Fishing for Idaho Steelhead trout

<(Adam Eakle) "Welcome to KSL Outdoors, I'm Adam Eakle and boy do we have a really fun show for you today. We've come into Idaho, in fact we are up by Riggins Idaho, we are sitting here on the banks of the Salmon river and today it's all about the mighty steelhead.">

<(Brad Sawyer, Mountain Rivers Outfitters) "Realistically, anything over 30 is nice and anything over 35 is a really good fish for this river.">

Pictures of big steelhead hung from the walls at Mountain Rivers Outfitters the start of our journey. We had high hopes of latching into one of these ocean going fish. Our guide Brad Sawyer says today weather, perfect for catching big fish.

<(Brad) cloudy, cold and a chance of snow. Steelhead weather.>

<(Brad) "Our float will be about 9 miles. Spring bar is roughly 13 miles above town here.">

Known as “The River of No Return,” the Salmon River, over 400 miles long, is the longest free-flowing river within one state in the lower 48. The Salmon flows through a vast wilderness in the one of the deepest gorges on the continent. Elk, deer, chucker, evan Bald eagles line it’s banks, we couldn’t wait to wet a line.

<(Brad Sawyer, Mountain Rivers Outfitters) "So right now these fish are going to be. I wouldn't say sulking, but close to it. they are going to find the easiest place to live, they are in the middle of the journey. they are waiting for the spring, the water temperature to come up, the turbidity to come up so they can continue their journey. so right now they are just conserving their energy and we are going to most likely find them in kind of these slower pockets of water.">

<(Brad) "We are going to fish floats which is a great way to present a bait in this real slow water.">

<(Brad) "You want these floats to sit up just nice straight up, dead drift, especially in the slow water. Then essentially all you are looking for that float to do is just slide under or it will look like a little crappie bite.">

Steelhead are one of the most elusive and sought after game fish in the Pacific Northwest. Catching these prized fish, however, even for the most experienced fisherman, has always been a challenge.

<(Brad) Reel, reel reel. (steve) Ok there we go." (brad) ok that's good." (adam) Is that a fish? (steve) yeah. (adam) I just got my line out! (steve) "sorry dude." (Laughs)>

<(Brad) "we'll go ahead and slide him in the net. Good work, yeah baby, great you guys.">

<(Brad with fish in hand) "nice little male, hatchery fish.">

<(Brad) "starting to get a little color in it.">

Steelhead typically migrate to the ocean after spending two years in freshwater. They then reside in marine waters for typically two or three years prior to returning to their natal stream to spawn as four-or five-year olds. Unlike other Pacific salmon, steelhead are capable of spawning more than once before they die.

<(Brad) "This little healed scar is where the adipose fin used to be. It was clipped at the hatchery and that is what allows us to know as sportsmen and fishery managers when the fish come back up the system so we can discern between a wild fish and a hatchery fish. Thus we can keep if it had an adipose fin we'd have to release it.">

<(Brad) "woo, that's a fish, reel, reel, reel. (steve) Yeah buddy. (jeremy) "yup that's a fish." (steve) Oh yeah, fish on.">

<(Jeremy Curran, Utah Angler) (Nats of reel going out) "Wow this one really doesn't want to come like the others.">

<(Jeremy Curran) "just feels good to have one of those big boys in your hands.">

<(Jeremy) "They are one of the most pretty things i've ever seen as far as fish is concerned. Next to brook my favorite.">

<(jeremy) "and they are big.">

<(Brad) "that's a super nice fish, reel down a little bit for me, there you go. (net fish) "nice fish, gorgeous, that's another hatchery fish. Little more girth on this one. Yup, a female.">

<(Brad) yeah this is a very good representative fish for this river, we are really lucky to have these things in Idaho. It's one of our treasures and we are happy to share it with folks.>

Speaking of sharing, Steve and Jeremy have caught multiple fish, time to get into the game.

