SAO Pages

Monday, December 28, 2009

Snowy Steelhead Alley River Report and Update...

Brett McCrae and Steven pose with a good sized steelhead, caught
just a day before the storms struck the region...

Snow, wind, slush, ice. That's been the theme here in northeast Ohio over the past 24 hours. I've been out the past couple days, and the deterioration of conditions has come quickly and decisively. Many of the rivers along steelhead alley, although still a bit on the high side, are unfishable due to slush and ice. Significant shelf ice has not formed yet in many areas, but with continued cold temperatures and slushy streams it's likely that it will form very soon. Snowfall amounts vary, but most of northeast Ohio has been blanketed with around a foot of the white stuff.

I'm not a weatherman, but with the forecast predicting lows in the teens for the remainder of the week, it's likely that we've seen the end of our fall steelhead season. Although many believe differently, I think that this fall was one of the more memorable that we've had over the past few years. Despite the low water, certain stretches of our area rivers fished incredibly well, and rivers that are normally rarely fishable, were fishing for extended periods of time. On average, our fish ran a pound or two larger than average, and the elusive "big fish" made regular appearances at the bottom of our nets. Success required lots of flexibility, adjustments, and persistence, but was well worth the effort.

I'd personally like to thank everyone I fished with this past fall - every day on the water is a memorable one, but spending time with quality people makes them even better. I think I speak for everyone by saying that we really appreciate your business, enjoy your company, and eagerly await the next time we get you out on the river.

Until then...

Brett McCrae
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas from SAO!

I still can't believe how quickly the fall steelhead season has come and gone! Even with the funky weather and river conditions experienced by anglers across the Alley, it was still a very memorable and rewarding season! The entire team here at SAO would like to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas! We all truly appreciate each one of you and wanted to thank you for choosing to fish with us, your willingness to place fly orders, and your encouraging feedback on our fly fishing services and websites. Because of your continued support each and every year we are able to pursue what we love, and we are extremely grateful for the opportunities to do what we do with all of you...

Nothing looks better than a jazzy new fly box on a winter back ground!

Shawn and Tim pose with a decent December Ohio Steelhead!

Tim with another Ohio Lake Erie Steelhead.

The Release...

As the winter freeze over approaches, our focus will turn to our fly tying blog, fly fishing shows, and fly tying presentations around the Mid West and North Eastern US. First stop is January 9th in Indianapolis for the Indiana On The Fly Show!!! If you are in the area this is a great show and one you don't want to miss...!!

We have been taking bookings for our spring 2010 steelhead season. Our guides always fill quickly so don't hesitate to RSVP your dates as we look forward to a great spring season!!!

Be Safe and Happy Holidays!
From our family to yours Merry Christmas!
Sincerely,
Greg, Patrick, Will, John M., John C., Joel, Brett, Tim, Jay, Ben, John B., Jerry, Schultzy, Graham, Joe, and Brian...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter White and Steelhead Bliss!

The day started later than usual today due the threat of ice that was very real and persisted the first half of the day. About 1:30, all traces of slush and ice in the flow had subsided and we were once again free to fish as we would have liked to earlier in the day.

Below, Steve does the best he can to fish the flows of ice.


THE ICE FLOWS AROUND 10:30 AM ON THE ALLEY

Despite the ice, we were able to find some water that allowed for decent drifts. It wasn't to awful long before Rob, a first time steelheader, had his first piece of steel in hand. A nice buck to start the day brought warmth that only a true outdoorsman can understand.

ROB WITH HIS FIRST STEELHEAD...
....TRULY ONE TO REMEMBER

The fish were slow to respond due to the colder temps, but in time, with a bit of diligence, things started to heat up and as luck would have it, the newbie had the hot hand for the day. I had just tied on my "Chicken Little" pattern for Rob and told him I would really like to get some photos of this fly with a fish. Rob was very willing to listen and nailed this heavy shouldered buck to get his afternoon session underway.

A NICE HEAVY SHOULDERED BUCK TAKEN
ON ROBINSON'S CHICKEN LITTLE

*Note: The Chicken Little is now available through local fly shops and the Orvis Company (click here) in three colors. If you are interested in giving it a shot, they can be ordered at either of the the above links.

