SAO Pages

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Steelhead Alley River Report & Update...

Elk Creek, Girard Boro Park 09-29-09

Elk Creek, Girard Boro Park 09-29-09

Here are a few pictures of Elk Creek at the Girard Boro Park from this Morning. The recent rains have added some much needed water to the area streams. I am sure steelhead have began working into the lower end of the streams and are pushing up. More rain is in the forecast this week, and hopefully we get it this year to help spread the early runs through out the rivers.

The Ohio tributaries also got a good push of water from the recent rains, and I am sure that the same is happening with steelhead moving into many of the Ohio Tributaries. More rain is still fore casted to fall this week, and it is still currently raining. A lot of our staff live stream side and see the rivers daily, so we will keep you updated.
*Current Steelhead Alley River Reports can be viewed at the top right hand side of this blog and is updated frequently all year long by the staff.. This is a quick reference to the daily conditions without having to search for the info.
Tight Lines and Have A Great Fall Season!!!
Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Once Only In Dreams, My Eyes Have Now Seen

For years, going back to my childhood, I can remember dreaming of an opportunity to travel to Alaska. For more than just a child, Alaska is a place that many dream and women alike! It is easy to see why so many dream of this place. It is full of amazing wildlife, some of the largest in the world.....Caribou, Moose, Grizzly Bears, Polar Bears, Walrus and the list goes on and on!


The land is strewn with majestic glacier covered peaks many of which are alive inside (volcanic). Circumventing the peaks, clear water and glacial water streams flow rich with life of every kind. Each has is own special characteristics and I guarantee they will leave a mark on your soul that you won't soon get rid of.

MARGOT (pronounced Mar-go) CREEK


Another cool thing about Alaska is the crazy color of water that is found in some streams and lakes. Rivaling waters further south in the caribbean, the glacial waters of Alaska will leave you absolutely awe inspired! Some rivers and lakes flow with a beautiful shade of cloudy turquoise blue (that can't really and truly be described). you will just have to take my word for it when I say it is simply spectacular.

All in all, the state 0f Alaska is breathtaking and will take more than one lifetime to explore unless you have the opportunity to live there. My first opportunity to explore came just about a week ago. It was an amazing opportunity and one I am thankful to have taken. Fishing on the fly was our focus and I have to say that the fishing was spectacular. It was at times so fast and furious that it left your head spinning like a top. I can remember one such instance when I was fishing for Bows on the swing on the Naknek River. Now, mind you, swinging streamers for any species is fun and rewarding, but you don't typically get fish hand over fist using this technique. I recall that morning on the Naknek, and I went five Bows in a row all over 20" with two breaking 25". These weren't the grab and got em on the first try either. These were patience testers. You know the kind? Hit you stay in the game....strike you twice, still nothing....the swing continues........then BOOOOM..........PAYDIRT! The drag starts to scream and off into the deep the bows would head.

All in all, the fishing was spectacular! From Rainbows to Char, Grayling, or Salmon.....every fish was an honor to catch!



To sum it up, Alaska is a truly amazing place. In the days that lie ahead, I will strive to share with you some of my photos and stories from our time in King Salmon.

Currently, I am trying to relocate my family to a new home so bear with me if the posts don't come as fast and furious as all of us would like. I am currently writing with paint covered hands and an aching back. Nevertheless, I will keep posting every opportunity I get.

Until next time,

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Surfing for Steel! Lake Erie Steelhead Report and Update...

" Steelhead Alley Sun Set"
Saying that we need rain right now is a bit of an under statement! All of the Ohio and Pennsylvania Lake Erie Tributaries are a trickle of what they need to be to get the season going. The night time temperatures have been good and a few resilient fish are making there way into the lower sections of the streams in very small numbers.
The Lake Erie surf on the other hand has seen some really good fishing. Small pods of steelhead have been cruising the shore lines, waiting for the same thing we are RAIN!! Intercepting these pods in the early morning hours and during the last hour of evening light is your best shot at early season steel....
Emerald Shiner imitations between 3 and 4 inches have been good producers. Clouser Minnows, White and Olive Buggers, Rabbit Zonkers, and Custom Emerald Shiner Creations are good choices. If you are getting the bug to wet a line hitting the surf is well worth the time! Most of the beaches are angler free and dime bright fish are putting up one heck of a fight as they peel of line toward Canada!

