Chasing the chrome. The fish of 1,000 casts. For many anglers throughout the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes regions, pursuing the huge anadromous fish known as steelhead are the end-all for their angling pursuits. It’s a fishing approach that requires a balance of persistence, patience, confidence, and having a bit of luck. As the saying goes “The tug is the drug”.Steelhead is native rainbow trout, which migrate to the ocean as juvenile fish and return to freshwater streams and rivers as adults to spawn oftentimes returning to the rivers as an adult reaching sizes upwards of 20 lbs.
While we can’t always make the road trip from Montana to Idaho or to the West Coast, we get our chrome fix here at Yellow Dog Fly Fishing Adventures like most inland living folks by watching the great steelhead video enthusiasts and the pros have created as a homage to the fish they love so much. We’ve put together a list of some of the hottest Steelhead videos on the web for your viewing pleasure. If these don’t get you stoked to pick up steelhead fishing yourself, then you might need to check your pulse. Enjoy.
1. One in Winter – by Ryan Peterson
The first film out of the gate for international fishing guide turned filmmaker Ryan Peterson. In this story, Peterson follows southern Oregon guide Rich Zellman over the course of a few winters as he cast for winter-run steelhead all the while touching on the philosophy of why anglers pursue these steelhead ghosts. This video perfectly portrays everything steelheading is about.
2. Frank Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary – by Pacific Rivers
A beautiful little film that tells the story of legendary fly fisherman, conservationist, and World War II veteran Frank Moore who has been fly fishing for more than 80 years. He dedicated his life to conserving and protecting his home watershed, the North Umpqua where he looks after spawning steelhead in the deep pools along the nearby Steamboat Creek watershed.
3. CHROME by Conservation Hawks
This film celebrates the joy and passion of fly fishing for steelhead while educating anglers on the looming threats of climate change and ocean acidification. Featuring appearances from notable anglers Tom Rosenbauer of Orvis, Dylan Tomine of Patagonia, Hannah Belford of Damdochax River Lodge, Kate Taylor of Frigate Travel, Tim Romano of Field & Stream and Todd Tanner of Conservation Hawks, the story focuses on our responsibility to protect cold, clean waters, and to stand up for future generations of anglers.
4. Swing North by California Trout
Once hosting runs of more than a million salmon and steelhead, the annual fish counts on the Eel River, one of the most pristine habitats in the state found on California’s North Coast, now often number less than 1,000. The redwood forests and slate green rivers were almost devastated by the impact of the logging industry. Yet, the salmonids persist. In recent years, signs of a recovery ripple through the waters. This film tells the story of fishermen Mikey Wier and Jason Hartwick as they hook into the growing population of wild winter run steelhead on the Eel. With appearances by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia and Shane Anderson, the two discover a river that holds hope for one of California’s great remaining wild fisheries.
5. SPRING RUN by Todd Moen – Steelhead Fishing
Todd Moen’s “Run” series are easily the most amazing compilation of steelhead fly fishing short films made to date. In Spring Run, the third in his ongoing video series, he captures the spirit and essence of why anglers fly fish for the elusive wild fish.
6. Fly Nation Skeena Steelhead on Dry Flies by Vantage Point Media House
This film follows Fly Nation show hosts, April Vokey and Andrea Charlton on their once-in-a-lifetime adventure to British Columbia’s North country in search of giant steelhead, many of which the two lady anglers are able to take dry flies! This is not to be missed.
7. Fly Fishing for Wild Salmon & Steelhead to Prove that Happiness is Connected to Healthy Environments – Captain Quinn
Fishing guide and feather chucking comedian, Captain Dan Quinn created this fun, entertaining film about fly fishing for wild salmon & steelhead to show that happiness is connected to healthy environments. We like your style!
8. Fall 2016 Steelhead British Columbia and Oregon – by Chad Smith
Filmmaker Chad Smith shows the story of him and his friend’s steelheading efforts along the British Columbia and Oregon coastal rivers as they search for chrome.
8. Skeena – The Biggest and Meanest Steelhead in the World! – Salmon Junkies
If this doesn’t make the hair on the back of your neck stand up, we don’t know what will. Shot and filmed on the lower Skeena near Terrace, BC, two anglers share an epic week steelheading with Nicholas Dean Outdoors head guide, Dustin Kovacvich. A terrific film by Salmon Junkies!
9. The Unicorn of Fish – Chasing Steelhead in Skeena Country by GetAway Tours
GetAway Tours truly captures the beauty and the wild side of Skeena country in this film. Their filming journey takes them through miles of picturesque runs during a British Columbia winter.
10. “The Kodiak Project” – LDR Media
The Kodiak Project follows three anglers to Kodiak Island in Alaska in pursuit of some of the hottest steelhead in the state. Oh, and by the way, this is just the trailer. Wait until you see the full film!
Is a steelhead trip on your bucket list? We thought so! Have a look at some of our top steelhead destinations.