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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....

TIGHT LINES!
Jordan

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 him....it 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,

Paula

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 trucks...so 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! http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKing.jpg
I hope that worked! I will post and see.

troutwag
12-02-2006, 02:10 AM
Ok! that worked........... a few more:
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKingDuffeyandHansendoublehe.jpg
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKingDuffeys.jpg
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/Muskegonslumminitforlunch.jpg
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,
John

troutwag
12-02-2006, 02:15 AM
Arrrgh, I did something wrong (obviously) that time!
http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKingDuffeys.jpg I think that worked, one more. http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKingDuffeyandHansendoublehe.jpg

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 <*))))><

Jswitow
12-04-2006, 05:52 PM
Gary,
We fished the shoals on the MO and the fish were definately on the reds. They would move to the fly for no rhyme or reason, I think maybe just to kill it. We fished to the males (though one of the fish pictured is a hen) they called that "knocking the lady off the bar stool" and the bucks leave when she gets caught. If we tailed hooked any fish we would break them off. I noticed some guys would lift the rod as it drift through the bucks, obviously attempting to snag them. We were there the 3rd week of October which was maybe alittle late but there were alot of fish still at it. In two days of fishing for kings we all landed 8-10 fish a piece and lost 4-5 times that many. Just lucky (with the timing) and good weather.We used small flies. Green bodied caddis wetlfy Size 10 or 8. Black Stone (bh) size 8, Spring wiggler size 8, 10. Heavy hooks, Flourocarbon tippets 12 or 16 lb. They will move for the fly though. I would bet some sort of a sculpin would really agitate them as well, but did not try it.
For the steelies; we used oregon cheese estaz eggs, something else might have worked better, but we trusted the guides judgement. Steelhead run later after the first of November as I recall. Any other questions let me know. Steelhead were in the deep runs or behind current breaks, sometimes below the salmon redds.
Best,

Byron Begley
12-05-2006, 02:52 PM
Hey Guys, I couldn't stay out of this one. I like to fish the King run in Michigan on the PM or the Big Manistee. Most of the guides on those rivers use eggs and nymphs. Our guide who has also become a friend is Chuck Scribner at Scribner Outfitteers in Manistee. We've had good luck with Yuk Bugs and Girdle Bugs in Black or Chartreuse. I've seen salmon swim over several feet to take one. Like everyone else we do snag fish. Once we've determined they are snagged we break them off. But, when you get a "head shaker" the fun is on!

Byron

geerona
12-06-2006, 11:12 AM
Hey Guys,

I am encouraged to know the salmon can hooked fairly. Maybe we were just there on bad days and the fish were not cooperating. We were fishing a green bodied caddis and I believe a black stone fly in tandem. Our guide did use some egg patterns but I don't know which style they were now. Our guide instructed us to high stick and set the hook at any time the line stopped which makes sense to me. We did not have any rod jerking takes.

We did not see any fish move to take our fly but we sure did see plenty of fish on the redds. You could tell the males from the hens very easily when they were on the redds with the bucks holding just below the hens and then moving in as she layed on her side to deposit eggs. Quite a thing to watch even if we did not catch any in a legal manner. By the way, the snagged fish was released after finding she was hook just behind the head. The one fish I hooked was obviously snagged and I applied enough pressure to pull out the hook.

To be honest, after believing we were only going to snag salmon I became much more interested in fishing for the trout we would occassionaly see holding just behind them. We had the pleasure of fishing Alaska for the first time this year and that was the basic technique we used there. I am still interested in salmon and may give it a go again next fall.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. Any time you set out on a new endeavor all the help you can get is useful. By the way Byron, our guide also fishes the PM and I would have loved to fished it also. If we get real serious I may give Chuck Scribner a call.

