Why Steelhead Fishing Takes Patience

Why Steelhead Fishing Takes PatienceFishing for steelhead can be frustrating. They are a unique and complicated type of trout, one known for evading anglers. In general, the only proven technique for catching steelhead is patience.

Decline in Fish Population

According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, steelhead populations have dramatically decreased due to human-induced factors, such as dams and river diversions.



The steelhead in freshwater are migrating to the place of their birth. They travel hundreds of miles in a few months. Consequently, a hole that fishes well one day, might not the next.

The Bottom of the River

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, steelhead prefer the bottom few feet of the river, creating a challenge for trolling fishermen. It is near impossible to always keep your hook at the depths steelhead prefer.


For up to three years, steelhead feed on marine life in the ocean. However, once back in freshwater, their priorities change from food to breeding--making them less willing to swim out of their way for your lure or bait.

Different Life Cycles

All steelhead are different in that they run at different times and breed in different seasons. This makes them difficult to understand and even more difficult to predict.

Article Written By Ryan Tuck

Born in Colorado, Ryan Tuck grew up with the outdoors in his backyard. After attending Whitworth University in Washington state, he returned to his hometown and built a popular hiking and biking trail guide. Today, Tuck helps others enjoy the outdoors by writing for Trails.com.

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