GL Steelhead Nomads/Junkies [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: GL Steelhead Nomads/Junkies

12-11-2002, 07:04 AM
Who are the great lakes steelhead year round nomads/addicts who are always fishing our steelhead ?

It is their passion ,there must be some twenty year olds or retired people.

Exclude all guides from this since they are on the rivers all year doing it for profit in addition to their passion for the sport.

I have heard there are some in the PNW but am interested in the great lakes.

I may have met one this spring on the PM, fished with him a couple of days. Cannot remember his name but I know what he drove. However he only fished the PM, Big M, and Little M so he would not probably fit the steelhead nomad/addict description but maybe.

12-11-2002, 08:23 AM

I wouldn't quite consider myself a nomad but I definitely have the itch. I am lucky to have a job with a flexible schedule which allows me to be on the river on the all-important weekdays when the crowds aren't around. Ontario doesn't have nearly the Skamania runs that you guys get and I only live a couple hours from Chatham which keeps me around here in the summer time (not neccessarily a bad thing :hehe: )

I've been reading "Steel Dreams" lately though which has got me thinking about heading out your way this spring to see what the hard-fighting spring and summer runs are all about. I got my 6wt back from Sage yesterday and am officially armed and dangerous.

Just keeping an eye on the weather for that first January thaw...


12-11-2002, 08:39 AM
I try to get out for 4-5 hours, or until my feet freeze, every saturday or sunday. I go to the same stretch on the same river, and hardly ever see any fish unless the chinook are running. I should almost call it 'casting practice' instead of fishing :)


12-11-2002, 09:12 AM
Big Dave,

I am keeping my eye on that first big thaw to I know right where to go for big boys. Let me know when you may be heading out here and perhaps I can be your "indian guide" as Fred Evans calls it on the Rogue in Oregon. Week days are the key, a matter of fact 90% of my fishing for steelhead and salmon on done on those days

A steelhead addict/nomad to me are the full time guys probably retired fellows. I don't know of any but I may be one some day soon. Its either that or the golf course full time. Probably a mixture of both.

Yes Steelhead dreams opened my eyes to all of the GL areas I have yet to fish. Thinking of heading to Superior country this spring. If the fishing is off, the scenery is always spectacular been up there once.


Freezing feet are a given for GL steelheading. I guess I have an advantage being a big former downhill and cross country skier and spending 4 years in cold weather USAF flight lines (Iceland, etc) prepared my feet for GL winter steelheading cold feet syndrome. Hint: Smartwool socks with liners, the best underwear you can afford and boot foot breatheable or neopreme waders. I have not gone back to boot foot yet since I really like the moveability of stocking foot waders, I do a lot of walking to locate steelhead where I fish. I get out and start walking when I start to get real cold perhaps after 2 hours in a cold river.

12-11-2002, 02:46 PM
I am on the river whenever I can...or in the surf of second home!:D Cold feet are a problem at times, but with liner socks and wool layered over I am usually fit for the day.

I love winter fishing. Usually the water warms up on sunny afternoons and steelhead will hold in flats behind pools/holes and become active. Also, many hatches occur and winter stones such as allocanpia and tainytoperyx larvae begin to drift. ANother great bonus is I can sleep in and when I get to the river, I am usually alone unless I am with a few of my friends.:p

Ahhh...nomad, I don't know if I would say I am that....I like to say I am more of a beachbum....

Look for me where the waves crash!:D

12-11-2002, 04:05 PM
So no one has come up with a fulltime non guide GL steelhead Nomad/Junky yet?

There must be some one out there in the GLs, perhaps who is an avid steelheader who is wealthy or hit the state lottery and could retire early, just fish 7x24 for the little buggers.


Yes sleeping in is nice. I learned years ago that you do not have to be on the river at the crack of dawn in the winter to catch them. I have done good around mid day when the water just starts warming up like 11 or 12. Many of the other guys leave them but not me.

West Mich
12-12-2002, 09:18 AM
Addict or Junkie are terms I wouldn't embrace even if I were close to the definition. I'm blessed enough to fish more often than most folks you're likely to meet but I have priorities in life and steelhead are more than a few notches down that list.

Re: Guides - they often envy fishermen while they're stuck in their boats. Sometimes they're booked solid and can't fish for 30 days straight while all the time watching clients catch fish. There's nothing nicer than when they get a day off and call you to go fishing.

