Steelhead river getting too crowded? Target these secret fish-holding spots that most anglers overlook


The author with a hard-earned steelhead


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve done everything right, but still walked away from the river empty-handed. That’s fall fishing in pressured steelhead tributaries, for you. No matter how much water you cover, and how hard you fish, sometimes those hidden steelhead just aren’t there. But don’t give up on your spots. Autumn steelhead are notorious for slipping unnoticed into the tributaries, often in water conditions you’d never suspect a fish that large would tolerate. Try again a few days later, and you may well find them tucked against that shallow logjam or under that boulder, finally giving you a chance to pull up some hidden chrome.