Smith River steelhead fishing guides 1-31-2015.

It looks like the time has finally arrived!  This coming week Northern California and Southern Oregon are going to see the return of wet weather, giving all of our favorite Winter steelhead fishing rivers a much needed boost in flows.

The rain couldn’t arrive at a better time as almost all of the surplus rain that Northern California accumulated in December is now all used up and the region now is falling back into a year to date deficit.

This years fishing could be dramatically influenced  with continuing drought conditions as some are already aware of proposed salmon limit and possession changes on the Sacramento River drainage as well as dramatic proposals on other famed salmon and steelhead systems like the Klamath River.

Even though these are just proposals, we are all invited to be heard on all of these proposals early this year.

Here is the link to read the official Klamath River proposal with specific date, time and locations as to where to be heard on the Klamath River proposals.

Here is the link to read the official Sacramento River proposals with specific date,time and locations as to where to be heard on the Sacramento River proposals.

I can’t emphasize enough the importance as an angler to be involved in the process each Spring.  We are all in this together weather you like it or not,agree with it or not, we all share the great rivers of Northern California.  Being proactive in the process is very important no matter what level of involvement.

I would’ve to just go fishing every single day and let someone else handle all the official rule making business.  Unfortunately it is up to us all to participate in this process and sometimes that means coming off the water and taking the time to join in the discussions, write letters or write a report like this to inform you that these things are happening.

It is happening as it does every single Spring and this will be no different.  Your input, opinion, suggestions, thoughts do matter and they all add up and shape the way that we enjoy and fish the rivers of Northern California. is a great place to stay up to date on these issues as well following the process with The Golden Gate Salmon Association.

Here is a quick run down as to what is happening on some Northern California and Southern Oregon steelhead fishing rives.

Trinity River steelhead fishing report

The Trinity River has continued to fish fair this past week for both wild and hatchery steelhead 3 to 6 pounds.  The upper Trinity River is very colored up due to heavy December rains mudding up Lewiston Lake where anglers can expect dirtier river conditions for sometime. Water color does improve as you work downriver from Junction City and below. Current releases are at their winter flows of 300 cfs in Lewiston. Best fishing has been from Lewiston downriver through Junction City. Steelhead are being caught by both fly and convention fishermen.

Eel River steelhead fishing report

With the lack of rain this past week, both the South Fork Eel and main Eel are in fishing shape. The South Fork Eel is now low and clear. The main stem is now fishing fair with steelhead coming in 5 to 10 pounds. There is returning rains forecasted for this upcoming week and any rain could blow out the main Eel quickly. The main stem Eel River fished fair this week with fair numbers of steelhead coming in. Reports of catches later in the week were good with 3 to 6 steelhead hooked and released. February is just around the corner and a prime month to steelhead fish in Northern California and Southern Oregon.

Smith River steelhead fishing report

The Smith River is low and clear and steelhead fishing has been fair. Not hooking on all of the drifts but boats taking a second or third run in a day seem to find some steelhead eventually.  Much needed rain is forecasted to return here on the Smith and any rise and color will be welcomed.  The Smith River is also famed for strong steelhead fishing in the month of February and returning rain will help attract new steelhead into the Smith River.

Chetco River steelhead fishing report

The Chetco River has been fishing fair this past week with fresh steelhead coming in daily in the lower river. Out of most of the reports coming in up and down the North Coast, the Chetco River seems to have decent reports of fresh steelhead coming in most days.  The Chetco River is low but has good color still at the time of this report. Steelhead 6 to 10 pounds coming in from both the bank and out of the drift boats side drifting puffball/roe combos as reported by Chetco River fishing guide Dave Jacobs. Reports of a little slower than normal fishing overall on Thursday January 29th,  but here too the returning rains will also usher in new Winter steelhead.

Pictured is a caught and released Eel River steelhead sent in to by guide Gary Farley.


About The Author

Professional Guide Dave Jacobs is licensed to operate in both California and Oregon. Dave Jacobs is a licensed guide with The California Department of Fish and Wildlife as well as a current licensed Oregon guide registered with The Oregon State Marine Board. Guide Dave Jacobs is also licensed to operate in the Rogue/Siskiyou National Forest on the upper Chetco River in Oregon, licensed to operate in the Six Rivers National Forest on The Smith River, Klamath River, Trinity River and South Fork Trinity River. Guide Dave Jacobs is also licensed with the Bureau of Land Management to operate on the upper Trinity River from Lewiston California downriver to Grays Falls on the Trinity River. Guide Dave Jacobs also holds a Merchant Mariner Credential with The U.S. Coast Guard and is certified in both CPR and First Aid. We are an equal opportunity provider.

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