Forget the January thaw. While fishing's not great right now, it's not bad either. BTW - Don't believe everything you read in books about our fishery here. Magazines either. You might be quite dissapointed.

12-12-2002, 09:34 AM
Still no fulltime non guide GL steelhead addicts/junkies yet ?

I don't believe anything FULLY I read on the internet or in paper print any more on fishing or other subjects. To much marketing and money making hype these days on all subjects.

A good fly fisher should be able to touch a fish even with out current poor conditions, and besides it is a great time to be out on a beautful winter steelhead stream ALONE in solitude with nature. Thats the most important thing to me after all these years.

I can feel a steelie trip incubating in my blood right now! :D

12-13-2002, 05:33 AM
He would not be on the internet reading this stuff, he would be fishing.

Your audience is where we all want to be. Sorry........

12-13-2002, 07:32 AM
No all of them are now guides making a profit off of the GL fisheries with their own internet sites.

But there must be some retired GL steelhead fly fishers who are in this category if not I have something to look forward to.

Bet there still are in the PNW, lets see Ed Ward, Jerry Wintle were a few names I remember from past Steelhead publication stories in the 90s.

OK, PNW colleagues who are the ones out there at this time ?

12-13-2002, 08:02 AM
Not too many retired guys (in their 60's and above) have time for computers. Any guys that do use them had access while still in workforce. A true "Bum" would not want to own a computer, he would rather have a new Sage. Let alone spend time on one.

Guides are the furtherest thing from Steelhead bums (GL ones) they make their money off the river. Kind of like how a man makes money off another person doing a service for them.

The Midwest Salmoniod fishing is way too new to produce a true PNW bum. Give us a few hundred years. We are all too busy working as your life as mine is devoted to bringing home the cabbage.

12-13-2002, 11:32 AM

I think you and I are candidates for this, but I may have to share between steelhead and golf.

PM Out

12-13-2002, 03:13 PM
Don't think I'd want to be a true bum (I like the comforts a good job affords me) would settle for more vacay toime, perhaps 3 months out of the year would do nicely.

12-13-2002, 04:34 PM
Tell the guides that....they will disagree. My bet is that the guides are the true bums. Sometimes it requires alot of knowledge and being on the river to hook clients into fish daily. Also, one example is Rick Kustich, Matt Supinski, etc...they know so much about it steelheading and doing it so long they can write books and traveled throughout the region!

They are the true bums in my mind...the wealth of knowledge is incredible!:D

12-13-2002, 06:24 PM
Most guides prostitute the rivers we love.

Rick is a champ very knowledgeable and concerned about our fish. I will not comment on the other guy in a public forum. You paint your own picture.

12-13-2002, 11:55 PM
A guide does not meet the criteria. However I respect their passion for fly fishing steelhead and knowledge which has become their profession of choice. There are probably a couple of hundred river guides in GL country I suspect.

Guess there are none that meet the criteria.

Time to move on to a new subject.

PM Out

12-14-2002, 07:29 AM
I agree time to move on, this horse was beaten to death.

12-14-2002, 09:40 AM
Well maybe Dansteeliemen is a hope for us. :D

I guess the best we may have are weekend warrior steelhead addicts in GL country.

PM Out

12-14-2002, 11:24 AM
he's too young, he has yet to create any sizable bills. That is the true test, when he hits 39 has no mortgage car payment and a trunk full of sages plus no maritial obligations etc. He will have reached bum status.

Guess that is something for him to shoot for.

12-14-2002, 12:19 PM
Yeah, plus he has a lot of "lady fish" to chase first like we did during those late teen and early 20 years. I did not get married until I was 29. The fly fishing poles were used mainly in spring and summer when I could sneak away to the NY Catskills, Beaverkill, Delaware, Willowemuc, etc.. for a day or two throwing drys and nymphs. ZMore fishing time though when I was in between lady friends. :hehe:

12-14-2002, 01:08 PM
Didn't get married until I was 36, glad i waited. Got to sample many ladys and found a keeper.

12-14-2002, 01:27 PM
Been with my chicago lady for 26 years in May 2003, doesn't fish but understands why I do. :D

12-14-2002, 05:14 PM
I find time for both ladies and fishing. What I need in a future wife is one who flyfishes...but on the other hand that can be bad, so maybe one who hates it but would let me go whenever would be more desirable.

