Yakutat Steelhead on the Situk River
Steelhead trout are among the very top of the gamefish list for many coldwater anglers. They aggressively attack fly and lure alike and fight with amazing athleticism and power. They grow to substantial sizes — a 15-pound steelhead in the Situk River is not uncommon; the Alaska state record was caught in 1970 and was an amazing 42 pounds, 3 ounces.
Like Pacific salmon, steelhead are anadromous. They are born in freshwater and head to the ocean to grow, spending most of their lives in the ocean, and returning in either the spring to spawn and return back to the salt chuck, or coming back in the fall to overwinter, spawn and head back to the sea. In general, they live about three years in freshwater before migrating to the sea, and then spend an average of another two years in the saltwater before heading back to the river of their birth to spawn. Some steelhead return to spawn multiple times within their life.