GL Rivers need a drink.... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: GL Rivers need a drink....

11-18-2002, 03:42 PM
Some of our Great Lakes tribs need water, and soon. Many of our Great Lakes tribs are at the lowest levels they have been in a while, and many steelhead and lake run browns are staging off the rivermouths awaiting a rain to bring water levels up. On my local river the water was ultra clear, and although it has risen a little, we need a good amount of rain to bring up more fish. Some of the most fabled steelhead waters in my home state(PM, Muskegon, Au Sable, etc.) are so clear you can see down the majority of the deepest holes and runs.

Lets get some rain soon, otherwise fish will only trickle in and the run could be the worse it has been in years.:rolleyes:

11-18-2002, 03:46 PM
Thats correct, how much snow did you get over there this weekend we got up to 2 inches in Chicago, but it has melted already.

I remember one other fall it was like this and really they should just close the rivers to protect the fish like they do in PNW some times.

I fished two weeks ago in a major SW tributary lowest I have ever seen it and it has not gotten any better yet.

Really they should close the rivers in these types of drought situations, but I have never seen them do it in the great lakes since we hardly ever have these problems.

Pray for rain and tight lines .


12-11-2002, 10:25 PM
Why close them? Not too many fish run up with these low levels, plus most meat fisherman do not like working hard for the fish or braving the cold for that matter.

Only die hards now, the rest are at home watching football or sleeping on the couch.

12-11-2002, 10:38 PM
I would close them, like they do out west when they are really low, although your right only us die hards are out there now,and the bubbas are home drinking beer watching our sorry chicago sports teams.

Oops with the Bears so bad this year and this warm up we are now in, the beer will not freeze and they could be back with us. :whoa:

12-12-2002, 05:18 AM
Don't count on it, only 30 guys fished the NWUIS tourny Saturday.

Used to be 130+. The Steelhead fire wanes in NW Indiana. This year has been the lowest return year in history.

12-12-2002, 09:23 AM
Yes but why are the steelhead runs low, Michigan decreased chinook stockings in 1999, 2000. 2001, but neither Michigan nor Indiana have decreased lake michigan steelhead stockings.

I have the numbers from a Michigan DNR creel census officer I met in September. She did not have the answer either other than that fish stayed shallow in the lake this year giving the sport charters a better shot at them and she said they cleaned up on steelhead. Warm and low river temps were also the suspected cause for the low fall runs which continue to date.

So what is the problem, I don't think any one really knows from what I have heard to date in Michigan and Indiana.

PM Out

12-13-2002, 05:38 AM
Indiana no longer puts the same amount of Steel in the Cal and Trail as they used to. More fish are going into the Joe.

I also spoke to DNR people and their theory for low runs equates to scum line fishing. Fish get caught before they hit the river. Most of their creel census numbers come from the river rats not boaters. Plus they never count released fish, only dead ones on a stringer. Sad but true.

To close the Ind. streams because of low water would not fly, since it is a put and take fishery. We (NWIS when I belonged) tried to get them to close them during super hot weather, something they scoffed at.

12-13-2002, 07:37 AM
This lady who was a Michigan DNR Creel census officer was also going to lake michigan ports and checking the charter boats on lake michigan. I talked to her in late September. Thats where she said they were cleaning up this year on the steelhead since the fish stayed shallow for reasons they could not determine. Plus the scum line fishery which they appear to have now down to a science fishing is another reason for less steelhead in the rivers. :mad:

12-13-2002, 08:04 AM
Ever since they discovered scum line fishing our (lower Lake Mi.) returns have been low. Whereas the PM, Mo' and Man have had good returns. I am talking over a 7-8 year period not just this year. the bigger the picture the more story you get.

12-13-2002, 11:17 AM
Bet there are some people wondering what the scum line is ? I explained it last year in an earlier thread. If any one is interested do a search for it and the thread should come up. Thanks to DS who I met a couple of times up north fishing the rivers, this was discovered I think about ten years ago.

I hear they go out there and fly cast for them on the surface, not what I would want to do but suppose could be fun with a big skamania in the open lake.

PM Out

12-13-2002, 02:06 PM
Dick Swan used to take guys out put them in either a float tube or raft and let them have at it. I heard it was incredible.Came close to doing the weatherman got in the way.

12-13-2002, 04:26 PM
Yeah that was Dick, I had him going one time on the Big M, he started questioning me at the sports store about where I was steelhead fishing. This was 20 years ago. I had hit a few down from Tippy. I was just starting then and got lucky, he had to satisfy his dude clients with some steelies, sent him to a different spot.:devil: :D

I might be dumb but I am not stupid.:hehe:

12-13-2002, 08:02 PM
The old magicians trick of mis-direction. Ever wonder how many times it has been pulled on you?

We've all done it, but it like as not has been done to us.

West Mich
12-13-2002, 09:01 PM
The scum line has been a popular place to fish since at least the early/mid 70's. Every Charter Captain of that era knew what it was and when to fish it. It was commonly referred to by that name on VHF radio. I speak from firsthand experience.

Re: Our fall SH run, it's not as bad as some of you think. Keep in mind that the last 3-4 years have had some incredible fall runs - both in fish size and numbers. Everyone agrees we need water.

12-13-2002, 11:47 PM
Well if they have been fishing the scum line since the 70s that cannot be a major reason for the lower returns this year. I remember hearing about it in the mid 80s, I started fishing michigan steelhead in 1980.

Time for a trip north I can feel the urge again. Heck 40 degree temps in December some rain and snow melt, and all Hxxx could break lose.

I know exactly the run/pool I will be heading to for a xmas steelhead. It rarely fails me.

12-13-2002, 11:57 PM
Cahrter boys kept the scum line to themselves, took a few adventuresom fishermen to follow them and pick up on the action. Twenty to thirty articlea didn't help much either.