SAO Pages

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nothing Small About These Mouths

THEY'RE EVERYWHERE! What you ask? Smallmouth my friend! At this point in our season, the fish are literally everywhere you look! If you are looking for some late spring Smallmouth bass action, now is the time.

Recently I had the opportunity to spend some time with a great client and friend named Tim. Tim has fished the Alley in the good and bad...and now we can say on a moderate day too.

When we arrived on the creek, we did so with great anticipation. Tim and I have been trying to get him up here for Smallmouth for several years and today was the day. Tim is an avid warm water guy! He loves his Bass and Muskie! Today we were hoping to get him into some world class Smallmouth on Steelhead Alley.


The day started out as I thought it would with a ton on fish barely visible in low light conditions. Several shots at fish came and went without any successful hook-ups....but no big deal I thought. Little did I know that as the sun came up, I would see the vast majority of fish sitting on nests. This isn' t the first time I have seen this, and as soon as I did I took a deep breath knowing that the fish were going to be as tough to get as they ever are.

Do you ever hate when you are right? Well, unfortunately I was right and most fish didn't want anything to do with anything....and I mean anything. Big, small, black, white, chartreuse, crayfish, lizard, minnow, didn't matter. As Tim put it, the males tending the nests were all sitting in chairs having a smoke after having paired up with all the hefty females that in recent days had laid their payloads of eggs and headed back to the lake.

Nevertheless, we didn't give up! I mean with hundreds of fish, some of them had to be willing to play. So, we kept at it....Tim kept at it and put his fishing prowess to the test. No, we didn't catch banner numbers, but we were a long way from a shut out too.


I'm looking forward to the next couple of weeks as all of those males come off nests and strap on the feed bag again! That will be a fun day to be on the water.

If you are interested in some Smallies on the fly, now is the time and the fish are filthy thick. Give us a shout and we will do the rest!

Tight Lines,

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Monday, May 24, 2010

Couple Of Good Days On The Alley!

The recent rains have kept all the area rivers in some what decent shape. I really wish we would have seen the majority of this months rain in April, but you can't get everything you want all the time. Both Will Turek and Brett McCrae had the pleasure of guiding this week for Lake Erie Smallmouth Bass, with good results in both Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are good numbers of Smallmouth Bass in the tributaries, but at times you really have to work for them. Minnow imitations were the best option for the guys this week.

Bruiser Lake Erie Small Mouth Bass.

Ray proudly poses with one of the Small Mouth
he Caught over the past two days.

Close up of a typical Lake Erie Small Mouth.

Ray with one of many good Small Mouth
with SAO Guide Brett McCrae

We will be out and about through the next couple of weeks with Erie Smallmouth trips, and outings at the Mertensia Springs Trout & Conservation Club. A special thank you to the gang over at the Angler's X-stream in Parkersburg, WV! I really enjoyed the time and appreciate being invited to the 10 year anniversary celebration of such a great fly shop. To everyone in attendance thanks for coming and I hope you enjoyed the switch rod presentation, casting, trout seminars and fly tying!

We'll have more for you soon!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Thursday, May 20, 2010

News Flash !!! Elk Creek Alligator Caught!!!

A fisherman on May 15th noticed something a little odd swimming about at the Elk Creek Access in Girard, PA. The PA Fish Commission and an animal control officer captured the reptile and found it a new home. The 3ft alligator was obviously placed in the water by its previous owner who no longer wanted to care for it.
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So now we know the reason for the decline
in our Steelhead Runs! Smolt Killer caught!

No task is to great for local PA Fish Commission Officers

You never quite know whats lurking in the water. Fly selection for this outing: Greg Senyo himself; Colors of choice: a chartreuse jump suit and pink ascot for flash!

Until next time....................

Tim Hess

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Spring Creek Gold and Elk Creek Bronze

This past Sunday, I ventured to Central Pennsylvania in the "wee hours" to meet up with Joel Bock, a veteran of the Spring Creek waters and a good friend. After a quick breakfast and a few laughs we would trek the beaten trail, in hopes of tight lines and solitude. Initially we would find those rewards as the fish were cooperative and the water fishermen free. As the Sulphurs magically appeared from the riffles, the fishermen did the same from the landscape. I have to say that it was very easy to loose the crowds in my mind as the fish occupied my conscious.

First fish of the day and the first fish
caught on my new Orvis Hydros 4wt

Nice Brown Trout that fell to a Sulphur Emerger

Joel with a nice Spring Creek Brown Trout!

Another Spring Creek Wild Brown Trout

Upon my return to Northwestern PA, I decided to wade my home waters of Elk Creek in search of the mighty Lake Erie Small mouth. I was a mere 30 minutes into it and already landed 3 nice bronze beauties. After my last release, 30 seconds passed and I was standing in water that rose an incredible 2 1/2 feet and turned to mud. I was forced to the bank and watched in awe as mother nature stole my moment.....I have never seen The Elk come up that quickly!

A Nice " pre flood" Caught Lake Erie Small Mouth Bass.

Another View

I will be back on Elk Creek in the days to come chasing Bronze Backs and praying Mother Nature decides to pick on someone else's Fishery! The Small Mouth Bass fishing on our tributaries has been fantastic! If you would like to get out let us know...

