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Often you hear that people don’t want to try fishing the tribs because they only have a 5wt rod.  Well don’t let that stop you from trying this type of fishing.  Many of the fish in the tribs are between 20” and 30” and you would think nothing of fishing for a 24” inland Brown with a 5wt.  Many times you can see the fish your casting to and you could avoid the big fish if you are worried about your smaller weight rod.  Sure, you are a little under gunned but if you play the fish a little longer and use the right tippet you can land these fish with a smaller weight rod. If you really enjoy fishing the tribs, then think about buying a heaver weight rod.  

Most fly rods on the tribs are in the 6-10 weight range, the most common being an 8 weight. For grips on your rod, you may want to consider a fighting butt. The new graphite rod manufactures have many good rods at reasonable prices.  St. Croix Rods is a Wisconsin manufacturer with a great product in the Legend Ultra & Avid series. These rods are built to a quality level and a price point that is hard to beat at twice the cost. A trib fisherman interested in taking their fishing to the next level will want to consider purchasing at least one rod used just for the tribs.  Keep in mind that an 8wt. rod makes a great bass and pike rod!

The reel you choose can be an important decision with the long runs and hard fights that these fish can give. The reel is an important part of your gear. I suggest that you invest as much as you can afford when purchasing a trib reel. You need a product that is well built, dependable and will perform day in and day out. A good trib reel will have a quality disc drag system and will be well built. Sounds expensive? No you can find good quality reels with a nice disc drag for a reasonable price these days.


Many trib fishermen prefer leaders in the 9 foot range. There are many good leader products on the market that will work, but I feel you want leaders that are at the six to ten pound test range at your fly.

Run Timing

Fly Patterns

Where are the fish?




Brule River Sportsmens Club


Great Lakes Steelhead Great Lakes Steelhead: A Guided Tour for Fly-Anglers by Bob Linsenman and Steve Nevala Each chapter within the Guides section provides a wealth of information ranging from technique to fly selection. The authors cover the basics on steelhead biology, behaviour, leaders, casting techniques, and flies. The book has a great chapter on popular steelhead flies in colored plates. Every skill level can learn something from this book.



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