the promise.

I’ve been living in northern Illinois for a few years now and have gotten familiar with bass, bluegills, and many beautiful trout from Wisconsin. I have even occasionally had a few pikes and a musky at the end of the line (once). Although Michigan is within driving distance and a easy overnight trip, I’ve never ventured out that way for one reason or another. Getting familiar with fish in close proximity is probably the best reason why I haven’t gone out there, and that has kept me happy and occupied for few years. However, to live so close to world class steelhead fishing and to not experience it fully feels like a fisherman’s sin… so starting next year- that’s where my car will be heading most of the time. I’ve been asking friends around for suggestions on good guides out there, and received a few. I stopped by the fly shop to buy tube fly tying materials, and picked up a few stinger flies to duplicate. I cleaned my line and the rod & reels are ready to go. I have the spots to explore scoped out on the map and inputted into the navigation. When I dream of fish these days, I dream of fighting steelhead – a fish I’ve never even caught. This is a good & happy place to be … full of hope and anticipation of new fish to catch. I read all about the fish of a thousand casts and how lonely it can be fishing for steelhead – but at this moment, all I can think about is the upcoming big fight…and that’s plenty enough to keep me excited.

By the way, when I really started to look into tube & stinger flies, I said to Andy at Chicago outfitters “holy crap, what the hell have I been missing out on!?”. They make perfect sense for fighting big fish, and I always love discovering new tackle. I’ve recently been pulling all nighters to tie up these flies, and I like it – my wife thinks I need help. I know that I’ll eventually need an “ugly box” for steelhead flies, but at the moment that are big, beautiful, furry things that promises to be at the edge of a steelhead’s mouth.

Although I’ve never met you, I think I love you steelhead.


  1. if and when i come back we have to fish lake erie. You will catch steelhead until you're bored.

  2. And so it begins. :)

    Winter steelhead is just beginning to heat up out here. Hopefully I'll have a report of success soon.

  3. I was inspired by your post John and look forward to experiencing something similar in Michigan. The thought of meeting this big fish is exciting. Lee, I want to be bored, bored until my arms can barely hold a beer can, looking forward.