SAO Guide Jason Gregory with a Lake Erie Steelhead from the surf.

If you look closely you can see a few steelhead cruising.(click picture to enlarge)
On a side note it looks like the PA Fish Commission is doing some work on trout run. The holding pool is being made much larger by the looks of it. We can only wait to see the out come of the construction work, as constant improvements are always being made to make the fishery better.

Construction work on Trout Run..

Until Next Time!
Tight Lines
Greg Senyo
Owner/Operator SAO

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Alaska Part IV: The Red Salmon

I am fascinated by the large schools of Sockeye jumping waterfalls and being caught in mid air by hungry grizzly bears! HD Television and the Discovery channel do a great job of making you feel like your standing next to the production crew. For years I have watched, just waiting for the opportunity to head north.

To finally arrive in Alaska and experience the wildness and fishery first hand has created an addiction I will need to feed for the rest of my life. What TV fails to provide is the tingling sensation on your neck when a 1200 pound grizzly sneaks up behind you, and proceeds to fish well with in your comfort zone! This was something that you learn to come to grips with and soon appreciate.

The shear numbers of sockeye layered in the pools is mind boggling! It did not take too long to realize how important the sockeye was to every living creature on this land. Humans, bears, Birds, eagles, char, trout, etc... depend on the red salmon flesh & Eggs to sustain them through the long winter. It was a time of plenty and nothing goes to waste.

Estuaries such as this looked like the water was stained with pure blood, as thousands of Sockeye were constantly pouring into the streams. Large Rainbow trout and Char were strategically placed among the salmon gorging themselves on drifting eggs and flesh. Watching the Grizzly bears tear into salmon after salmon put alot of food in the drift, and watching the char feed in and spar for feeding lanes was extremely entertaining.

Every good group of salmon was followed, patrolled, and preyed on by the large Char and Rainbow Trout. Fishing egg imitations on the out side edges of schools like this produced alot of good fish. At first you were excited to catch Sockeye along with the Char and Trout, but after a day of landing these red beasts you started to feel like there numbers would get in the way of your drifts. What a problem to have right? Too many fish in the way! LOL!!!

Sockeye half eaten my a grizzly becomes food for wolf, birds, and the weak and old. Nothing but bone will remain in this highly utilized Eco System.

This is what the Red Salmon made possible for me. The opportunity and chance to catch and release Large Arctic Char! A dream come true and something I have always wanted to catch on the fly.

Watching huge fat grizzly bears crash into the stream from the near by alders and high grass was awe inspiring!! It also scared the living s**t out of you time and again. The old saying of turning white and resisting the urge to scream like a little girl would describe this situation perfectly. Its not like I have 1500 pound bears back home on the Alley to worry about, so it took a day...or two to get use to the whole bear thing.. In the end I feel like I won and overcome my fear of being bear food.

Greg Standing on a large boulder fighting a large Char that was sitting behind a school of sockeye. Everyday since I have arrived back home, I found myself day dreaming of my stay in AK. So much to do and so little time to do it..

The Prize of the Sockeye runs! Big Colorful Char, My pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I have never held a fish that was as beautifully colored and as mesmerizing in 20 plus years of fly fishing. I felt full filled and a sense of accomplishment and true appreciation for being granted this opportunity.

For their size, I was amazed at how agile these big bears could move to catch salmon. Along the streams you see alot of large holes that are dug out by the bears just to put their bellies in while they rest.

Sockeye on Dry Flies? I spent a good amount of time swinging and stripping mouse patterns in search of Rainbow Trout. The mouse would slash over the school of sockeye, and next thing you know this large green alligator jaw would
poke through the surface and take off with your dry! It was an added bonus and happened quite often through out the day.

Sockeye are very territorial and aggressively attacked patterns such as woolly buggers, egg sucking bunnies, and small sculpins. When hooked their wide bodies are tough to turn and make for one heck of a battle.

