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Outdoors: Fall fishing for steelhead in the St. Marys River

Fishing in the fall for most anglers is probably one of the best times to catch that big trophy they’ve been looking for all summer. Depending on the species, the cooler water temperatures allow some to feed longer in the mornings and evenings.
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Fishing in the fall for most anglers is probably one of the best times to catch that big trophy they’ve been looking for all summer. Depending on the species, the cooler water temperatures allow some to feed longer in the mornings and evenings.

Steelhead specifically, which we were fishing for this past Thanksgiving, are active feeders in the early morning and early evening. These species of fish tend to stop biting mid-day depending on the weather and humidity.

So, like any excited fisherman, when the alarm clock went off at 6 a.m., I hopped out of bed, threw on my winter coat and toque and headed out to Bellevue Marina.

As it turned out this particular morning was foggy and misty due to the warm ground and warm water on the St. Marys River. Upon arriving to the marina I met Dean from Redwood Sportfishing Charters who has been guiding fishermen in the St. Marys River since 1996.

We set out towards the heart of downtown Sault Ste. Marie on the river. Once out on the river, which looks small on a map, the waves were high and the water was rough.

The size of the St. Marys River is deceiving when you’re out on it. The river seems massive in comparison to the boat you’re in.

As the sun came up we were getting into position to start fishing for trout. There were other fishermen out on the water who had the same intention of going for steelhead.

As we got into position we set our lines and tried to jig for steelhead in the river. We weren’t sure if the steelhead would be biting that day because of the misty and windy weather. It wasn’t long before I felt a strong tug on the line.

The fish jumped out of the water about 2 feet high, fighting to get off the line! I was pretty excited to reel this one in especially seeing as it almost jumped into the boat!

- Rob LaRue

Read more about fall fishing for steelhead in the St. Marys River.