SMITH CHETCO RIVER SALMON/STEELHEAD
(Smith River) Steelhead anglers continue to hook big, bright steelhead on the Smith River while fishing roe and puffballs.
“My crew yesterday, after my slow day on the river the day before, took home their limit of dandy 10 and 12 pounders,” said Phil Desautels of Phil’s Smiling Salmon Guide Service. “The Smith River is at 9.8 feet at Jed Smith Park and 16.1 feet at the Highway 101 Bridge. The river is green and slowly dropping.”
“The weather has been beautiful this week and there are plenty of big steelhead to be caught,” said Kevin Brock of Kevin Brock’s Guide Service. “On Wednesday we had five bites and landed three chromers. There is virtually no fishing pressure on the river now. Vicki Benbow and her husband caught five steelhead in the 10 pound class while side drifting roe with me recently.”
Steelhead action on the Chetco River has slowed down, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. The steelhead are spread throughout the system, with the lower river from Ice Box downstream to Social Security bar producing the top fishing for anglers fishing roe and puffballs.
Great Places to Fish
The North Coast region provides one of California's best ocean fisheries. The warm summer Pacific currents rich in nutrients and the rugged coastline nurture a thriving rock fish community of around 20 different species available to the sportfisherman, the favorite being ling cod. Occasionally shark, and albacore are available. Shelter Cove is known for its Pacific Halibut whose average weight surpasses the average Alaskan weight. There is abundant salmon most of the summer and smelt are on the beaches from June to September. You can also dive for abalone and trap Dungeness crab.
The Smith River provides runs of Chinook from October through December and California's finest steelhead fishing December through March. The Smith also provides anglers the opportunity to do battle with sea run cutthroat throughout most of the summer. Read about Hiouchi. The Mouth of the Klamath sees one of the largest fall runs on the coast from late August through early October. Other notable rivers in the area are the Trinity, Mad, and Vanduzen.
If you're looking for trout, try Ruth Lake on Highway 36 east of Fortuna or the Lagoons north of Trinidad.
Mark Mansu caught this 61 lb Chinook on the Smith River on November 1st. His dad, John Mansu, had received a gift certificate from his wife Cheryl, for fishing with Harvey Young and Fishawk River Co. almost two years ago and finally decided to come up and cash it in. We had lots of hook -ups and a few fish to the boat on the Chetco the day before and had moved down to the Smith looking for a little more action. We found the action and Mark, John, and friend, Dave, all pitched in to lift this beautiful Chinook for a smiling portrait! Harvey Young,
Fishawk River Co.