Klickitat, Washington

The Steelhead Ranch

Klickitat, Washington

The Steelhead Ranch

Why We Like It

There aren’t many summer-run steelhead options left in the Pacific Northwest, and there aren’t any rivers like the Klickitat. Pure and simple, the Steelhead Ranch is a summer steelheading paradise. Situated on 40 acres above the Klickitat River, guests fish for some of the hardest fighting summer-runs found anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. The Ranch’s experienced guides get anglers to the best water on foot or via driftboats and rafts where Spey rods and single-handers tempt metalheads that commonly range between 8 and 10 pounds. Guests may also connect with Chinook salmon, which average about 15 pounds and are capable of eliminating the backing on a fly reel at an alarming rate.


June - August, September - November


Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead


“Bonanza-style” ranch home with three bedrooms and a comfortable common area with quick access to the Klickitat River.



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Lodge Features & Amenities

Corporate Friendly

Diehard Approved

Masterclass Guide


The The Steelhead Ranch Experience

If you are into classic Pacific Northwest steelheading, the Klickitat is one of those places you need to be. Steelhead enter the river beginning in June and by July its  hatchery fish are joined by hard-fighting natives that range to 15 pounds and sometimes more. Because the river is influenced by glacial melt, it can run cloudy during the heat of summer. However, even when the river is off-color there are windows during the day—mornings after cool nighttime temperatures—when water clarity improves and the fish take flies. Steelhead are joined by Chinook or king salmon in August. The chinook average about 15 pounds—although a big one might weigh 25 pounds or more—and they also take swung flies. Prime time arrives in September as cooling temperatures decrease glacial melt and water clarity improves. The bulk of the steelhead run is in the river at this time and the fish are active. The Klickitat’s steelhead take a variety of flies including the classics like General Practitioners and Muddler Minnows. Modern flies, like Bantams, Extractors, Fish Tacos, and Intruders, get grabs, too. Single-handers catch fish on a variety of nymphs, plus drowned hopper and egg imitations.

The Klickitat is not a giant river. Anglers can adequately cover water with a single-hand rod using nymph or swing techniques. But, the Klickitat also offers some of the sweetest swing water you can find. Your guide will float you down prime stretches of water in a raft or driftboat, stopping to let you swing the runs and tailouts. Truly, the Steelhead Ranch and the Klickitat River offer one of the best steelhead experiences on the planet and it’s all located within a relatively short drive from Portland or Seattle.

Fishing Schedule
Depending on the time of year and water and weather conditions, anglers may be on the water at the crack of dawn or they may begin later in the morning. Regardless, eight- to nine-hour days are standard here, with lunch most often served on the water.

Boats and Equipment
The Steelhead Ranch uses Hyde and Clackacraft driftboats on most outings. However, when going “commando-style” on the upper reaches of the river, guides run high-quality rafts.

The Steelhead Ranch sits on 40 picturesque acres above the Klickitat River offering Western comfort in a “Bonanza” style setting. Guests stay in a three-bedroom home that offers a large dining room and a grand common area for kicking back and sharing stories. A widescreen TV offers additional entertainment, as does an outdoor fire pit. The rooms each have two beds; the master bedroom has its own bath; and the other rooms share a bath. Views of the surrounding mountains and incredible sunsets never end. Additional lodging is offered in three two-bedroom units situated behind the main house.

Three meals a day are part of your Steelhead Ranch experience, with Western-style breakfasts and dinners served at the ranch house and lunches offered on the water or at the house, depending on your fishing schedule. Be ready to eat—steaks, wild Alaska salmon, fresh salads and fruit, and pasta are all part of the mix. Complementary wine or beer come with dinner.

Decent Wi-Fi is available throughout the lodge. Cell phone coverage is not reliable.

There are some activities for non-anglers, including hiking, biking, and birding. Scenic floats can be arranged. The town of Hood River, about 45 minutes away from the Ranch, offers windsurfing and SUP rentals plus great shopping and dining.

The Steelhead Ranch is located in south-central Washington, about two hours driving time from the Portland International Airport (PDX). Guests can fly into Portland, rent a car, and be fishing the Klickitat a short time later. Guests can also drive from Seattle to the Ranch in about four hours.

Midcurrent’s services are completely free. Clients will not pay more than if booked directly with a lodge. All rates are per person based on double occupancy, and listed in U.S. dollars.

Typical stay is 4 nights/5 days

2023 Rates

2 Days/3 Nights $1,540 pp USD
3 Days/4 Nights $2,185 pp USD
4 Days/4Nights $2,830 pp USD
5 Days/4 Nights $3,475 pp USD
6 Days/5 Nights $4,120 pp USD


Guided fishing
Three meals per day
Beer and wine with dinner


Transportation to/from Steelhead Ranch
Fishing license and steelhead stamp
Fishing gear
Gratuity for guides
Gratuity for lodge staff

Bookings are confirmed with a 50% deposit, made no later than seven days after booking a trip. Balance must be received no later than 90 days prior to the first day of the trip. Notification of cancellation must be received 90 days prior to the first day of the trip in order to receive partial or full credit for an alternate date. All payments are final and nonrefundable, with the exception of a medical or family emergency, deemed reasonable at Midcurrent’s discretion.
Booking a trip or making a deposit represents that the client accepts all terms and conditions. Midcurrent’s terms are in addition to any terms and conditions of each individual lodge that Midcurrent represents. Please read those terms carefully—lodge terms, which may differ from Midcurrent’s terms, supersede any agreements between Midcurrent and a client.

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