Steelhead season ends strong on Chetco
The 2021-22 winter steelhead season has come to an end on the Chetco, Smith, Elk and Sixes rivers. Fishing closed for the season March 31, and re-opened May 22 for sea-run cutthroat trout. Anglers will begin to catch a few king salmon in the Chetco estuary in June and July, with the best trolling in September and October. The fall drift boat season for salmon begins in late October or early November, after the first major fall rains. Winter steelhead will arrive in early December, with the best fishing in January and February.
This past season was good overall, despite high water in December, then a prolonged period of low, clear water. Even though the river was low, and difficult at times to get a drift boat through shallow riffles, fishing was good. There was an above-average return of both hatchery and wild steelhead in both the Chetco and Smith rivers during the 2021-22 season.
Fishing was especially good late in the season, after the crowds were gone. Rain in March brought in impressive schools of hatchery and wild steelhead, leading to high scores for the handful of local guides still on the river.
Currently, the best fishing opportunities are in the ocean, through our partner charter company, Brookings Fishing Charters. Learn more about ocean charters out of Brookings at www.brookingsfishing.com
To book a river salmon or steelhead trip, call (541) 813-1082 or visit www.wildriversfishing.com.