A DEFORMITY IN THIS BUCKS KYPE DIDN'T KEEP
HIM FROM MUNCHING AN AFTERNOON
SNACK OF CHICKEN LITTLE.

With the pressure starting to mount on the other side of this father-son duo, Steve decided it was his turn to put one on the board and he did so in fine fashion! This was a beautiful hen that looked to be full of eggs soon to drop.

STEVE POSES WITH A BEAUTIFUL HEN

A CLOSE-UP OF A LADY WE ALL LOVE!

I don't know about all of you out there who read our blog, but I have to say that there is always something special about a father and son outing. They are the kind that hold a sacred place in every fathers heart and definitely hold a special place in mine, as I have sons of my own. Today, was special that way as Steve and Rob shared a beautiful day on the Alley!

A FATHER AND SON SHARE IN SILVER AND SMILES

The day was drawing to a close and it had already been a huge success, but Rob decided he wasn't done! In fact, he felt the need to add some punctuation to the day and an exclamation point seemed to fit very well.

Just as we were making last casts, he proclaimed "there it is!" I looked up to see his rod doubled over and on the other end was a very stout hen that was sure to please. He handled her well and within moments we cradled her in the net.

All I can say is that it was a great way to end an already spectacular day!

LOOK AT THE GIRTH ON THIS GIRLS BELLY

ROB POSES WITH HIS EXCLAMATION POINT CAUGHT
ON ROBINSON'S CREAMSICLE STONE

And of course, it wouldn't be a day without the cooperation of father and son holding onto a very nice memory making fish to end the day with. This is what it is all about....family, holidays, and memories of a lifetime!

FATHER AND SON HOLD A MEMORY MAKER!

Today was a great day with slush and fish to be had. The hot flies for the day were Robinson's Chicken Little, Robinson's Creamsicle Stone, and various egg flies in orange and pink.

As the forecast looks, slush will continue to be an issue. However, with mildly cold temps, we may squeak out the holiday season with open water. If you want to get out with a guide, give us a shout at 419-466-9382 or simply book a guide in the sidebar of this blog. Otherwise, get out, have an awesome Christmas and a safe New Year.

From me to everyone that I fished with this year, thanks for a great year! I am officially done and headed home for the holiday. I can't wait to see many of you at the big show in Indianapolis after the first of the year. Greg and I will be tying, manning our booth, and I will be presenting in the main convention area....look us up if you are there.

Sincerely,

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Gettin' Em While the Gettin's Good!

The day got started early, but not too early. Afterall, the cold temps both in the air and in the water are a sure combination for ice....and ice is around for sure.

We got a good start on the Alley this morning with little ice to contend with. The higher flows on some streams have kept ice development down, but everything is on the drop and clearing, so that will change. As this happens ice will only become more of an issue. If we get another couple weeks of fishing in, we will be blessed!

Yesterday though, I didn't have to worry about ice keeping us off the water. The streams were flowing, and fish were to be had. We got the day started early with a nice piece of fresh chrome....and that is always a great way to get it started! Way to go Ryan for getting the skunk out of our bag!

RYAN WITH A LITTLE CHROME TO START THE DAY

After fishing the morning, with little results, we changed things up, relocated and were into fish again. It was fun today as my clients were hard workers and always willing to laugh. I don't know about everyone else, but one of my life mottos is "Life is hardly worth living without laughing," and today we did our fair share! Either laughing at each other, or at ourselves, we had fun!

RYAN BUSTS A NICE HEN FULL OF EGGS
WHILE PAT SAYS WHO IS THIS GUY? YEAH,
RYAN GOT OFF TO A FAST START....BUT PAT
KNEW HOW TO RALLY BY THE DAYS END!


A NICE CLOSE UP SHOT OF THE HEN ON ICE

Pat and I had some good times on that water that is for sure! Between the learning and the abundance of laughing, fish were brought to hand and then the smiles just got bigger! Here Pat poses with one of the few bucks we landed for the day.

PAT HOLDS A NICE BUCK

As we progressed through the day, both Ryan and Pat's skills improved and so did their ability to catch and land fish. These guys were willing to fish in the toughest of conditions and fortunately for them, after previous weather cancellations, today it paid off.