<(Brad) "reel, reel, reel.">

<(Adam) (brad) "good work." (jeremy) "keep him over there, i'm trying to get these lines in." (steve) "watch him bring in the biggest fish." (Adam) "no he's not very big. Is say that now, but he's just resting.">

<(Rick Olivares) "it's a big fish, I see it, it's a big fish man.">

<(Brad) Up, up, up, up...(net fish) (Adam) wow! Good work, beautiful. (brad) "it's a wild fish, a big male.">

<(Adam) "check that beautiful fish out. A big male, it's got the adipose fin, so we'll have to put it back, but that is why you go to Mountain Rivers Outfitters out of Riggins, Idaho. Let's get him back in the water huh, get him a drink. Woo!">

<(Brad) "good work fellas." (Adam) "that was fun. You know, you guys are about quantity, but the Eakle clan we go after quality....yeah. You knew that was coming...(steve) "I knew that was coming." >


<(Adam) "What do you think of this?" (steve) "This is awesome man, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world." (adam) "Sure is nice to have a guide that know what he's doing?" (steve) "Oh man yeah.">

<(Steve) "oh yeah," (Adam) oh it's a nice fish." (fish splash)>

Brad has us catching fish using two different techniques. The first and most effective today is called a “Bobber rig.”

<(Brad) "head up when you get a chance." (net fish) perfect, good work. Oh, that's awesome.">

<(Brad) "ok, so on these bobber rods.">

<(Brad) "We've got a jig that's barb less of course and then a bead that's about a foot above that and then it goes to a lead, and then the main line and then the float and then one more bead and this orange corky. At the top of this is the bobber stop and that's what sets our depth.">

<(Brad) "Ideally we want this jig about 2 feet above the bottom.">

<(Brad) Gently pull up and reel down, all the time big bend, all the time big bend." (Adam) "looks like a good fish.">

Jeremy is into a big fish, this time using another one of Brad’s techniques.

<(Brad) "this is called a truck and trailer." Otherwise known as a bait diver combo. Essentially it's a plug that doesn't have any hooks, this is what is getting the bait down to where the fish is and then you come back, three to three and a half feet and then we've got a shrimp. A double hook rig with a stinger on the back just to make sure if we have any short biters.">

<(Brad) and then we back troll, the idea is you are putting this bait, you're backing it slowly into where fish could be holding and you are pushing them into a fight or flight. They just continue to see it getting closer and closer until they had enough of it. They either take it as food or until you put in into their bubble.">

<(Brad) Steady wins the war. (fish runs) (jeremy) "woo, woo." (brad) now come back up high, gentle, that's a nice fish. This is soft water and he's pulling that hard. This is a really nice fish. (jeremy) "He wants no part in coming in." (brad) That's just fine.">

<(Brad) "Oh, that's a nice fish. There he is, reel, reel, reel. Tip down, tip down, there you go. Good">

<(Brad) "Head up, head up, head up, woo, (net fish) got him. Good work.">

<(Steve) "A lot of people pay a lot of money to go up to Alaska to get this kind of fishing. Get it right here in Idaho man.">

<(Brad) "woo hoo, salmon river Idaho. Look at that beast.">

Mountain River Outfitters charges $200.00 per angler for a full day of Steelhead fishing. A bargain in my book, when you consider the surroundings.

The river and a well versed guide that can get you into fish.

<(Adam) Oh that's a nice fish, little better than i thought. (brad) "that's a really nice fish, just take your time, we are doing great.">

<(Brad) Pull him straight up (net) good work! Nice fish. That's a keeper. (adam) "is it?" (brad) "hatchery fish.">

<(Adam) "thanks for inviting me Jeremy, that was fun. Thank you sir, you've been awesome, what a day. What a fish, another dandy, look at that boys. (jeremy) "get your hands in there.">

<(Tag) "Well Brad I'd shake your hand right now, but I've got a handful of fish, you've been awesome, I sure appreciate it, people can come check you guys out here in Riggins. I know you'll show them a good time. (brad) "yeah, Mountain River Outfitters, stuff like this is what we find. (Adam) A dozen fish today for four anglers, not bad, check these guys out, we'll put their link on our website, a beautiful time here on the Salmon river. Let's head back now to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights Fishing Report. Woo, look at that pig.">

Add comment

Get In Touch

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.