Steelhead Trout Steelhead, Sea-run trout or Silver Bullet as they are sometimes called, are a much sought after prize among anglers, but if you are reading this, you probably already have the steelhead fishing addiction. Whether it is summer run or winter run, these fish are ones we will wake up before dawn and go stand out in the cold to catch. The question then is how do you catch more steelhead. The myth that you have to put in a thousand hours is just that, a myth. With the right tackle and fishing in the right place, you have a decent shot at picking up a steelhead on every outing. But for beginning steelhead hunters, there are a few things you can do to improve your odds. Here are my best 3 tips to catching more steelhead
every time you go fishing.
Tip #1 - Set the hook more often and like you mean it. You will hang up and loose lures, that is all there is to it! River fishing means logs, rocks and junk are all waiting to eat your hook, so stop worrying about it and accept it. With that said, if you think you may have a bite SET THE HOOK! A steelhead may not pound your hook like you would expect it to, but rather just come up and gently grab it. If you don't set that hook, the odds are that you will not get that fish. I can attest to the fact that I have probably lost half my fish to not setting the hook early and often. If you are fishing a bobber or float and think you have a bite, reel up your slack first before you give it a hole punching yank. If you don't, most of your hook set will get lost in pulling up your slack. There is time, don't worry. The worst that will happen is you miss a fish because it spit your hook while you are taking up slack that you would have lost because of a crappy hook set.
Tip #2 - Know your river and keep moving. Knowledge about your steelhead river of choice is really important. When the water is high it will hide underwater structure that the fish will use to rest behind. Go out often and study the places you want to fish. Think about it from their perspective. If you were a fish heading upstream, what is the easiest route to take. With this knowledge you can fish the high percentage areas and avoid spots that are unlikely to hold fish. As you start fishing, keep moving. Steelhead like to hold in one spot until they decide the time it right to move upstream, so if you have passed your lure through one spot a couple of times, MOVE! This doesn't mean take a hike, but take one step to the side, particularly if the water is murky. That little change in position will present your lure to a whole new section of the water you are fishing and possibly bring it into the bite zone of the steelhead you have been looking for.
Tip #3 - Pick a lure and learn it. The debate over the best steelhead lure will go on as long as there are two steelhead fishermen alive and within ear shot of each other. For my part, I don't think it matters as much what lure system you use, whether it is corkies and yarn, eggs, pink worms, shrimp, spoons, spinners or a can of beans. What matters is knowing how to fish your selected lure system correctly. The steelhead may be mowing down on sand shrimp the day you are there, but if you don't know how to rig them and how to fish them, you are going to have limited success. Sometimes it is small differences in these things that makes all the difference. Think of the times when you have seen four or five anglers all using the same equipment, same bait and in the same area, but one is banging them dead left and right. He probably knows how to fish his gear right.
Have fun steelhead fishing
! I hope you take these three steelhead fishing tips and go out and put them to use on the water. Experience and time knee deep in cold water, probably in the rain or snow is what it takes to catch steelhead on a consistent basis, so get out there and go fishing.
Every trip is a lesson and time on the water is time in the classroom. So if your girlfriend or boss asks where you are going, tell them back to school for a quick class. Just don't tell them what in!
About the Author:
Cliff fishes the waters of Western Washington for everything he can, when he can. Favorite species include Trout, Salmon and Bass!