawning before returning to the sea.  Apart from fishing during the spawning period, find your best way to catch steelhead you should carry to the bank when fishing the steelhead.

Master your fishing water

Your success in fishing depends largely on the water you are going to fish from. When fishing the steelhead, gather enough information about the water that you intend to go fishing. Make sure the water has a good run unless you have just gone out for relaxation.  Ask around for a place where the water is slower because the steelhead will need a calm place to cool down and relax before getting back into the rough water to continue their journey. Check with the internet about an area’s water especially if you are a newbie in the area or ask the locals. Local bait shops are the best places to find local experts who can be of so much help.

Carry different types of bait

Practice some insanity, do the same thing to get different results, so they say. When steelhead-hunting, you should carry a number of different baits. Maybe everyone else is using the same type of bait, so trying with different bait will increase your chances of snagging the steelhead. Use more flashy baits in first moving and dirty water to increase its visibility and less flashy in clear water so as not to scare off the fish.

Start late

The early bird catches the worm, so every angler tends to go early. Why not stand out, go late! Many anglers will go fishing early in the morning and live for other duties later in the day out of surrender or their time is simply up. Take advantage of going after they have left and be sure to carry different bait from what many of them were using. Change of the color, scent, and taste will attract the fish. If the day is sunny, go to darker areas where the fish feel much safer and strike. Arriving late for the party can be a great surprise.

Use sharp hooks

Nothing frustrates more than an angler who feeds the fish, especially a steelhead and pulls out an empty rod. Blunt fishing hooks will only harm the fish without holding it still for pulling out. Sharpen your hooks and use strong ones to pull out a loaded rod.

Keep moving

Steelheads are always on the move, summer runs will stop in more favorable areas for some time but will still move to their destination. Winter run steelhead fish will stop occasionally to bite interesting food that shows up. To catch steelhead, you need to be on the move as well.

If an area has a good number of the steelhead then you can spend some time there. Otherwise, if there is no action then change the spot. Staying stagnated will reduce your chances of a successful fishing. Carry only necessary material that is light in weight to favor your movement.

Mind where to look

Steelheads prefer water that is about 2-3 feet deep and moving at a brisk pace. Swollen floodwater makes it so hard to fish and when the water becomes too shallow, the fish will move away out of too much exposure. Brisk water enables the fish to rest and has good oxygen supply.

Steelheads are attracted to rocky water if the bottom of the water is rocky your chances are even better because the under rocks and boulders make the steelhead fish feel protected. Cast your hook under a boulder and you may find a steelie resting there.


Steelhead fish is hard to catch. You can try repeatedly for years without getting luck but spending enough time in the water will bear you fruits. Try often and be hopeful every time. If you find fish but they don’t bite, change your approach, your tools and techniques and the fishing area too. Rate your situation and use what suits it best.