Trail Creek Guide Services

Trail Creek Guide Service - Creek Information

Trail Creek is located in Michigan City, IN. Only 70 miles east of Chicago, It is considered one of the best Trout and Salmon fishing locations in the United States. With the creek being one of Lake Michiganís most popular tributaries anglers flock from all over to world to join the run. People consider Trail Creek as an anglerís paradise.

The creek offers many different types of species of the Salmonoid family such as; Skamania Steelhead (a hybrid species of Trout and Salmon) , Rainbow trout, Steelhead trout, Brown trout, Coho salmon, and King/Chinook salmon. The long stretch of the creek provides different opportunities for the various Anglerís different style and preferences such as: fly fishing, spin fishing, drift/float fishing.

With year-round angling opportunities, come to Trail Creek Guide Service and experience the fun and excitement of world-class Trout and Salmon fishing!


Almost every angler dreams to hook and land a Steelhead. These incredible and magnificent fish are considered by some to be the most popular game fish. Steelhead are hard fighting, bullet fast and amazingly acrobatic fish with the ability to leap out of the water up to 5 or 6 feet. The Steelhead are stocked each year as fingerling and migrate downstream to larger bodies of water.


The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking Salmon and Trout along northwest Indiana's shoreline since the late 1960's. Chinook/King salmon and Coho salmon were introduced from the Pacific Northwest in 1966 and 1967. Rainbow trout, or Steelhead trout were also extensively planted. The area stocked extends from Michigan City to Whitting, Indiana and includes sites along the St. Joseph River, Trail Creek and the East Branch of the Calumet River. Brown trout stocking in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan began in 2002 through a cooperative trade agreement with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources( IL DNR). Indiana trades Indiana's born Skamania Steelhead for the Illinois Brown trout. Due to hatchery constraints, Indiana last stocked Brown trout into Indiana waters of Lake Michigan in the early 1980's. The continuation of the Brown trout stocking program is reliant upon future availability of fish from IL DNR.

The Pacific Salmon and Trout spend their adult lives in the Great Lakes instead of their native ocean. When they become sexually mature, they migrate back to the stream where they began in order to spawn.

The King/Chinook salmon and Coho salmon die after spawning; Steelhead and Brown trout may live to spawn again in future years. The age of sexual maturity varies among species. Normally a Chinook matures between 2 to 4 years of age, Coho between age 2 to 3, and Steelhead between age 3 to 5 and Brown trout between 2 to 3 years of age. Chinook Salmon, Coho salmon and Steelhead make up the majority of the fish migrating and returning to Trail Creek and other streams and tributaries of the Great Lakes.


Late-June Thru Mid-August
Average Size: 8-12 lbs (some can be as large as 14-16 lbs.)

Late-September Thru Late-October
Average Size: 4-6 lbs.

late september-late october
Average Size: 8-14 lbs (some can be as large as 16-25 lbs.)

Late-October Thru March
Average Size: 8-12 lbs.

Trail Creek in Winter
Trail Creek in Winter
Trail Creek in Winter


The stocking schedule of Trout and Salmon in Indiana waters of Lake Michigan includes:
  • Summer-run Steelhead - stocked in early April as yearling(14 months of age).
  • King/Chinook salmon- stocked in early May at 6 months of age.
  • Brown trout- stocked in early July at 8 months of age.
  • Coho salmon- stocked in early November at 12 months of age.
  • Summer-run Skamania Steelhead- stocked in October as fingerling at 8 months of age.
  • Winter-run Steelhead- stocked in December at 9 months of age.


Skamania: summer
Steelhead: mid June to mid October

By mid to late June, depending on water temperatures and water levels in the tributaries, the summer-run skamania will return to Indiana's tributaries where they were stocked as fingerlings or yearlings through the winter months and spawn from mid-Febuary to late February (this can be as late as March). These giant fish begin rushing upstream by the hundreds weighing on average 8 to 12 lb with some exceeding 16 lb or more.


Skamnia and winter-run Steelhead.
Adult Steelhead (summer-run and winter-run) return to the streams where they were stocked as fingerlings or yearlings.

All species of Salmonoids (Coho, Chinook, Steelhead trout, and Brown trout ) are available to sport anglers during spawning runs, when Trout and Salmon move into/upstream the tributaries.


In winter months from January through March, success is strongly dependent upon environmental and stream conditions, particularly stream water level. Skamania will continue to enter the area tributaries throughout the fall and winter months. Skamania and Steelhead spawning activities begin around mid-Febuary through March. The spent steelhead then once again migrate downstream to larger bodies of water . . . The Great Lakes.


Coho salmon - 20lb 12oz (John Beutner 1982)
Chinook/King salmon - 38lb (Rich Baker 1980)
Steelhead trout - 26.62lb (Evan Nicholson 1999)
Rainbow trout - 18lb 8oz (Bill Bigger 1988)
Brook trout - 3lb 15.5oz (Sonny Bashore 1973)
Brown trout - 29.03lb (Glen Duesing 2006)
Pink salmon - 2lb 12.5oz (Richard J. Lisac 1985)
Atlantic salmon - 14lb 4oz (Gene Tarrant 1979)
Tiger trout - 3lb (Mike Ratter. 1978)
Lake trout - 29lb 4oz (Harold Rodriquez 1993)

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