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 pair

    Clearwater weekly steelhead update (4/30/18)

    Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 11:49 AM MDT
    This Saturday marked the 2018 Spring Chinook Salmon opener. There were a few die-hard anglers fishing at the Camas Prairie Railroad Bridge at the beginning of Creel Section 1, but overall effort was minimal. There are a few Steelhead anglers still fishing on the North Fork of the Clearwater and on the Little Salmon River.
  • Steelhead

    Upper Salmon River weekly steelhead report (4/30/18)

    Tuesday, May 1, 2018 - 11:46 AM MDT
    Steelhead angler effort over the past week on the upper Salmon River was limited to the stretch of river just downstream of the Sawtooth Hatchery. Due to high flows and low visibility, river conditions downstream of this area were poor, and no interviews were obtained from other location codes.
  • 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.

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