Steelhead fishing runs - Oregon Washington and Idaho
steelhead fishing in the northwest


The steelhead runs of the Pacific Northwest by Pro Guide Dennis Hull

     Below you will find steelhead fishing information for specific rivers in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. We will list the seasons that runs of sea run rainbow trout or Steelhead as we know them are in the rivers.

  • Oregon coast steelhead fishing rivers:

On the north coast of Oregon there are many rivers that have excellent steelhead fishing for both summer and winter steelhead. In the Tillamook area the list of rivers that provide steelhead angling includes the Wilson River, Trask River, Kilchis River, Nehalem River, Miami River, Nestucca River, and Necanicum River. These rivers generally offer the best fishing in the winter and early spring months for both wild steelhead, brood stock steelhead and hatchery run steelhead. Fishing in the winter usually gets going good after Christmas and continues until late April or so. These rivers are best fished from a drift boat or from the bank. Summer steelhead begin showing up in the mix around April and are in the rivers until the following winter.

The Central Coast of Oregon offers great steelhead fishing on the following rivers. The Siletz River, Alsea River, Siuslaw River, Coquille River, Milcoma River, Umpqua river as well as many smaller creeks that have excellent populations of wild steelhead. These rivers also have hatchery and broodstock runs of winter and summer steelhead. The run timing is basically the same as the north coast rivers.

Oregon's south coast rivers for steelhead fishing include the Rogue River, Chetco River, Elk River, Sixes River, Applegate River. They also provide excellent angling for steelhead in the winter spring and summer months.

  • Willamette valley rivers of Oregon:

Oregon's Willamette Valley offers many fantastic steelhead fishing rivers. The Clackamas river in the Portland area has steelhead fishing nearly year round and is very popular among steelhead fisherman. The Sandy River, Mollalla River, Eagle Creek, Santiam river, McKenzie River and the Willamette River all offer both winter and summer steelhead action. These valley rivers run a little later in the year than some of the coastal river. The earliest arriving steelhead are bound for the Clackamas, Sandy and Eagle Creek systems then later in March or so the fish start traveling up the Willamette to the other tributaries. The Santiam river is an excellent steelhead river beginning in March and lasting through the summer months.

  • Eastern Oregon steelhead fishing rivers:

Eastern Oregon is where you want to go if you like to fly fish for steelhead. It offers world class steelhead fishing on fly gear as well as traditional gear. The Deschutes River, John Day River, Grande Ronde River all offer some fantastic steelhead action in the Winter and summer months. Much of the land on some of these rivers is private so access can be limited. Many guides and outfitters have private access that they will sell you for a small fee. Fishing is great and well worth the money if it is in your budget.

  • Washington Coastal Rivers

The coast of Washington on the Olympic Peninsula is home to some of the best steelhead fishing in the world. The Hoh River, Quinallt river and many more along the peninsula offer fishing for some huge steelhead.

More to come on Washington rivers.

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

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Reading the Rivers
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Steelhead Baits and Lures

High Water Steelhead Fishing
Low Water Steelhead Fishing


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