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First Steelhead

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I grew up in SE Minnesota, and caught some rainbow back in the day when I still used live bait, but it has been over a decade since I caught a rainbow. The biggest went about 17".

This past week, I was working in southern Michigan. Saturday night and Sunday I was in Lansing, Michigan. I just bought my 2009 Michigan license, and wanted to go out on the Grand River in Lansing Saturday evening, but got rained out.

I got up this AM and fished the Grand. I was thinking more about post-spawn walleye, although I heard people were catching a few steelhead making their run up from Lake Michigan.

I was fishing a crawler in a long eddy below a dam in Lansing, and something hit my bait and ran with it. I set the hook, thinking it was a carp. When I set the hook the fish rolled, and I saw enough to think "that is one strange-looking carp". The fish surfaced a couple more times and I realized I had a steelhead--I had never seen one in the flesh before.

I was using medium-light tackle with 6 lb. test (remember, I was fishing for walleye), and had no net, so getting the fish in took a little bit of finesse. At one point I said out loud "if I lose this fish I might just cry". (I wasn't totally kidding.)

I ended up grabbing it by the lower jaw (and have the gashes on my thumb to show for it grin ). My first steelhead measured 28". I've heard steelheading is addictive--after this morning, I can see why.

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Congratulations! At 28" that is one heck of a fish, especially only 6lb test. Take any photos?

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Got six or seven photos. I left my digital camera in Iowa, so I had to stop at a convenience store and buy a disposable. It may be a while before I have the roll full, but I'll post some when I have them developed.

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