Lake Erie Steelhead Fishing Report 12/27/13

Posted On: December 29, 2013 BY Delamere

          First off, Merry Christmas and Happy New Years to everyone. It has been a great year of fishing for everyone; and I hope more is to come! Our family went up to Buffalo, NY for a couple days after Christmas to visit family. The location of Buffalo cannot be any better for someone targeting some steelhead or brown trout. Lake Erie has many tributaries right around the Buffalo area that produce mass fish, such as the famed “Cat” or Cattaraugus. Most of the Erie tribs lay to the south of Buffalo, but fishing is just as good to the north. Here the Lake Ontario tribs can be fished. These are not only famous for their steelhead and salmon fishing, but they have an unbelievable run of browns. Browns in the 20-25” range are the norm here. Browns are caught that easily exceed 20lbs!
One of the smaller guys, but great colors.
          Right before we got to Buffalo, the whole region experienced a mass snow melt paired with lots of rain. All of the rivers were unfishable for a week or more. With this said, we had no information to go on, in terms of fish movement and locations. This was because we were some of the first people to get out on the water after the rains. After debating back and forth between Canadaway Creek and 18 Mile Creek on Erie or head north to fish the 18 Mile Creek or Oak Orchard Creek on Ontario, we chose to the Erie 18 Mile.
          When we got there, temperatures were reading in the mid 20s with water temperatures hovering around freezing. The river was still a little high and off color with shelf and shore ice for as far as the eye could see. The classic cliffs of the Erie tribs were frozen solid with giant icicles. My dad and I realized the fish weren’t going to come to the net easily and we would have to fight the conditions to be successful. When the water and air become this cold, fish in general do not move much for food. It pretty much has to come right to their face. When fishing for steeled in these conditions, the best bet are bright flashy eggs. Try chartrueses and fluorescent pinks and oranges. The fish need a little motivation to move. What steelhead could turn down a bright egg? This is at least what we were hoping. The fly should be fished with lots of weight on the bottom through the slower runs and pools. In times like this, throughly fishing water is a better bet than covering lots of water. All of Friday my dad and I covered less than a mile of stream all day, just for an idea. The magic color of the day was hot fluorescent pink. We were throwing both individual eggs and sucker spawn clusters in larger sizes due to the stained water. When the day was done we hooked roughly eight fish and landed five.
A big fresh hen my dad caught.

The rigs
Hit the 25 inch mark on the measure net.
Tight Lines,
Alexander Helmicki



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