SAO Pages

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Summer to Remember, But There's No Place Like Home!

The leaves are changing and the weather is starting to feel a lot more like Autumn here on Lake Erie. Most of the guys have concluded their summer guiding gigs and have started to migrate back home to the big lake to scout and fish for early season Steelhead.

At this point a few good pods of early run fish are scattered around the lower tribs. Hopefully we will see some good rain in the next couple days and continued low 50's through the coming weeks, as this will start the fall season with a blast of fresh steel. The bad news is that the tributaries are extremely low and clear right now. But the good news is that the fish have been pretty thick and the sizes have been better than average. It's really just a matter of time now.....

Our guide schedules are filling quickly as we get closer to kicking off our season! If you are interested in spending a day or two fly fishing for fall Lake Erie Steelhead we would love to share in that experience with you. Please don't wait or hesitate to put your dates in early... If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at 419-466-9382 or

Below are a few of the recent pictures from the gang!

Guide Brett McCrae with fresh chrome
straight from the big pond!

Another fine early fall specimen.

Guide Tim Hess will a solid Lake Erie Steelhead.

Tim with another early fall Steelhead.

Steelhead That Fell For A Micro Bead Head Nymph.

Guide Joel Bock with a fresh Lake Erie Steelhead.

John Miller has nearly completed a great summer of guiding clients on the Delaware River system for Brown and Rainbow Trout. As of late the streamer fishing has been great and John only has a few more trips to run before he joins us for the fall Steelhead runs. A special thanks to our friends and associates over at the West Branch Angler for a wonderful season! Here are just a few of the recent trip photo's, and if you are interested in fishing the Delaware River system and need more information please visit

A beautiful Delaware River Brown Trout!

I couldn't think of a better way to spend the day!

You can't fake smiles like that!

Another good Delaware Brown Trout.

Another good Brown Trout...

Delaware River Brown trout poses with a happy angler!

And we'll end with this toad of a brown trout!

SAO guide Mike Schultz spent some time away from his summer guiding haunts on the Huron River in Michigan to fly fish Baja, Mexico for Dorado and Rooster Fish! If this doesn't get your blood pumping, I don't know what will. I will let the pictures he sent over do the talking!

Schultzy poses with one of the Rooster Fish caught on the fly!

Nice Dorado, but that hat is off the hook bro!

Schultzy holds another fine Rooster Fish while fly fishing in Mexico.

Our hosted trip for Alaska 2011 is down to it's final two slots! This will be our fourth trip back and we are really excited about it! There is just something about Alaska that just keeps talking to you! Here are a few more pictures that just came in from this Augusts hosted trip with SAO's Joel Bock and Jason Gregory. If you are interested in fly fishing Alaska, you will really enjoy fishing with our group. Remember only two slots remain, and many have expressed interest....the clock is ticking on this amazing opportunity. For more information check out the top of this blog in the hosted events page.

Hooked up on a Naknek River Silver Salmon.

A Margot Creek, Alaska Arctic Char.

A fresh Naknek River Silver from "Silver Bend."

Another Margot Creek Char.

Fat Naknek River Rainbow Trout.

A fat Sockeye Salmon from Brooks River, Alaska.

Brooks River, Alaska.

A nice Silver Salmon from the Naknek River.

Brooks River Rainbow Trout.

Pushed out of the pool by one of the locals!

I hope you enjoyed the last of this summers photo's! Our focus has now turned to nothing but the approaching fall Steelhead runs, scouting the local tributaries, and tying lots of flies! We will have more to come your way very soon....

Until Next Time!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mixing it up a little bit....

Recent rains have brought most of our area rivers to a muddy mess! The guys have been out scouting pretty heavy the past two weeks and finding a few fish here and there. I am sure this rain will push fish into some of the local tributaries, and steelhead fever will turn the lower rivers into a angler infested battlefield! Remember it is still very early in the season and most fish will not reach the upper stretches yet. We will have warm days still to come and the rivers are already dropping, so take some care if you plan on releasing your catches.... Good luck to all and have a great fall steelhead season on the Alley!

