Friday, October 2, 2009

How to fish for Winter Steelhead

Steelhead fishing in winter is never easy, not even during the good times. But when the mid-season doldrums set in around February, things can get downright tough. The big runs of hatchery steelhead that provided such good fishing in December and January have tapered off to a trickle in most rivers. And the large wild fish that will cause so much excitement at the end of the season haven't yet arrived. On a coast-wide average, there simply aren't nearly as many steelhead in our rivers and creeks during February as during the rest of the season.

The fish may be fewer and farther between, but not the fishermen. A steady stream of boat anglers casts to every inch of likely looking holding water, and the shores of popular rivers are crisscrossed by the muddy trails of bank anglers. The fish available in most streams get pounded hard on a daily basis. And it doesn't help when prolonged cold weather results in cool, clear water and spooky, sluggish steelhead.

Those are just a few of the reasons why many steelhead anglers refer to February as the "mid-season break" in fishing, and others call it the "dog days of winter." February is a excellent time of the year for fisherman to take advantage of discounted guided trips. The fishing is challenging, but still worth it!...not to mention that mother nature still retains her beauty for all seasons.

(Muskegon river during the Michigan winter months)

Things I would use to catch Steelhead in the winter would be: Hardware (Plugs, large spoons or Spinners). Flies like Black Stones, Hex Nymphs, Bead heads, and Egg flies. Other methods, such as spawn, Drifting wax worms are also used.

Rainbow Trout can be caught on small stick baits, Tiny Spinners, Wax Worms, and Fly Fishing with Nymphs.

Make sure to check the hatch charts for the river you are fishing to understand more about the bugs under the surface of the water, this will give you a base to purchase or tie the right bug. Always remember winter fishing must be done slow and patiently.

I encourage you to experience a guided fishing trip for steel head on the Muskegon River in Newaygo, Michigan, which is less than an hour from Grand Rapids, Mi. The Muskegon River boasts some of the absolute best Steelhead, Salmon, and Trout fishing in the Great Lakes Region! With expansive gravel bars, slow deep holes, runs and over fourteen miles of spawning gravel, it's no wonder the Mighty Muskegon is home to so many trout and game fish species.

Enjoy your day on the water.

Article provided by Mike Marsh: Marsh Ridge River Guide Service & Evolution Sport Fishing Charters and Sherri Russell: Hess Lake Rentals


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