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Great Lakes Steelhead

Great Lakes Steelhead

General Info: Skamania summer steelhead were once transplanted from our beloved Columbia River Gorge (home of Big Y Fly) to the Great Lakes. A fantastic seasonal fishery was created in just a few years. Steelhead now pour into the tributaries of Great Lakes tributaries every fall. From Michigan to New York, big runs of steelhead can be found close to major metropolitan areas. The most famous area is the area called "Steelhead Alley" in Ohio. It runs along the shoreline of Lake Erie to the inlet from Lake Ontario. Another very popular spot is along the Salmon River near Pulaski, NY.
While anglers on the Pacific coast tend to swing smaller flies for steelhead, Great Lakes steelheaders most often use a nymphing setup. Swinging a fly is still fairly popular in the Great Lakes, but nymphing is the name of the game. Many anglers also fish a trout streamer either under an indicator or with a tight line. The peak time to go is in October, but fish start showing up in September and can be found as late as ice conditions will allow. There is also a spring season where fish that "wintered over" in the rivers can be found heading back towards the lake.
Preferred Gear
Rods: 7-8 wt. rods. Many prefer a 9'6" or 10' rod, but 9' rods are still the most popular
Favorites: Big Y Boss, TFO Pro III, Redington Vice, Orvis Clearwater
Reels: Large arbor, with solid drag system
Lines: Weight forward, floating. Specialty nymphing lines for steelhead are a real plus.
Favorites: Rio Elite Indicator, Scientific Anglers Mastery Anadro
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  • 154 in stock

    Agent Orange

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    Great color contrast excellent searching pattern.  Hot bead, rubber legs, flash wing case. Also useful for trout. Stoneflies are availabl...

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  • 105 in stock

    Ally Shrimp

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    An extremely popular UK and Ireland pattern.  Atlantic Salmon absolutely love this fly. Meant to imitate translucent shrimp, or crustacean like p...

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  • Out of stock

    Beadhead Lifter - Solitude

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    The Beadhead Lifter is a great little egg fly that is super fishy Used mostly as a nymph, but it swings well too Available in #6 A sweet pattern d...

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  • 24 in stock

    Beadhead R.L. Cotton Candy - Solitude

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    The BH RL Cotton Candy is a sweet little egg pattern. Great for nymphing for steelhead or egg eating trout. Pattern developed by Tom Larimer

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  • 539 in stock

    Big Ugly Stone

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    Name of the fly says it all... It's Big... It's Ugly... And it's a stone. Should fish well in any rivers stones are present, but especially well i...

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  • 207 in stock

    Bloody Muddler

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    A extremely popular steelhead fly across the US. From the upper tributaries of the Columbia to the Erie runs. Also know to be extremely effective ...

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  • 222 in stock

    Bow River Bugger

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    Created where big trout are the rule not the exception. Use where ever big trout lurk in the shadow ready to strike a meal! Part muddler, part b...

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  • 4 Low on stock

    Caballero

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    Originating in the Pacific Northwest for Steelhead. This older traditional styled pattern has been extremely successful for winter steelhead. Also...

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  • 61 in stock

    California Comet

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    Specialized in Northern California.  Now used up and down the west coast for steelies, sea run cutts and salmon.  Sinks quickly, attracts mightily.

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  • 614 in stock

    Candy Stone

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    Steelhead have an affinity for stones, beginning as a juvenile. Hot bead, rubber legs, flash wing case. Also useful for trout. Stoneflies are...

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  • 115 in stock

    Chicken Little - Fulling Mill

    $2.50
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    The Chicken Little is a classic East Coast Steelhead fly. Great on a heavily nymphing rig. Invented by Patrick Robinson of Steelhead Alley Outfi...

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  • 472 in stock

    Chilean Bugger-Beadhead

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    A more flashy version of the regular Woolly Bugger. A great attractor pattern, inciter pattern, prepare for vicious strikes, and large fish. Use f...

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  • 646 in stock

    Circus Caddis-Beadhead

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    One of the very best caddis impressions out there, if not the best. Use where ever fish eat caddis, or where ever caddis and fish co-habitat. A fa...

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  • 380 in stock

    Clouser Marabou Minnow

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    How do you improve on the Clouser Minnow??? Tie it with lifelike marabou, this pattern is like the Marabou Jigs that are so popular, but better. L...

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  • 476 in stock

    Clouser Minnow

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    The most asked for pattern in history. Rivals the Woolly Bugger as the most versatile pattern of all-time. Every game fish imaginable, smallmouth...

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