Skamania trout run under way in Trail Creek

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    MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Spawning Skamania-strain trout are already up in Trail Creek in the Michigan City area of Indiana, according to Jerry Ross of Lake Michigan Tackle and Charter (219-872-3474). These fine-fighting steelhead will be in the river all winter long and into the early spring after they've spawned.

    The Skamanias started upstream in Trail Creek back in June. "The trout run inland about 10 to 15 miles," said Ross.

    "They'll keep going until they're up in the little fingers of the stream and they just run out of water."

    What to bring

    "Spawn bags, spinners with orange- or gold-colored blades and little Cleos all catch trout, and don't forget the live nightcrawlers," said Ross.

    "On some days even shrimp work well, which seems kind of hard to believe."

    Access the river

    The access points in and around Michigan City are ideal spots to fish, adds Ross, who recommends two public access sites this time of the year.

    "The public access spots on U.S. 20 and those near Johnson Road are places to try," he said, but any of the sites will do. These sites, along with the access points on the lower stretches of the river, are best since the Skamania trout are already scattered along the length of the river.

    A few trout are still being taken off the pier even this late in the season, too, at the river mouth.

    Anglers can wade or put in small boats at the main access sites, including one next to the DNR property near the river mouth north of U.S. 12.

    There's also the Trail Creek Marina launch via Michigan Boulevard; the Robert Peo public access off Liberty Trail; and the U.S. 35 site off Chapala Parkway located on the south side of U.S. 35 and south of the golf course.

    Plus, there's the Trail Creek Forks U.S. 20 public access south of the U.S. 20 bridge, with the parking lot north of the bridge and the Johnson Road and Creek Ridge Park access located 5 miles east of U.S. 421 on County Road 400 in Michigan City.

    Bag limit

    Anglers targeting steelies on Trail Creek can expect fish in the 8- to 12-pound range and larger.

    The daily bag limit is five trout and salmon in combination with no more than two being lake trout, with a minimum length restriction of 14 inches.

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