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Indiana ranks as one of the biggest surprises in my state-fishing quest. I knew very little about Indiana fishing before the trip, and I had never fished for steelhead before. But, after talking with Mike Schoonveld (, I decided to try targeting Indiana’s Skamania steelhead, a summer-run strain of steelhead.

Beginner’s luck was definitely with me that day, as my first Indiana fish was a 14-pound steelhead, which is still my personal best. Steelhead are great fish to target, as they are excellent fighters and often make acrobatic leaps from the water. My heart nearly stopped each time that beauty jumped from the water trying to spit the lure. Remarkably, my very next fish was a nine-pound brown trout, which also is still my personal best. I then caught a smaller steelhead and a 7.5-pound coho salmon. I love catching a variety of species, especially on light tackle, and boating four quality fish of three different species made for a very memorable trip.

While Indiana seemingly does not have an official angler award program, neighboring Illinois and Michigan both do, and the 14-pound steelhead would have been a trophy in each state.

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