For most people in the midwest the 4th of July means fireworks, bbq’s, and beers. For some local anglers this day reminds them that summer steelhead are beginning to make their way into Indiana and southern Michigan tributaries. While things vary year to year depending on weather and water temps, the beginning of July is usually when good numbers of skamania strain steelhead start their migration into creeks and rivers. A week ago my friend Chad called me up saying how he was staying in a cabin in Michigan near the Indiana border over the weekend, so we made some arrangements to meet up at a small creek in Indiana early on Tuesday to see if any steelhead had shown up yet. Chad had a short 2o minute drive from his cabin which put him on the creek about an hour earlier than I could get there coming from the northwest ‘burbs. When I arrived Chad was fishing near the bridge and said he had already hooked 2 fish. One he played for a minute and lasted through about 5 jumps before the fish broke off. The other only lasted a couple head shakes and was gone. Needless to say I was anxious to get a line in the water. We spent the next 3 hours drifting nymphs and eggs through deep pools. Just when we thought our luck had run out I was into a nice fish. After the first 30 seconds I thought I had control of the situation, then I see my fish jump about 6 feet away from where my line is still attached….. to a log. Typical in these small creeks. I stayed another hour after Chad had left and hooked 2 more fish. The first jumped 3 or 4 times, then wrapped around a tree, broke free of the tree, then seconds later the tippet broke. The second fish ran me up and down the creek, in and out of fallen trees without getting hung up, and I eventually scooped him into my net. After a quick photo I held the fish in the water to regain his strength and marveled at its beauty until it finally swam off.