Category: steelhead

hi again Italo,thanks for always being so responsive to questions, I’m very appreciative. what do you recommend for fishing a steelhead river when there is little to no current? I was at my local river today and it was so slow the float was just sitting still in the water. are spoons/spinners a good option for these conditions?

Posted on March 16th, 2021

You are welcome. If steelhead are in a stretch of Great Lakes tributaries or even in the lake at the mouth of the tributary off a natural shoreline or in a harbour where there is some flow, little to no flow they will still take a stationary spawn sack fished either under a float or on a sliding sinker rig with a floating spawn sack off the bottom. They will also take artificial lures and one of the best to use in slow to no-current is the KwikFish in size #5 & #7. Some of the top colors are: skunk, bullfrog, silver/pink, silver/green.

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Hi Italo! You’ve always provided very helpful answers to my questions on this site and I’m thankful for that! My latest question is about winter steelhead fishing: Do you have any tips for finding steelhead in tribs during the winter months? I generally fish off Georgian Bay so my only open river during the winter is the Nottawasaga. Can you suggest what types of water steelhead usually hold in during the colder months? I would also appreciate any tips on presentation, time of day, and even river sections on the Notty. Thanks a million!

Posted on December 17th, 2020

Hi Alex, my pleasure answering anglers questions. Most of our stocked steelhead are “winter-spawning” strain which means that many enter rivers that have enough water in the fall and some spawn attempt spawning in the fall with most spawing in late winter when rivers open-up after they flood.

Winter steelhead will hold in any deep-water area where they feel safe. Some of the best areas to fish in a tributary is the lower sections since many steelhead move in and out of a tributary with fluctuating water levels. While you can use artificials such as imitation eggs, beads, flies and hard lures such as spinners and KwikFish, the most reliable is using either salmon or steelhead egg roe bags. Fishing the right-size (dime-size/clear or natural netting for clear water- nickel-size/bright yellow, orange, pink for murky water), roe bag under a float is the best presentation.

If there is open water you can enjoy excellent Steelhead fishing all winter long…God bless you.

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Hi Italo, I was wondering what color and kind of egg cure you like to use for salmon eggs, also how is the steelhead run in Lake Erie tribs in Ohio?

Posted on November 30th, 2020

Hi Colten, I normally don’t color my salmon eggs for steelhead fishing, only when I’m using skeened salmon eggs for Chinooks. For salmon fishing I die them hot-pink. For steelhead fishing I use different color of netting material depending on the water color;

-white, pink and natural netting for clear water

-chartreuse, hot pink and orange for murky water.

There are a few good steelhead tributaries that flow into Lake Erie in Ohio. Timing is everything and some of the best fishing takes place now and through until March as most Great Lakes steelhead are winter-spawning strain….God bless you.

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Hi Italo, Do you have footage of the steelhead you found with sea lice in the gills? I’m working on a film and would like to see any footage you might have. Thanks, Scott

Posted on November 16th, 2020

Hi Scott, no video footage. We only did a photo shoot that day…God bless you.

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Hi Italo, what is your experience with blue fox pixie spoons? Are these popular for browns and steelhead trout?

Posted on April 17th, 2020

Hi Angler, Pixies are heavy and are designed to be fished in fast water where the fast current helps to make it wobble, or trolling pretty fast. They are most popular in large rivers up north. For our southern trout fishing lighter spoons in the 1/4 -3/8 oz size and more curvature which produces a nice wobble even at slower retrieving/trolling speed is better.

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I just finished watching your show about fall steelhead and brown trout in tributary river. You used an artificial egg 3 inches above the hook for float fishing. What is the name brand if the imitation egg you used. Thank you

Posted on April 10th, 2020

Hi Brandon, those soft-beads are made by www,ClearDriftfishing.com   in British Columbia. The come in many colors and sizes and work extremely well…God bless you.

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Hi Italo, I watched an episode of you going for browns and steelhead in a tributary, where can I buy those soft beads you were using and do you also use a spawn bag with it, or fish just the bead? Thanks.

Posted on April 7th, 2020

Hi Fabio, those soft beads work great on their own or with a row bag. They are made by, https://cleardriftfishing.com/ . I would encourage you to call Rob the owner and see which stores sell them close to you.

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So I went out today for some steelhead at a local creek which is very deep, wide, and slow in most portions of the creek and got skunked after fishing about 5 hours on at least a mile long stretch in a Lake Erie trib. I was fishing seams, behind logs, bends in the creek, straight open stretches, etc. Basically everywhere I could put my line in, I tried. I was wondering what type of structure or water I should be looking for, and even if a large portion of the creek is deep and slow, will the fish most likely be near the bottom or suspended? Thanks!

Posted on April 6th, 2020

Hi Lloyd, if you were fishing the “all year” open sections of a tributary in all likelihood the steelhead have moved through and are up-stream ready to spawn or spawning. Those stretches don’t open until the regular trout fishing seasons opens. I don’t think you did anything wrong and you were fishing good water but the fish are simply not there…God bless you.

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Hi Italo! Thanks for answering my previous questions – you’ve been a great help! My latest question is: do you have any tips for targeting drop back steelhead during the Spring? I have had some success in the Fall with migrating steelhead but ZERO success in the Spring. Can you suggest presentations, locations or conditions? My typical tributaries are off Georgian Bay and I use a centerpin setup.

Posted on March 12th, 2020

Hi Alex, drop-backs usually hold in deeper pools and with low, clear water often being the case they can be spooky. Fishing early and late, just at sunrise and at sunset can really help to get them to strike unless the water is turbid. Drop-backs love to take small garden worms and especially will strike #2 or #3 spinners fish cross-current or with the current. One of my favorite lures for drop-backs is a #5 or #7 KwikFish in bullfrog or skunk color also fished slowly cross-current or with the current. The key is to find “holding pools” where there are several fish holding waiting for a rise in water to head further downstream.

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Hey again Italo, I had asked about spring fishing in Thornbury and you thought that area might be crowded. Can you recommend a spot my family might have some luck from shore, in the Owen Sound area. If my boys could catch a trout it would be a big deal. Thank you and God bless.

Posted on March 11th, 2020

Hi Mark, I normally don’t fish after the regular season opens but I have done well fishing the smaller rivers that flow into the larger rivers that flow into Georgian Bay. The Pine River is one of my favorite that flows into the Nottowasaga River. You would have to do some research prior to opening by scouting it out, finding public access, or asking for permission from land owners to fish on their property. Walking the river prior to opening day to just look at pools and actually spot fish will help you evaluate where you want to fish. And I would suggest that being on the spot just as the sun is rising is your best bet of hooking-up…God bless you.

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