Fishing Reports

Steelhead biting on coastal rivers

While rough ocean conditions are keeping our charter boats at the dock, the frequent storms also have increased flows in the Chetco and Smith rivers, creating prime conditions for winter steelhead fishing.

The Brookings Fishing Charters team of guides are all licensed river guides, and run drift boat trips for salmon and steelhead when they are not running ocean charters. Steelhead season is off to a great start on the Chetco and Smith Rivers.

Capt. Michael holds a Chetco River steelhead caught by Larry from our office crew.

During the last week of December 2021, the Smith and Chetco dropped into perfect shape for steelhead. We fish from heated drift boats, running small plugs or side-drifting roe and Corkies. Catches have been good, with two to three fish per rod.

Capt. Andy, Mick and Travis have special permits from the Forest Service to fish the Wild and Scenic upper Chetco. This is a limited-entry area for guides and only a small number of fishing guides are allowed to bring their customers to the National Forest section of the river.

A nice wild steelhead that was caught and released on the Upper Chetco with Capt. Andy.
Another steelhead is released on the Upper Chetco.
Happy customers hold some keeper steelhead from the Chetco caught with Capt. Andy and Capt. Mick.

Steelhead season runs from late November through March on the Chetco and Smith rivers. January and February is peak season. Anglers can keep some of the steelhead they catch on the Chetco, while the Smith is primarily a catch-and-release fishery.

The Brookings Fishing Charters crew fishes from heated drift boats. Many of the boats have rain tops to make fishing more comfortable in wet weather.

To book a winter steelhead trip, call (541) 813-1082. More information is available at

Capt. Mick with a nice Chetco steelhead.

In The News

Lingcod rebound Halibut in the Hood