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pmflyfisher 12-11-2002 07:04 AM

GL Steelhead Nomads/Junkies
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.

BigDave 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...


nbrandon 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 :)


pmflyfisher 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.

dansteelieman 12-11-2002 02:46 PM

that would be me....
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

pmflyfisher 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.

pmflyfisher 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

removed_by_request 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........

pmflyfisher 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 ?

removed_by_request 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.

pmflyfisher 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

removed_by_request 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.

dansteelieman 12-13-2002 04:34 PM

tell the guides that....
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

removed_by_request 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.

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