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Written By: Capt. Max Werkman, RiverQuest Charters

Winter fishing shouldn’t be for everybody, however the rewards will be nice.
All photographs by Tom Werkman

Winter will be one of the productive instances to pursue Nice Lakes steelhead, as they start to emerge from the depths and enter rivers in preparation for the spring spawn. As a result of these fish are in search of to expend minimal vitality as they wait, their most popular holding places are pretty predictable: they need gradual present and loads of room to unfold out, so you need to deal with the deepest, darkest holes yow will discover.

A deep gap on the surface of this bend reveals up as darker water from above.

Sometimes, these winter holes are positioned inside giant bends within the river the place you possibly can’t see the underside as a result of the water is 5 to 10 ft deep. Search for excessive banks that have a tendency to point deeper water under. The steelhead can be holding someplace between the center of the river and the deeper aspect, typically alongside a seam marked by a skinny line of bubbles, the place two currents of various speeds intersect. Make sure you begin by working the closest seams (in the course of the river) earlier than making longer casts towards the far financial institution. Think about that the water is a grid, and work every sq. over completely earlier than transferring on to the subsequent. Generally you should virtually hit these fish within the face to persuade them to chew. 

Endurance, persistence, and precision will finally repay.

Deep holes on this area typically have a lot of useless wooden piled up on the backside, so be ready for the frustration of fishing round snags all day. Steelhead have a tendency to carry near construction when the water is chilly, so you don’t have any selection however to continuously danger shedding rigs as a way to hold your flies down within the strike zone. Generally it would really feel such as you spend extra time coping with snags than truly fishing, however because the previous saying goes, “For those who aren’t tying, you aren’t making an attempt.” Convey heat gloves and loads of further flies.

Capt. Max Werkman is co-owner and information for RiverQuest Charters in Grand Rapids, MI.

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