Here is another nice hen landed during the course of our day together.

A BEAUTIFUL HEN WITH A WINTER BACKDROP

PAT POSES WITH HIS PRIZE FISH OF THE DAY

The flies that took fish today were nuke eggs in orange and pink, but by far the hottest fly of the day was what I call my "Money Fly." It was so named after landing the largest fish of my guide career a few years back that taped out in the 37" range and was estimated by the DNR to weigh around 17-18lbs (you can see a photo in previous blogs). Another hot fly for the day was the new "Chicken Hawk" which is featured on our fly tying tutorial blog.

At any rate, the streams are cold and the air temps colder. We are fishing every day and watching to see if mother nature is going to lock things down. We should see considerable ice in the next few days as we approach Christmas. If you can fish, do it soon! If you are interested in a guided trip, give us a shout. We love to fish this time of year and for those who are willing to brave the cold, big rewards can come!

Until next time, tight lines and a Merry Christmas to everyone!

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Short Steelhead Video, and Steelhead Alley River Update!

As most of you already know it has been pretty chilly out there... This morning saw some slush flows on most of the major tributaries, but open water can be found. Tomorrow we are forecasted for a dose of rain and air temperatures reaching near 40 degrees. If you are into winter fishing and willing to fight through the snow, slush, sleet, and side ice a few really nice steelhead can be caught.

Fat and healthy winter Steelhead...
Going into next week the forecast is calling for a mix of snow and rain, And we will be out there!!! We'll give you an update as soon as we can... Until then here is a link to a short video done by our good friends and colleagues from the Orvis Company from one of there recent outings for Great Lakes steelhead on the fly!


As it continues to get later into the winter we will be adding several New Fly Tying Tutorials to our Steelhead Alley Fly Tying page, and will be attending several shows and fly tying events... Information for these events can be found on the side bar of this blog.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Guide Trip Gift Certificates are also available, if you are looking to give that loved one a great day of fishing along our beautiful Tributaries for steelhead this spring, or Small Mouth Bass this summer, information and gift certificates can be purchased by calling me at 419-466-9382. Gift Certificates are also available for our Brook trout Retreats and summer cabin rentals and golf get away weekends in Warren PA!

The spring season is also right around the corner and our prime dates are booking fast! We would love the opportunity to spend a day or two with you on the river this spring, so if you are interested in catching Lake Erie Steelhead on the fly give us a shout at 419-466-9382 or email me at gregsenyo@yahoo.com



Mark with one of the steelhead he caught earlier this week with SAO Guide John Clouser.

We'll have more from the rest of the guys later, until then have a great weekend!!!

Greg Senyo
Owner/Operator
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hangin' With The "O" Show!

This past weekend we had the opportunity to spend a few days of fishing, testing products, and filming with the hard working development crew from the Orvis Company. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend to fish on the "Alley"! Area rivers were up from the recent rains, and the air temperatures were on a straight drop. Make no mistake winter is here!!! I love fishing for steelhead in the middle of a snow shower, its an awesome feeling and about as peaceful as it gets on the river..

Needless to say our three days spent on the river yielded some very nice steelhead, a few bonus browns, cold fingers and toes, and good times by all! Its is very rare for us to get this many guys together in one place, and all at the same time due to every one's busy schedules... It was worth waiting for and we can't wait to do it again in the future.

Jay proudly holds his prize after several great runs and jumps despite the cold water temps on the Elk.

Mike puts a drift through one of several good runs on Upper Elk.

Mike pays off with this good Buck!

Shawn with an Elk Creek Brown Trout.

Brett puts one in the net for Nate!

Nate releasing another nice steelhead.

Friends for life!!! Orvis Cleveland Fly Fishing Mgr. Jim Lampros and Steelhead Guide Brett McCrae with doubles on a snowy Ohio Tributary..

Mike Schultz with a fat Ohio hen steelhead.

Jay with a bonus Ohio Tributary Brown Trout!

Ohio steelhead poses with the new Orvis Hydros rod series and the new Orvis Mirage Reel!! Look for this hot new reel in the coming months!!!

