What’s this “Bucket” you’re talking about?

One of the most common phrases you will hear in any steelheader’s circle will be “bucket.”  This ambiguous term has many synonyms: juice box, juice bucket, moneymaker, honey hole, and shnittles.

What does bucket refer to?

It refers to something that separates trout anglers from successful steelheaders. It refers to the specific section of river that ACTUALLY holds steelhead. Not good water, soft water, holding water; but water that produces fish. Water that causes the angler to step up his or her level of focus as the fly digs through the swing. The water that makes us quiver in our dreams.

Buckets are earned through hard work and time on the water. If you’re lucky, someone will show you some, but when they are earned through discovery, the reward is so much sweeter.


Buckets are the key to becoming a successful steelhead angler – which is why they are held so closely and secretively. It is nothing personal – it’s a matter of pride and value in time on the water. So don’t take it personally when you walk into a conversation about steelhead and suddenly all you hear are crickets – just get out there and put your fly in the water. You’ll be amazed at what happens.

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