Thursday, April 28, 2011
STEELHEADING ON THE PM
One of the most exciting fishing adventures that Michigan offers is the annual "steelhead run". Actually, steelhead are lake rainbow trout that migrate up the rivers from the great lakes to spawn each spring. The female or hen creates a "redd" in the gravel by fanning her tail to lay her eggs. The males congregate around the redd awaiting the opportunity to fertilize them. Older bigger males are continually warding off the younger smaller ones. One of my goood friends, Jac Ford, is a early retiree from the GM executive ranks and now guides fishing trips in his second life. Jac called last weekend to say he had a cancellation and a free day and asked if I'd like to fish. I told Jac I would but had a client who would love to try it too and asked if I could bring him along. We met for breakfast in Baldwin and were on the river by 9:00 AM in a driving rain. One of the most common techniques is to slowly float the river looking for redds and then wade back upstream to a position to drift weighted egg sac flies to them. In the picture below, Jac and Joe wade back upstream to a large redd we had just passed over. Below, Joe is listening to instructions from Jac while Jac loads another rod. It was a successful day. We managed to land 6 fish between 24 and 36 inches. Each gave us an exciting fight with many jumps and leaps from the water. More importantly, it was a great day on the water with good friends.