Tight Lines and Christmas greetings to all, gary <*))))><

buckeyetrouter
12-10-2006, 12:43 PM
I'm from Ohio and would like some information on the salmon fishing in this area....anyone who could let me know a bit about it, I would be grateful......when, where, type of rigging, etc.....

buckeyetrouter

Byron Begley
12-10-2006, 05:09 PM
Buckeye,

Many of the tributaries to Lake Michigan have a fall salmon run. It usually starts in mid September and runs through October. Sometimes earlier, sometimes later. Paula and I like to fish early on when the "green" hot fish first come in the rivers. That's usually mid to late September. I've found the peak to be early to mid October. You will catch a lot more fish then. We use an 8 wt or 9 wt outfit with lots of backing and a reel with a good drag. They almost always take you deep into the backing. I've been playing with Spey Rods lately. I've fished the Big Manistee and the Piere Marquette (check spelling). There are a lot of good outfitters up there. We use Scribner Outfitters owned by Chuck and Linda Scribner in Manistee, Michigan. They can be reached at 231-723-6193 or e-mail scribner@gtii.com. Tell them you know us. They are fine folks. You can fish without guides in several rivers but on your first trip I would spend at least a couple of days with one of the Scribner guides. You will probably catch more King Salmon than anything else. They run between 15 and 20 pounds. You might catch a Coho or two and Steelhead follow the Kings in to eat their eggs. In the later fall the huge Brown Trout migrate into these rivers to spawn from Lake Michigan. I tried that once but the weather turned real bad. It was December. The Steelhead run starts in early Spring. Michigan is a beautiful state offering fly fishing anglers a smorgasboard of opportunities. Hope this helps.

Byron

buckeyetrouter
12-10-2006, 11:20 PM
thanks for the info Byron....can't wait to take advantage of this incredible resource........


buckeyetrouter

bigjim
12-13-2006, 08:54 AM
I lived in the Buffalo area for five years and fished the Tribs in that area. I fished the Catturagus, Chataqua and 18 Mile Creek that drained into Erie. I also fished the Niagara River, 18 Mile at Burt, NY along with the Salmon River near Pulaski, NY. If you need info on any those streams let me know.

BuckeyeRick
02-09-2007, 11:44 AM
Buckeyetrouter - Give the guys at Mad River Outfitters a call or check out their website. They have some trips to OH and MI and if they don't have the info, I'm sure they can hook you up.

My 17 year old nephew, who I took fishing for the first time when he was 6, took me Steelheading last April for the first time. On the 4th day with an hour of fishing time left, I hooked and landed a 30 incher in the Rocky. I'm not sure who was more excited. I was up again this December and over a 2-day pereiod on the Ashtabula, I hooked 11 and landed 3. I hooked one at the top of some rapids and when he felt the hook he just turned downstream. Before I could take a step he had me on the backing and unhooked at about 80 yards. WOW!

It is a real kick when you can spot a fish and then cast to them time and time again until they split, hit, or you finally give up. I'll be heading back up as soon as this deep freeze passes.

buckeyetrouter
02-09-2007, 08:59 PM
hey BuckeyeRick.....that sounds like a blast, I really want to try it. What size set up were you using. I have a 6wt , will that be enough or should I look at upgrading for these monsters......

BTW.....check out the brownie that I snapped on the mad river today....she was a real beauty....as spooky as she was, I would have never stood a chance with my rod and reel, thank goodness the camera was handy.......

buckeyetrouter

SmokyMTNSteelhead
02-22-2007, 11:42 PM
I have been fishing the streams all year! Most of the streams will hold fish all year, you just have to find the right ones. Also some of the streams hold huge lake run browns, my biggest this year was 7 lbs. My go too fly is the Sucker Spawn, it has caught steelhead in all the great lakes.

tight lines!

jordan

BuckeyeRick
03-02-2007, 03:52 PM
I am just waiting on the call from my nephew to let me know when the rivers will be ready again. I cannot wait!!! If you have not hooked into a Steelie, you really need to give it a try. It took me 30+ hours to land my first one, but it was worth every second.
I was up fishing the Ashtabula River last December when, at the top of some serious rapids, my nephew pointed out a pod of 5 or 6 fish. I tried 6 passes - no bites, he tried 6 with the same result. It was my turn again and with my 4th pass the line stopped and I set the hook. The fish, which I estimate at 28-30", raised his head, looked at me and just turned downstream. In about 3 nanoseconds, he was 80 yards downstream. It was all I could do to hang on. I am 58 and my nephew is 17. At this point he looks at me and says, "Aren't you gonna chase him?" Don't you just love 17 year-olds. The fish was at least 100 yards away and the hooks let loose. WOW! That day in December, I hooked 11, but only landed 3.
I never realized how great the Cleveland Municipal Parks system is. Hats off!

