Great Lakes steelhead question

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

  1. Chris Bellows

    Chris Bellows Your Preferred WFF Poster

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    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.
     
  2. _WW_

    _WW_ Geriatric Skagit Swinger

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    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.
     
  3. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    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.
     
  4. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Funny how that happens when you introduce an invasive species.
     
  5. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    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.
     
  6. Drifter

    Drifter Active Member

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    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.
     
  7. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    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.
     
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  8. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    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
     
  9. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    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.
     
  10. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    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
     
  11. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    The NU and the Babine are the rivers I dream about.
     
  12. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    Because youve never set eyes on the rainforest rivers like Sol Duc or the Hoh.
     
  13. Brady Burmeister

    Brady Burmeister Active Member

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    Of course I'd probably jump at the chance for a week of fruitless swings in the S rivers too....
     
  14. Great Lakes Man

    Great Lakes Man New Member

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    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
     
  15. Alosa

    Alosa Active Member

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    That's a great picture. Now I'm really looking forward to my trip next month.