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

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Old 04-09-2014, 09:49 AM
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Default Steelhead Alley

Friday we took off bright and early heading for Cleveland. Thursday night a bunch of rain and storms had moved through St. Louis depositing several inches of water into our rivers and streams and they were all raging and out of their banks. We hoped that the same would not be true up in Ohio. We had been planning this trip a long time and just when it looked like we had our timing just right, the rains came.

I was getting reports from the Alley and things were deteriorating the closer we got to our destination. We stopped at the Cabela's in Columbus and talked to the guy in the fly shop and he showed us a website that gave great up-to-the-minute info on the condition of all the area rivers. It was great to get all that info except all that info sucked. We bought a few things and headed on to Cleveland trying to stay optimistic.

Thankfully, a new friend of mine here on the forum was also communicating with me and checking the water levels. After a quick check with him as we drove the rest of the 600+ miles gave us a glimmer of hope. We owe a great deal of gratitude to Glenn (lake flyer) for all of his help.

We got up on Saturday morning and found our way to the place Glenn suggested we get started. I was fishing away but still coming up empty in the chocolate milk colored water when I heard someone ask if I was Mike. It was great to meet and fish with another member of this great forum.

Rick (troutn) took this picture of me early on the first morning. It was in the mid-twenties and the water was 39*.
Click the image to open in full size.

Shortly after Glenn arrived the moment I have been waiting for came. I got my very first steelhead. Yeah, I was kind of happy. Sorry if you don't like pictures with a dumb grin but I will love these for the rest of my life.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

Glenn stood there with me as I caught at least three steelhead. I was telling him a story when I swung my black Zonker into a hard strike. I paused briefly as I set the hook and continued the story as I fought the fish in. Glenn thought it was kind of funny that I couldn't even let a great fight with a fish shut me up. Yeah, I talk too much sometimes. But, hey, I was excited.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I caught eight on Saturday. That far exceeded my expectations. I was planning on grinding it out for a few days to get one.

The second day we tried another creek and came up empty. So we headed back to the honey hole from Saturday for the evening. I only landed one but Rick and Steve caught a few more. I'm still trying to get all the pics and videos together. I'll add some more later.

On Monday we went back to the same creek again. We had to fish further downstream to avoid a crowd of meathunters that had surrounded a hole I was hoping to fish. It was ridiculous to see five people around a twenty foot hole with fish on stringers already. If a fish tried to get out of that hole he had nowhere to go. Too many feet were in the way.

Click the image to open in full size.

We fished this small section of the creek and caught several fish all from the same tiny hole. The real highlight of the trip came on this day. We all three had fish on at the same time and landed them all. A triple hook-up is a lot of fun. There was a lot of boyish laughter coming out of us old men!

Here I am sitting down for a second to take a break. I didn't take a break for long. My backside was getting cold. This ice will be around for a while.
Click the image to open in full size.

Here I am experiencing the thrill of victory.
Click the image to open in full size.

And the agony of defeat.
Click the image to open in full size.

I am officially addicted to steelhead fishing as of last Saturday morning. I am really grateful to have great friends to teach me to fish for this awesome species. I learned a lot this weekend and am looking forward to learning more.

Also, thanks to stlgeoff for holding that reel for me till I could afford to buy it. It served me well on one of my all-time favorite fishing adventures!
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:22 AM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Great report, thanks for sharing it here!

B.E.F.
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Old 04-09-2014, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

great story. Nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. welcome to a never ending journey.
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

There nothing more to say, except you are on your way to many more adventures!!!!!!!! Yea, there is something about a bunch of old farts standing around giggling after catching a three fish......I mean think about it, "How many fish have they caught in there life time? And earlier you were so giddy after catching your first" I always ask myself when giggling after having fun "How old am I?" 53 years old....really......
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

your going down as my great lakes tribs spring time hero

i couldnt imagine that many fish in my wildest dreams
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:33 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Serious good times.

Back in the day that used to be a stretch on the Skagit River in NW 'Sawashington.' Ya, it could rail like hell. Big, seriously big water in front of you and that was when it was best. Fish would move into feet 'off your feet.'

Only time/place where the rod/reel had 20#'s of line/leader from start to finish. Couple of times that wasn't enough. Fellow next to me got 'spooled.'

fae
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Old 04-09-2014, 12:46 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Nice report Mike and congratulations! I think you are on my never ending list of fishermen that I have infected with "Chromers". Sorry about that Christy!
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Quote:
Originally Posted by troutn View Post
Nice report Mike and congratulations! I think you are on my never ending list of fishermen that I have infected with "Chromers". Sorry about that Christy!
Haha! You are a great fishing buddy! Thanks for all you have done for me.
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Old 04-09-2014, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Good report Mike! It was my pleasure to meet up with the three of you!

To all who are reading this thread, it isn't all that easy to do as well as these guys, they can fish!!

The water conditions were basically "coffee-with-cream" colored water. Pretty much unfishable for most folks on Saturday, their first day. But they stuck to it and found the fish and more importantly they found the taking fish. They stayed away from the fish on the redds and caught a lot of the males competing to move up and a lot of transition fish on their way up.

I was impressed to say the least!

Mike watching you catch your first steelhead with Rick on the net made my day!!

Glenn
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Old 04-09-2014, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Glad you guys had a great time. With the amount of water we got leading up to the weekend I was wondering how you'd do. You can't beat a trip like that.
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