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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well, there's nothing better than walking miles along the Lake Michigan shoreline, searching for no name creek mouths, and pursuing the elusive Great Lakes steelhead. Well, I am one of those beach bums, and I would give anything to hook a steelhead or salmonoid in the open water, rather than in the rivers. Why?? Well, here's my opinion....the fish are fresh, and very aggressive!! Also, there are little obstacles to compete with, and you have the opportunity to land more fish if done right. I live for this, and using a spey rod comes in handy as well. I don't get to do it that often since I reside in an area of Michigan that doesn't have the best surf fishing opportunities. Below are some images from a recent trip in Northern Michigan.




A fresh chrome hen taken off a redd right in the mouth of a creek. She attacked a blue/white clouser minnow. I watched her enter the creek the previous day and move in and out cruising the shoreline. She measure 31in and had a 15in girth.



The same fish, different view.



A dark male taken the previous day that was in a holding lie behind a redd under some brush in the creek mouth. I watched this male cruise the shorline the day before and refused our surfs candy flies. It took a smelt imitation out of aggression as it drifted over the redd. It measured 33in long and had a 16in girth.




Releasing the male.

Well, if you guys need any help with surf fishing or have questions/comments, please post.
 

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Sounds good you must be fishing in the UP, right ?

Glad to have another Michigan great lakes poster here, there are only a few of us so far.

Your right about the 365 days a year steelhead fishery, don't talk to much about it to much though.

Hooking them in the surf and unknown creeks is untouched fishery for the most part and I agree a great way to connect with them when they are fresh.

Tight lines
 

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Discussion Starter #4
yep.....

Yeah, it is great. Our fishery is world class, and just imagine what it would be like if salmonoids weren't planted here....

I reside in Southern Michigan, and I was speaking of the Lake Michigan Shoreline.....but the UP has alot of things to offer, and you can have a few rivers to yourself!
 

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Dansteelieman,

I am in Chicago lived in South Bend for 7 years so know southern michigan pretty well. I think I saw your posts over onthe steelhead site. I post their occassionally under "Supervisor" id.

Soon it will be skammy time !
 

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Great Lakes Spey

I have always wanted to try this with my spey rod and now I think I will. I too live near Lake Michigan and have seen a few surf casters throwing hardware and wondered why this wouldnt work with non weighted streamers a sink tip and a spey rod? Cant wait to give this a shot. I would think that you would also run across and ocasional brown trout in the early spring as well? :D
 

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I tried it with my spey rod this spring in Lake Michigan and am convinced it will work when the steelies and salmon are in close on their runs. Timing and weather conditions are the key. Early mornings, first light are best in my opinion.

Good luck, Dansteelieman looks like the expert on this to me.
 

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My one question:

Why are you fishing over redds? Seems like there has got to be a more sporting way to go after these fish. If fish are on thier redds than that aint catching em in the surf.



-sean
 

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Discussion Starter #9
thanks guys....

Thanks PMflyfisher for the words up. Although I started following up on this 3 years ago, I learned alot in that time and put my skills to test. I owe it to a few people.... Russ Madden, a surfs up steelhead enthusiast beach bum who lives for it and runs a business on it has taught me alot about how surf fishing can be better than river fishing. Another person is Matt Supinski, a good friend, guide, lodge owner and author who has also inspired me in so many ways I can't even list and I owe it to him as well. Mainly I owe it to myself as I kept persistant and walked several miles of beaches to be rewarded with one hookup, from time to time.

Sean, about the redds thing...the redds were right in the mouth of the creek and as the beach made a cut as the mouth was formed the fish had created a redd on the gravel present. You were actually fishing the surf but the fly would drift over their noses and they would strike it. Also, we fished out about 30ft, as well hitting the ruks and deeper channels.

ChromeFever, if you have any questions, just ask!

Surfs up!:D
 

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SURF

I fish regularly with dan, we consider ourselves to be beach bums. Casting 400 grain sink-tips to crusing salmonoids on the beaches of lake michigan. We fish unnamed creeks for fish crusing in and out. Dan happend to see fish crusing up the creek and actually got one to take a smelt imitation. It was fun watch these fish cruise in and out. I want to point one thing out. We did not fish the redds. These fish were farther upstream, and they were spawning. We left these fish alone. As you can tell the male was pretty beat up but he still took our offerings in the process of procreating. Dan and I love to fish for salmonoids, we don't mind answering any questions for you on surfs-up fishing.

email me [email protected]
 

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I would say the great lakes surf is an untapped fishery from what I can see. Never really see any one else there, but me when I get out there. Ahh.... great lakes great times !!!

Know what I mean guys /
 

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YUP

The Great Lakes do not get any better. The surf, the rivers, the creeks, the trout, the steelhead, the salmon,! AH what great rewards!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I agree...

Nice wording too, I like the catch....I mean the salmon, steelhead, and trout that is....:p :D

PMflyfisher, are you interetsed in joining a group dedicated to anglers in Southern Michigan? Check it out at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/flyfishinmichgan/ and subscribe if you want. We are hosting a skamania outting this summer on the west side of the state, maybe you would be interested?
 

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I will check it out, and I bet I know where you will be, maybe right next to me !

Do you guys ever use saltwater poppers in the surf to imitate wounded smelt etc ?? Thats an objective for this year.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do....

I do, I like to coat the white popper bodies with EZ Sparkle body in assorted colors to imitate smelt, alweives, etc.

Also, waker style bugs are always pattern to have.
 

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great lakes surf

I have been considering fishing the coastline as opposed to the crowded rivers. And of course that would be with a two hander, and shooting heads.
Has anyone ever considered using a float tube to wade or even a small personal raft for fishing near shore? Or is the danger of ending up in the middle of a lake to great?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
yes....

I sue both my tube and a small boat(sea nymph) to cruise the shoreline. If you have any questions let me know!
 

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Yes I can see this being possible but you need to be careful. If the wind comes up while you are out there Lake Michigan can waves can be wicked.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
uhhh huh!

Very wicked!:eyecrazy:
 

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Thats awsome.

I am definately going to try. I'll be doing it in erie not michigan but I know it can get just as wicked. At least with a tube or a non trailered raft you can launch from the beach and don't need to get back to a ramp.
How is the fishing done in the surf? I assume similar to surf fishing for stripers. Intermediate line, clousers, decievers, ect.. fished on the retrieve?
I have hooked a few using egg paterns under a float just beyond the breaking waves. I would like to get some of those jarring strikes while stripping a streamer.
 
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