Great Lakes steelhead question

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alosa, Nov 4, 2012.

  1. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,124
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,404 / 0
    The Eggs for the first Land locked Steelhead came from Washington. I think it was from the Skamania hatchery.So you can blame it all on Washington for giving away their fish.

    Now I might be wrong but the eggs did come from Washington.
  2. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,823
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +570 / 0
    Ok...let's try some visual aids.

    Pacific Coast Steelhead
    [IMG]

    Great Lakes Steelhead
    [IMG]
  3. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 1,902
    m-ville
    Ratings: +457 / 0
    Well one of you could be an alien, It happens in the best of familys
  4. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,160
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    WW for the win!!!!!!!!!
  5. Alosa Active Member

    Posts: 311
    Seattle
    Ratings: +137 / 1
    I knew I was running a risk of this debate when I asked for info about Great Lakes Steelhead. I get the sense that this deabate happens ALL the time. Since I started this thread I might as well add my two cents:

    Great Lakes steelhead may have come from anadromous ancestors, and they may exhibit a migratory pattern the broadly resembles anadromy, but because they do not transition a saltwater/freshwater interface, and are therefore not subject to the physiological stressors of such a transition, they are adfluvial, not anadromous. Whether or not they qualify as 'steelhead' is equivocal in my books.

    Now having said that, if WW's depiction is correct (wonderwoman vs. wonderblob) then perhaps my 6wt is underpowered afterall. Now I'm thinking about a 10 wt....
    stilly stalker likes this.
  6. Chris Bellows aka. topwater

    Posts: 1,509
    The Salt
    Ratings: +563 / 0
    i am not familiar with the ontario tribs, but the great lakes fishery can be a lot of fun. i spent 4 months one winter fishing the erie and ontario tribs and had a great time. never saw any wonderblob fish, and swung up a ton of nice fish. i have my opinion on whether they are truly steelhead, but it doesn't matter what we on the west coast say because they are going to continue to be called steelhead by those in the great lakes regardless.

    it is a different experience to know that if the river is fishable you are for certain gonna hook some fish on the swing... i'm never certain here so it was a nice change of pace for someone whose only experience had been in the pacific northwest.

    have fun and it might not be as cold as you think.
  7. _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

    Posts: 1,823
    Skagit River
    Ratings: +570 / 0
    All kidding aside...well most of it anyway...Nobody knows for sure where or exactly when the term 'Steelhead' originated. Northern California is the most likely suspect but proving where slang terms originate is tough.

    They are Rainbow Trout. Some head down river and some don't. Do they know what is down there when they take off? No. They just go. There was a time when people thought these monsters were in the river all the time and in late June when they stopped catching them the streams were considered "fished out" But science marches on and now we know what the real story is.

    Go to middle America and catch 'em. From what I understand their runs are doing better than ours. Maybe salt is part of the problem.
  8. Brady Burmeister Active Member

    Posts: 523
    OH
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    We do have the advantage of almost no commercial by-catch or tribal netting. I'd like to see better returns of Atlantics in the Ontario tribs, but the pacific salmon, steelhead, and browns have done so much better with their returns.
  9. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,539
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,537 / 0
    Funny how that happens when you introduce an invasive species.
  10. Brady Burmeister Active Member

    Posts: 523
    OH
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    It would be difficult to garner the enthusiasm from the fisherman out here to abandon the pacific fish in hopes of helping atlantics regain what was once theirs. Unlike some of you, who can still remember when your rivers were flush with native wild fish, the atlantics here have been gone so long that nobody is alive that fished for them when they were here in abundance.

    I'd love to see if grayling could be sucessfully reintroduced in the GL with our now zebra musseled clear water.
  11. Drifter Active Member

    Posts: 1,598
    troutdale,oregon
    Ratings: +609 / 2
    What impressed me the most when looking into the great lakes fish was the return rate. some 30% return rate compared to our - what 3% ?
    wouldn't it be nice to have that kind of return rate here in the pacific northwest. Yes I know why we don't have that kind of return rate just stating a fact that makes me think great lakes fisherman are "SPOILED" AND LOVING EVERY YEAR OF IT! You can call them what ever you want - I still respect that fishery a lot.

    And yes old man at first (as far as I know) they used the best steelhead species in the world (IMO) the skamania strain steelhead, the best fighting steel of them all. don't know what they use now.
  12. Brady Burmeister Active Member

    Posts: 523
    OH
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    Here in Ohio we stock Michigan's Little Manistee strain, which are taken from wild reproducing steelhead on the Little Manistee, which have primarily evolved from McLoud River steelhead, but also include some Campell Creek and Klamath River strains.
    stilly stalker likes this.
  13. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,160
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    I think Ill have to head out that way someday....The idea that I could get a "steelhead" and a toad brownie in the same run is just too good to pass up
  14. Brady Burmeister Active Member

    Posts: 523
    OH
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    And I need to head out there someday, to catch a real steelhead. But I don't think Puget Sound would be my first choice for a west coast steelhead trip.
  15. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,160
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    You gotta do either the North Umpqua in the summer/fall or the Olympic Peninsula in the spring. #S of fish are low in comparison to the Great Lakes tribs, but nothing fights like a fish thats been to the ocean and back
  16. Brady Burmeister Active Member

    Posts: 523
    OH
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    The NU and the Babine are the rivers I dream about.
  17. stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

    Posts: 1,160
    Carlsbad, CA
    Ratings: +81 / 0
    Because youve never set eyes on the rainforest rivers like Sol Duc or the Hoh.
  18. Brady Burmeister Active Member

    Posts: 523
    OH
    Ratings: +114 / 0
    Of course I'd probably jump at the chance for a week of fruitless swings in the S rivers too....
  19. Great Lakes Man New Member

    Posts: 10
    Burlington, NJ
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    I think it is a matter of opinion and bias if you want to call them Steelhead or not. The great lakes are actually classified as in land seas. Simliar to the Caspian and Aral, and lake Bycal in Russia. They are higher in mineral content than the tribs that dump into them. The point to the matter is that these Steelhead that are in the great lakes could find their way to Saltwater if they had a source. Similar to how the Atlantic Salmon used to run up the St. Lawerence into lake Ontario and spawn in the tribs prior to dams. A lot of them never made it back to salt and stay in Ontario for life. Same thought process with the King and Coho salmon popluations. I have fished for and caught steelhead in the Pac NW and the Great lakes. The only difference is what they feed on in the ocean and in the great lakes. It is different. Same difference with the Brown Trout. No reason to get ugly folks. They are all equally as fun to deliver that perfect presentation to. If you want a great river to fish. Try the Grand River in Southern Ontario. X-Mas Steel.JPG
  20. Alosa Active Member

    Posts: 311
    Seattle
    Ratings: +137 / 1
    That's a great picture. Now I'm really looking forward to my trip next month.