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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...


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Old 09-27-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default Top 5 Steelhead flies?

Im heading to Erie PA to try to slay some steel in a few weeks what are the best flies in your opinions for lake run steel head?

I have woolly buggers both crystal and olive, muddler minnows, Dolly lamas, sucker spawn in orange, pink, chartreuse, crystal, and cotton candy, a whole bunch of nymphs ranging from all sizes with the largest being the stone fly.... anything else i need?

Oh and what leader i was thinking 3x with 4x flurocarbon tippet
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Old 09-27-2012, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

Pick up some steelhead hammers in chartreuse as well as double bead stones. Also bring 2x and even heavier tippet for swinging flies (egg-sucking leeches and articulated patterns, as well as more classic patterns work).
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:04 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

If I were to narrow down a list of 5: sucker spawn, blood dot, bugger, caddis larva, stone.

One of the problems with Erie is that those fish see a TON of flies so it pays to have a variety of sizes and colors so by all means don't limit yourself to 5 flies. As for the eggs, DO have a variety of sizes and colors with you. If you don't, you'll kick yourself when you don't have the right fly. Some days eggs are the ticket, others you can't go wrong with trout nymphs. Then there are times when the streamer bite is on. If you tie, make a tweak or two to these patterns and don't be afraid to experiment. I have found that sometimes a fly other than what they are used to seeing makes all the difference in the world.

As for leader, 3x is what you want. When you tie on tippet be prepared to go anywhere from 3x-5x depending on the amount of water/clarity in the streams. If you are tying fluoro onto the mono, don't forget the tippet rings or TINY swivels.

Last but not least, don't forget to haul your garbage out with you and please pay attention to posted land. We seem to loose more of it every year thanks in part to some disrespectful slobs. That's not to say that you fit into this category, but it's an important message that all of us fishing there should keep in mind.
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Old 09-27-2012, 10:10 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

i see you are from suburb pittsburgh... I went to Hampton township in the north hills if you know where that is

---------- Post added at 09:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:08 PM ----------

Oh ya and one last thing which trib is best this time of year? Im experienced with twenty mile the most... I was thinking there or walnut or elk

I agree with you totally about the conservation of the land. When i was in AK i noticed mono-filament stations where you could dispose of old fishing line and it would be recycled. PA should get on this idea. I always see garbage and old fishing line everywhere it disgusts me.
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Last edited by nrp5087; 09-28-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:35 AM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

I grew up in the Mon Valley south of Pittsburgh.
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Old 09-28-2012, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

As for which trib...any of the tribs are worth hitting, including the ones you don't have listed. Two deciding factors for me are crowds and amount of water in the stream. Be prepared to start at one stream and move to another. And have a backup plan.

Some of the public access points have those disposal stations for line and garbage at the parking areas. I was really glad to see the line disposal/recycle stations the first time I saw them.

Good to see a few others from the Burgh on board.
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Old 09-28-2012, 12:02 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

Over the years I have had my best success on the PA tribs using smallish(size 14 or 16-sometimes larger or smaller) sucker spawn flies. My order of preference for color has been: white, pale pink, yellow, strawberry pink, orange or chartruese. I tend to fish them under a small indicator with the minimum amount of split shot that I can get away with. I prefer lighter tippet, usually 4x or 5x Orvis superstrong unless the water is really off color. These days I prefer swinging flies with a two-hander so I don't fish the PA tribs as much as I used to, but If I do use a single hand rod that would generally be where I would start. Of course, there is no single correct answer to your question. At times, almost anything can work. Enjoy your time on the streams. Tight lines.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nrp5087 View Post
Im heading to Erie PA to try to slay some steel in a few weeks what are the best flies in your opinions for lake run steel head?

I have woolly buggers both crystal and olive, muddler minnows, Dolly lamas, sucker spawn in orange, pink, chartreuse, crystal, and cotton candy, a whole bunch of nymphs ranging from all sizes with the largest being the stone fly.... anything else i need?

Oh and what leader i was thinking 3x with 4x flurocarbon tippet
I live in NE Ohio and fish steelhead alley in both Ohio and Erie PA all fall and spring. If you're taking flies to these rivers I would recommend wooly buggers (olive, black, white), single eggs, sucker spawns, egg sucking leach...and even some big streamers if the flow is good enough 2-3 days after the rains.

Alot of people that fly fish up there do so with strike indicators and egg sacks.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:37 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

here are my boxes that go with me everywhere

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]
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Old 09-28-2012, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Top 5 Steelhead flies?

That third box is all you'll need. Stay away from anything floating, they're all on the bottom.


Alot of times I'll use a tandem rig of an an egg or sucker spawn with a wooly bugger. Not sure where you're going in Erie, but if you go to Elk or Walnut, then get some Atlas Mike's egg sacs (non floating) and use it about 3-4ft under an indicator. The water on the Elk is such slow moving (under 10cfs) that you're indicator drift fishing, stripping buggers, or casting little kleos.
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