Does anyone have favorite steelheading destination recommendations for March in the Pacific Northwest or Northern California? Particularly somewhere that would work for a three day weekend requiring flying in from LAX.
It makes me sick to have to say it, but I agree with Big Tuna and roballen. That should be prime time on the OP but, especially on a weekend, you will find massive crowds and few fish.
With almost all rivers here closed by then, the OP is the only game "in State" and every guide will be there.
I'd try Ore or BC.
Washington's Olympic peninsula rivers are prime in March, which along with being the only game in town, is why it can be crowded. These rivers can go out in a day if a big rainstorm comes through, so it might be a problem if you have non-refundable tickets for that weekend. However, SW WA's Cowlitz River is highly likely to be in fishable shape as a backup, and March is prime for winter fishing there as well these days.
In all seriousness though, the OP is not the only place in the PNW that gets steelhead in March. In fact, I'd be willing to wager that you won't see any of the people who mentioned it in this thread there in March, either because they've never been there in March recently or because they avoid it in March.
The OP has become the de facto answer for people asking about winter steelhead locations Feb-Apr after the Puget Sound region has been removed from play.
The Portland area offers access to numerous steelhead rivers that have fish in that timeframe as well...they are somewhat less volatile than the OP and PDX offers quicker access than flying into SEA does for the OP. If you only have three days I assume you want to maximize your time on the water and minimize the risks of total blowout.
In other words...don't just look at the OP...take a broader approach to your research.
Both of theses rivers fish. If you are looking for a guide, I have a couple names that will get you into fish if they are in. Decent bank access but fish better drifting to the runs. Located just out of Portland and you can fish both rivers on your trip.
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