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Author Topic: Why are they called "steelheads"  (Read 15708 times)

jdjyoung

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Why are they called "steelheads"
« on: Mar 24, 2006, 06:24 PM »
 My son asked me this question the other day, and I couldn't give him an answer. Sooo.... does anyone have any data or input as to where the name Steelhead came from?

  Thanks,

  JD
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GAMBELL

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #1 on: Mar 28, 2006, 02:01 PM »
Steelhead are rainbow trout that live in salt water and run freshwater streams to spawn (also spend their first parts of life in fresh water).  Yes there are steelhead in the great lakes but, in all reality the are just a rainbow trout.  In the great lakes, native rainbows spawn in the fall and steelhead spawn in the spring. 

Pikeguy

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #2 on: Mar 28, 2006, 02:32 PM »
Steelhead are rainbow trout that live in salt water and run freshwater streams to spawn (also spend their first parts of life in fresh water).  Yes there are steelhead in the great lakes but, in all reality the are just a rainbow trout.  In the great lakes, native rainbows spawn in the fall and steelhead spawn in the spring. 

Right. But where does the name itself come from?

bigredfishing

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #3 on: Mar 28, 2006, 02:47 PM »
I always assumed it was from their bluish silver color.

This weekend I really noticed the difference in fight of the domestic 'bows and the chambers creek strain (the strain that DEC stocks in Lake O) steelhead.  The steelhead would take off the instant they were hooked, and tried desperately to get out of the hole.  They were out of the water alot and made incredibly quick direction changes.  The rainbows on the other hand were noticeably slower, and only the bigger fish managed to run out of a hole the hole they were hooked in. 
The domestic strain rainbows tend to revert back to spring spawning after a few years...the DEC trains them to spawn in the fall so that they can deal with spawning the all the trout species at the same time (by modifying the amount of light in the hatchery)

bassjunky

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #4 on: Mar 28, 2006, 02:59 PM »
wow...I just when thru 3 search engines and way to many websites to even count....I cant find anywhere that specifys why they are called "steelhead".

My guess would match BigReds, the colouration not to mention they do not have the stripe like the rainbow so they have even more silver on them.

I did learn more then I ever wanted to know about steelheads, very interesting.

tommyboy

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #5 on: Mar 28, 2006, 03:43 PM »
Bigred and Gambell got it right.  When the naturally occurring andromodous rainbow trout is born in fresh water, it is a rainbow trout.  When it travels to saltwater, the color changes more towards the silver-blue, and they become steelhead.  They are still the same species, just slightly different coloration.  The name just stuck for the non-andromodous variety. 
Bragging may not bring happiness, but no man having caught a large fish goes home through an alley.

jdjyoung

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #6 on: Mar 29, 2006, 01:27 PM »
 Thanks for the posts!

 Gives me a little edge over my son on this topic ( He's 15 and thinks he knows everything )

 I don't know everything, but I've got the advantage of MFF for questions like these that I can't answer :D

 Thanks again!

 JD
I'll take a bad day of fishing over a good day of work anytime!

marshrat

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #7 on: Mar 29, 2006, 01:53 PM »
Steelhead are rainbow trout that live in salt water and run freshwater streams to spawn (also spend their first parts of life in fresh water).  Yes there are steelhead in the great lakes but, in all reality the are just a rainbow trout.  In the great lakes, native rainbows spawn in the fall and steelhead spawn in the spring. 
What about the great lakes thats not salt water  ??? ???

If you go back to IS i had i really long post about this i will try to find it
Chris Neal
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fishinboy

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #8 on: Mar 29, 2006, 04:54 PM »
I always have thought that steelhead are rainbow trout that live in the great lakes and come up into the rivers in the spring to spawn.  Their color is more silverish-grey than native (stream or lake) rainbow trout.  I'm not sure what living in the big lakes causes them to be that color though.  ???
Ryan

jdjyoung

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #9 on: Apr 09, 2006, 02:16 PM »
  PCB'S lol ;D
I'll take a bad day of fishing over a good day of work anytime!

Fish Farmer

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #10 on: Apr 15, 2006, 08:04 AM »
Ok,

Steelhead are a lake/ocean run rainbow, that spawns in the spring, although the males will be fertile a month or two earlier. Resident rainbows wild or stocked, could very well be the same genetics of a steelhead but just don't leave the stream or could be something entirely different. The rainbow trout is a very manipulative fish in fish culture, they are easily crossed with other strains of rainbows to produce spawners are various times of the year based on where they orginated from, temperature, light cycle, etc.

Once steelhead reach a certain size in a stream, 7" to 8", they go through smoltification which makes their body able to handle living in saltwater, salmon do the same thing. Then they migrate to the sea or lake. I'm not sure if the freshwater strains like Chambers Creek will handle the salt, but I could give it a try ;D.

As for coloration, steelhead broodstock will silver up in a hatchery, but will darken up once spawning time comes just like in the wild.

The leading trout and salmon expert, Robert J. Behnke, doesn't know where the name originated from, but probably came from the coloration.

As for the name, I think it originated from all the steel hooks in it head from the constant break offs! ;D

Any more questions, feel free to ask, I raise two steelhead strains and have five different year classes.......I think ??? ::)

Al


bigdave1018

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #11 on: Apr 16, 2006, 04:46 AM »
i know that blondes try to catch steelheads using big magnets. hey i tried, lmouao.

hpflyfishing

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #12 on: Apr 04, 2008, 10:10 AM »
I think what happened is somebody crossed a rainbow with a rocket. don't know why they called it a steelhead .

Jimmy

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #13 on: Apr 04, 2008, 10:29 AM »
Can't we just all refer to them as "Chromers"?  Then there is no question about the origin of the name...

I have a buddy who likes to call them "Metalheads"...  That's a good one too...

Regardless of whatcha' call them- they are pretty sweet on both coasts!  Go Chrome!
"Once in awhile you get shown the light...  In the strangest of places if you look at it right..."    -J. Garcia

pirkaus

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Re: Why are they called "steelheads"
« Reply #14 on: Apr 12, 2008, 06:28 PM »
Thanks for the posts!

 Gives me a little edge over my son on this topic ( He's 15 and thinks he knows everything )

 I don't know everything, but I've got the advantage of MFF for questions like these that I can't answer :D

 Thanks again!

 JD



When I was 15 I thought my father was the stupidest man alive.
When I was 21 I was amazed how much my father had learned in 6 years. ;D
If the rule is 5 fish or 5 pounds, what if the 5th fish weighs 5 pounds?

 



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