Until Then...Tight Lines!

Tim Hess
Fly Fishing Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Action Is Heating Up On The Big "D", Erie Small Mouth Season Is In Full Swing!

The rain put a damper on are Small Mouth Trips today, but by weeks end the rivers should be back to good shape and we will be back at it! On a good note the Smallie fishing has really picked up and the rest of May Going into June is going to be dynamite. Big Flies and aggressive fish make for a very fun day on the stream. We still have days open if you are interested in fly fishing Lake Erie, Presque Isle, and the Tributaries for bass...

On another note SAO Guides John Miller and Scott McClintock Have reported terrific dry fly action and some bruiser brown trout on the West Branch of the Delaware River. If you find yourself wanting to experience great hatches, big trout, and beautiful scenery, both John and Scott can be found guiding the summer with our friends over at the West Branch Angler (

Here are a few recent photo's the guys send over to rub a little salt in the wound!

SAO/WBA Guide John Miller with a hog West Branch Brown Trout!

One of several nice Rainbows from the Main Stem.

You got to love the colors on these West Branch Trout!

Another good fish on the surface.

With trout like this, I think I would smile like that too!
SAO Guides John Bowling and Ben Barger are both trout fishing in Idaho, and they will be posting about their time out west when they return. The First Installment of our 12 Streamer's of summer fly tying tutorial is up on our fly tying blog, with some really great patterns coming! This site can be viewed at

We'll Have more for you later!
Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Got Flies? New Tutorial Up, Tons More To Come...

Want to build yourself a dirty box
of streamers to swing for steel this fall?

I don't know about you, but I am pretty freak'in excited about a few fat Lake Erie Small Mouth Bass on big flies this month! Not only that but having the opportunity to play with a bunch of brand new materials and fly designs doesn't sound half bad either! Just the thought gets me pretty rowdy...Go figure?

Now that the steelhead season has finally finished, we will be ramping up our fly tying tutorial blogs with tons of great new streamer patterns to swing and strip this coming fall! Many of you who have contacted us wanted to see new sculpin and goby patterns, and I am a firm believer in "Ask and you shall receive." Now, I will not be able to have all these patterns for sale, but I promise to have good step-by-step instructions and pictures up for each one. What's fair is fair right?

Senyo's That's So 70's Sculpin
Step by Step Tutorial will be up this month!

Senyo's That's So 70's Sculpin
Other Side View

Those who asked, wanted something fun, crazy, new, and a lot of motion in the ocean! It also had to be patterns targeting bass, steelhead, and salmon. Here's the great news! This is only 1 of 12 different sculpin/streamer bad boys that will be posted on our tying blog this summer! So you can build a mean and dirty box of bugs of your very own, just in time for the fall runs of Great Lakes Steel and Salmon.

Thank you all for such encouraging feed back on all our designs, tyers, and tutorials! It makes it all extremely worth while for everyone involved... Happy tying this summer, and may your fingers cramp!

Smallies are calling...Gotta go!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's That Time Of Year!

The Lake Erie Tributaries are still fishing very well, but not for steelhead! Large Lake Run Small Mouth Bass are here and willing to take a fly... If you are interested in learning and fishing for Small Mouth Bass we can help you out. Very few angler's take advantage of Lake Erie's Trophy Bass Fishery. These fish take hard, fight hard, and are a worthy adversary on the fly rod.

JP With a Bruiser Lake Erie Bronze Back!

While Targeting Small Mouth Bass, JP hit this late season Ohio Steelhead!

Here is a little bit of information on the services offered, if you are interested in a day of fly fishing on Lake Erie Tributaries for Small Mouth Bass.

*We offer walk in and wade trips on both the Ohio and Pennsylvania Tributaries. All Equipment, flies, tippet, and stream lunch is included in the cost of the trip.

*We are also excited to offer Boat trips in partnership with the Lake Erie Ultimate Angler and USCG Master Licensed Guide Steve Brugger. Top Notch fishing on Erie's Presque Isle Bay for Small Mouth Bass and Large Mouth Bass! All Boat trips include all Equipment, flies, snacks, and refreshments. Steve operates a 2006 Boston Whaler with all the luxuries. Presque Isle has become a very popular trip choice and destination for many fly anglers.

SAO Guide John Clouser Holds a fat Bronze Back during a recent scout trip!

We will also be guiding in Ludlow Falls at the Mertensia Springs Trout & Conservation Club. The Club offers several water way lakes filled with everything from Carp, Pan Fish, and Large Mouth Bass. The property also offers great access to float the Still Water River for Small Mouth Bass, and for the Ultra light fly guy; Ludlow Creek offers great action on small 3wt rods for an array of species! These trips can be booked with us directly.

We are staying pretty busy right now offering fly casting and tying lessons, and traveling to several really great fly shops for seminars. SAO Guides John Miller and Scott McClintock are reporting great fishing right now out on the West Branch of the Delaware for big Brown Trout. If you are interested in a day of serious dry fly action get with our friends over at the West Branch Angler (

Cory with what is probably the biggest fly caught Blue Gill I have personally ever seen!
What started as a day of learning basic fly casting, turned into a very
rewarding and fun day to be out and fishing!

We'll have more for you later! Until then enjoy the rest of your spring!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters