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> > The last few days of winter are over... spring steelhead and browns get hot!

Pryal74 has attached these 12 pictures. The message is below.
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Pryal74March 14th, 2012, 2:06 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
These pictures are from the last few days of river fishing for lake-run Browns and Steelhead. On 3-13-2012, I almost had the holy grail of lake-run river fish, almost had all 3; rainbow, brown and brook trout. Landed 2 steelhead, a brown and lost a small coaster. So close! They are very rare in Michigan. The spring run fish are pushing their way up tribs right now. As the CFS climbs, the fishing gets better and better.
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
TroutnutMarch 14th, 2012, 5:15 am
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2569
Wow, nice!
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
OrnMarch 14th, 2012, 5:57 am

Posts: 29
Fantastic looking fish, good job! I envy you so much, can't go fishing until June and I can't wait!
CrepuscularMarch 14th, 2012, 9:05 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Nice fish!The brown in the third photo is a pig!
Jmd123March 14th, 2012, 9:51 am
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2470
Yee-HAW, James!! Nice fish as usual!!! Yes, Spring has sprung, and I'll be hitting the Au Sable later today. Not only that, but the ice is going to be gone soon and so it will be pond fishing in Clark's Marsh AND kayak fly rodding on local lakes soon!!!

Wow, I think you're probably the only person I have ever talked to that has hooked a coaster. I may have hooked one at Isle Royale in 2000, though it may have instead been a small lake trout.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Pryal74March 14th, 2012, 10:33 am
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
Thanks everyone. The coaster was quite small, around 14 inches but with a thick profile. When it rolled I saw the entire fish, vermiculations and the tell tale red fins. I was quite upset when it came off my stonefly. I have heard of a few people landing them on this Lake Michigan trib. Lake Superior has them in a greater abundance than Lake Mi, which makes it more like ghost hunting. Someday, maybe. Haha. Going back out tomorrow. The last Steelhead of the day was incredibly bright. He was RIGHT out of the big lake. I am guessing he wasn't even in the river one day. (second to last photo)

@ Orn... not until June? How come? And don't be jealous man. I saw that video and those photos. That's not only gorgeous, it's incredible!

@ Crepuscular, my brother landed him on my rod. Ten pound hen, she was all scarred up from being in the river so long.

@JMD, good luck man! Don't forget to try that hex pattern out and let us know how you did bud!
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing
OrnMarch 14th, 2012, 6:28 pm

Posts: 29
@ Orn... not until June? How come?

It's a combination of weather(winter here for another two months), being stuck in university on the wrong side of the country and a three week graduation trip to Asia in May. After that my life will be all about catching brown trout, arctic char and atlantic salmon almost every single day! :)
JesseMarch 15th, 2012, 8:08 am
Posts: 378
Orn my brother that sounds like a fantastic plan! I'm kind of heading on that same route; two more months of school, a 2 1/2 month long hike, then nothing but straight fishing...the GLORY DAYS are coming baby! Best of luck to you buddy, and some great photography.
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
OldredbarnMarch 15th, 2012, 2:33 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2600
Those are some healthy looking fish, brother...That 7th pic down is a perfect example as to why we call them "steel-heads"! It looks like it was formed in a foundary...Wonderful!


Jess...After I posted this I noticed your profile pic there above my post...I'm pretty sure that Brown of yours could dine on mine...:) Did you get a measuring tape on that Bad Boy? Ooops! Maybe its a female?! :)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
Jmd123March 15th, 2012, 2:46 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2470
James, I tossed egg patterns, egg-sucking leeches, and a few streamers around for four hours last night and didn't get a hit. However, the water was only 39-40 F, so with the continued warming trend they should be getting a bit more feisty over the next week or so. We just had plenty of rain so that should have brought some fresh fishies into the river. I needed to get my casting arm warmed up for the season anyways - this was my first fly-fishing outting of the year. Plus, getting used to casting with a heavy 8-foot sink-tip - a different casting rythym and quite a workout as well! I might hit it this evening. Any time of day work best for you? My universally best fishing time is typically the last hour of daylight.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
JesseMarch 16th, 2012, 10:41 am
Posts: 378
Spence, haha that 'girl' was almost 25inches. She was caught fishing an amazing cicada hatch in the southeast at the beginning of last summer. That hatch was truly prolific, and the only thing i can compare it to is the salmonfly hatch in the west. Just big, splashy bugs fluttering on the water, which as you know, makes for greeeaaaaaat fishing ha!
Most of us fish our whole lives..not knowing its not the fish that we are after.
Pryal74March 16th, 2012, 12:41 pm
Escanaba, MI

Posts: 168
@ Jonathon, I know the river you fish is deeper and close to the same size as areas I fish on mine. I used an indicator and 3 to 4 small split shots spread out over a 5 foot tippet. I use an egg pattern I tie up high and a stonefly size 10 on the dropper.

Had 8 fish on yesterday, I know at least 7 took the stone. I caught 3 dandies yesterday on them. I'll send you a pic of my set up so you get an idea of what I'm babbling about.
-James Pryal
Into The Wild Fly Fishing

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