Sunday, June 26, 2011

4 Years In The Making

Although I don't live in the pacific northwest, I have a Steelhead obsession.  I don't get to chase "real" anadromous species, but do live a couple hours from Gitchigumi where the fish ascend the streams in the same fashion as their western relatives.  "Loopers" have been engineered for the table and the sleek Steelhead is there for the unforgettable fights.
Their size, ferosity, and sheer speed is all it takes to get someone hooked for life.

Dreary skies, cold water, and chiseled boulder cliffs surround the relm of the fabled Great Lakes Steel. Spring runoff triggers "the run" and water temperatures climbing near 40 degrees initiates the first spawners to enter these tributaries.  Early on its good to use large gaudy egg patterns.  In the muddy early run I like to throw NSP's (North Shore Prospecters).  They combine all the great colors into one babine-esque fly with a milt trailer.                         
Later on in the seasonal progression of the Steel smaller, single egg patterns and even some nymphs and streamers will produce a few.

Size 10/12 Pom Pom Eggs
The beauty is again what its all about.  Hours of standing knee deep in freezing water may only afford you a fish or two, but with scenes like these who could complain?
If you time it right and stay focused on the mission you will have sweet memories for years to come.  I started Steelheading Lake Superior 4 years ago and can't get it out of my mind.  Call it obsession, call it a posession; I call it "The Calling".

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