Steelhead trout are an evasive kind of fish largely due to the extreme weather conditions that they seem to thrive in as well as their unusually unpredictable spawning cycles. In order to catch these magnificent fish, you need to be prepared with the right fishing gear and the right knowledge to get started.
If you intend on catching some large steelhead, you may want to consider the use of a two-handed fishing rod instead of the more conventional rods. Choose one that is at least 9 feet in length and be sure the weight of your fishing line is between 7 and 9. Two handed rods can reach as long as 15 feet.
Conventional salmon streamers will typically get rather good results with steelhead since they are both so closely related. Nymphs and egg patterns will also produce positive results as well. Many of the most coveted steelhead flies consist of the egg sucking leech, Kaufman’s Stone and the woolly bugger. However, your best bet would always be to stop in to a local bait and tackle store for the latest water conditions and fly patterns since no one will know the fishing conditions better than someone who lives and fishes locally.
If you are fishing in a river that meets with the ocean, these fish will start to head for the streams immediately following the season’s first big storms. As soon as the sandbars begin to break free, the fish will be able to get to the areas that will take them right to their spawning locations as they start to head upstream. The best method is to follow the path of the steelhead beginning at the mouth of the river and onward upstream to the spawning areas and back. Fish will usually be facing upstream so if you are fishing from behind them, they are less likely to be spooked.
If you aren’t having any luck in a particular area, move on. Steelhead will often hold to one spot so if you are not getting any bites after you cast your lure a few times, continue on upstream until you start to get some action. Steelhead will often linger in stacks around pools so once you have a bite, you are likely to get another real soon.
Steelhead will usually head back to the ocean once they have completed their spawn. For this reason, it is usually a good idea to return your fish to the water so that they can continue with the spawning cycle.
On days when you are unable to make it out to the water, try out some great online fishing games to keep yourself entertained and your skills sharp.