Wild steelhead are an amazing fish that takes some skill and determination to catch. Many anglers like steelhead fishing because you do have to work hard and it is a real challenge to land one. The effort put forth and possible days without a fish offer you an unforgettable experience when you do get lucky and finally get to touch one!
We’re here to help, and our advice doesn’t cost you a thing.
Having been on multiple trips with Matt and Alex this is by far my favorite. I’m about to book for a third season, and could not be more excited. This trip provides it all. Great fishing, top notch accommodations, and the food that a 5 star restaurant would provide. This is a trip that doesn’t make you feel like a customer. You feel like you are part of the team, and like you’re fishing on your home river with friends. This is something I will do every single year no questions asked.
Had a great steelhead fishing experience on the Lower Deschutes River in Oregon. I spent about eight hours on the water with Pete, and his instruction on Spey casting (I was a first timer with a two-handed rod) was easily understood.
In every way, this trip exceeded my expectations! I knew from the end of the first day that this ‘once in a lifetime’ trip will probably become an annual trip. The fishing, scenery, accommodations and staff were second to none. Our Alaskan guide was super knowledgable and was probably the most patient instructor I’ve ever had fly fishing. This trip is not just for ‘experienced’ fly fishers as I learned plenty and never felt like I was out of my league. Catching chrome bright steelhead is a total life changer and has consumed my thoughts since my flight home from Alaska. Already planning my trip for next year.
I’ve been on the steelhead trip 2 years in a row and I plan on going back this year. The steelhead fishing is incredible! I’ve never been anywhere that you could consistently catch several steelhead every day. I’ve never been skunked on any day there which is typical for steelhead fishing. The staff are top notch. The guides are fun and experienced and the lodging staff cater to your every need. The meals are fantastic and the lodging is so much better than your typical fish camp. I can’t say enough about this trip, it’s quite affordable and I plan on going back for many years.
My brother-in-law and I just went on the Alaska trip in late September. The fishing was simply amazing. I can’t believe we caught that many steelhead. All six days of fishing were great. I liked that we got to fish four different rivers – this mixed things up and kept things interesting. Changing from drifting one river, to cruising another with the power boat, to hiking the other rivers really kept things fresh. The two Alaskan guides were excellent and had great knowledge of every river we fished. The chef/host Billy is such a great guy. He took excellent care of us, made sure everybody had what they needed, and made sure all fishing logistics were set every day. His food was off the charts and he did a super job meeting my special dietary needs. The cabins are well appointed and very comfortable, and the location (between all four rivers) and views absolutely cannot be beat.”
Dear whoever is thinking about fishing with this team of great people. I have tarpon, redfish, billfished, salmon fished and have the pictures to prove that I have been in the the top 5 percent for those trips. These guys gave me the holy grail of fishing. One cannot believe that people can create a situation where humans and nature mate and we can love that day so in our dreams we can smile about it every night. Can’t wait to make it back. I had such a great time, as close to heaven as I have ever been.
This truly was the trip of a lifetime. I will NEVER forget catching my first steelhead – and tons more throughout the week. The scenery is unreal, the food was fantastic, and the camaraderie was so much fun. Coming back to the lodge and cabins after an epic day of fishing and sharing pictures and stories with everyone is a blast. I cannot wait to go back.
We fished with Pete fields on the Deschutes River in central Oregon, and had an amazing time. He was very knowledgeable about the fishing and the history of the area we fished. He made the trip about more than just the steelhead fishing, which is what I enjoyed the most. Anyone can catch fish, but our guide made it an experience, and we still caught fish!
When people ask me about my steelhead trip to Alaska, I usually am rendered speechless. Matt, the host, said “this trip will change your life” – I thought he was crazy. He was right. I have never been anywhere that has made such an impact on me. And I have never been sadder to leave somewhere. The sheer numbers of fish we caught was reason enough to go. But when you factor in everything else from the fun, EXTREMELY knowledgeable guides to the delicious food, it adds up to one of the best experiences of my life.
Catch More Steelhead
- Where to Fish: Do your research, find a good run, pick your water, read it right, fish it how you want to fish it, and land that fresh, beautiful steelhead.
- Steelhead Fishing Gear: Having the right equipment will make a big difference.
I am not sure what it is about steelhead fishing that intrigues me, along with so many others anglers. Maybe it’s the fact that you will often never catch as many steelhead as you want or hope for that really plays a huge role in how incredibly awesome it is when you do catch one.
I suppose it’s the challenge. It’s similar to hunting for me but sometimes it seems with even lower odds. There has to be a fish in the river, you have to have the right fly/color, you have to have the right presentation (the most important part) and you have to capitalize on the opportunity if all of the above align and get the fish pinned. Then, the fight ensues…a fight in which you may very well lose.
Often time’s fish are lost within the first 10 seconds. Just long enough for you to realize there was one out there and it was real and to warm you up for an instant and keep you fishing all day with an added confidence that it could happen at any time. The worst is when they come off right at your hands, you were going to let him go anyway but just wanted to admire him for a second as you pop the hook out.
Steelhead Fishing Destinations
Anglers travel from around the world for the first class steelhead fishing that can be found in British Columbia. Hotspots include the Skeena River, Fraser River, Bulkley River, and the famed Dean River.
The Salmon River flows through a granite-walled canyon is one-fifth of a mile deeper than the Grand Canyon. In fact, for almost 180 miles, the Salmon River Canyon is more than one mile deep! Wild and hatchery steelhead enter the Salmon River in the fall and fish runs can greatly depend on the weather and water levels leading up to and in October.
Suggested Gear List for Steelhead Fishing
Your guide should provide most fishing gear, but if you’d like to know how to outfit yourself for steelhead, this list should get you started.
Clothing and Accessories
- High-quality breathable waders in good condition, with repair kit
- High-quality breathable raincoat in good condition
- Stout, felt soled wading boots with good ankle support.
- Studded boots are optional but not needed.
- Long sleeved shirt
- Lightweight and fleece long underwear
- Fleece sweater or jacket
- Casual clothing for wearing around the lodge
- Insect repellent
- Waterproof boat bag
- Water bottle
- Liquor (if desired).
- Beer and wine are provided at the lodge.
- Books or games
- Polarized sun glasses, multiple pairs if possible
- Double handed rods in 12 to 14 feet for 7 to 9 weight.
- Single handed rods in 9 to 10 feet for 7 to 9 weight.
- Reels – Sturdy, quality reels with strong disk drags are the rule for steelhead. Expect to see your backing during the week. Tie your knots well and wind on a lot of backing – we recommend at least 100 yards. Large arbor reels are very helpful when retrieving line.
- Line with interchangeable tip system – Rio Skagit or similar and Windcutter recommended for double handed rods. Spare lines are recommended.
- Sink Tips covering a wide range of depth, from intermediate thru Type 6 and 8 and 20’+ of T-14, or equivalent.
- For single handers, floating lines, intermediates 200 & 300 grain shooting heads and/or tips.
- Leaders – For steelhead, a straight leader or a leader terminating in 10 to 15 pound monofilament is most often used. Poly leaders can be helpful.
- Floating line or Floating Tip.
- All running lines and backing should be at least 30-lb test.
- Large arbor, disc drag reels with minimum 150 yards 30-lb backing.
- Leader material in 10 – 25 pound break strength. Maxima Ultragreen is most popular.