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garelval2

I know this forums about bass fishing, but lets talk steelhead

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I have always been interested hooking into one of those awesome fish, but I have no idea what it's like.
I live in Michigan, close-ish to the grand river that runs through Grand Rapids.

Where do I try fishing for steelhead, or how far do they go upstream?
What water temp triggers the run, when should I look for it? 

I've caught trout before, and understand they are skittish of heavy line. What kind of (Spinning) tackle does one use? 

What should I expect,

Lots of anglers in a small area?

Hours of casting without a fish? I Understand catching Muskie takes many, many hours if not days, is steelhead the same?


And I forgot, I frequently roam around the Kalamazoo river, not sure if that has any good runs.

 

Thanks for your time!

garelval

 

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That's what "Other Species" category is for.

 

You should be able to find out where your DNR has planted fingerlings.  Search their website to find out where.  Fish there.  They will go about as far as they can go.  It depends on each individual tributary. The steelhead run upstream all winter, and there are "summer run" races, like Skamania. Water temps around 40°, most winter steelies will move from holes and onto gravel redds.  Skamania prefer warmer temps, around 55°.  I typically use a 10-13' centrepin rod and reel.  You can use spinning too, but drift fishing, the pin is easier.  There's lots of good stuff on YouTube that shows how rig and fish a float/drift rig with a centrepin.  I generally run an 8-10# main and shot line, and a 4-8# fluoro leader.  I like Raven brand hooks, floats, and other terminal tackle.  They have some great information on shot patterns on their site.  I've had days where I never saw a single fish, and other days catching a dozen or more before lunch.  It depends.  Tributary environments are very dynamic.

 

Good Luck!

 

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1 hour ago, garelval2 said:

I have always been interested hooking into one of those awesome fish, but I have no idea what it's like.
I live in Michigan, close-ish to the grand river that runs through Grand Rapids.

Where do I try fishing for steelhead, or how far do they go upstream?
What water temp triggers the run, when should I look for it? 

I've caught trout before, and understand they are skittish of heavy line. What kind of (Spinning) tackle does one use? 

What should I expect,

Lots of anglers in a small area?

Hours of casting without a fish? I Understand catching Muskie takes many, many hours if not days, is steelhead the same?

 

Thanks for your time!

garelval

 

Where 'close-ish' to the Grand River are you? I'm northeast of Grand Rapids. I'm not a steelhead guy but I've gone and I know areas where they roam. 

 

 

BTW welcome to Bassresource. It seems that the Michigan population has doubled on here in the past few months. 

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12 minutes ago, 12poundbass said:

Where 'close-ish' to the Grand River are you? I'm northeast of Grand Rapids. I'm not a steelhead guy but I've gone and I know areas where they roam. 

 

 

BTW welcome to Bassresource. It seems that the Michigan population has doubled on here in the past few months. 

About 25 minutes south, Wayland. 
I hope to have more Michiganders writing on this forum, tips and tricks from northerners :) Not just southern input. 

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15 minutes ago, garelval2 said:

I hope to have more Michiganders writing on this forum, tips and tricks from northerners :) Not just southern input. 

There's a TON of Great Lakes bass anglers on this site, and plenty more from northern states.  Heck, the site's owner is from Washington State! ;)

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So, I see on the DNR's website they stocked a bunch of fish in a very small river/creek near my house. Will those trout migrate down river, or stay year round in that tiny river?

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What does that creek drain into.  It's highly unlikely that the creek stays cool enough for them, and they'll go to the lake and become pelagic (open water) fish for years, until they around four and come back upstream to spawn.

 

The fish I posted were all caught out of creeks, with the exception of the last one, which was caught near the mouth of the creek just before a run.  All the creeks run into Lake Ontario, where the fish spend most of their lives.

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Sorry Wayland is too far south for my knowledge. Rockford has the Rogue River which I've heard is good and see people fishing it all the time. I've fished the Grand in Ionia but it's elbow to elbow people. Piere Marquette is where it's at if you want to travel north. 

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There's some solid runs on the Grand and Kalmazoo practically all year.  I'd try and contact some of the local bait shops and see if they can give you some pointers.  This time of year spawn and beads seems to do best under a float drifting though holes or bends in the rivers.  The fall is my favorite time to target steelhead because they are flat out aggressive.  This past fall I caught some on just about everything - 2/5 oz Little Cleo spoon, 1 oz custom purple spinner, Pre-Rap Mag Wart, Pre-Rap Short Wart, spawn, just about anything that will attract their attention and anger them works well.  A steelhead plug strike is second to none.  Best of luck.  Once you catch one you'll be addicted for life.

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16 hours ago, UPSmallie said:

A steelhead plug strike is second to none.

That is no joke.  Unfortunately, rules in NY make it very restricted to fish them in the tribs up here, so we're generally limited to brief windows when fish can be caught in the big lake from shore, or casting shallow from a boat.

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Dang!  That stinks.  I see people doing well on the Erie tribs and some on the Ontario but yeah most likely during those times you are talking about.  In Michigan the restrictions are pretty loose.  As long as your not fishing a designated trout stream I'm pretty sure they're open year-round in the rivers.  Fun fish if you can find them.

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Crazy Confusing.  Scroll Down to Lake O. Trib Rules.

 

http://www.eregulations.com/newyork/fishing/great-lakes-and-tributary-regulations/

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