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

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Old 10-05-2008, 02:48 PM
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Default Steelhead Alley

Morphius here and i was wondering what your opinion of Steelhead Alley is? If you do not know what steelhead alley is, it is the stretch of rivers connecting into Lake Erie and Ontario that is in Ohio, PA and New York.
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Old 10-05-2008, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

I have fished it many times. The stretch from Cattaragus Creek to the Rocky River along Lake Erie, is probably the finest steelheading in the country when the conditions cooperate. A few points:

The PA fishery, is primarily a fall-winter fishery with a smaller (average) strain of fish from Oregon (I believe). I find these guys easy to catch and land if you understand the basics of line mending and presentation. I also don't find them to be as good of fighters as the Manistee River fish that Ohio plants.

The Ohio Fishery tends to come a little later with larger better fighting fish. While PA starts in Late Sept. and last credibly until about the third week of April, OH fish start late Oct. and will run thru early may. the PA fish are winter -early spring spawners, the OH fish are Spring spawners (both fisheries have some spill-over from each others stocking.

I would suggest picking up John Nagys excellent book.

It is definitely worth the trip with one big caveat. High Water can shut every thing down very easily. Most of the streams are small, and heavy agricultural runoff in the area can turn the streams into unfishable chocolate. Unlike MI waters which tend to hold color better, these streams for the most part simply do not fish when brown. In low water conditions I would avoid the PA streams and stick with the larger OH streams or the Cattargas.
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Old 10-06-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

I have only fished in the Salmon River in upstate New York and only for trout in the summer. However, the locals tell me the salmon runs are spectacular. They start mid Sept and run into November. For the Salmon River a guide is definately recommended. There are private stretches of the river that a guide can get you on where you won't be shoulder to shoulder. Where as, the public areas are just that crowded. It is not uncommon to get a 20+ lb salmon. The closer you are to the lake, the better your chances of a hook-up with egg sack or other fly. My relatives keep urging me to come out and fish in the fall. I may have to do just that. Of course it would require a new rod and reel (just what my wife would want to hear).

Good luck and tight lines!
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

I have fished the ny area for years and highly recommend you go right now...Also get Rick Kustich's book (Fly Fishing the Great Lakes Steelhead) He knows steelhead ally better than anyone else.
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Old 10-06-2008, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

I fish the vermilion for lake erie steel. not a bad river for steelies but seems the rivers like the rocky and the others east past cleveland have lots more fish in um. probably the fact that the pa strain and the manistee strain both inhabit them.
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Old 10-07-2008, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Steelhead Alley

Is a little bit of heaven for a confirmed steelhead fisherperson; look I'm becoming politically correct...LOL Seriously Steelhead Alley is an awesome fishery. As far as crowds go, that is definitely a factor; pick your days and plan on walking a little. If you can fish during the week instead of the weekend you'll see a bit more room. Even on high use days; if you walk a little further you can find some peace.

Tight Lines,

Dan
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