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I started fishing for fall steelhead and salmon in Michigan a couple of yrs ago I built a switch rod 2 yrs ago and a spey rod this yr. I fished the Betsie, Big Manistee and Platt with no steel head and only a few salmon. I fished mid October and wonder if I was too early or too late for fall steelhead. I started tying skunk patterns last yr and spey patterns this yr. What is the best time for steelhead in Michigan near Frankfort/ Traverse city?
 

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Releasing the wild ones
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On the great lakes steelhead will run from September through May depending on the river as far as flies go fish what ever you have confidence in if I had one go to fly for the Great lakes would be a Wooly Bugger in black size 4-6. You just gotta have faith when I switched from gear to the spey took me 2.5 months to hook my first fish. Are you running a sink tip or a straight floating line?

CM
 

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The best time of the year in Michigan is usually late october until April. You can find them earlier or later though. This years fall run seams to be a little sad though along the west Michigan rivers. Maybe due to not enough rain in October. There are fish but you have to work for them. The best part of the winter fishing is the solitude. You may have the river to your self but if you run into someone else they are usually the truly dedicated believers. Cold weather weeds out the weak. Good luck
 

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FISHIN' FREELANCER
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What is the best time for steelhead in Michigan near Frankfort/ Traverse city?
I once ran into a small push of fish third week of September in the Park (SBD) but that's the earliest ever. Storm brought them in. Weather conditions and stream flows dictate the larger percentage of runs entering the tribs. If possible, watch the weather events and flow charts then time your trips immediately following.

As a rule, the area you cite is later. November and December being best, sometimes a January thaw or rain will spike the flows and trickle a few more in.

Going by the calendar alone I start feeling strong pull to be on the water in mid October.. Halloween is my official 'kickoff' date.. black-n-orange combos fish well ;)
 

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Hey Bill, it's Matt, the guy from Facebook who offered to take you for a float. I deleted my FB account, too much garbage for me. Anyhow, I sent you a message in regards but never heard back from you. PM me here if you're still interested. Hope all's well.
 

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Matt,I never got your message but still interested in a float but snow up to my butt is a no go. I fished the Betsie with only 5 hook ups on salmon landed 1. the platt was flat and the big Man was a bust only caught a small brown. If the weather holds I could make a trip up but with the holidays and the coming January court dates it looks like spring will be time for my trip to Arkansas in March, Florida or Arkansas in May then look for a wk or 2 in October again. best way to catch me is email [email protected]
 

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I'll store your e mail and next fall maybe we can make it happen. You can always PM me here for my e mail as well. Hope you have a great holiday season.
Best
Matt
 

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michigan trip

probably the reason we never got together the campground had poor wifi and I never thought to go to town to find a hot spot. The big Manatee was a great place to try out my new spey rod I built. 13' 6" 8wt from Mud Hole Tackle. Bought a Hardy for my switch and just switched it to my spey yesterday. have a 525 gr skagit short on it. the 11' switch I used on the Betsie and Platt was loaded with a 475 switch line. I threw some intruders, eggs and some skunks but the small brown took the egg and the only salmon I landed was on the intruder. I had a couple hit the intruder hard but only landed 1. I used a floating line on the Betsie and Platt since they are shallow and a slow sink tip on the Big Man. looking forward to next fall and we must get together. I am sure I can learn a lot. tying flies for Arkansas in March. soft hackle, emergers ,sculpins, wooley buggers, bead head nymphs and those damn little midges for the Norfork. after tying steelhead flies the small stuff takes some getting used too again. Have a Merry xmas ,a Happy New Yr and may your lines be tight.

bill Hartlage aka flymanbill [email protected]
 
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