Steelhead in the Boise River is like an early Christmas present. Okay, maybe an early Thanksgiving cuz theyre big turkeys, but you get the gist. Its a gift of big fish.
Steelhead fishing isnt for everyone. Even on the best days, you do a whole lot more casting than catching. Steelhead season also coincides with some pretty brutal weather.
But for those of us who do it and get genuinely obsessed about it, theres nothing better than steelhead fishing.
The first steelhead you catch each season will probably top the largest trout you caught in the preceding months, and usually by a large margin.
In a good year, I might land a few trout over 20 inches. Thats the starting point with steelhead, and you have the chance to catch a truly monster fish. I still have vivid memories of a buddys steelhead thrashing on the surface with a tail that sounded like a beaver slapping the water. Simply awesome.
This years run is much smaller than last year, but dont let that stop you from trying. By the time you read this, odds are good that 90,000 steelhead will have reached Idaho. Thats plenty of fish, and you will have a decent chance of catching one (or more) if you put in the hours of effort.
Of course, steelheading is a giant crap shoot. You have to contend with sketchy rivers and weather, and dont forget they dont have to eat, so youre always in for a challenge.
But if youre afraid of a challenge, steelheading probably isnt for your game, anyway. If you aren't afraid. its game on.