I love tributary steelhead and migratory brown trout fishing, especially in the fall when water temps drop, the leaves change colors and start falling off trees and the trout start running!
In the fall the fish just start coming into the Great Lakes tributaries and most of my fishing takes place in the lower, down-stream stretches that have an “all-year” fishing season. Here’s my strategies for intercepting fish there.
When Chinook salmon are still spawning further up-stream single imitation salmon eggs are definitely the way to go. Salmon eggs that are laid and wash down river are usually a gold color. If they died they turn a whitish color. That’s the time I like to fish the Clear Drift soft-eggs in either a natural color or an off-white color in the 8 or 10 mm size.
Brown Trout & Steelhead Spawning
When water temps get colder & the Chinooks are done spawning and most are decaying or gone and the brown trout & steelhead start to spawn I switch to spawn sacks. Smaller spawn sacks in clear water, larger spawn sacks in turbid waters.
And when I fish both single eggs and spawn sacks and fish stop taking them, I switch to various size jig-flies and work them below a float in runs I know fish are holding. If you are prepared with all three, you really up the chances to catch both browns and steelhead in any conditions.