Friday, October 31, 2008
What a magic time of year. Pretty much every species of game is in season, steelhead have started to migrate in and our native trout have started to get ready to reproduce. Fishing our native streams in the fall can be awesome. Most fisherman have left the streams for the woods leaving miles of water to be picked apart with skill.
Late October of every year is when Brook Trout and Brown Trout start to spawn. The fish become very aggressive and will often attack huge streamers with force sometimes completely knocking the fly out of the water. Resident rainbows and other fish will often follow the spawning fish and suck up every egg they possibly can. Egg patterns such as sucker spawn and glo bugs can be great patterns mixed in with the usual midges and other small nymphs.
It is our duty to make sure we do not disturb spawning fish. Often you will find fish pared up over very small loose gravel. These fish are spawning or getting ready to spawn. During the fall through mid spring we must pay very close attention to where we step and often times fishing isnt even an option. Missing a month or two of trout fishing is the norm for most die hard fly fisherman. They like many before them realize that if we bother the fish or ruin the beds we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Consider finding another place to fish or fish for a different species. Many smallmouth in the rivers and lakes are taking on a mass feeding frenzy to store up valuable reserves. Local rivers in the Centre of PA have recently experienced a major shift. High temps in the summer feel much warmer then what they actually are. A chemical spill makes 80 degree water feel way over 100 and the bass seek out cooler water. Anglers are often stumped why the large resident small mouths cannot be caught in the summertime and this is why. Dont count out fishing the rivers, smallies are AWESOME fighters, pound for pound they provide some of the most exciting fishing you can experience.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Jason With Lake Erie Silver!!!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Day two chrome with Conner and Parker Carroll. Great Job guys!!!
The tributaries on steelhead alley are fishing well, and if the precipitations keeps coming we are going to be looking at some more great fishing in the weeks to come. Jim at Folly's End stated that Elk Creek was fishing great and that the water was near perfect today. Tim hess said that lower Elk was looking great and was also producing very well. The Ohio tribs have also been fishing well and most of the higher water has began to drop, but their are still plenty of leaves and debris in the flow.. Hot fly patterns were a mix today with Flo. pink eggs, Senyo's peacock and pink wiggle stones, and streamers being the hot ticket. John Miller, Pat, Will, and myself are out again tomorrow and through out the week so bare with us we will get reports, pictures, and river conditions to you as soon as possible.. Feel free to call me on the river anytime at 419-466-9382. Here are a few more pics from today's trips.
Phil with a fat fall hen from an alley stream.
Fall buck steelhead that fell for an Emerald Shiner streamer.
Tight Lines!!! SAO Staff
Monday, October 27, 2008
Those of us who keep our eyes glued to the regional weather forecasts in order to make good fishing decisions sure know how frustrating it can be to get our hopes up for either the rain or the shine that the river needs , only to have them dashed to pieces. An otherwise well-planned and much anticipated trip can end up completely useless.
Father & son with a fine Lake Erie Steelhead
Parker with a slab of fall silver.
Conner was not going to be out done! Landing this beautiful Chrome Buck.
Conner with another fine Lake Erie specimen!!
The Cossette boys pay off in silver!! These two boys were some of the best fly casters we have ever seen for their age class!!!!
Joel with another fall steelhead.
Our Guide season is starting to hit full swing, and both John Clouser and John Miller on on the water today. Just about the entire staff will be on the water this week so stay tuned for several reports and pictures from this week on Steelhead Alley.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This past August the show went on the road to Austria , Italy and Switzerland. In Austria we stayed for 2 weeks in Salzburg, a small town on the banks of the Salzach River nestled in the valleys of the Austrian Alps. Here I had the chance to meet and fish with Christoph Menz , guide and expert angler from Pro-Guides Flyfishing. ( Check them out at http://www.pro-guides.com/ . ) Christoph is a true star of the sport and as good a caster as you will find anywhere in the world. His innovative and highly practical style of throwing line is extremely relevant and adaptive to todays modern equipment , making best use of the highly efficient and tremendously improved rods of our time. He and his partner Uwe Reider are both full time guides on the rivers of Austria , with a guiding season that runs daily from spring until mid-November. If any of you are ever in that beautiful area of the world, I can't say enough good things about these two.
As we broke for lunch, Christoph laid on us his passionate belief that no one should fish a whole day without proper sustenance .... that being defined as hearty food in copious amounts, accompanied by generous portions of what else .... beer , Austrian beer. He insisted. We agreed.We closed the day on a different stretch of river surrounded on all sides by huge rocky cliffs and distracted only by the occasional free-ranging cow sloshing across the water.
The Goiserer Traun is a much larger and faster flowing river. Far from the spring creek with its' crystal clarity , it runs greenish and a little silty ,especially with a bit of recent rainfall , as it was on the day we were there. It is a completely different sort of river with a different sort of quarry. Day two with Christoph and his friend Christian , was spent nymphing for grayling.
And for all of us that don't need to travel internationally to fish here ... Get out the gear , tie up the flies .... time to get it on!
Monday, October 20, 2008
I was hoping that the .78 ths of an inch of water that fell in Ashtabula County on Thursday night would pump a little life in the eastern Ohio tribs. Oddly enough, everything was still fairly low and clear. Seemed like yet again the headwaters of our tribs had been passed over as the rain hugged the lake shore.
Even though, the combination of what little rain did fall with cooler air temperatures was all the encouragement the fish needed after having been stressed out all week in hot, shallow water. As I fished through the morning and into the better part of the afternoon, small pods of fish were shooting up every run and riffle. What seemed like easy pickings quickly turned into hard work to convince a couple of fresh fish to take a short detour from their biologically driven pursuit of the perfect love shack somewhere upstream.
Imagine my surprise when I showed up at the river on Saturday and it was at normal volume and off color! Apparently not all of the headwaters to the tribs had been overlooked by Thursday's storms. But where were the fish? So easy to spot the day before they could be scattered anywhere through the river. We would have to "run and gun" until we located a pod of fish. Heading upstream we quickly fished through several stretches of river with no reward and slim indication we were even casting over holding fish. Finally, having given up trying to guess how far a steelhead can travel over the course of a night and part of a day we headed down river to the mouth to intercept fresh fish headed upstream.
A change of scenery was just what the fish doctor ordered and within a relatively short period of time we located and convinced several steelhead to come to our flies.
Bill Poock with his first Ohio steelhead.
So, what did we learn? First, make sure to check the weather, guage, and rainfall of the headwaters. Second, it's better to intercept than chase. Third, if it ain't working then change - change flies, change technique, change location. Just CHANGE. Fourth, persistence pay off.
Remember, it's still early. The leaf hatch is just getting started and it will take one or two stiff storms to blow the rest of them down and then clear 'em out. So until then, don't expect too much and get your licks in when you can...