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Steelhead fishing on the Coast of Oregon and Washington



     Steelhead fishing on the Oregon and Washington coast by pro guide
Dennis Hull  

     The coastal rivers of Oregon and Washington offer some of the best steelhead fishing in the pacific northwest. These rivers and streams have runs of both winter and summer steelhead. Many on the coastal streams have hatchery operations that allow for catch and keep steelhead fishing as well as strong runs of native or wild steelhead. The Steelhead found on the coastal rivers and streams are usually mint bright and fresh in from the ocean. Most popular methods are effective such as pulling plugs, divers and bait, drift fishing, bobbers and jigs, bubble gum pink plastic worms either drift fished or suspended under a bobber, fly fishing, spinners and so on. The Coastal steelhead fishing is very weather and river level dependant as most of these rivers do not have dams to regulate the flow. In order to consistently catch steelhead on the coast you need to monitor the river levels closely each river has its own optimum level for the best steelhead fishing and this may differ for drift boat, bank, bait and fly fishing. In some cases the water levels may be to high and swift for floating the river in a boat and may be better for bank fishing as the fish tend to hug the bank and stay out of the heavy current in high water conditions. When the rivers are to low for drift boat fishing then the lighter gear such as fly fishing presentations and smaller lighter drift fishing gear, bobbers and bait or bobbers and jigs are a better option. The best way to become a successful steelhead angler on the coast or any river is to pick a river or even a small section of the river and learn it well. by that I mean fish the same water under different flows and level conditions until you know every nook and cranny that holds steelhead and once you find areas that hold fish constantly in like conditions you can then use those techniques on other rivers and streams. The most common mistake beginning steelhead fisherman make is the cover way too much water and don't focus on effectively covering the water with there baits.

Oregon coast steelhead rivers:

    Some popular Oregon coast steelhead fishing rivers are the Wilson, Trask, Nehalem, Necanicum, Nestucca, Three Rivers, Siletz, Siuslaw, Alsea, Umpqua, Rogue. With some of the best fishing for hatchery steelhead being on the Wilson, Nehalem, Nestucca, Three Rivers, Siletz, Alsea, Umpqua and Rogue. Some Great fishing for Native Steelhead takes place on the Nestucca, Siletz, Wilson, Umpqua, and Rogue. The hatchery steelhead begin arriving in mid November on the North coast rivers and run through February then the Native steelhead begin showing up and they will run into April. Some of the Rivers have a Brood Stock Hatchery Program where the hatchery fish are from eggs taken from wild fish and they generally arrive later like there wild parents. Some of the rivers with brood stock programs are the Wilson, Nestucca, Siletz rivers. The quickest way to learn how to steelhead fish on the Oregon coast or any other river is to hire a knowledgeable guide for the river and type of fishing that you are interested in. It is very true that 10% of the fisherman catch 90% of the fish. Usually these successful steelhead anglers aren't doing anything different than the beginners are they just know exactly where and when to do it.


  Copyright 2003 []. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 24, 2012


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