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Old 09-13-2010, 06:12 PM
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Default Michigan City Steelhead?

My fishing partner and I (both seriously overworked and underpaid) are contemplating a steelhead adventure in the next couple of months. Trail Creek in Michigan City, Indiana has come up as a possibility. We're both fully outfitted with Indiana license, stamps, etc., so no issues there. The thing is, we'll be leaving work around 7:00pm on a Friday, driving through the night to Michigan City and sleeping in the car once we get there (this is an "adventure", remember?), fishing most of the day Saturday, and then driving back home that evening.

The obvious challenges as we see them:
1. Fishing by the calendar instead of conditions
2. Totally unknown water
3. Neither of us have ever SEEN a steelhead
4. No known local resources of info

What we hope to accomplish:
1. Find a relatively safe area to wade
2. Actually see a steelhead (or five or a hundred)
3. Have a reasonable shot at CATCHING a steelhead
4. Take a ton of pictures
5. Return home safely

Just wondering if anyone here can chime in with some valuable hints to make this adventure successful?
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Michigan City Steelhead?

Stop at bass pro in Portage and talk to the fly guys. Ed is a good guy with plent of info.. or Cabelas.. they have a fly fishing for dummies for steelhead.. with maps and points of access they have it on a table and you can see tons of spots and info.. I will tell you to be careful locals don't like peps in their water..
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: Michigan City Steelhead?

There's a slim chance I may get the opportunity to make a motorcycle trip up that way in the next couple of weeks to check things out. I've been to Cabela's before and will check that out for sure. I'll be sure to hit Bass Pro, too. We have one locally and the fly shop guys generally know everything that's going on within 150 miles of here.

Not sure how to respond to the locals remark. Do they check ID's and then beat up interlopers mid-stream?
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Old 09-16-2010, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Michigan City Steelhead?

I would go another hour north, get a Michigan License and hit the St. Joseph. If it's something you are interested in, let me know and I will PM you the information.
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Old 09-17-2010, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Michigan City Steelhead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2PawsRiver View Post
I would go another hour north, get a Michigan License and hit the St. Joseph. If it's something you are interested in, let me know and I will PM you the information.
I always thought you had to float the St. Joe... Good to know that it could be waded.
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Old 12-13-2010, 10:43 PM
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Default Re: Michigan City Steelhead?

The St Joe River can be waded in a few spots. One is in downtown South Bend at Leeper Park, while the other is at a park near the Twin Branch Dam in Mishawaka. This marks the end of the steelhead run on the St. Joe.

As for Michigan City, Indiana, there are multiple public access locations to Trail Creek. Most sites see the creek narrow as you venture further south. Float fishing is usually the most productive. You will run into a lot of debris, so plan on snagging or losing lures / flies. The Indiana DNR lists all of the public access sites, and google earth will allow you to spot a few that aren't on the list.

Salt Creek is another creek to check out if you are in the area. It begins by Bass Pro in Portage and meanders through Valparaiso. The DNR website also lists many of the public access sites for salt creek also. I would recommend fishing Trail Creek before Salt Creek because there are many more public access sites near one another. I believe there are at least 10 public access sites on Trail Creek and 5 public access sites on Salt Creek. Good luck!

Also, I don't know if driving through the night, sleeping in the car, and fishing Michigan City would really live up to an adventure, unless you park on the wrong side of town....(note #5 on your accomplishments list) If you want that kind of trip, keep driving into Michigan and fish some of the rivers up there. You will find success fishing Michigan City, but Trail Creek will look more like a ditch when you compare it to the PM or Manistee. If Michigan is too far away, research some of the sites I listed above for South Bend, IN. You should be able to make long casts with single handed or spey rods and utilize float techniques too. There are also plenty of guide services for the St. Joe River that you could utilize in Indiana or Michigan since the river is so large.

Last edited by chicagojohn; 12-19-2010 at 10:09 AM.
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