buckeyetrouter
03-02-2007, 04:26 PM
hey buckeyerick......are you throwing spinning or fly? Would a 6wt be enough for this or would I need heavier equip.......

prayers and thoughts go out to the Bluffton University families
buckeyetrouter

BuckeyeRick
03-05-2007, 03:37 PM
BuckeyeTrouter - I use an old Orvis Clearwater 9' 8wt and an Orvis Battenkill Mid-Arbor which has a great drag. I wouldn't go less than a 7wt, but give the 6 a try. Just make sure your reel has a good drag, probably more important than the rod. I use a Bass taper, but I'm not sure if it makes casting easier or not. I'm usually set up with a 1X or 2X leader and I use fluoro for the tippet. Orvis Mirage is 12.5 lb. test for the 2X. Use Fluoro and go heavy - the fish can't see it. I started by using a bobber, oops, for flyfishing we must call it a strike detector, but as I have more experience I am now going without. When the line stops going downstream - set the hook. I have also gone to using 2 flies - usually a Wooly Bugger (size 6 to 10) on top of an egg or nymph. I don't go smaller than size 14, because I can't see anything smaller.
Be ready to lose a lot of flies and a lot of fish. I thought hookin 11 and landing 3 was pretty sad, but in talking to some old hands, apparently it's not bad. Can't wait for the ice to clear.

LROjunky
05-26-2007, 09:54 PM
Hey Guys,

I am encouraged to know the salmon can hooked fairly. Maybe we were just there on bad days and the fish were not cooperating. We were fishing a green bodied caddis and I believe a black stone fly in tandem. Our guide did use some egg patterns but I don't know which style they were now. Our guide instructed us to high stick and set the hook at any time the line stopped which makes sense to me. We did not have any rod jerking takes.

We did not see any fish move to take our fly but we sure did see plenty of fish on the redds. You could tell the males from the hens very easily when they were on the redds with the bucks holding just below the hens and then moving in as she layed on her side to deposit eggs. Quite a thing to watch even if we did not catch any in a legal manner. By the way, the snagged fish was released after finding she was hook just behind the head. The one fish I hooked was obviously snagged and I applied enough pressure to pull out the hook.

To be honest, after believing we were only going to snag salmon I became much more interested in fishing for the trout we would occassionaly see holding just behind them. We had the pleasure of fishing Alaska for the first time this year and that was the basic technique we used there. I am still interested in salmon and may give it a go again next fall.

Your thoughts and suggestions are appreciated. Any time you set out on a new endeavor all the help you can get is useful. By the way Byron, our guide also fishes the PM and I would have loved to fished it also. If we get real serious I may give Chuck Scribner a call.

Tight Lines and Christmas greetings to all, gary <*))))><


I have gone Salmon/Steelhead fishing ~ 50 times. Your guide did not do you any justice. More than an occasional snag is all that should happen. I wonder were you sight fishing while wading or using a boat. Forget the boat and wade the P/M or Little Manistee. Anytime the hook goes over the fish you need just let the line drift past the fish. They snag very easy and if the fish does take the fly you need to abort. If you snag do not play the fish at all! Simply lower the pole tip right at the fish and let the tippet break.

ChemEAngler
08-31-2007, 02:46 PM
I lived in the Buffalo area for five years and fished the Tribs in that area. I fished the Catturagus, Chataqua and 18 Mile Creek that drained into Erie. I also fished the Niagara River, 18 Mile at Burt, NY along with the Salmon River near Pulaski, NY. If you need info on any those streams let me know.

Big Jim,
I will be in Niagara Falls for work a couple of days next month. Is that too early to get into any steelhead action? If not, do you recommend anywhere in that area?

Travis