The great lakes offer many oppourtunities to succesfully take steelhead, with traditional west coast steelheading flies and techniques and there are more guys than you think out there doing just that. Sure if you want to get after these fish under the crowded conditions in skinny water you are likely going to have to go to the light tippet small nymph/egg route to maximize sucess, but I would argue that this is no different than anywhere else that you will find steelhead. I have personally landed Great Lakes steelhead on skated dry flies and routinely take fish on 4 inch leech tube patterns. To sterotype a region the size of the great lakes by saying that small flies are the best option for every situtation is silly. Steelhead are steelhead and the west coast fish on some rivers see as many (if not more) real salmon eggs and aquatic insects floating by them as anyGreat lakes fish does. It's not like a 15lb fish leaves the big water and it's abundant baitfish to feed on salmon eggs and scuds anyway. They are in the rivers because they are programmed to be there. The absolute key to getting these fish with traditional flies is to fish the right conditions...and they exist. Heck we have had steel in many of our rivers for weeks and the water temps in most streams haven't even approached the 40's yet. Mid Feb with air temps in the teens and anchor ice in the river...yeah leave the two hander home but this time of year there is no need to chuck and duck unless you choose to. You may not get your double digit days but we have a big problem with inflated expectations out here anyway. But thats another story.