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(Pacific) Steelhead Trout Fishing

Steelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are an important Pacific fishery. As a sportfish, Steelhead draw several 100's of thousands of Pacific anglers each year

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Steelhead troutSteelhead Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) make an important Pacific fishery[A1]. As a sportfish, Steelhead draw several 100's of thousands of Pacific anglers each year age.

Steelhead Trout are a sea run variety of rainbow trout. Steelhead, as adults, migrate[A1,A2] from marine waters into the freshwater streams and rivers to mate. They typically grow much larger than the rainbow trout that remain in fresh water. Steelhead can reach up to 55 pounds in weight and 45 inches in length, though average size is much smaller. Sea run Steelhead develop a much more pointed head, become more silvery in color, and are larger than Rainbow.

Adult steelhead like fast, deep, running water[A1,A2.A3]. Actively fish the deep holes in a stream and any white water areas and behind rocks and log jams. Adults feed on aquatic and terrestrial insects, mollusks, crustaceans, fish eggs, minnows, and other small fishes (including other trout). Worms, natural or artificial salmon cluster eggs, diving plugs, spinners, brightly colored yarn, crayfish tails are all productive for Steelhead. Steelhead like colorful flies[A1,A2,A3] such as the Russian River coho, hair skyhomish, skyhomish sunrise, red rascal, and polar shrimp. They also like egg imitations.

California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska are all productive destinations to catch Steelhead Trout

Echo and Aleka both make fine Spey or specialized fly rods for large trout. They also have good lines for this. Jim Teeny, one of the best steelheaders, makes specialized lines for steelhead..

Steelhead Trout FishingGenerally, west coast Salmonid species have experienced dramatic declines as a result of human-induced and natural factors. In recent years, several Steelhead fisheries have shown encouraging increases in population size while others have not. A variety of conservation efforts have been undertaken with some of the most common initiatives including hatchery raising, removal or modification of dams that obstruct migration, restoration of poor habitat and acquisition of other key habitat, and improved water quality and instream flow efforts. Use barbless hooks[A1} and practice catch-and-release[A1] whenever possible in a challenged fishery.

The Complete Steelheader - Successful Fly-Fishing Tactics
by John Larison, photos by James Larison
The Complete Steelheader is a remarkably well informed and immensely informative book. It is sure that contemporary steelheaders must adapt with more diverse approaches to steelhead. This book informs from the classic fly fishing methods to cutting edge techniques, the level of practical instruction here is rare among angling books. The explanations are clear, pointed, admirably detailed, and above all, useful. Chapters on rod play, indicator tactics, and a classic on deep water. This book will make you a more effective steelhead angler.
$45.95 plus $5.95 shipping

DVD by Jim Teeny Catching More Steelhead

Jim Teeny has had more success in heavily fished waters than any steelheader you can name. Learn his unique techniques for spotting, stalking and hooking steelhead under the most challenging situations. Whether you fish the often super clear rivers of the West Coast or the heavily fished tributaries of the Great Lakes, Teeny's techniques will work for you. This video won the 1988 Teddy Roosevelt award for "The Best How-To-Video for the Nation" from the Outdoor Writers Association for it's totally visual approach to the techniques of catching steelhead. Price: $17.95

DVD by Jim Teeny Secrets of Steelheading

In his steelheading video, Jim covers steelhead fishing with his sinking fly lines from line rigging to fighting the fish. It includes covering and working the water, tips on fly selection, line control, and includes very informative sections on casting and handling sink tip lines. All of which can be applied to salmon fishing. Price: $17.95

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Good Pacific Steelhead Trout Fishing Links
Travel site to your fly fishing destinationWild Steelhead Coalition - An organization dedicated to increasing the return of wild
steelhead to the waters of the Pacific Northwest
LinksFisheries and Wildlife by State
LinksGood freshwater trout fly fishing links
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