Lake Ontario Steelhead Trout

Steelhead Trout is actually a common name for two of the Rainbow Trout strains that are regularly stocked in the New York state's Lake Ontario. One strain is the Washington which is a fish that has its annual run in the winter. The other is Skamania which has its annual run in summer. These fish are native of Washington State but are now one of the most common Lake Ontario Fish species.

Habits of Washington Steelhead Trout Strain

The Washington strain Steelhead usually start their annual run into the tributaries around the middle of September. As the water temperatures continue to drop into the 45 to 58 F range the run really intensifies. The Steelhead Trout will feed aggressively in this temperature range and it makes for exciting fishing during late October until the month of November. This is when the water temperature will usually drop below 40 F. Once the temperatures drop the activity of the fish will taper off. The spawn will take place in the middle of March and last until the end of April. At this time the fish will work their way back to the main lake. This is another great time to catch steelhead as they are feeding again and not concerned with the spawn.

Habits of Skamania Steelhead Trout Strain

The Skamania strain of Steelhead was first developed in Washington State. These Steelhead Trout are routinely stocked in the Salmon River. Their run usually first starts around May and really picks up steam in the months of June, July, August and September. The chance of catching these fish during the run relies heavily on the current conditions. A sudden rise in the water level after a heavy rain is one of the best times to catch a Skamania Steelhead. Although their run takes place in the summer months the spawn typically occurs in February to April.

Angling Techniques When Targeting Steelhead Trout

The most productive Steelhead fishing technique is to use a drift fishing approach with spinning rod and reel. A long rod, 8 ½ feet or longer, is ideal in order to hold the line off of the water’s surface and should be really sensitive in order to feel the subtle bites of a good Steelhead. The line does not have to be that big, usually in the 6 pound to 12 pound test range. It is a good idea to have at least 150 yards of line in case the Steelhead Trout takes off on a run.