Superior Lake Trout and Coaster Brookies

by | May 27, 2024 | Bowman Island Lodge | 1 comment

Bowman-Island-LodgeEvery morning at Bowman Island Lodge on the Ontario side of Lake Superior the day starts with a Gary Lange breakfast.  Today was bacon, eggs and hashbrowns.  After the more than hearty breakfast my fishing partner Joe Wolthuis made sandwiches and soon we were on our way for lake trout and coaster brook trout.

 

 

coaster-brook-troutThe mighty Lake Superior was flat.  You don’t see this often.  On such a day you should take advantage and travel to areas you normally can’t.  Joe and I did exactly this and began with a 45 minute boat ride where a cluster of islands are so close together that there’s current running between them.  These currents are called “seiches” and are caused but a mix of things from the actual tidal pull that this massive lake has along with strong wind and quick changes in atmospheric pressure.

 

Superior-coastersAll trout like current including the coaster brookies of Lake Superior.  Last year Joe and I found this location on our last day and learned that large numbers of coasters were attracted to this place.  Sure enough, in a matter of a few casts, Joe hooked up.

 

 

coaster-brook-troutCoaster brook trout are the oversized lake-dwelling brook trout that once flourished in the Great Lakes.  Unfortunately they were overfished and their habitat was so degraded that by the 1970’s they were nearly extinct.  Thanks to 40 years of conservation work they are making a strong comeback.  Joe and I spent the first two hours of our day fishing the seiches and landed about ten of these beautiful fish.

 

lake-troutI’m addicted to lake trout and always have been since I was a kid.  After our brookie bash we returned to a tiny rock island we caught lakers at last year.  For lakers I fish my 8-weight, the Scientific Anglers Sonar Surf to get deep, a level piece of 30lb Fluoro and a heavy chartreus jig fly.  The deep living members of the char family were there!

 

 

Joe-Wolthuis-lake-troutThis may come as a surprise to most, but Lake Superior has four phenotypes or subspecies of lake trout.  There’s the lean, humper, siscowet and the redfin.  Then to make things confusing, there’s some crossbreeding amongst these.  This one Joe is holding is likely the redfin.

 

 

Currier-lake-troutWhile the redfin is somewhat obvious because of the reddish fins and orange hue to the body.   The other somewhat obvious would be the siscowet.  Siscowets live in super deep water and are especially fat.  The one I have here – hmmm.  Definitely not the redfin but not sure which of the other three it is.  What I do know, this is an absolutely gorgeous specimen!

 

coaster-brookiesDuring the afternoon we caught more coasters then went back to lakers and back to coasters again.  We had a truly outstanding day one here on the Ontario side of one of the world’s largest lakes.

 

 

 

 

coaster-brook-trout-currierOne coaster worth mentioning is this one here.  By early evening the wind was so strong that managing the boat and fishing was beyond a chore.  It was nearly impossible.  And being this is only a four day fishing trip; we both want to fish as much as possible.

 

Not too far from the lodge is a beach with a fast drop off and weeds.  Its an ideal place to fish from shore and make a short cast directly into the wind.  We ended the day here and I landed this monster coaster.

 

Bowman-Island-LodgeThat’s all she wrote for our first full day.  This is an incredible fishery.  Gary finished our day off with a porkchop dinner to die for.  Our last bite was at nearly 10 PM.  Time for bed!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Howie

    Awesome Jeff, those are some gorgeous fish!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!

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