I fish the Lake Erie Tributaries in Ohio - I'm from Willoughby and live 5 miles from the lower Chagrin River.
In spring, when we get a small amount of steelhead coming into the rivers, I always fish the faster waters with copper john nymphs and wooly buggers. The most common misconception around here is that you should use white in muddied water and dark in clear water. In many cases, its really the opposite. A dark brown, black, or olive bugger can cast a nice big dark outline in some muddy water and I've had great experience catching many steelhead like this.
In the winter months when the water is cold and the fish are lethargic, I stick to egg and suckerspawn patters. Typically a double egg, double sucker, or a mixture of two using a tandem rig under an indicator in deeper slower pools and slower tailouts. Many guys I know toss big streamers from switch rods and use a slow swing, but in my experience you'll get better numbers from eggs/suckers.
In spring when our fish come up in huge numbers, they are aggressive and will attack almost anything. In fast deep pools and big tailouts, I always swing big streamers. In shallower and quicker runs, I stick with big wooly buggers in size 4 or 6 - red, purple, white, black, olive, brown...pretty much anything will agitate them when they are feisty.
Since our waters are generally deeper and muddier than the PA tributaries, I always use a 0x or 1x leader with 1x and 2x tippet. Fluoro is good and practically invisible, or so they say, but with our water you do not need light tippet.