We got up to Glen Arbor in Northern Michigan (just north of Traverse City) for the holidays with my family. There are many small creeks and tribs off of Lake Michigan in this area, and you know what that means in late December…. STEEL! I’ve been fishing this area ever since I can remember and even started fly fishing on one of these streams. I’ve heard all of the rumors and even seen some pictures of steelhead coming into these off-the-grid creeks, but have never been there this time of year. So we chased some steel amongst the vacation activities.
We fished hard for the first few days with not much to show for it other than a few coho’s. Then one night a big storm moved in off of the lake and it was a light switch was flipped… they moved up!
We started seeing steelhead kicking around and managed to land a couple and also lose a couple (including something that straightened a sz. 8 streamer hook…) These were the freshest and cleanest fish I have ever seen. Nothing was giant, but sight fishing wild steel on a 6wt in a stream with more wood than water is just fine with me.