Steelhead Alley Fishing Report 11/8/13 – 11/11/13

Posted On: November 12, 2013 BY Delamere

          I finally got the chance this past weekend to fish some of the Lake Erie tribs. After missing the spring run because of my knee surgeries, I have been dreaming of this weekend for many months. I arrived in the Cleveland area on Friday and left Monday. I was able to have some solid days of fishing over those four days.

          My and I dad arrived in the Cleveland area on Friday afternoon. After closely monitoring the river gauges and keeping in contact with some of the local shops over the past week, we developed a strategy. On Saturday morning, most of the rivers were still running high due to a heavy rain. We hit the Ashtabula River due to the fact that this is one of the tribs that drains the quickest. The Ashtabula was still a little bit high, but fairly off color. Here the only option was to swing large intruder patterns through the deep pools and runs on a heavy sink tip. Unfortunately, this did not produce any fish. We decided to then head over to Paine Creek, a trib to the Grand River, because the Grand was very high. We hiked up and down it hitting every seam, riffle, and pool. The water conditions were perfect. The fish either weren’t there or they weren’t feeding. We didn’t catch any.
          Over the next couple of days, we fished the Ashtabula again, the Chagrin, the Rocky, and Mill Creek. We only picked up one fish throughout all of these streams. We were getting frustrated because all of water was perfect both in flow and clarity but for some reason, we couldn’t find the fish.

          Finally we decided to bite the bullet and head over the border into Pennsylvania. All week we heard reports of the large numbers of fish, but also the large numbers of fishermen. When the rivers become packed, it can be helpful to show up before sunrise and reserve a spot in the river by waiting on the bank.
          We focused on Elk Creek. The flows were high the first day along with an unbelievable amount of leaf litter. In conditions like this, lots of weight along with large bright streamers or eggs seem to do the trick. The next morning the flows had dropped along with the amount of leaf litter. We could now get a drift for more than a few feet without a leaf snagged on one of our flies.
          The whole second day on the Elk, we fished a sucker spawn variant in pink with some added flash. The fish were keyed in on the pink spawn. None of the fish that we caught that day were on anything else.  The color of the egg patterns that steelhead will take can and will change throughout the day. This just shows how important it is to keep changing up flies until one finds the right size and color. Be sure to have lots of different color combos and sizes if you are planning to head up; also be sure to monitor the flows. Good Luck!

Fell for a size 14 pink sucker spawn
First time using my new 10′ 7wt. Scott Radian… my new favorite rod!
A good selection of eggs and nymphs for Lake Erie chrome

Tight Lines,
Alexander Helmicki

P.S. I also tied some egg sucking leech patterns for the shop that work very well for Great Lakes steelhead.  Delamere & Hopkins is open Mon-Thurs 10-8, Fri-Sat 10-6 and Sunday 11-5.

Tied with an intruder-style stinger hook

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