Chetco steelhead arrive!
BROOKINGS, Ore. -- Following two big winter storms during the second half of December, steelhead fishing is heating up on Oregon's Chetco River, already producing the kind of results normally seen during peak season.
"The Chetco dropped back into shape today after blowing out Sunday, and there were fish spread out throughout the lower river," guide Andy Martin of Wild Rivers Fishing said Wednesday. "We got bites in just about every good run, and hooked five fish. The biggest one was 17 pounds."
Fishing was also good Friday before the river blew out over the weekend.
"Since a good push of fish arrived last week, there should be decent numbers of steelhead clear up to the South Fork by now," Martin said.
More than half of the catch so far has been wild fish, an indication of a strong run this season.
"The best fishing has been from the Piling Hole down, but it's worthwhile to drift from Ice Box or even higher," Martin said.
With relatively high water Wednesday, Martin's clients side-drifted the edges of the river.
"We used sploosh balls combined with five-shot slinkies to get down quickly, and used slightly larger-than-normal roe clusters," Martin said. "All the strikes came on eggs cured in Pautzke's natural-colored BorxOFire."
Steelhead fishing typically peaks in late January or early February on the Chetco, so anglers appear to be in store for a great season, Martin said.
The steelhead are averaging a solid 8 to 12 pounds, with fish in the high teens already showing up.
For current reports, check out https://www.wildriversfishing.com or call (206) 388-8988.
Wild Rivers Fishing clients with three Chetco River steelhead caught Dec. 23.
Side-drifting with Wild Rivers Fishing guide Andy Martin
About The Author: Captain Andy Martin
Company: Wild Rivers Fishing Oregon and Alaska
Area Reporting: Oregon, Alaska
Bio: Andy Martin is a well-known Oregon and Alaska fishing guide and charter boat captain. He targets trophy halibut in Alaska, as well as six-fish-per-person limits of silver salmon. In Oregon, he catches some of the biggest salmon in the Northwest, including trophy king salmon over 60 pounds. Oregon salmon and steelhead trips are done out of clean, heated jet boats and drift boats on the Rogue and Chetco rivers. Andy also is a prolific outdoor writer, regular contributing to Fish Alaska, Salmon Trout Steelheader, Saltwater Sportsman, Game & Fish, Oregon Hunter, California Sportsman, Northwest Sportsman and ESPN Outdoors.