because its winter and many of your favorite steelhead
streams are iced over doesnít mean you canít scratch
that steelhead itch. Many streams that have winter over
fall steelhead have a viable population to target thru
the ice. In my group of friends steelhead season never
comes soon enough or last long enough. A few years ago
we found a solution. A way to fish tip ups over our
favorite steelhead holding water all winter long.
tactics are much like people use in the river mouths
in the spring and fall. We employ a small egg sinker,
allowed to slide freely on the main line. We then attach
a small bead to stop the sinker. Finally a high quality
barrel swivel. We then add 6-12Ē of fluorocarbon leader
and a #6 hook. For bait we use 6-7 fresh salmon eggs,
and a small marshmallow for buoyancy. We tie this with
pink mesh spawn sack material and wrap the end with
thread. This rig is then dropped to the bottom allowing
the egg sinker to rest on bottom and bait to float up.
may have to leave the center pin and fly rod at home
though because in the winter the tip up is king. Tip
up selection consists of many options from traditional
and windless models to devices like slammers (where
legal). On Lake Michigan tributaries these slammer devices
are used with great popularity. The device consists
of a rod and reel in a holder attached to a board. Another
board is attached with a cabinet hinge so it can fall.
A nail is placed into the second board to hold the rod
tip. Springs are attached to pull the board inward as
the rod forces it outward. A trigger to release the
rod tip once a fish hits is added. Iíve seen everything
from split rings to bobbers used.