Winter steelhead fishing is a high quality outdoor experience. A winter float often starts with busting through a foot of powder on the way into the boat launch and then dropping the boat off the trailer at the top of the landing for fear of bobsledding the truck into the stream — laugh but it happens every year. The only tracks along the banks are from deer, otters and other wildlife. The crystal river, as some call it, is a relatively rare but spectacular occurrence that follows dropping water levels and a cold snap, leaving chandeliers of ice along the river. The fish out of the almost freezing water are perfect and there is nothing like a picture of a bright and colorful steelhead with snow in the background.
Oh… did we mention that all of the guides have heaters in their boats and thermoses filled with hot chocolate and coffee!
Planing the Trip
We are always very loose with winter trips. Meaning that if the weather is predicted to turn for the worse we are always happy to reschedule or refund. The last thing that we would ever want is for someone to suffer through a day on the water.
Half Day Option
Unless your confident about your cold weather skills, we recommend half day trips. Even if your not fully prepared its not a problem to stay warm for a half day trip. We often have people go out for two or three half days, they then spend the other half skiing, snowmobiling, sitting in the hot tub at the cabin or whatever.
Easy. With the exception of any avid winter anglers, don’t think about wearing your spring/fall fishing clothes. Instead dress in whatever outdoor winter clothes you’ve proven to be able to stay warm in, for many of our customers this would be their hunting clothes.
Below we have put together a reference list of the steelhead information on our site.
River Mouth Rewards by Brandon Butler
Steelhead Activity Rises With Temps by Eric Sharp
Winter Steelheading the Pere Marquette River by Todd Willmoth
A West Michigan Fly Fishing Adventure by Brandon Butler
Tactics for Tough Steelhead with Matt Straw and Kevin Morlock
Martinez’s Halloween Caveman (on a tube)
Grau’s Easy Sculpin by Walt Grau
Glow Nuke Egg
Martinez’s Steelhead Caveman by Steve Martinez
How to Tie a Nuke Egg Fly (Video)
Morlock’s 4 Eyes
Morlock’s Pearl Jam Shrimp
Grau’s Tracer Bullet (fancy)
Other Steelhead Fishing Resources:
Steelhead section on our Fish Page
Michigan Steelhead Fishing
Winter Steelhead Fishing
Michigan Fishing Guides
Michigan Fly Fishing