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.


2017 Steelhead Fishing Status: 


NOTE: As per IDFG Commission action, effective October 13, 2017 Steelhead rules have changed. Please refer to the highlighted changes in the updated steelhead fishing rules. (pdf, 486Kb)


Basic Steelhead Fishing Gear
Spring Steelhead on the Salmon River