I'm happy to see this thread back on the board. All you folks back east have March to look forward to in those Great Lakes rivers and creeks. March was always the most productive time for me whether I was fishing Ontario of Erie tributaries.
It has been a while since I have caught a fish that I knew was a true steelhead. Alaska, at least my range of Alaska is not the steelhead capital by any stretch of the imagination. However if you start at ice out and resign yourself to the fact that you may indeed spend several days floating a river and not even see a fish you might just run right into some.
Our trout are all rainbow trout, we have no browns and all of the rivers I fish freeze up real hard every winter. This tends to make all of our rainbows quite migratory in their life cycle. When spring arrives and the trout return you have no way to know where that fish you've landed has spent the past 5 months or so. If you are fortunate and you catch a really big fish with a healthy girth you almost expect it has came from the Inlet. By that I mean that they were in the salt water over the winter. It's because of this that if I happen to find some large rainbow early in the season I tend to think of them as steelhead and they are worth going bonkers over