The Menominee River

This is one of my home rivers and this last season its the one I put the most time on. About an hour north of Green Bay, WI, it cuts a course along the boarders of Wisconsin and the U.P. of Michigan. It is, I think the largest of Wisconsins steelhead rivers with a flow of 2000-2500 CFS in the fall an daround 3000 in the spring.

The section of river in which you can fish steelhead is pretty short, maybe two mile long, and most of this is not all that fishy, but the runs that are, are. There are only limited runs on the river and it gets crowed some times.

The river receives planting of steelhead and seeforlen brown tout from both the Michigan and Wisconsin DNRs. This can lead to some really great fishing, although I have had some very depressing years on the Menominee.
We only started fishing two handed rods on the Menominee River in 2000 and didn't really learn the short rivers potentially until 2001. We have some really good and really shitty years since.

As far as steelhead go, the rivers south of Green Bay seem to consistently fish better when the water conditions are right. So it i9s usually a better better to go south when the rivers are in, but the runs on the menominee are big and deep compared to most of the runs in the state and the Menominee is the only river in the state where I have been taken into my backing by a steelhead, and that has happened many times.

The Skagit & The Sauk Rivers

In early April of 2005 I fished the Skagit & Sauk rivers in Washington. It was an 8 day beatdown. For the three out of the first four days I fished with the stickiest of the ickies, the mega-mykiss him self, but for proprieties sake I'll just call the guy "E-dub", so he can enjoy true anonimity. E-dub guides these rivers in the spring and knows them like no bodies business, but despite this we both rolled no fish in four days, other than Dollies. The river was really low and really clear.
I had two days to explore the river on my own and was able to find some really sexy water road side, especially on the Sauk. E-dub and I also looked around up there using his boat.

Then on day five BR showed up and we spent three days fishing. Day one with E-dub and days two and three on our own.

On Day one E-dub schooled us, getting two skagit fish to the bank. the second one was a straight up pimp on me, I mean right out of my back pocket. Both fish came out of runs that anyother angler, and I mean every other, would over look.

For day two, BR and I fished on our own, but hit some key spots E-dub had keyed us on to. Our first run Chuckacabra, there was a key bucket right at the top of the run. I got a little weasely and convinced BR not to fish the first bucket but to let me have it and he headed down to a point down stream were ther was a break. Not five minutes later BR was fighting steel. I got weasely on the next run too, and again BR hooked steel this one got away. That should teach not to be a prick.

On day three, our last day of fishing things were slow. Br and I had been up and down the Skagit and the sauk hitting any key water we could find, but no more since BR's second hookup early the first morning. We hiked out to the Mixer on the afternoon of the third day and fished through behind a guide and his client, we got some nice dollies and I finally hooked a steelhead, and lost it on a bent out hook, shit. two days later I lost a fish on the Vedder to a bent out hook again, now I keep a closer eye on that.

E-dub, BR, and I stayed at both the hotel in Concrete or at Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport. Howard miller had great structures to stay in. and Br and I stayed one night on a rock bar by Chuckacabra, the first van camp.

To checkout the Skagit & Sauk you can get the Steelhead River Journal on these rivers by Dec Hogan, But I know that on our trip it was all about being able to search for and identify good water, and alot of local help. A guide would be a key element for a newbie.