How to Catch a Steelhead | Steelhead Fishing Tips

If you are looking for information on steelhead fish fishing, then search no more, dear angler, as we from fishingraq. com have prepared this article on steelhead fishing just for you. So, read this article on how to catch a steelhead before you go on your fishing venture.

You might be interested in reading another one of ours that tells you how to catch a salmon, and review on best fish finder under 100, and best fillet knife for fishing

How to Catch a Steelhead

Without wasting further bubbles, let us start swimming along this article shall we?

The Steelhead Fish

The greatest tool any angler can have, is adequate knowledge about the fish he is planning on catching, so let us take a quick look at Mr. Steelhead’s information we have brought to you.


Another name of the steelhead fish (scientific name: Oncorhynchus mykiss) is the rainbow trout. The steelhead fish is basically the anadromous (fishes who swim to rivers from the sea to mate) version of the coastal rainbow trout.

Where the steelhead fish is found

The steelhead fish is local resident of the waters of North America west side of the Rockies from Alaska and into the northwestern Mexico. A huge part of this population have been naturally injected to the Great Lakes region, South Central Canada, and parts of the Great Plains, east of the Rockies and southwestern Mexico.

The hot temperatures in Texas limits their reproduction. Steelheads are known to be very versatile when it comes to different kinds of aquatic environments to live in. The best temperature for them to live in is between 55 to 60 degrees and they like bottoms that are covered with small stones and natural vegetation. The steelhead does live in freshwaters but can suit saltwater when it is needed.

What the steelhead fish eats

The steelhead is known for being a predator and will consume anything that they can hunt down, owing to their appetite with a range of tastes. Do know that the steelhead is a “surface eater” and will mainly eat aquatic and terrestrial insects, fish eggs and minnows. The steelhead is not as aggressive as brown trout or chars. Steelheads including infant steelheads will regularly feed on larval, pupal, caddisflies, stoneflies and mayflies. It is known that as steelhead grows, the amount of its feeding also increases. Grown oceanic steelheads essentially devours squids, amphipods and other fishes.

What the steelhead fish looks like

A part of the steelhead’s scientific name “Oncorhynchus” is Greek for “hook snout”. The body shape of the steelhead closely resembles that of the salmon. You can easily see dark spots on this fish’s back, fins and tail, which is shaped slightly like a fork. The steelhead’s alias known as “rainbow trout” is given because of the mix of visually pleasant colors shinning on their skin.

This coloration of this fish’s body hugely depends on its age, gender and habitat. There is a wide pinkish stripe that runs along the length of the body that can be usually found on any rainbow trout. A stroke of silver on the underside of the fish that turns to pearl white. An adult rainbow trout can grow up to be 16 inches in length and can also weigh around 2 to 8 pounds.

Catching your steelhead

Equipment and tools

Let us take a look at the number one in any angler’s must have list: equipment- and the right equipment.


It is strongly advised that you should use the lightest line you can possibly use. This is so because, steelheads and rainbow trout have keen eyesight and can easily be scared off by lines that they can too clearly spot; this is especially valid in waters with heavy pressures. An ultra-light rod coupled with a reel is normally adequate to catch any trout.

Most anglers have reported that a 2lb test line has helped them catch any trout- even the ones as big as 6.5lbs. The key to catching a big steelhead is patience- and we are sure you can land a trout much bigger than this. You can utilize a heavier line when you are fishing in thick, misty waters, however, when fishing in heavily pressured waters, it is best to use the lightest line and you can get the most bites as well.


Steelheads will devour a wide range of lures, starting from, spinners, spoons, to plugs and jigs that are of the sizes of 1 to 3 inches. It is wise to carry a lot of different kinds of lures as steelheads like to switch from biting this lure, to biting another lure.


The most used bait for any kind of trout is reportedly, the “PowerBait”, which is basically a playdough-kind-of-substance that you get in little plastic jars. It is available in a lot of colors and every angler has their favorite choice.

All you have to do is put some or shape some of it onto a treble hook, put a sliding weight behind it that is of between 12 to 30 inches, cast it out and let it drop to the bottom. When generally fishing for trout, what works most efficiently and best is the old-school worms. You can go for a bunch of red worms or nightcrawlers on a small-sized baitholder hook.

Other Tricks to Catch the Steelhead fish

  1. You may try fishing at the end of a lake and there is stream flowing into it or other bodies of moving water. This is especially true if you are fishing for steelheads in a new place.
  2. Since trout easily gets weary in fast currents, focus all your attention to the more gradual moving waters or behind large rocks.
  3. Fly-fishing is evidently the most preffered way of fishing gor steelhead fishes. So, if you have the skills for this particular fishing method, you can go ahead and apply them when trying to catch a steelhead.
  4. Do make sure to go through all the rules and regulations of fishing of the state and area you are fishing in, for example, the limit to the fishes you are allowed to catch. Moreover, make sure you have a valid fishing license.

Well fellow angler, we hope that you are able to catch your steelhead fish once you have read this article on how to catch a steelhead.

Leave a Comment