Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Steelhead Fishing - December 8, 2009

Al and I headed for Indiana again.When we left it was dark, snowing, and a winter storm watch had been posted for the area. The snow made the creek very scenic, but the air warmed enough to melt most of it quickly and the precipitation changed to rain - but not before I caught a fish on my third cast.

Me with a Steelhead

Click to see very scenic photos of the creek during a Lake Effect Snow from 2004!
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It wasn't a real big fish but it made me happy considering I had struck out the last two trips. For a few minutes I forgot about the snow and how cold my hands were starting to get.

A powerful run towards freedom

I placed the fish back in the water after a couple photos and it did a good job of splashing me as it took off for deeper water. I was already soaked from the snow that was quickly changing over to light rain.

A small bird follows me a long the creek

As I continued to fish, I kept hearing things in the brush all around me. At first I thought it was the wind, but that really hadn't started yet. I finally caught a glimpse of a small bird just a couple feet from me. He and his buddies seemed to be playing a game where they'd see how close they could get to me before I noticed them. Every time I'd turn, they'd take off only to return a moment later. Eventually they decided I was safe and followed me as I made my way through the brush along the creek.

More timber in the water

There were a lot more birds today than I've seen in a while. Several Cardinals were looking for and finding food, and even more Bluejays were yelling from the trees. Belted Kingfishers flew by often enough to tell there were a few of them and not just the same one making the rounds like they do at other places I fish.

A Cardinal finds a meal on a branch overhanging the creek.

The creek we were fishing is loaded with brush and snags. Just trying to find a spot to cast is also dangerous because of steep embankments, mud, and sticker bushes that make up the shoreline. One wrong step and you could be sliding down a 12 foot vertical drop into 10 or more feet of frigid water. You can kind of see in the picture at the top that I'm pretty high above the water, and if you look at the other side you can see the drop there too. The sticker bushes will grab any exposed skin so quality rain gear is a must to keep your clothes from getting ripped to shreds.

Downed trees in a narrow and shallow part of the creek

Al finally worked his way back to where I was. He had only caught one fish so far but mentioned he saw a huge King Salmon that failed to get the memo about swimming back out to the lake. He said it was very dark and had quite a hooked jaw. He couldn't get it to bite though. We knew the spot I was working was holding a few more fish so we continued to work it thoroughly. I finally hooked a big fish on a spinner. Al was fishing about 50 yards down and hurried over to help me land it. It finally came up just enough so we could see just how big it was and the spinner popped loose and came flying back right towards Al's face. He ducked and it lodged in the tree directly behind him.

The Steelhead won this battle

After a while, Al hooked a good fish and it broke him off. I had a few bumps from fish but didn't hook up with anything other than the two smolts I landed.

Al lands another one

A few minutes later, Al had another one on and was able to land it very quickly. It was about the same size as the one I had caught much earlier. After releasing it we continued hammering the spot.

Al lands the best fish of the day

Al hooked up again and landed the best fish of the day which put him at 3 for 4. At that point we decided we'd hit the road to try to beat the storm that was heading for us. By the time we got back it was raining pretty good, and as I write this it looks like a full force blizzard outside. Time to get the snow blower out of the shed.


  1. Hello Bill - Glad to see you were able to land a Steelhead this time out. They are a magnificent fish and are a thrill even if they break you off or throw the hook somehow. Way to persevere!

  2. nice fish congrats.

    saludos desde Mexico.