We only have one spot left to fill for our Steelhead School with Jim Lampros and Orvis Cleveland! If you are interested in attending or would like to be added to our mailer for future Steelhead School Dates, please visit the Fly Fishing Schools page at the top of this blog. Also, Orvis Days will be kicking off starting next month and your local area Orvis Stores will have a lot of great seminars and speakers on hand to provide you with a ton of great information, tips, and tactics for Lake Erie Steelhead!

Our guiding schedule is filling extremely fast! We would love to spend a few days on the river with you this fall! If you are interested in catching fall Lake Erie Steelhead on the fly, please don't hesitate to request your dates early! We can be reached at 419-466-9382 or at For more information on our services and specific trips please view the pages at the top of this site! We hope to see you this fall!

Early fall steelhead that hammered an Emerald Shiner
imitation during a recent scout trip!

SAO Guide Tim Hess with a bruiser Lake
Erie Steelhead from a recent outing.

If you are interested in the latest steelhead streamers and guide flies, please check out our free step by step fly tying blog at over 50 patterns available to the avid fly tyer from area local guides and fly designers....

John Miller is still doing very well over on the West Branch of the Delaware River! Streamer fishing is at its best and some really big brown trout are on the hunt! John will be available through the rest of September and into the first week of October, so if big Browns on big flies is up your alley give him a shout over at Here are a few of John's recent Trout trip photos...

Conner holds a huge Delaware River Brown
Trout he busted with Guide John Miller.

Orvis Cleveland Fly Fishing Manager, Jim Lampros, casting
streamers for big Delaware River Brown Trout!

West Branch Brown Trout that smacked a large streamer!

John Miller's Delaware stealth drifter on the "D".

John Miller poses with a nice streamer caught Brown Trout!

As you can tell the guys have been out and about this summer, and the local fishing is just starting to get good! Here are a few more pictures from SAO's Joel Bock and Jason Gregory's hosted trip to King Salmon, Alaska! We currently only have 3 spots left open for our annual return to Alaska in 2011! If you are considering a trip to Alaska we would love to have you as a part of our group! Please visit our hosted trips page at the top of this blog for more information...

Naknek River Camp guide James "Little Jim" Johnson
displays one of Jack's Arctic Char from Margot Creek!

A fresh Chrome Slab of Naknek River Silver Salmon!

As You Tube's famous Double Rainbow Guy would say
" Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God! It's a double rainbow! LOL!!!

James holds a nice Brooks River Rainbow Trout!

Another nice Arctic Char from Margot Creek, AK...

Some of the crew takes a break for a quick
photo at the famous Brooks Falls!

Double Pink Salmon on the Naknek River!

A recently released Sockeye!

Lake Erie Steelhead are literally right around the corner! We hope everyone has a great season, and you can expect to see and hear a lot more from us in the very near future...

Tight Lines!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Adventures of Flybum - The Final Day

The last day of the trip had finally come and I was now standing on the piece of water that for two years had been the source of discussion about coming to Idaho with fellow SAO guide Ben Barger. I had seen photos, heard the stories, and thought it would be cool to go some day, but really wasn't serious about getting a trip on the books.

As it turned out, this was the summer for the trip and I was finally here. The story begins just a day earlier.....We were heading back to Don's place after a huge 1000+ mile sweep through Idaho and Wyoming and conversation turned to this last piece of water (left nameless on purpose).

This river is known to locals as an amazing Brown Trout fishery....but it is also known for fish that take a lot of very small offerings (18-24's). In fact, according to the guys I had spoken to, most fish that are taken on or just under the surface come on these small flies. Catching big fish on small flies is always a rush, but after talking to these guys, I was left with a nagging question. That question was do they hit hoppers....I mean, this is "out west," so they have to eat hoppers. Sure this was my first trip out west, but anyone who knows anything about big Browns out west is that you can't complete a sentence about Brown Trout without saying "hopper!" Well, that is what I I right? So the question finally came out of my mouth and I was shocked by the answer.

