Steelhead Fishing

Steelhead are large, ocean-going rainbow trout native to Idaho and the northwest region. When adult steelhead leave the ocean and swim back to Idaho, they create one of the state’s most amazing fishing opportunities. Starting in August and for the next 9 months, anglers can fish for adult hatchery steelhead in Idaho’s rivers. Fishing is best on the lower sections of the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers in the fall. As steelhead continue to migrate upstream anglers will find them in the South Fork Clearwater, Little Salmon and upper Salmon rivers. Steelhead are sometimes released into other waters, like the Boise River, to provide additional fishing opportunities.


  • Steelhead fishing succes near Orofino, Idaho in January 2015

    Clearwater Region Steelhead Fishing Report 12/5/16)

    Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 12:27 PM MST
    This past week fishing effort began to drop in most areas of the Clearwater River. The Orofino area on river section 03/05 is the area that received the highest amount effort. Water temperatures are dropping into the high 30’s on the main stem and into the 40’s on the North Fork. Anglers reported that they are seeing fish but they are not biting.
  • Stringer of steelhead caught fishing on the Clearwater in 2016

    Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report (11/27/16)

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 11:48 AM MST
    Anglers fishing the Clearwater (Mouth to Orofino Bridge 03) this past week from boats were spread out along the river. More anglers were seen fishing down around the Lewiston area this past week than have been in past weeks likely due to the steelhead derby. The most popular area is still  from Peck to Orofino.
  • Fishing for steelhead on the upper Salmon River in 2013

    Upper Salmon River Steelhead Report (11/27/16)

    Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 11:39 AM MST
    Steelhead fishing on the upper Salmon River remained good last week. Angler effort dropped once again but was above average for late November. The majority of anglers were observed between the Middle Fork confluence and Salmon, in location codes 15 and 16.
  • Family Fishing for Steelhead on the Clearwater in November 2016

    Weekly Clearwater Steelhead Report (11/21/16)

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 3:49 PM MST
    Highlights from the weekly Clearwater steelhead creel survey.
  • Fishing for steelhead on the upper Salmon River in 2013

    Upper Salmon River Steelhead Report (11/21/16)

    Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 3:19 PM MST
    Steelhead angler effort dropped considerably on the upper Salmon River over the last week as colder weather moved into the area, but average catch rates remained good. The majority of angler effort was once again observed downstream of North Fork in location codes 14 and 15.
  • Boise River steelhead stocking

    F&G bringing more Steelhead to Boise River

    Friday, November 18, 2016 - 3:44 PM MST
    Another load of steelhead will be stocked in the Boise River on Wednesday, November 23, the second and likely last stocking for the year. Approximately 250 steelhead were stocked November 10 and a number of anglers have reported tangling with the large fish.
  • Big steelhead at Lenore Boat Ramp on Clearwater River in fall of 2016.

    Clearwater Steelhead Fishing Report (11/14/16)

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 11:09 AM MST
    The main stem of the Clearwater (river section 03) had the most effort around Orofino this past week. Boat anglers were having success side drifting eggs or yarn. Shore anglers were using jigs with shrimp. Most of the anglers fishing in this area were fishing around the Hatchery and Pink House.