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Idaho Fish and Game

Driftboat fishing for steelhead / Photo by Glenn Oakley

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.