Winter Steelhead Fishing

8 Useful Winter Steelhead Fishing Tips

Darren with a beauty steelhead

Steelhead fishing has proven to be one of the most exciting activities in the fishing world. Also known as rainbow trout or salmon, this fish has elusive qualities that make it an alluring catch. They are one also of the most distinctive fish in the world. They can be easily identified by their coloring and pattern that is unlike any other. Needless to say, you always know that you have one on your hook.

Also, there are plenty of them out there. Throughout their native swimming grounds across the world, there is always a healthy population of them especially in times of migration. With all that said, there are a few tips that can make fishing them in the winter a little more easy and exciting. With this in mind, let’s go over eight useful winter steelhead fishing tips.

#8: Choose The Right Winter Location

One of the ways to drastically increase your catch rate of these fish is choosing the right location. During the winter months, the most prominent fishing location for steelhead is in British Columbia. With a widespread of Steelhead Fishing BC groups in the area, there are many ways you can learn from them.

This is mainly because these groups know the fishing grounds and how the steelheads behave in the waters. It would be beneficial to join one of these Steelhead Fishing BC groups to enhance your ability to catch this fish.

#7: Always Sharpen Your Hooks

One of the most overlooked steps in catching this fish is the sharpening of fish hooks. Given the elusiveness of this fish, this step is an essential part of the catch. It’s surprising how even expert fishers sometimes forget to do this. Apart from allowing for an easy grab, sharpening your hooks reduces the chance that your fish will unhook. Especially during the winter where extra factors such as ice and snow might come into play, sharpening your hooks allows you to cut straight past any obstacles and right onto your fish. To be on the safe side, consider sharpening your hooks after every catch.

#6: Choose The Right Fishing Months

Choosing the right time to fish a steelhead is just as important as choosing the location. For the most part, steelhead fishing should be done in the late fall and early winter months. There are even dedicated winter fishing for steelhead months for the activity. Salmon fishing in the winter months will increase your catch rate due to several factors.

One reason is that these months fall right during prime stages of migration. This leaves a healthy pool of fish to choose from. Another benefit of winter fishing for steelhead is that it allows the fish to make a healthy escape in terms of numbers. In other words, salmon fishing in the winter decreases the chance that they will be negatively reduced in population size during these months.

#5: Keep Your Casts Short

Another helpful tip in catching the steelhead is to keep your casts short. The reason behind this is because, in most cases, steelheads like to swim near the shoreline. There is no reason to overcast for fish that are not near the fishing pool. Also, keep in mind that most of these fishing events take place in shallow river water. Bringing deep fishing and long overcasting equipment would not work in this instance.

#4: Try Different Fish Offerings

If you feel you are well prepared for catching the steelhead and they still aren’t biting, the issue might be the offering. It’s surprising how such a simple change can increase your catch rate tremendously. The idea behind this tip is that you have to understand that you have options. Sure, you can go about it conservatively by casting offerings that are familiar to salmon, but, that won’t increase your catch rate. Simply put, mix things up.

#3: Inspect The Water Flow

Water flow is another important factor in catching steelhead. That said, checking this can be one of the most annoying factors to deal with. This is because any winter weather tends to be unpredictable. Heavy rainfall or snow can impact water flow overnight. Water flow is important to inspect because it will determine how aggressive you will have to be that day. The higher and stronger the water flow is, the more aggressive you will have to be and vice-versa.

#2: Follow The Fish Crowds

One tip that suits a beginner level fisher well is to follow the fish crowds. If there are obvious movements and pockets of fish, that’s where you’re going to want to cast. Steelheads tend to move in crowds so, be on the lookout for them.

#1: Be Patient

One tip that any fishermen can relate to is being patient. At the end of the day, fishing is a waiting game. Some days will be longer or shorter than others. However, once there is movement, be prepared to be on the move.