Yes...it is above freezing for the first time in more than a month. That means melt water. The inland rivers are still snow bound, soon to be muddy, but the Great Lakes are going to open up.
What is your Steelhead rod choice? A stiff 8 foot, 7/8 floating line, leader OX-9 feet trimmed back. Oh and lots of backing. Some use 9 feet of 20 pound test with a well placed split shot. This technique gets the fly down deep to the fish that hug the bottom on their reds. This type of rig negates the fluid motion needed in the over head cast. It is a cast the pros call " chuck & duck ".
Spawn, streamers, and large hex nymphs are the choices.
Steelhead and Brown Trout don't average the size of the King Salmon but the fight can be even more aggressive. The fact is Steelhead and Brown Trout do not die and their energy level is maintained, where as the King Salmon are in their last life's struggle and deteriorate fast. The Rainbow / Steelhead / Cromies will be looking to spawn, the big Browns to feed. It is big fish time of the year.
Not many people know that in the summer season you won't catch a rainbow much larger than 10 inches. After the eggs mature to fry, the rainbows generally remain in the river about one year then join the big boys in deep lakes of the north. It is those large, piscivorous Browns that will stay in deep holes in the river or move in for the late June, Michigan, giant Hexagenia Limbata hatch.
Right now we're talking Steelhead. Big Great Lakes Steelhead, the biggest your going to catch in the inland lower 48 states. When I send Rainbow trout pictures to my fly fishing friends in Spearfish,
South Dakota, or Cody, Wyoming, they are flabbergasted. They can't believe they exist in Michigan. In the ocean sure, but a lake? I tell them the Rockies are massive, the Grand Canyon is grand, but the Great Lakes are GREAI...they are one of our country's most beautiful natural resources and they harbor some of the biggest fresh water trout in the world!
Richard and Jim
Letting you know current conditions and best approaches.