Top Tips for Freshwater Salmon Fishing

When most people think about salmon fishing, they tend to think about a nice boat out on the ocean, trolling for big fish. However, many don’t realize that there are several different species of salmon, and many of them can be caught in freshwater. Read more for top tips in freshwater salmon fishing!

Salmon in freshwater is not a new concept, as many species of salmon tend to return to freshwater rivers where they were born in order to spawn. Just think of nature documentaries you have seen of grizzly bears feasting on salmon trying to swim upstream.

There are a few different types of freshwater habitats where salmon live and different ways that they can be caught!

The COMPLETE Guide to Salmon Fishing!

Learn more about freshwater salmon fishing here!

Types of Freshwater Habitat

Salmon species can be found scattered throughout many different areas and habitats within those freshwater locations. You can catch many species are deemed “land-locked”, which means that they do not go out to the ocean, even if they had the opportunity to. Species such as steelhead and Kokanee, are great examples of species that can happily live in either saltwater or freshwater. 


The obvious habitat when you think of salmon and freshwater are rivers. Many species of salmon live in rivers and are habitats of many different ocean salmon species as well. These rivers that empty into the oceans offer important migration routes for salmon that take place every year.


Lakes around the world can offer great salmon fishing and can give anglers the opportunity to use a wide variety of different fishing methods. Species like steelhead and lake trout are popular fish. Even the Kokanee salmon, which is one of the most popular species of freshwater salmon, is actually a landlocked version of the sockeye salmon. 

Freshwater vs Saltwater

Salmon Swimming Upstream

So, the big question is, is there a difference? Is one better than the other? Do salmon catch in freshwater taste any different than those in saltwater? Besides offering more opportunities and different abilities to catch them, freshwater salmon fishing is pretty similar to fishing in saltwater.

However, there are a few small differences. For example, when fishing in a river or lake, you have much more flexibility in the lures and baits that you can effectively use. 

Taste-wise, freshwater fish usually do not taste any different, although many anglers would say that they tend to have a milder flavour. If you are not a fan of the “fishy” taste, then freshwater salmon may be perfect for you!

Salmon is a delicious fish, and there is no end to the great recipes available for them. Check out this Smoked Salmon with Orange Hoisin Glaze Recipe.

Final Thoughts

Fishing for freshwater salmon is the perfect way to catch these fish without going through the trouble of dealing with the ocean. There is a vast variety of ocean-going species that are headed upstream to landlocked species that live in freshwater their whole lives. Freshwater salmon fishing is one of the greatest ways to enjoy some of the best fish on the planet!

For more tips and tricks on salmon fishing or food smoking-related topics, visit our blog!