I firgure that maybe a good job will support my habit, that is why I have learned to work hard and invest. I play the market already, its a gamble...but if you know what to look for in the business can be successful.

I really don't want to be a guide...I would rather open my own outfitters and then manage that on the side while hiring guides and fish when I could. That is my long term goal. I want it to be in upstate Michigan or along the Wisconisin/Minnesota north shore. I love my beloved state so maybe I could open it in the UP and retire up there. Still I would love to move to Florida in the winter to chase bones and tarpon, and then fish Alaska in the summer! :hehe:

I am not sure what is ahead of me, just trying to get my name out there!:D

12-14-2002, 07:07 PM
Be careful when you wed, very careful.

Once kids hit the scene it all changes if not the lawyers will do that for you.

12-20-2002, 06:33 PM
Might fit your discription on the Idaho, Washington, Oregon area but not your direction, until now. My daughter is moving to the Detroit area, and I will be looking for someone to hook up with.... Don't have a clue where to go in the GL area. But have watched your reports for quite some time now. Won't be able to get that way till spring time, but that sounds like the time to be there!
Debate time now. I have been invited to the Washington area for spring runs, but daughter seems to think I need to help her move....????:chuckle: Well anyway if you get a chance, drop me a reply!

12-20-2002, 10:35 PM
I can help and we could fish....but about your daughter, I might be younger than you think!:D

12-21-2002, 03:00 PM

Forget about it, never ever date a fishing partners daughter.

I sense you need some mentoring my friend.

12-21-2002, 05:14 PM
Sorry Guys, forgot to mention, she is married and has two rugrats already. Husband just got a Position in Detroit as an Engineer at one of the facilities. Autoliv.... But that just gives me a place to stay and a reason to come out your way! Have heard so much about it. Juro seems to like it. So first chance I get, I'm headed your way!:D

12-22-2002, 09:19 AM

Let us know when you are coming out and we will point you in the right direction. Spring is a good time but fall is probably best since everything is in the rivers then steelies, chinook, browns, lakers, etc.

LP steelhead runs are best in March/April, some rivers into May are still decent

UP runs go into June.

Bring your long underwear and winter steelheading dress since even in May it can still be cold out here on the rivers.

PM Out

12-22-2002, 10:00 AM
Be prepared to drive any where decent, don't recall too many decent Steelhead streams near Detroit.

We can hook you up no problem.

12-22-2002, 05:32 PM
I think detroiters head to Ontario tribs and Ohio.

Like my xmas avatar ? :cool: :cool:

PM Out

12-22-2002, 08:12 PM
If he heads that way he would not be able to utilize our vast knowledge of streams we fish. Plus we would miss a chance to fish with him.

12-22-2002, 08:42 PM
Notice that ever since Lipripper put up that picture of the wild PM 16 lb buck last week we have been getting more interest in GLs steelheading by our PNW colleagues ?

Wait until I get my hands on him. :chuckle:

Theres no way I am putting up Big Daves 18 lb lake run brown and 17 LB steelie pictures which I have and salivate however every once in a while.

PM Out

12-22-2002, 09:05 PM
I live about 30 miles north of Detroit and I find solitude on a few of the local streams. I do ok, and when the fish are in I do awesome if I make it out enough. Last year I had a buddy hook a fish about 16-18lbs....but it smoked him and after a few jumps and was gone. Some streams are overlooked, but that is fine. I always go to the surf that is about 45 minutes away, and do alright there.

Big City expirence with fishing as well!

12-22-2002, 09:08 PM
I don't think we have to worry, it may pay off if they do.

I would gladly trade them a week here for a week out there. It would be interesting to watch them spey cast the Mo' or Man. Even bring em to the PM for some combat fishing.

I imagine they could shed some pointers on the fine art of spey casting. Every time I see a good caster I pick up a tidbit to add to my arsenal. Plus seeing Fred fish the Mo' with that18' stick would be great. That stick would work great there. Tons of room and fish.