Jay with a beautifully colored Elk Creek Buck!

Saved for last!!! SAO Guide Mike Schultz with a heavy Ohio steelhead!!!

Currently river conditions are improving with some rivers already fish able today. The air temperatures are down right nasty cold, and the wind at times is near unbearable! On the flip side temps will get better through the week and the streams are open! We will be out the rest of the week, so check back for more a little later...

Thank you to everyone involved this past weekend and to all the anglers who toughed it out this week! I'm looking forward to clearing frozen rod guides and stomping the streams will you this winter...

We have already started filling for our spring 2010 steelhead trips, so if you are interested please call me at 419-466-9382 or gregsenyo@yahoo.com to RSVP your spring dates. If you would like to experience winter steelhead fishing at its best this December we have a few openings if you would like to get in that last steelhead fix of 2009.
Until next time!

Greg Senyo
Owner/Operator
steelhead Alley Outfitters

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Day Full of Fish and Bliss

Every once in a while you have the opportunity to fish on a day where everything goes right. The fish are cooperating....the fish are fresh.....the client is working hard.....just one of those special days.

Well, today was one of those days and Roger was the client. He was an easy to get along with fellow and very teachable....although we had a few good laugh when he would inadvertently set the hook the wrong direction. But truth be told, any mistakes very greatly overshadowed by the number of hook-ups and fish landed throughout our time on the water.

A lot of the fish were fresh and full of fire. One super fresh buck came out of the water over and over as it ran back and forth in the long sweeping hole we were fishing. Below you can see how Roger spent most of his day on the water with me.

CAN YOU SAY FISH ON?

It didn't take long before Roger had the skunk off. That meant chrome in the hands and a platinum kind of smile on the faces....mine included. This fish was a fun one!

A BEAUTIFULLY FRESH BUCK...NOT
BIG, BUT FULL OF FIGHT

Not long after a fresh piece of chrome, Roger was back to fish again. All I can say is that for a first time steelheader and a novice fly fisher, Roger did a fine job with getting good drifts. His casting was superior for his time fishing on the fly and mending got the job done perfectly. When you do that, and fish are present, hold on.....

ROGER POSES WITH A THICK FISH

A NICE KYPE ALWAYS BRINGS A SMILE

CHEEKS OF RED ARE THE BEST FALL COLORS

As Roger kept at it throughout the day, fish continued to come to hand and we were grateful for that. I absolutely love days like this and look forward to another one very soon! Here are a couple more shots of fish caught during the day.



The fish liked pink today and passed up most other offerings. I didn't care....I had enough pink to last a week. Congrats to Roger on a stellar day of fishing for steelhead on the fly. One thing is for sure Roger, you rank in the top of your field for first timers. Keep it up and you will do very well for yourself!

Until next time,

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Monday, November 30, 2009

Steelhead Alley Fishing Report & River Update...

Well, I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I know we did here at SAO. For most of us, it was much needed time off with family and friends!

I had the opportunity to get out of town to visit family, get out the old over and under, run my dog, and put down some birds. Now granted, they weren't wild birds (obviously....most of them are hens), but they were birds. We had a nice section of private property that we were able to release birds in the day before and they all worked just like wild birds, so we were very happy.

Most of the guys in the hunting party were new to bird hunting and left all of their birds in the field...call it brood stock for next year ; )

FAMILY AND FRIENDS WITH A FEW BIRDS
FROM THE DAYS HUNT.

As I was hunting, we did have a few of our die hard weekend/holiday warriors out on the water. Here are a few shots of the days catch.....some very nice fish and did someone say chrome? Oh yes, the fish are still coming in. Now just pray that the rivers don't freeze for another month....or better yet, that they don't at all. Now that is wishful thinking.

THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE CHROME

A HEALTHY FISH TO THE NET

WHAT EVERY REDNECK LOVES....CHROME!

ANOTHER NICE FISH FOR THE DAYS TALLY!

The waters came up today with the rain from last night, but remained fishable throughout the day. More fish are coming by the day and the fishing has improved over the low water conditions we had a couple weeks back.

We were out today and will be throughout the week, so we will keep you posted on what we find and how we do with the clients!

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters