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Steelhead Fishing Lures

Ocean-going Trout, Steelhead are targeted in rivers during their spawning runs.

Steelhead Fishing Lures

Steelhead: Ocean-going Trout, Steelhead are targeted in rivers during their spawning runs. Use flies or small lures, presenting them in current seams.

Common Lures for Steelhead fish

Steelhead, the migratory form of rainbow trout, are sought after for their fight and beauty. Anglers targeting Steelhead use a variety of lures and techniques depending on the water conditions and time of year. Here are some common lures used to catch Steelhead:

  1. Spoons: Spoons are effective because of their flashy appearance and erratic action, which mimics an injured baitfish. They work well in both rivers and lakes, especially in clearer water.

  2. Spinners: Inline spinners create vibration and flash that attract Steelhead. Their versatility allows anglers to cover different depths and water speeds, making them ideal for river fishing.

  3. Jigs: Small jigs tipped with soft plastics or natural baits like worms or shrimp can be very effective, especially when drift fishing in rivers. Bright colors can be particularly attractive to Steelhead in murky conditions.

  4. Plugs: Diving plugs and crankbaits can trigger aggressive strikes from Steelhead. When used in rivers, they’re often fished in deeper pools and runs.

  5. Soft Plastics: Soft plastic worms, eggs, and shrimp imitations can be rigged on a jig head or hook and are effective for Steelhead, especially in clear water where a lifelike presentation is crucial.

  6. Fly Lures: For fly anglers, a variety of flies including nymphs, streamers, and egg patterns are effective for catching Steelhead. The choice of fly often depends on the water conditions and whether the Steelhead are wild or hatchery-raised.

  7. Beads: Fishing with beads, which mimic salmon or trout eggs, has become increasingly popular for Steelhead. Beads are drifted through runs and pools, imitating a natural food source for these fish.

When fishing for Steelhead, it’s important to adapt your approach based on the season and water conditions. In clearer water, smaller and more natural-colored lures are often more effective, while in stained or turbid conditions, brighter colors and larger lures may be needed to attract attention.

Steelhead have a well-earned reputation for being challenging to catch, so patience and persistence, along with a willingness to experiment with different lures and techniques, are key to success.