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.

News

  • Steelhead

    Upper Salmon River weekly steelhead report (4/16/18)

    Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 1:55 PM MDT
    Angler effort on the upper Salmon River declined over the past week. The majority of anglers were observed fishing near Stanley, ID in location code 19. The other area of the river with consistent angler effort was downstream of the Pahsimeroi River confluence in location code 17. Effort in other areas of the river was low.
  • Steelhead

    Upper Salmon River weekly steelhead report (4/8/18)

    Monday, April 9, 2018 - 5:33 PM MDT
    Angler effort over the past week on the upper Salmon River was concentrated near the Pahsimeroi River confluence in location code 17 and upstream of the East Fork Salmon River in location code 19.
  • Steelhead pair

    Upper Salmon River weekly steelhead report (4/1/18)

    Monday, April 2, 2018 - 7:01 PM MDT
    Steelhead angler effort and catch continued to shift upstream over the past week on the upper Salmon River. Angler effort in areas downstream of Salmon, ID dropped, while effort near the Pahsimeroi River confluence and upstream of Challis, ID increased.
  • Steelhead

    Clearwater weekly steelhead fishing report (4/1/18)

    Monday, April 2, 2018 - 6:54 PM MDT
    Effort continues to drop on the main stem of the Clearwater. Anglers out fishing are fishing in front of Dworshak Dam on river section 03 or at the boat ramp/ bridge of river section 05 (North Fork). The South Fork of the Clearwater continues to attract a large group of anglers on the weekends. Most of the documented effort is around the Mountain Idaho Hole.
  • steelhead fishing

    Upper Salmon River weekly steelhead report (3/25/18)

    Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 7:14 PM MDT
    Steelhead anglers on the upper Salmon River continued to move further upriver over the past week. The majority of angler effort was observed upstream of the East Fork Salmon River in location code 19. The second highest amount of effort was seen downstream of the Pahsimeroi River confluence near Ellis, ID.
  • spring_steelhead_fishing_2018_clearwater

    Clearwater weekly steelhead fishing report (3/25/18)

    Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 7:07 PM MDT
    Effort on the North Fork and mainstem of the Clearwater was low this past week. Water is running high and fast on the North Fork because of water released from the dam. This has made fishing difficult on the North Fork. The main stem of the Clearwater documented seven fish caught. The majority of the effort is in front of Dworshak dam at the “Slaughterhouse Hole.”
  • Steelhead

    Upper Salmon River weekly steelhead report (3/12/18)

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 2:34 PM MDT
    Steelhead angler effort increased considerably over the past week throughout the upper Salmon River. Anglers were observed fishing as far upstream as the Yankee Fork Salmon River, but the majority of angler effort and catch was once again located downstream of North Fork in location code 15.

2017 Steelhead Fishing Status:

Please visit the steelhead seasons and rules page to keep up with current changes to steelhead seasons

Videos

Basic Steelhead Fishing Gear
Spring Steelhead on the Salmon River