Salmon and Steelhead generally put up an excellent fight. That moment you realize you have a fish hooked is the most anticipated and remembered moment in fishing. That addictive rush of adrenaline that accompanies the “tap, tap…..tap” of a subtle bite, or the even bigger rush of a take that feels like it could rip your arm off is simply more cherished than any hit from any drug known to man…and anglers know this.

Big Salmon and Steelhead will tend to run the show during the fight. A forgiving drag and optimal rod is appreciated when fighting these powerful fish as they will attempt to enforce their will on the situation. The trick is get them tired out after playing them.

Salmon and Steelhead hatch in freshwater then migrate to the ocean where they begin their most prolific feeding period when they’ll gain a lot of weight until their biological clock points them back in the direction of their home river to spawn. Upon entry into the estuaries of their home rivers they are energized and full of fight. The most sought after Salmon and Steelhead are the ones freshest in from the ocean as they are the peak of their life cycle. As they age and come closer to spawning they lose mass and begin to develop their spawning colours—during this time they are most impressive to look at, appearing almost tropical, but less likely to provide a good fight and the meat is generally not as good. But these spawning fish continue the population life cycle and provide essential nutrients back to the watersheds.

The many species of Salmon and Steelhead are partial to different baits and lures, which provides the angler a diverse range of techniques throughout the year. Whether in boats or on the riverbank, there are many ways an angler can improve the odds of having a successful day. Small adjustments and paying attention to the tiniest of details can often pay off.

To catch more fish on a year-round basis, anglers must be cognizant of the timings of runs, water and weather conditions, and fish behaviour.

Here are some tips to increase your odds of coming back home (or assuming you’re on a self-guided fishing trip at a fishing lodge, to the comforts of a gourmet meal made for you at the resort) exhausted yet elated.