Washington Steelhead

Quick Facts and Pricing

Reservation Request

All Year Around
Full day trips
Half day trips
Multi day float/camp trips
$495 Full day trips, 1-2 anglers
$350 Half day trips, 1-2 anglers
$100 additional for 3rd angler, per day
$500 per angler/per day, multi day camp/lodge trip – double occupancy


We are proponents of swinging flies with two handed/spey rods on all our steelhead trips and are more than happy to provide personal instruction on becoming proficient with them.  What we generally recommend is spey rods 6-9wt. depending on season with compact Skagit or Scandi heads and various sinking tips.
Bunny Leeches, Egg Sucking Leeches, Flatwing General Practitioners, Mega Moal, Skagit Minnows, Morrish’s Trailer Trash, River Rats, Fergus Rock Star, Skunks, Purple Perils, Skykomish Sunrises for steelhead. Flesh flies, egg patterns for Dolly Varden and pink, purple and chartreuse flies for coho.
6 – 2/0 flies depending on season
Included on full day and multi day float/camp trips
Clothing and Equipment Checklist
Summer or Winter
EWA Cancellation Policy
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Washington’s state fish is the steelhead.  Steelhead are an ocean going rainbow trout that is born in freshwater, leaves the rivers for a period of 1-5 years and returns to spawn in the very same river it was born in.  As a fly angler begins to look around this beautiful state, it is no wonder why this is our state fish, there are amazing steelhead rivers in every corner of it.

As a company, Emerald Water Anglers chooses to only swing flies for steelhead and our reason’s for it are simple.  We believe you become a better fly angler through learning the intricacies of managing a swung fly and our goal on every trip is to help you become the most proficient fly angler possible.  We also as an entire staff in Washington as well as our close friends guiding with us in Oregon, choose to swing flies ourselves personally.  We sincerely believe if you are hiring a guide to spend a day or a week with, they should be experts in exactly how you want to pursue those fish and should notably display their passion for the method chosen, which we do more so than anyone and can’t wait to share our knowledge and experience with you.

Below are a list of what we feel are rivers that offer a year round and seasonable selection for pursuing steelhead on a swung fly in Washington.  This is a big state so we have broken the rivers into regions to help better understand why and where each river is relevant during what time of year.

Puget Sound Region

Some of the most infamous rivers in steelheading are here and all are within 2 hours or less driving time from Seattle:

Olympic Peninsula and Coastal Region

Becoming more and more the mecca for native steelhead in the lower 48 and with water abound, this is or can be the place to wet a line for large native steelhead.  Visit the links below to read more on each of them.

Lower Columbia River Region

Sometimes some of the lesser known rivers in the state but by no means lesser rivers.  These fisheries can offer some fantastic steelheading when many other rivers are closed.  Visit the links below to read more on each of them.

Upper Columbia River Region

Due to the distance these fish have to travel from the ocean and the number of dams on the Columbia River they must ascend, these are mostly summer fish arriving quite late into the summer season, even into fall and winter.  Visit the links below to read more on each of them.