Idaho Steelhead – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Idaho Steelhead

Steelhead have been on the brain for a couple weeks now. Trips to Washington and Idaho are already on the books and a few of us at the shop keep having dreams of catching these wild fish.

If you don’t know much about Steelhead they are large, badass, ocean-going rainbow trout native to Idaho and the northwest region. When adult steelhead leaves the ocean and swim back to Idaho, they create one of the state’s most amazing fishing opportunities. Starting in August and for the next 9 months, anglers can fish for adult hatchery steelhead in Idaho’s rivers. Fishing is best on the lower sections of the Clearwater, Snake and Salmon rivers in the fall. As steelhead continue to migrate upstream anglers will find them in the South Fork Clearwater, Little Salmon and upper Salmon rivers. Nick and I will find ourselves on the Clearwater whenever we can this fall.

Lately there has been a few videos rolling around about Steelhead. Here is one of my favorites.

The Wild Steelhead Coalition, Patagonia, and award-winning filmmaker Shane Anderson have teamed up to produce a new film series called Steelhead Country. The six-episode series explores the rise and fall of angling for wild steelhead in Washington State – from the heydey of steelheading on the Puyallup River to the litany of legendary rivers that are now closed throughout Puget Sound, including the mighty Skagit. Follow along as Steelhead Country explores the past, present, and hopeful future for this iconic species. Washington is Steelhead Country, the epicenter of the wild steelhead world. For generations, Washingtonians have been raised with a fishing rod in their hands and a love of steelhead in the hearts. This passion has proven infectious and inspired anglers from all corners of the globe to make the pilgrimage to the state’s famed waters in search of wild grey ghosts, some reaching sizes found in few other places on earth. But while the allure of Washington’s majestic wild steelhead continues to grow, regrettably the state’s steelhead stocks have suffered the opposite fate, as their numbers have plummeted to a fraction of their once great abundance. Steelhead Country dives deep into how Washington’s mismanagement of its iconic State Fish has caused the precipitous decline of its wild steelhead populations. Moreover, Steelhead Country encourages the state to move toward a more sustainable, conservation-oriented management model for wild steelhead – a model that preserves angling opportunity while also helping restore and sustain wild runs for future generations. It’s not too late to bring them back. Stay tuned for the full series coming in September.