- The Pacific Northwest is the best place in the world to take a steelhead fishing trip.p?acheur image by Jean-Jacques Cordier from Fotolia.com
Steelhead are rainbow trout that make their way to the ocean for a portion of their lives and return to their birthing place to spawn. They are native to the Pacific Northwest of the United States, and draw many anglers every year due to the great fight they put up and their delicious taste. There are plenty of rivers and lakes available for steelhead fishing in the Pacific Northwest, but some places are famous. The Clearwater River boasts the world-record steelhead at 30 pounds. Fishing in British Columbia will allow you to get far away from civilization for a real wilderness experience. The Snake River winds through the border of three states through Hells Canyon, which is incredibly scenic.
- Hells Canyon is on the border of Washington, Oregon and Idaho and is the deepest river gorge in the United States. It is a unique and interesting destination for a fishing trip because the area hosts many other activities, such as hiking, whitewater rafting and wildlife or artifact viewing. The Snake River winds its way through the canyon, and holds incredible steelhead fishing opportunities. It is a “wild” river, meaning it is mainly only accessible by trail, and has no dams or other man-made structures on it. It is best to fish this area with a guide service, which will have properly equipped boats to handle whitewater, and which knows the best areas to find fish.
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area
- The Clearwater River cuts straight across the northern section of Idaho and has the largest steelhead hatchery in the world. This means there are plenty of steelhead for catching every year. The fish that spend the most time in the river are the “B” run steelhead, which spend two years in the ocean, so are quite large by the time they return to the Clearwater. Peak season for catching steelhead is late September through November. There are plenty of guide services available during this time. Most of them are based in Lewiston, ID., and take full day trips out on the river during the fall.
- There are plenty of rivers in this area that have incredible steelhead fishing, and the Skeena River is one of the longest rivers in the world that is free of dams. The whole area in British Columbia is the epitome of wild, offering views of mountains, wildlife, and long expanses of river with no civilization to be found. There are two distinct runs of steelhead in British Columbia. The summer run fish are smaller, but usually put up a stronger fight than the winter run steelhead. Winter run fish tend to be much larger, and are best fished in the late fall. Try going to the Babine, Bulkley or Kispiox, which are all tributaries of the Skeena and offer great fly-fishing areas. Guide services will take you on rivers that feature whitewater fishing if you prefer.
British Columbia, Canada