Upon asking the question, I got a resounding "NO." NO? Did they really just say no? I was a little taken back. Despite my shock, I have always been one to follow the ideology of when in Rome do as the Romans do. So, I quickly dismissed the hopper question and began to mentally prepare for small flies on light tippets.

Fast forward back to the following day and you'll find us cruising along the river...What a beautiful river in an awesome red rock gorge....WOW.....I was taken back by the high desert rock and flora. It was all so beautiful and truly captivated your mind and eye.

In short order, we pulled into the parking area and I opened the door. This was the next WOW moment. As I opened the door, I was hit by a wall of heat that I haven't felt in a very long time. I walked toward the back of the SUV and met Ben coming from the other side. When I looked up at him, I scowled and said, "Did you really bring me all the way out here to fish in this absolutely horrid heat? I mean really Dude, you are not serious!" I was almost angry...I mean really, it was almost 100 degrees. I'M A STEELHEADER MAN.....ha, ha.

So, after getting slapped by the heat, Ben and I both made our way down to the river. On the way down though, that nagging question about hoppers came back and hit me square between the eyes. I had just walked from the parking area down a trail 25 ft long to the rivers edge and kicked up no less than fifty grasshoppers. Seriously, can you feel my inner turmoil? Fifty hoppers in less than half the distance and my head was spinning. Two plus two was not adding up!

Nevertheless, I tied on my size 18's and headed up river to the first section of water. When I got there I was in a complete state of denial, but quickly started to fish. In short order, I was seeing some really BIG fish moving in the slot I was fishing. I watched as a few came up and took things off the surface, but they wouldn't even look at my flies. I kept watching and evaluating and watching some more. Within a few minutes I was distracted by a bunch of boisterous banter coming from a group of fisherman up river who had apparently landed a nice fish. I couldn't make out all that they were saying some 200+ yards up river, but when the wind blew just right, I thought I heard them say hopper. YEAH, there was that stinking word again. I looked up stream at Ben and said (with quite an attitude), did they just say hopper? I started fishing in a state of denial and now I was going to fish in absolute defiance of what I had been told about this place and these fish.

I immediately cut my leader and with it the small flies that these big fish apparently didn't want. I quickly grabbed for my hopper box and perused the selection with a critical eye looking for just the right one. There it was. I grabbed it, tied it on, and couldn't wait to launch it into the air. As soon as the fly box was put away, I targeted a nice fish that had been working the far bank. I put the first cast right on the money and watched as the fish moved up to take a heart beat paused....OHHHH MAN I said as he nosed down. I picked up the line and put another cast right in his sucka, eat (yes a redneck who is fluent in ebonics) I said under my breath. As the fly approached, he didn't move to take a look at it....HE SLAMMED IT! The fish came rocketing out of the water and I immediately shouted at Ben. "I thought they said they don't hit hoppers....Woohooo!" I am a fanatic at times and this was definitely one of those times.

SAO guide Patrick Robinson enjoys a nice
smile put there by a very healthy Brown Trout.

A close up of the first nice Brown landed

As quickly as the first fish came, so did many others. I added to the big hopper a nice dropper and now it was as insane as any fishing situation could be. I have never had so many fish so willing to play. I was on fire and was loving life. In fact at several times throughout the day, I had Ben laughing so hard that he couldn't keep the camera still...and it was all due to my expressions of excitement! I love days like this.

So, the obvious theory of western Browns that don't eat hoppers was now a fallacy of monumental proportions and based on my performance, Ben couldn't cut his leader fast enough. As soon as he was able to get a hopper on his line, he had huge fish 20"+ rising to his flies as well. It was a hot day that was getting hotter by the minute!

SAO guide Ben Barger with a nice Brown Trout in the net

An awesome fish comes out of the net!

Ben and I continued throughout the day switching back and forth from filming and fishing and I can tell you I would still be there if it weren't for the fact that I had to catch a flight super early the next morning. We caught tons of fish in the 20" range and some bigger. Other fish were seen that we couldn't coax into a fight, but that was ok. This day was single-handedly the best day of Brown Trouting I had ever had!

