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Summer Steelhead 2011-07-13 22:08:40 | Trouterspace
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Summer Steelhead

Posted by on July 13, 2011

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.

4 Responses to Summer Steelhead

  1. Trout MaGee

    Wow I wouldn’t even have known that you could catch steelies out of a creek in the middle of summer. That sounds like a sweet day of fishing. Nothing worse than getting taken into a log and the fish swims off. Beauty pic of that sweet steelhead. Good Stuff man. Tight Lines.

  2. a_rosati18

    Yeah it’s a unique situation to have fish averaging 10lbs in a small creek, best part…..NO GNATS!!

  3. Joe C

    My son and I were staying in New Buffalo this past week looking for some local fly fishing action, hoping for standard trout fare -but wary due to the oppressive heat – After viewing your video on youtube and reading this blog, we took the short drive down to one of the public access points at Trail Creek – my son hooked into a few fish before landing a beautiful 30″ chrome steelie – right under an interstate overpass! In the middle of summer! during a heat wave! – took quite a while to land him and an equally long time to revive for a safe release –
    Thanks for the inspiring video and blog –
    * there was way too much litter along this creek left by other fishermen – the DNR even supplies trash receptacles at the access sites – wtf!
    * our catch and release triumph was slightly bummed when on the way out when we saw two guys spin fishing with big treble hooks and a stringer of half a dozen steelhead.

    • rizmo12

      Well thanks for checking out the blog and congratulations on the fish!! If you have some pics I’d love to share with the other viewers. It is awesome to have summer steelhead in the midwest. It is also unfortunate that some people who enjoy the thrill of catching these beautiful fish care so little about their habitat. I practice catch and release but have no problem with harvesting, especially in places dependent on hatcheries, but I do think the limit should be 2 fish. Nobody needs 30 lbs of steelhead for the freezer every time they go fishing.

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