Mike Durkalec Bio | Q&A

I have been a fisherman my whole life, chasing everything from sunfish to musky. My true passion, though, is reserved for steelhead and the other salmonids. I caught my first steelhead in a Cleveland area river in the mid 1980's at the age of 13 and have been gut-hooked ever since. I have fished for salmonids all over the country...in all the great lakes states (and Ontario), as well as in the Pacific Northwest, Rocky Mountains, and New
England states. I have played with all the methods and techniques for pursuing steelhead and other lake-run trout...but spend most of my time these days fly fishing and using specialized European float gear (centerpin reels and associated gear). I started fly fishing and tying flies over 20 years ago, and have fished floats for steelhead for the past 15 years. I have been featured in a number of newspaper articles (and most recently in a Quest Outdoors video) discussing the merits of using specialized float gear for steelhead, and have been fortunate enough to fish with/learn from some of the best steelhead fishermen in the great lakes region.

I am lucky in that I have been able to combine my love of the outdoors and nature with my profession as an Environmental Scientist. I earned an M.S. in Fisheries Management from the Ohio State University in 1996, where I studied natural reproduction of an endangered fish species (paddlefish) in Ohio rivers. Work, though, is really no more than a necessary evil which allows me to continue my unhealthy obsession with standing in rivers watching a small float sliding along in the currents...just waiting for that moment that it dips beneath the surface (I guess that's my "fix" in life). These days, I can often be found stalking trout on the Lake Erie tribs throughout the fall, winter, and spring with my trusty Labrador retriever Kodiak by my side, who is always ready to eat any unlucky shiner or sucker that I might catch.

Welcome, Randy Gerrick


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