Weekend Steel

4 04 2015

While the rest of Michigan was waiting for the annual Detroit river walleye run to get started I decided to go Steelhead fishing instead.  There is still ice in lake St. Clair so that means I’m staying put until it is all passed by on it’s way to Erie.  In the mean time I was going to try my luck on the Lower Huron.

One of my handlining disciples sent me a text message last week and asked if I had Friday off.  Thanks to my employer I did so Larry and I made arrangements to meet at the launch at 7:00 am on 4/3.  When I arrived Larry had the boat in the water and was loading it up.  I grabbed my stuff and a few minutes later we were headed downstream or upstream, I really can’t remember.  We were running shallow diving KVD crank baits.  Most holding areas on the river were less than 6 feet deep so a deep diving bait like a Wiggle Wart or a Hot-n-Tot wasn’t going to cut it.  We trolled through a few holes and drifted the lures into a few log jams but nothing so far.  At the next hole we finally had a hit.  As I was reeling it in something didn’t feel right.  It was fighting but the head shakes were these big slow shakes and no running that is characteristic of a steelhead.  I kept working the fish in and then I saw why it felt so weird……it was a walleye.

1st Lower Huron Walleye

1st Lower Huron Walleye

Since the season is closed for inland water walleye we took a quick picture and sent him on his way.  Back to the steel.  We tried a few more spots but no luck.  We did talk to one fisherman who had caught 3 drifting spawn.  I made note of where he was at for future reference.  About noon time we headed back to the ramp and called it a day.  I thanked Larry for the trip and showing me some of the areas and made plans to hit the “D” when it was wire time.

The next day I slept in for the first time in what seemed like forever.  Or at least that was the plan.  I forgot to shut my alarm off from the previous day and it went off at 6:30 am.  I shut it off but it was no use.  I eventually got up and started putzing around the house.  Around 11 I picked up my friend Chris and headed up to Lockeman’s Hardware to see about getting some corner brackets for my boat.  I figured he was my best bet to try and find a pair and I was right.  He had 4 left and once I left he was down to his last two.  Now all I have to do is get my transom built and these attached and I will be good to go.  I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up and tying more flies.  After dinner I grabbed my Switch Rod and made the 10 minute drive to the Lower Huron again.  I walked down to the same area where Larry and I talked to the guy who had 3.  I carefully waded in and started working the shoreline.  I was throwing a Zudweg Wicked Leech with a little bit of metallic blue flashabou.  After about 2 minutes I had a hit.  It wasn’t a very savage hit but I definitely felt it.  After about 10 minutes of fighting the fish and maneuvering my feet around the sunken logs I was able to get her close to shore where I could grab her by the tail.  Mission accomplished, my first Lower Huron river steelhead, caught on a fly I tied and landed by hand.  I really need to get a net.  After a quick pic I pointed her back upstream and let her get her strength back.  After a minute she swam off to fight another day.  I played around a bit more and checked out some more spots but didn’t catch anything else.  The wind was starting to pick up and casting was getting difficult so I decided to head home.  There will be plenty of other days.

1st Lower Huron Steelhead on a Zudweg Wicked Leech.

1st Lower Huron Steelhead on a Zudweg Wicked Leech.