View Full Version : Steelhead?

Kentucky Kid
08-31-2007, 08:05 AM
Me my brother and my dad all want to catch some steelhead this winter. We live in louisville kentucky and the biggest rods we have are 8'6'' 5wts. Would we absolutely have to have a bigger rod? Where is the closest place we can go and still catch fish?

08-31-2007, 02:11 PM
Kid - There are 7 or 8 rivers and several streams all around Cleveland that have great Steelhead fishing. Below are 3 sites to check out. The 3rd one is my local fly shop here in Columbus, but they are a great Steelie source and do guided trips. Although it would be possible to handle a Steelie with a 5 wt., it wouldn't be easy. Most of the time, the first run is like hooking a passing semi. You may hang on, but you ain't about to stop it. Any fish over 8 lbs. will be a hassle on a 5 wt. especially at only 8'6". My suggestion would be at least a 9' 7wt and an 8 wt. would be even better. Mad River's site also has a Steelhead Report, so you'll want to keep an eye out for when the run starts. It will go from Sept. to April. Try it if you want another addiction.




09-03-2007, 10:13 PM
Salmon River nera Pulaski NY is about 12 hours from you. I hear the Kings are showing up. I am not big on salmon fishing but have friends and relatives that are. From my experience and their stories you definitely need to shelve the 5wt and get up to an 8. Never fished Ohio but have on the St Joe IN/MI line. Steelhead should be moving soon there as well. Can check on a web site put up by Chad Betts out of MI. Keeps updated pretty good from what I remember.

09-07-2007, 03:31 PM
The St Joseph in Northern Indiana is an excellent Steelhead fishery!
They have a website; www.rippleguideservice.com though it isn't working at the moment. Maybe they are updating. Try it later. It flows into Southbend IN, gets a huge steelhead run. You will need at least a 6 wt though, I would say with a 150 yards of backing. An 8 wt with at least 150 yards of backing would be preferable. From what I know the St. Joe is hard to wade (nearly impossible) The Dowagiac is a trib and wadeable I think. It is in Southern Michigan.
Dustan Harley owns Ripple Guides, he is very knowledgeable. Shoot him an email if you cant get the site to come up later.
Also the Muskegon is another option though 3 hours further. I have fished it a couple of times and had a ball with the kings. You may want to try them first, they are more of a sure thing. They aren't as fast as a steelhead, but incredibly powerful, they leap and they run. I have several times seen the bottom of the spool on 230 yards of backing (while the drag was tight enough to pluck!) They are a hoot! http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/Muskegonslumminitforlunch.jpg, http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKingDuffeyandHansendoublehe.jpg, http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m149/jswitow/MuskegonKing.jpg
These are pictures from our first trip to the Muskegon. The guides question about fishing was; "Do you want to fish for Steelhead or do you want to catch Kings?" Kings in October a fun trip!

09-08-2007, 09:32 PM
You had better have a warranty on that 5 wt. Check out this site and pick your state of interest and ask some questions Steelheadsite.com. I realize some of these guys are talking about Salmon and you would really be out gunned by these fish with a 5 wt. As to the backing issue - a lot of the rivers that are wadable will have so many bends in them that if you are more than 50 yards into your backing the fish is already around the next river bend.

09-10-2007, 12:16 PM
Now ya'll have done gone and got my interest up in heading North. I had absolutely no intentions of leaving this fine state until ya'll had to go posting pics of kings and chromers. I can just hear the wife now.... gone for a week? I don't .....think so! A new fly rod? and a reel? This could be the end of the internet for me!

09-26-2007, 11:07 PM
You're in Nashville aren't you? From Louisville to the Saint Joe is about 4 hours, 6 for you? Not bad huh? Now if the Joe is slow, the Muskegon is another three. We have made the trip leaving on a Thursday, fishing Friday and Saturday, getting a late start Saturday and returning home Sunday. Well worth the trip (Muskegon). The first day I had landed 4 or 5 fish by lunch and lost 4 or 5 times that many! For Kings an 8 wt worked, but a 10 wt would have been good, alot of them were so strong they just left.
Hows the Caney looking?

09-26-2007, 11:22 PM
A little more info on your rod issue - 3 of my friends just fished the Little Manistee last weekend. 2 of them broke brand new poles. 1 broke a 8wt 4pc G Loomis, the other broke a 8wt 4pc Sage. Both rods were replaced with 2 pc rods because their rods failed at the ferrules. Feel free to PM me if want a fishing report.

09-27-2007, 12:01 AM
Hey guys, Private Messages on this site have been disabled by LRO:frown:
Jswitow: Yeah I'm an hour East of Nashville, which puts me right on the Caney, waist deep in 15 min or less. Caney is tough for wading with 1500 cfs around the clock 24/7. It's fishing pretty good from a canoe or yak with all the usual stuff (pheasant tails and Midges) but you gotta get em down deep.:biggrin: There's a group from Nashville on the Pere Marquette right now but they booked way in advance and I missed out. Baldwin, MI is about 710 miles or 10 hrs for me, but hey I'm game.

LROjunky: I'll take a fishing report anytime. I have met some good people online that help with the updates on the Pere Marquette and the Muskegon, one or two even offered to show me around. I hear the "flys only" water is heating up right now!

E-mail: curtismartin "AT" realtracs.com NOTE:replace"AT" with @

10-15-2007, 11:57 PM
john, you shouldn't have posted those pics, man. Ever since catching some twenty inch browns this summer, I've been ruined. after coming back to the smokies and catching some warpaint shiners, and being happy about it, I thought I was finally over my big fish obsession. those pics just distorted my whole sense of reality.

10-24-2007, 02:21 PM
There is nothing subtle about those kings! Well maybe the take, after that its Katie bar the doors!
Tight lines,