Another healthy Brown Trout brings memories to the day

I always find myself in awe at the beauty of the spots

As the clock kept ticking and reminding us of the impending departure, we fished all the harder. In fact even after saying it's time to go, we fished the way out walking and casting with each step. More fish came and went, but our smiles remained!

Smiles are exchanged on western waters!

This was one heck of a day and an awesome day to conclude the trip on. I will be back to this stretch of water, mark my words!!! Thanks for reading along with me over the past month or so as I recalled the memories from awesome western waters. I am looking forward to my next adventure and I hope you are too!

The Steelhead season is just around the corner and our bookings are as strong as ever. If you are looking to get out this fall, give us a shout. We would love to get you out and share with you the world-class water we call home. If you are interested, give us a call at 419-466-9382.

Until next time,

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson
Head Guide
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fall Lake Erie Steelhead Preview- Let's Get This Party Started!

Well it's nearly that time of year! The summer has been flying by, and everyday we get closer to those first runs of dime bright Lake Erie Steelhead. Yeah, Yeah, I know it's a bit early to start talking Steelhead, but great events are being slated, and to be perfectly honest there is no better time to get the juices flowing. Now is the time to start scouting those tributaries, rearrange the fly boxes, dust off your gear, and start pestering your local fly shops!

Are you new to fly fishing for Lake Erie Steelhead? No worries! On October 30th and 31st we will be hosting an in depth steelhead school in conjunction with Orvis Cleveland. Local Steelhead Expert and Fly Fishing Manager Jim Lampros will be spearheading and leading what will be an insiders view of an evolving Steelhead fishery, with an extreme emphasis on tactics, techniques, gear, and preparation. For more information please visit the fly fishing schools page at the top of this blog.

Orvis Fly Fishing Manager Jim Lampros poses with a
beautifully colored Lake Erie Steelhead! We hope to see you
at one of the Orvis hosted Steelhead Schools!

Our fall Steelhead guide season is starting to fill! If you are interested in spending a day or two along our tributaries, we would love to share in that experience with you! All guide trips will be with a experienced local and licensed professional guide. All equipment, flies, leaders, tippet, and a stream side lunch are included in the price of the trip. Discounted hotel and lodging options are available upon booking. We look forward to having a chance to show you what Steelhead Alley has to offer!

Dave "Super Dave" Thatcher poses with one of the fall
Steelhead he caught with SAO last fall!

Another added bonus to an already outstanding fishery, is the addition and introduction of lake run Brown Trout. This fall we should start to see some of these trout returning to the tributaries and providing an added bonus while fishing for Lake Erie Steelhead! Look for the newest issue of Fly Fisherman magazine for Matt Supinski's Latest article called "Brown Town" We will have several new fly patterns featured along with great tips for catching lake run Brown Trout.

A gorgeous bonus lake run Brown Trout caught
while Steelhead fishing with SAO last fall!

Most of the SAO gang is starting to make their way back home after guiding out east, west, and hosting trips. Joel Bock and Jason Gregory reported back that their trip to Alaska was a blast, and as soon as the pictures come in we will get a full post up! Scott McClintock is driving back from guiding Montana's Yellowstone River this summer, and John Miller is still hitting big Browns on the Delaware River for the West Branch Angler. Brett McCrae just returned last week from guiding Wyoming's finest trout streams, and Patrick Robinson and Ben Barger are still editing outstanding video footage of their summer western trout endeavors. One thing is certain all the guys fished their butts off this summer, and are in tip top shape going into our fall Steelhead guide season!

Joel Bock with a Naknek River, Alaska Silver Salmon.

6 time NFL Pro Bowler Irving Fryer living it up in Alaska with SAO.

Jason Gregory poses with a Naknek River, Alaska Rainbow Trout.

Like I said, let's get those juices flowing, and get this party started early! We'll have a whole lot more coming your way in the coming weeks!

Until next time!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters