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Thread: Snowbird Creek

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Knoxville, TN
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    124

    Default Snowbird Creek

    I've heard reports of "steelhead" running out of Santhalea (excuse me spelling) Lake in the winter months. Are these actual steelhead or just rainbows making a spawning run from the lake? Either way do any of you guys have any tips on catching these large fish.

    Thank you for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Louisville, TN
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    592

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    Well a steelhead is genetically a rainbow. The term steelhead is used for rainbows that make it out to the ocean like a salmon (trout are classified salmonidae at the family level). Same term is applied to rainbows that make it into the Great Lakes to get big and return to a creek stream or river to reproduce. So the trout you are hearing about are just big rainbows that eat and live in a lake and reproduce in a tributary. I wouldn't call them steelhead but I wouldn't say it's wrong to call them that. My personal definition of a steelhead is a sea run rainbow but they use lakes the same way

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Knoxville, TN
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    elkhaircaddis,

    I've always thought that same thing. I never thought about the steelhead being out of the ocean.

    Thanks for the help!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    660

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    I know John Switow who is the authority on Snowbird refers to them as steelhead, and I think he told me that they are the same strain of rainbow as the Great Lakes fish.

    It's a pretty awesome fishery. I fished with John a few years ago, and caught a 15" fish that was fat and pretty, body much oversized compared to the head. Photo of that fish is somewhere back in the thread on Snowbird over in the "other states" section. Correction - it's in the Photography section in a thread called February One Fish Challenge in Feb '08. Lot of photos of bigger fish that John's caught in the "other states" section.

    steve
    Last edited by Stonefly; 11-17-2014 at 12:50 PM.
    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, unless they fly fish... with apologies to Thoreau

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    634

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by volfisher View Post
    I've heard reports of "steelhead" running out of Santhalea (excuse me spelling) Lake in the winter months. Are these actual steelhead or just rainbows making a spawning run from the lake? Either way do any of you guys have any tips on catching these large fish.

    Thank you for your help!
    It's been a number of years since I was able to get over to chase the lake run fish. Some are steelhead, they are chrome silver when fresh from the lake (almost no spots below the lateral line). Some are rainbows. My biggest was definitely a bow, super heavily spotted male. I have landed the chrome fish up to 22 inches. Lost one one morning that looked like it would have gone 27". It went cart-wheeling across the creek and threw my rattlesnake streamer! The steelhead are active in cold water (even in the 30's) and very aggressive when they first enter the stream. I plan to get back to it this winter, but will be making day trips rather than staying. They eat at daylight, if you can be there and know where to start. Look for riffles leading to deeper gliding runs or pools (sandy bottoms). They will hold there and move mostly at night (I think).... Let me know when you're going, if I can, I'll go with you and show you around. We had a cabin on the creek for 13 years, I used to know just about every rock in it...
    Tight lines,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    660

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    John, good to see you on here. Iíve been meaning to come over and bring a couple of friends, see if we can do any good. Iíll ck with you if it works out. Best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Fayetteville, NC
    Posts
    10

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    Calderwood is another fishery in that area that has "steelhead". I am not sure if they are actually steelhead or not but I have caught some large all silver trout from calderwood trolling and site casting at rising fish right at dark.

    Funny to see snowbird mentioned for lake run steelhead. I grew up in Graham county and if you mention snowbird to me the first thing into my mind is speckled, aka brook, trout.

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