12-22-2002, 11:51 PM
Sorry Hal.:rolleyes: Maybe I should go down to 6th street and take a few shots of our "scenic" rivers to post.:hehe: :eyecrazy: I got a christmas card with the same pic as your avatar.
Steelieonfly-I just had a buddy from Montana come out to fish for a week. He managed to pick the worst fall in 30 years to make the trek.:( He had fun though. I think if I were to advise someone on making a venture this way it would be for the spring run....for sure....and be prepared for traffic. I swear guys will just go out to stand there for days until the fish show up. Gotta love our "local" mentality sometimes. My favorite move is: Hook a fish, swim it down around the bend, come back up and BLAM....some dude camped in the spot you just hooked a fish...casting away. Yeah, we've got some world class knuckleheads here. Hey, at least we got some rain....finally.


12-23-2002, 05:57 AM
Good thing about most knuckleheads is that they mostly fish when the runs are on. That leaves a big window for the true die hards. Plus we need to laugh at something.

12-24-2002, 08:31 AM

Yeah good idea lets get some pictures of 6th street, Childsdale, Tippy, Croton, and Berrien Springs posted when the runs are on. I will work on Berrien Springs. I have some now but none with a big crowd.:(

I know all about the scenario you described, there are real knuckleheads out there at times. Thats why I am usually not around during the peaks of the runs on the publicised rivers.

PM Out

12-24-2002, 12:23 PM
I got some Tippy and 6th stret pics at the height of the run. Tippy was taken from a boat so it is a different look.

My founest 6th st. memory is watching some hag change her kids diaper and then tossing the bloody thing right next to the 10 others on the ground.

Also have some pics of Dean Mitchell at the height of the spring run. Lovely site cement factory spewing plumes in the air while yellow poled slack jawed cousin lovers pegged coho after coho.

12-27-2002, 05:30 PM
Well, don't know how the funds will work out, but if I convince my wife she needs to visit the grandkids, and we can get some good tickets. I definitely will be out that way. Now as to the spey casting. Well lets just say my 14' rod will cast them, but my double spey is the pits and my single is ok... Snake roll has a lot to be desired... But spring sounds good. I have to split this one between the Washington area and GL.... Tough decisions.... Hell what am I dreaming about. My wife will probably call the shot anyway? I will keep you posted as to when I can make it though!

12-27-2002, 06:10 PM
Get a hold of me prior to your heading out here, I am sure we can hook (pun intended) up.

12-28-2002, 08:37 AM

Our spring season goes from March through June. :D :D

If you know where to fish.

Let us know if your heading out to GL country.

PM Out

12-28-2002, 09:40 PM
Thanks to all of you in advance. Kids are moving out that way in January, and I suspect that wife will want to get out there some time soon. I will try to coach her into a spring vacation up there! Might work, since she never reads my mail anyway! Keep me post you guys! More stories the better.......

12-29-2002, 09:19 AM
April on the Mo' is a sure bet. Beg her sometimes that works.

01-24-2003, 03:37 PM
Well this thread has been up since December 11th and no Gls steelhead nomads/junkies have emerged yet.

You would think with the down economy there may be one or two out there but I guess not.

Perhaps a young lad who comes from wealthy family, but I guess they would be playing video games,watching reality tv shows, or chasing ladies at South Beach or on the Riveria, etc....

I guess we will have to wait for one of us to hit the Lotto and be able to go full time GLs steelhead fly fishing and qualify perhaps :p

PM Out

01-24-2003, 03:54 PM
OK, since nobody else stepped forward, provided you guys generously contribute to my retirement fund, I'll take up the challenge.

It's a dirty job but somebody has to do it.


01-25-2003, 08:17 AM

If you get funding let us know, so we can declare we have one. :D

BTW, I did not forget I owe you some flies (Nymphs, nothing else is important). Been busy the last few weeks with fly swaps and corporate work. I have to send the atlantic salmon swap flys out this coming week, (not received all flies yet) I will send yours at the same time. I have your address.

PM Out

01-25-2003, 08:51 AM
Bums don't eat well my friend.:D

02-07-2003, 08:25 AM
Well it still looks like a true 24/7 GL steelhead fly fishing addict has not been identified yet.

Guess the economy needs to tank further and at the same time one of us take early retirement and hit the lottos, or score big in Vegas, or an indian casino, etc....

Remember we are excluding GL steelhead FF guides from this.

PM Out

02-07-2003, 08:38 AM
There are a couple of guys in Milwaukee that fit the bill.

You will get to meet them in April.

02-07-2003, 08:43 AM

PM Out

02-07-2003, 01:26 PM
Woo Woo!!!