The steelhead is an anadromous (sea-running) Rainbow Trout, and is probably the single most esteemed freshwater gamefish in North America. They are one of the most selective, cherished, and hardest-fighting fish that can be caught with rod and reel, and we are lucky to have a small run of them in Saltery Creek.

Like the Pacific salmon species that are their closest relatives, the steelhead returns to the river of birth to spawn. But unlike salmon, steelhead do not die after their spawning period, and may transit between fresh and saltwater many times before they expire. Steelhead begin their run in Saltery Creek in September, with most of them arriving from the beginning of October through November. We're very excited to announce that Saltery Lake Lodge will be open in the beginning of October so that our clients have a chance to target these majestic beauties. For more information, check out "Silver & Steel."

Our steelhead generally range from twenty to thirty inches, but we have also caught (and spotted) a few that give our largest Coho a run for their money. Steelhead, like our Rainbow Trout, are strictly a catch-and-release fish. Even more importantly, we practice strict Keep 'Em Wet ethics whenever we are fortunate enough to bring one of these beauties to hand. After landing each fish in rubber-lined nets, we allow for a quick snap-shot of the fish, preferably while in the water but at the very least, dripping wet just inches above the current. And when you pull one, sea-chrome and sleek, from the river, you will see why we work so hard to protect them.

Recommended Gear

Rod: 7/8wt single-handed, switch or spey, fast-action

Reel: 7/8wt normal or large arbor, with good drag

Line: 7/8wt floating and/or sink-tip

Leader/tippet: 12 lb monofilament or flurocarbon

Flies: Purple and black Egg-Sucking Leeches in sizes 6 – 2, Popsicles, Polar Shrimp, BEADZ