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Surfs up steelhead - Great Lakes style!

6596 Views 20 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  dansteelieman
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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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!
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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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?
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.

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

Very wicked!:eyecrazy:

What I do is I will float out and cast parallel to the waves coming in as my patterns ride the waves. This allows me to use spey casts as well, and allows you to glide your baits....

This technique is best done with epoxy minnows and surf candies. :D
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