Report updated Jan. 27, 2013
STEELIE FISHING OKAY
The Smith has been producing some fair to good steelie fishing in the past week for anglers drifting from the Forks on down. The fish have been munching small clusters of natural eggs with apricot or light pink Fish Pills side-drifted on 8- or 10-pound fluro leaders. There are certainly many more fish to come this season and the next rain should give ‘er another shot in the arm!
JOHN’S GUIDE SERVICE
Extremely dedicated, thoroughly professional and an all-around great guy, John Klar is truly one of California’s premier guides. We’d fish with him any day of the week…and twice on Sunday!
REDWOOD COAST FISHING
Mike Stratman is an excellent guide who specializes in drift boat trips in the quiet, remote corners of Northern California. He’s super friendly and a real pleasure to spend the day with.
NEW SMITH RIVER FISHING REGULATIONS:
• No wild (adipose fin intact) steelhead or trout may be retained
• Anglers may only use barbless hooks
• The limit is increased to two hatchery trout or steelhead per day, 4 in possession
• Salmon anglers will be required to have a North Coast Salmon Report Card on the Smith
• The annual limit for wild Chinook salmon is set at 5
Current & Forecasted Flow
North Coast River Low Flow Closure Hotline: (707) 822-3164
Smith River map
About the Smith River
The gorgeous Smith River pours through some seriously steep and rocky canyons and old growth redwoods before crashing head-long into the Pacific. It’s one of those places that is worth a visit (even sans rod) at least once in your life. Put it on the “bucket list.” What’s that you say? Scenery isn’t enough for ya? You want big fish too? Well, the Smith just happens to be the home of the current California State Record for steelies — 27 pounds and change. Steelies over 20 pounds are taken here every year and there’s been a handful of 26 pounders sprinkled in over the past 6 years.
Bring your A Game — the Smith is a wickedly snaggy and tough place to fish — the water can be super clear and guide boats in the lower river below the Forks are, shall we say…prolific…so you need to be a well-tuned steelheading machine to do well here. But put your time in – the rewards can be epic. The Smith fishes best for steelies January through March.
There are huge kings here too. Fifty-plus pounders are taken every season in October, November and December. It’s a short window and you have to be ready to hit the water at a moment’s notice after the first rain hits…
Species of the Smith River
Photos from the Smith