Here’s an absolute beast of a winter steelhead from the Muskegon river. Fresh from Lake Michigan with the recent push of water from rain and run-off.
Water conditions have been perfect past few days as Michigan’s Mother Nature is tightening her grip on the cold front coming in to stay. As this colder weather continues, the steelhead are literally forced to seek winter refuge from fast currents to slow moving pools. Doing so allows the steelhead to conserve energy and maintain their metabolism waiting for the spring thaw.
Once the water temps dip below that 40 degree point, the steelhead seek the “winter lies” of deep pools and slow moving runs. During these winter months, several female steelhead prefer the protection of the river where there’s a better food source available and better protection from the harsh elements of Lake Michigan. And with the females come the big males that follow the females up river.
When water temps dip below 40 degrees targeting these steelhead winter lies is key. A stealthy approach in these slow runs and deep pools produce steelhead like this big girl as she waits out the cold temps for the spring thaw where the water temps rise back above 42 degrees and trigger the spring spawn.
post by: jon fortuna