It's Time to Start Your Fishing Adventure
Steelhead is a name given to a migratory Rainbow Trout which live in the Great lakes and their tributaries. They are know fighters which makes them a popular species for sport fishing. They also provide an exciting river fishery in many Great Lakes tributary streams.
Lake Steelhead enter their spawning streams from late October to early May. Although many Steelhead enter the rivers in the Fall and overwinter there, spawning does not occur until spring. The Fall-run fish are typically the first to spawn, often in March, followed by the Spring run fish in April. Spawning takes place in a bed of fine gravel and sand, usually in a riffle above a pool. Steelhead don't necessarily die after spawning; they may live to reproduce several times. Most Rainbow Trout return home to spawn in the stream in which they were born or stocked.
Steelhead eggs hatch in four to seven weeks, depending on water temperature. A young Steelhead smolt needs to grow to approximately 8 to 11 inches before they migrate out to the big lake. In most streams, this takes two years. Most Great Lakes Steelhead reach sexual maturity after spending 2 to 3 years in the lake.
While adult Great Lakes Steelhead can reach 36 inches in length and up to 20 pounds in weight, the average adult size for Steelhead is 7 to 10 pounds. Life expectancy for Great Lakes Steelhead is four to six years.
The state record Rainbow Trout (A.K.A. Steelhead) weighed in at 26.5 pounds and was 39.5 inches long and was caught in 1975.
There are over 150 species of fish in Michigan, but for most, King Salmon is the ultimate prize. They can be found in the Great Lakes year round and travel to the tributaries around their 4th year of life. They then begin their migration up their natal river to spawn and then die.
There are 4 Salmon species in the Great Lakes and associated tributaries. They include:
*Chinook (A.K.A. King Salmon), which is the largest of the Salmon and can grow to 30 pounds or more and have been in the Great Lakes for more than 50 years. The state record King Salmon weighed in at 46.06 pounds and was 43.5 inches long and was caught in 1978. In 2019 41 to 42 pound Kings were recorded.
*Coho (A.K.A. Silver Salmon), They are a pretty dark red color and love to bite flies. Will peak around 20 pounds and were introduced to tributaries of the Great Lakes in 1966. The state record Coho weighed in at 30.56 pounds and was 40 inches long and was caught in 1976.
*Pink (A.K.A. Humpies), They grow a hump back which helps identify them and have a pink hue. They are the smallest, were introduced into Lake Superior in 1956 and have since extended their range to all the great lakes. The state record Pink weighed in at 8.56 pounds and was 28 inches long and was caught in 1987.
*Atlantic, were introduced to the Great Lakes in 1972. They Recently have been making a comeback thanks to stocking by the Michigan DNR. The state record Atlantic weighed in at 32.62 pounds and was 41 inches long and was caught in 1981.
There are three trout species most found in the surrounding river systems.
*Brown Trout are hard to identify, Lake-run Browns are predominately silver in color and the spots are often obscured while river Browns display more vivid spots and a blue hue behind their eye. The average lake run Brown weighs 8 pounds but can grow much larger. The average river Brown weighs 1 to 2 pounds but can grow much larger.
Brown Trout are normally more cooperative on rainy or overcast days. They will take all manner of live bait as well as spinners or artificial minnows and flies. Brown Trout are a favorite of fly fishermen. Many will fish the hatches that occur during the day. These include Caddis flies, Stone flies, and many May flies. The biggest Browns are persued just before or after dark on Grey Drakes, Hexagenia, and mouse patterns.
The State record Brown Trout weighed in at 41.45 pounds and was 43 inches long and was caught in 2009.
*Rainbow Trout came to Michigan when eggs were imported from California in 1876. They were first stocked in the Au Sable River and then introduced to Lake Michigan in 1880. They can now be found in all corners of the state.
Some of Michigan's Best known trout streams are the Pere Marquette and the Manistee.
Pike and Smallmouth Bass
*Pike are commonly associated with weedy shallows on inland waters. In the rivers, they are often found around log jams or fallen timber close to the banks. In the Great Lakes regions, they spawn in the shallows in April or May. As a result of their eating habits, young Pike grow rapidly in both length and weight. Females become sexually mature at age three or four years, and males at two to three years. Beyond sexual maturity, pike continue to gain weight, although more slowly. Northern pike have an average life span of six to eight years, with some living as long as 15 years of age.
We commonly fish for Pike May through August with lures on spinning rods and big streamers on fly rods.
The state record Pike weighed in at 39 pounds and was 51.5 inches long and was caught in 1961.
*Smallmouth Bass are among Americas top game fish. They are know for their spirited fight making them an enjoyable catch. Michigan Great Lakes and connecting tributaries have excellent Smallmouth populations.
Smallmouth Bass mature at age 3 or 4 and live to be anywhere from 10 to 12 years old. They can range from 8" to 15" long and weigh less then 3 pounds on average. Bigger Smallmouth can exceed 15 to 22 inches.
We commonly fish for Smallmouth May through August with top water lures on spinning rods and big streamers and poppers on fly rods. The state record Smallmouth Bass weighed in at 9.98 pounds and was caught in 2016.
Why a Fishing Adventure with us?
We will provide you a safe, fun, educational experience. You will get more knowledge in a full day of fishing then you could get fishing on your own. We will show you the most advanced techniques to cast a fly or a lure to make a fish bite. We will strive to not only meet your expectations but to exceed them.
What You Get
You wont just get tips but will be educated. Fishing guides are on the river almost daily. We know where the fish are and what they are attracted to. We will bring you to the prime fishing locations and provide the most advanced attention.