How to catch migratory salmon and steelhead in the Great Lakes tributaries
Ontario's Great Lakes tributaries offer some of the world's best fishing for salmon, steelhead and a variety of other species that will be sure to provide an acrobatic fight. For the purpose of today's article we will focus mainly on the salmonoid species, more specifically salmon and trout.
There are a few of the tributaries that offer year-round fishing, but be sure to check your regulations to make sure you are fishing within law. Catching migratory species can actually be relatively simple; all you have to do is UNDERSTAND their patterns. They are called migratory fish for a reason; they travel “from one place to another at regular times of year, often over long distances (1).”
To catch this species that’s the one thing you have to remember, they travel at a similar time of year on the same route - all you have to do is get between them. There are a number of variables to consider such as water level, temperature, cloud covert, etc. The two things to remember are which direction are the fish headed; upstream or downstream, and where are they stopping when they are not moving?
Once you have identified the the direction look for pools, boulders or even cut banks as these places will often provide protection from prey, especially fishermen. Think of your approach logically, if you were trying to get from point A to point B without getting caught, where would you hide? How would you avoid your predator? Fish are no different, but they are limited to where they can swim. Quite often the biggest fish can be intercepted between pools hiding behind boulders, in rapids or against a cut bank.
Using a logical approach to fishing for migratory fish will help you produce more hook ups, now landing those monsters is a different story. In future articles we will explore various tactics for landing athletic fish.