Fishing Reports

Charter captains wrapping up steelhead season

Most of the captains for Brookings Fishing Charters run salmon and steelhead drift boat trips during the fall and winter on the Chetco and Smith rivers. Capt. Andy, Mick, Sam, Rye and Shane are finishing up their winter steelhead season, and preparing to shift gears to the spring and summer ocean seasons.

This year’s winter steelhead season has produced slower-than-average fishing, but our captains are still finding some nice steelhead. In a season where every bite counts, the difference between a couple of fish to the boat and getting skunked often depends on an experienced guide to maximize your chance at success. Our guides have often been the top-producing boats on the Chetco and Smith this season.

A customer holds a nice Chetco River steelhead caught in February with Capt. Andy

Low, clear water for much of the steelhead season has kept some of the steelhead from leaving the ocean and migrating upriver. A wet forecast to begin March could bring in fresh fish for the final part of the steelhead season, which runs through March on the Chetco River and April on the Smith River.

Capt. Sam holds a beautiful Smith River steelhead.
Capt. Rye and a customer hold a steelhead from the Smith River.
Capt. Mick with a steelhead from the Chetco River.

We catch steelhead fishing from drift boats on the wild and scenic sections of the Chetco and Smith rivers. Light spinning rods are used to cast small clusters of roe. Steelhead are known to be very hard fighters, and are prized because they are difficult to catch. Sometimes they are referred to as a fish of a thousand casts.

Capt. Andy and a customer hold a large hatchery steelhead from the Chetco River.

In March, Brookings Fishing Charters will be offering lingcod and rockfish trips daily, weather permitting. Capt. Mick, Rye and Sam also will continue to run steelhead trips on the Smith and Chetco rivers. To book a river or ocean charter, call (541) 813-1082. More information about river trips can be found at For ocean charters, visit

Capt. Mick lifts the net after his customers enjoyed a double-hookup on the Smith River.
The results of a double hookup.
Customers hold the results of a double hookup on the Chetco with Capt. Andy.

Here are some more great catches from the 2023 season with the Brookings Fishing Charters crew.

Capt. Andy with a nice steelhead caught on a plug.

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