Smith River Fishing Guide

Smith River Steelhead Fishing is hands down the most popular fishery in California and from December through March you will have the opportunity to catch the next state record.

Smith River Fishing Guide

Book Your Trip

Known as California’s last wild river, the Smith River is known for crystal clear waters, redwood trees, and is home to a run of huge, bright King Salmon, and Steelhead. Professional Smith River Fishing Guide Mario Gomez offers trophy salmon and steelhead fishing adventures on the famous Smith River. The Smith River may only be 25 miles long but it is still the largest river system in California that flows freely along its entire course. The Smith River is California’s number 1 destination for trophy salmon and steelhead, it‘s home to one of the best salmon and steelhead fisheries in the world. Smith River fishing can be amazing sometimes, but the scenery is always beautiful. While the average king salmon weighs 18 to 25 pounds, each year salmon are caught up to 50 pounds, and a steelhead or two gets caught every year that pushes the 20 pound mark. The Smith River is known as the quickest clearing stream of the coastal rivers. After major storms, the river is fish-able in a couple of days. The reason for this is the free-flow nature of the river which has allowed it to carve its path down to bedrock. Along with steelhead and chinook, the Smith also has runs of silver salmon, and sea-run cutthroat trout. The Smith River, in Del Norte County, is the northern most of California’s major rivers. The mouth being about 5 miles from the Oregon border, 10 miles north of Crescent City. It is the largest free-flowing river in the state, producing the largest Steelhead and Chinook salmon. The state record steelhead, 27lbs 4oz and the state’s second largest Chinook salmon, 86lbs, were both pulled out of the Smith. Steelhead of 20 lbs. are caught on a regular basis. Come fish with IGS and see why they are the top rated Smith River Fishing Guide, and the fasting growing fishing and rafting company in California and Oregon.

Smith River Salmon Fishing

Salmon fishing on the Smith River can be good at times, and you have a good shot at catching that fish of a lifetime. The best time to fish for Salmon on the Smith River is during the fall months after the first big rain storms of the year. Smith River salmon fishing guide Mario Gomez chases these monster salmon in the fall. The Smith River produces many of the largest salmon on the west coast, with fish weighing up to 50 pounds getting caught each season. The largest Smith River king salmon weighed an impressive 86 pounds. Big salmon are caught on plugs and roe back-bounced through the deeper holes. Salmon fishing on the Smith River continues into the middle of December.

Smith River Steelhead Fishing

Winter steelhead fishing on the majestic Smith River is one of Pro Guide Mario Gomez’s favorite places to be, there is something about catching steelhead in the Redwoods that makes it special. The best time to fish for Steelhead at the Smith is during the winter season from December to April. Smith River Fishing for steelhead is one of the most anticipated events for many Northern California anglers. Steelhead begin to enter the system behind the November/December Fall run of Salmon. The Smith River is also home to cutthroat trout. The Smith River Steelhead are among the largest in the state and the river holds the record at over 27 lbs. The prospect of hooking a giant steelhead really gets people fired up and calls the fisherman to the Smith each season. A handful of fish in the 20-pound class are taken annually and the river gives up solid numbers of fish over 15 pounds. Top rated guide Mario Gomez of Ironhead Guide Service will put you front and center in some of the best fishing you can find on the west coast. Take a look at Mario’s Google Reviews and see why he has become one of the most sought after guides in the region.


1 or 2 people $500 a day + gratuity


  • Heated Willie drift boat
  • Licensed, insured, professional guide
  • Rods, reels, tackle, and bait (conventional fishing)
  • Cooler for drinks and lunch
  • Fish processing


  • California or Oregon fishing license and tags (printed in possession)
  • Food and drinks for the day
  • Appropriate clothing (rain gear)
  • Cooler for fish in your vehicle

Book Your Trip