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SmokyMTNSteelhead 02-20-2006 02:36 PM

I fished the Great Lakes Tribs from PA to WI and man those guys are fun. I got hooked on these fish when I saw Bryon and Paula's pictures from there trips up to Michigan. I lived up in Illinois and went to school at UT...I had to find somethine to do when I went home on break. Those fish are big and strong...I recommend anyone giving them a try.

Byron Begley 02-20-2006 06:59 PM

Great to get a post in the Salmon/Steelhead category. Maybe this will get something going. I know a lot of people who fish for them in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Alaska and the Northwest. It's great sport worth talking about. My experience is limited but not for long. Byron :)

SmokyMTNSteelhead 02-20-2006 11:48 PM

There is a ton of it up this way and you actually forgot to name a state that is a sleeper for steelhead we can talk about that another time. I never actually new about steelies until I saw some of your pictures from fishing up in Michigan. They surely tought me about my fishing fighting skills....sometimes no matter how much money your rod and reel cost or how good you think you are...those big guys make you humble reel quick....


Paula Begley 02-21-2006 10:24 AM


They surely tought me about my fishing fighting skills....sometimes no matter how much money your rod and reel cost or how good you think you are...those big guys make you humble reel quick....
No kidding, Jordan!!! :o

I was nearly spooled - I mean REALLY close to being spooled by one once. It happened in a matter of seconds...and he would have been back in Lake Michigan if our guide had not thrown on the motor and backed down stream after him...there was not even time to turn the boat around...It was AWESOME...

I did land was a beautiful fish and a beautiful fight. I will never forget it... :)

Glad to have you on the board, by the way.

Our best,


SmokyMTNSteelhead 02-21-2006 02:10 PM

I was out in Eastern Ohio in the middle of December...snow and wind caused confusion and my little brother shut my rod in the door. Luckly I had left my three weight winston with a battenkill in the instead of wasting a trip I rigged up..Of course as the fish gods would havei it and I hooked into a 38 1/4 steelhead...was scared that i would lose it cause thats a big fish for a three weight...I have some great pictures of it...boy was that exciting

Oh by the way my brother did survive the incident too...though he was alittle more beat up then the fish ;D

troutwag 12-02-2006 01:32 AM

I have fished the Muskegon twice, so naturally I am an authority! The first time we went was in 2003 and we hit it right on the head as far as the weather and the Kings. We fished the first day and all were just hoping to catch a fish that day. Well by lunch we each had at least one, and actually I think we all had three or more (up to five) in the two hours we had fished. We then had lunch on a gravel bar in the middle of he river. It was tough. Our guide didn't have a high regard for the kings, he really preferred the steelhead. The steelies proved much more elusive...... A couple of us spent half a day fishing for them the second day and came up empty handed, though I did manage to hook a monster king with six lb tippet (close to 30 lb we figured), he made a half a dozen porpoising leaps and broke the line......... already well into the backing. Awsomely powerful fish, pure muscle. I will get some of those pictures out and post to photobucket, then to the site. We have not been now in two years, need to go again next year. About the 3rd week in October.
The second year we targeted Steelhead, fished with Matt Supinski's crew. It was brutally cold, the first morning it was 13 F. and the second 11 F. I melted the soles on my Chota boots trying to get the heat through them to my toes! That gray polypropylene felt is great stuff as long as you dont get it too hot, it becomes solid plastic if it gets too hot! We did the chuck & duck thing for the Steelies and that is no fun in my book, might as well use spinning tackle, it would work better for that kind of rig. My brother in law lost one at the boat as the boat was encased in ice and the guide slipped and one thing led to another and the end result was probably a 10 lb fish swam free with an estaz egg in his mouth. I managed one skipper which was maybe 22 ". Small for a steelie. When we go back I will mostly focus on the Kings. I really like something pulling on my line when I travel some distance to fish. The kings may not be as fast as the steelies but they are powerful and acrobatic, I too had fish twice take me to the bottom of the spool, our guide would not chase them either. His response was "break it off and catch another". He really liked the Steelhead!
Highly recommend the Mighty Mo. It may not be the west coast but it aint bad! They do get steelhead and some big ones (up to 20lb), but they are not so easy as the Kings. With a week to fish I would spend a few days on the steelies..........with a sinking line, no nasty chuck & duck!

troutwag 12-02-2006 02:03 AM

Here is an attempt at a few pics of the Might Mo Salmon, you can tell that it was getting late for these fish, no chrome to be seen. Still they were fierce![img] [/img]
I hope that worked! I will post and see.

troutwag 12-02-2006 02:10 AM

Ok! that worked........... a few more:
I wish I could say that we were good at this, the fishing was just that good!
We drove up there the first time and flew the second. With a decent vehicle its not too bad a trip......... and the fishing awesome. We might have landed 1 out of 5 fish hooked, they are that powerful. We were using 8 and 9 wt outfits. One reel got smoked on the trip!
Anyone interested in going next fall let me know or if I can answer questions about how and where happy to do it.
Now lets see some pics of Atlantics and West Coast Steelies!
Tight lines,

troutwag 12-02-2006 02:15 AM

Arrrgh, I did something wrong (obviously) that time!
[img] [/img] I think that worked, one more. [img] [/img]

geerona 12-04-2006 12:27 PM

Hello John,

I am curious as to what flies you were using and what month you fished for the Kings. We fished with a guide on the Muskegon this September and it seemed to me that the only way we were going to catch salmon would be to drift your fly over a spawning bed and snag them. Not really my idea of salmon fishing. We drifted from Croton Dam down to Newaygo over two days. We saw lots of fish but the three we hooked (one landed) were all snagged I am sure. I am sure these fish can be caught legally. I did manage to legally land four Rainbows so it was still a good trip though not much challenge on an 8 wgt.

We are going back to the Muskegon in April for the Steelies. I have caught many Steelhead over the years but none on fly rod to date. All my Steelhead have come from the Big Manistee and the St. Joe. I suspect our guide will want to "chuck and duck" which as you say is mostly spin fishing with a fly rod. Any thought or suggestions for the Knigs or Steelies?

Tight Lines, gary <*))))><

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