Winter Steelhead Fishing
Snowy capped mountains lining the banks of the Clearwater River make this Winter fishery a fashion statement. The Clearwater valley know for it’s Banana belt region brings mild weather allowing for some great Winter Steelhead fishing. This is the time of the year we get most excited about with steady water flows and lots of pushes of fish. The Clearwater know for it’s crystal clear color has a perfect glacier green tint this time of year due to snow melt from the mountains.
Finding fish in the deep holes is the norm where back in the fall the Salmon will run them out. There’s lots of ways to catch our Big B’s and all depends on water flow and pressure. The favorite amongst us guides is side drifting eggs which allows for us to cover lots of water and have big catch days. At times when there’s pressure and the fish have scattered, we take out our side drifting rods and hit the frog water and tail outs with divers and coon shrimp. it’s a deadly combination as there’s no way to get an egg to these critters.
Winter steelhead fishing has always been a favorite of mine because most anglers are home keeping warm and there’s plenty of fish to be had. It seems like January and February produce not only our biggest catch days but also the biggest fish. It’s not uncommon to have lots of double digit days and someone in the group landing an 18-20 pounder. Most of the fish are in the 12-13 pound class that come early and by the time the 3rd push of fish arrive they show up much bigger.
One of the reasons our fishery is well known around the country is due to our State and Federal Hatcheries that we have on the Clearwater. Hatching 4 million baby steelhead doesn’t hurt! We also have our tribal hatcheries and a few others that are located on the upper clearwater. The other reason we have such a big return is Nutrients! In order to have a river that can accomodate large amount of Steelhead and Salmon, you have to have food not only for the current fish residing in the river but also for the smolt that are flushed down river in the Spring.
We are very fortunate to get a return of 50,000 steelhead on the Clearwater and have such healthy Big fish. I’ve fished all over the US and my entire life time in the North West chasing Steelhead and Salmon and I can honestly say the Clearwater river has the finest steelhead fishing in the country. 7 Months of trophy fishing on a beautiful river that presents so many different ways of catching fish truly spoil us.
What makes our job so cool is seeing the expression on a clients face as they hold on to their bent rod with a Giant B Run stripping line out. Once people get an opportunity to experience the river and our fish, they’re hooked! Addiction is the word I use and others call it a sickness. Steelhead Fever has set in. Join us for Winter Steelhead adventure and let one of our professional guides hook you up. All our jet boats are customized to fish up to 6 clients and our gear is the finest in the industry.