I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a huge steelhead guy. I love to chase big ocean-going rainbows as they come back home to Idaho and prepare to spawn, but sometimes, the reward is slim. Frozen fingers, frozen toes and few, if any fish, to show for it leave me wanting.
But coastal steelhead fishing is a different game. Usually, there are more fish—or at least more fish you can see. As with any brand of steelhead fishing, catching them is a completely different prospect. Coastal fish are also usually “fresher,” meaning they’ve come directly from the salt to spawn in the spring weeks ahead, and they’re gone, back out to sea, by the time summer arrives. They’re more aggressive. They tend to fight harder and longer, and, unlike our Idaho steelhead that have climbed over several dams in their 800-mile journey, coastal fish can come back to spawn mutliple times over the course of their lives. Our inland steelhead die after spawning.
The film above is great coastal steelhead eye-candy, and it proves that these fish are truly special and deserving of every protective effort we can make to keep them whole. Enjoy.
— Chris Hunt