It’s not every year that we get the chance to fish for Great Lakes Steelhead in fair condition this late in the season.

There is ample "wintering water" below Denny's dam in Southhampton.  More than enough to scratch in itch during good weather the late winter.

There is ample “wintering water” below Denny’s Dam in Southhampton. More than enough to scratch in itch during fine weather in late winter.

The long range forecast is looking very favorable for the next two weeks or as far as we can see on all of the weather sites available. If at this point, you have put your gear away, you may want to reconsider as if this trend holds and it looks like it could, we might be fishing well into the new year.

At this juncture in year and with water temperatures typically hovering between 0 and 3 degrees Celsius, look for deep, slowish runs (less than a walking pace) that we would consider “wintering water.”  The migration will be slowed considerably but concentrations of fish can be found in this type of run.

The typical "Great Lakes Steelhead leader" used by the majority of Ontario Steelhead Guides.

The typical “Great Lakes Steelhead leader” used by the majority of Ontario Steelhead Guides.

Although it is not out of the question to take a fish or two on a swung fly, your best bet is to slow things down.  A strike indicator and nymph/egg combination will typically prevail here.

The down side to this scenario though, is that we could have a short spring season.  If the majority of steelhead take advantage of the conditions, and they will, we could experience a spring season similar to that of 2012 when the spawn was early and most of the fish shed before the inland trout season opened.  If that is the case, the time is now as all systems are go and the fishing has been very good across the board.  Another thing to consider here is that traffic will be light as only the most intrepid anglers venture out in these conditions.

Check out the river condition on our website or call the shop to find out what is going on.