John Clouser fights a trophy sized arctic Char that took a tangerine colored egg. We were all amazed at the number of 20 plus inch trout and char in the streams. Add that to the line busting runs, the wildness setting, and the terrific company it makes for a great time.

Standing over a pod of sockeye, and watching the Char feeding on the far outside edge of the school. The next photo shows why we were so excited.

I was able to get a hand on the char from the pool above. Dave fought him like a champ! The funny thing was just minutes after this fish was released he was back feeding! These fish don't waste anytime...

John with a trophy class sockeye!

Sharing water with some of the locals.

Joel with a Trophy Red.

Solitude and Trout on the fly.

Dave with a nice fly caught Red.

Talk about being shuffled out of your hole!

Craig with a sockeye on the 4wt.

Eric with a red salmon from the mouth of the Brooks River.

This grizzly decided to fish directly across from us.

School of Red Salmon

Swinging and drifting buggers and leeches produced alot of strikes.

Sockeye that smacked a mouse pattern.

Alaska will be forever a place I visit! Counting down the days already!! We will be hosting back to AK again next year, and we are already taking those RSVP's. If you are interested in spending a week with us, we would love to have you. We can be contacted at 419-466-9382 or
Steelhead season is right around the corner, but we need alot of rain to get it started. Our Ohio and PA steelhead Alley reports are current every week through out the entire year. The report is located right next to the blog entries on the top right hand side. We will keep you updated!
Until next time....
Greg Senyo
Owner/Operator SAO

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Alaska Part III: A Rainbow in Bear Country!

I can honestly say that the Rainbow Trout was the least desirable fish I wanted to catch when I was in Alaska... I know you must think that I am crazy for saying so? Having grow up on Elk Creek and Steelhead Alley and having caught steelhead my entire life made my dreaming about going to Alaska and seeking out Char, Salmon, and Grayling much more appealing.. I kept thinking out load "Hey I have caught some big bows in my day!!"

This disrespectful put down of the Alaskan Rainbow trout went right out the window as the first fish nearly spooled me right out of the gate.The funny thing was the rainbow trout was a mere 18 inches and fought like he was a 30 inch PO'ed buck steelhead!! It did not take long for the Rainbow bug to catch myself and the rest of the group..

Talk about an exciting fishery!!! We caught Rainbows on everything from mice, sculpins, flesh, nymphs, and small eggs. We hunted huge trout holding behind schools of sockeye at will, and patiently waited at times for the Grizzly to finish snorkeling for salmon on a hot run in order to take our shot. It got to the point that I was pretty much whooped from all the excitement by the time we got back to camp at the end of the day!

The Alaskan Rainbow pretty much got me warmed up and excited to start our steelhead season back home on the "Alley". We will be seeing the AK bows again next year, and this time I can't wait..

Sun rises on camp as we prepare for the days adventure!

HEY BEAR!!! Walking through the Bush to new water, and a big bow!

Big Grizzly on the famous Brooks River.

Big Rainbow from the log jam behind me! Talk about a fight!!!

Craig with one of many nice bows.

The Famous Brooks Falls

Under water shot of Bows and Sockeye from the middle of a small run.

Craig with a big Rainbow on the Senyo Sculpin!

You know the saying a bad day of fishing is still better than a great day at work?
The guy who thought that was standing here!!!

Eric with a silvery rainbow

I like to call this " Rainbows In The Mist!"

John with a good Alaskan Rainbow.

Eric with another feisty bow..

Grizzly snorkeling for sockeye on the Brooks River.

Randy drifting a good run in "Bear Country"

As you can tell Craig had the hot hand that week!

Hey let go of my Eggo!!! Tangerine bead matches the sockeye egg perfectly.

Randy with a nice rainbow, one of many that smacked a #8 mouse on the surface.

Rainbow that smacked a mouse swung across a deep pool full of sockeye. I even got a few sockeye on dries, But more on that later!!!!

Patrick Robinson heads North to Alaska with our second group this friday!!! From what I am being told everyone is more than antsy waiting to go!! Good luck guys and have a safe trip... I am sure Pat will have alot more to talk about on his return.. If you are interseted in going to Alaska with us in 2010, please don't hesitate to call or email me at 419-466-9382 or

Until next time, tight Lines!!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters