View Full Version : Ohio steel head fishing info

06-18-2008, 10:12 AM
I am planning a fly trip to some where I have not fished and have been very interested in an Ohio steel head fishing trip. I also checked out the post by kytroutbummin and there Ohio trip. Awesome pictures looks like you had a great time.

I have a couple of questions.

1. Is September and fall a good time to go?

2. What weight fly rod and line do you use what flies dos any one recommend?

3. Are there any guides in the area that any one would recommend?

Any info and comments would be greatly appreciated.

06-18-2008, 12:15 PM
Redfish - Come on up, there are very few things as exciting as having a Steelie make those runs. To answer your questions -

1 - The "London" strain starts coming in in September and stays over the winter. The "Manistee" strain run starts in March and both are gone at the end of April, beginning of May. Fall is a great time.

2 - I would recommend nothing less than a 9 foot, 6wt, with an 8 being a great choice. I know some go up to a 9 or 10, but I can't see that being necessary.

3 - http://www.madriveroutfitters.com/default.aspx OR

The first is the site for our local fly shop. These guys really know what they are doing and I am sure they can hook you up with a good guide.

Tallman is Graham Stokes, who also works at Mad River. I have taken classes with Graham and been guided by him for LM. Good guy and good guide.

Tips - Nymphing is a primary fishing style. High sticking with and without a float will catch you most fish. Bring some good polarized specs as sight fishing is also big. I wear breathable waders with 3-4 breathable layers underneath. It do get cold. Check the Mad River page for successful Erie Tributary flies, but #4 to #10 Wooly Buggers (black, brown, olive, & white), Rummel's Mini-Buggers, Jim's Lil Bugger, Egg patterns, and some Hare's Ears should do the trick. Let me know if you need other info.

06-18-2008, 12:40 PM
I realy appreciate the info. It is just the kind of stuff I was looking for. I would not mind meeting you some time. If you are every in the towsend area let me know I would like to fish the mountain streams with you.


06-18-2008, 12:46 PM
September in my opinion is very unpredictable for ohio tribs. Both for water levels and SH runs. I have caught fish as early as August 15th but generally do not expect to hit consistent fishing until october when rain is a litlle more plenitful. If you target the east side streams (Grand, Chagrin, Conneaut), you can always drive 30 minutes further East to PA if water/fishing conditions in ohio are not favorable. PA is combat fishing at its finest and I prefer ohio where you can get some solitude but If you are driving from TN it would be good to have a back up plan if fishing in Ohio during the early fall.

I have not used a guide since I use to live in the area, but have heard good things about Mad Rivers as BR suggested. However, In my opinion, a guide is not neccesary since most of the access areas are well pulicized and there are several sites that can get you pointed in the right areas (Imho).


06-19-2008, 07:05 AM
I agree with Steelnuttz, to be sure of fish being there I would shoot for the end of October, beginning of November as an early time. I had my best day ever on October 30 of last year. Plus, the weather can be spectacular at that time of year.

I have to disagree with him on the guide. Unless you have done this kind of fishing, I think a guide would be very helpful. I was well into my second season before I could spot fish. Reading water and casting to a spot you think will produce works okay, and is rewarding when you do pull a fish out. But sight fishing is sure a lot of fun, and can be very frustrating. There's nothing like casting to a fish, hitting him on the nose and watching the take, or the refusal. The water is easy to access and the Cleveland Metro Park system is really something.

I'll be looking at retirement in less than a year and Townsend is a place I would love to fish. I may take you up on the invite.

06-27-2008, 12:12 AM
hey redfish im from the erie pa area and have fished for the steelies alot i used my 8ft 6wght you will need a very light tippet 6x works well wolly buggers always produced well but alot of guys are using nymps now the west erie county tribs fish very well but you will be dealing with alot of people these fish are easily spooked you will see up to 20 or more fish in a whole 2ft and up and they will run from your fly its frustrating early morning before the streams get to packed usally end of sept and into oct the steelies will start to run first cold snap with rain will start the run but if the lake is calm good fishing is had rt near the mouths of the streams if you want to know more detail on the erie streams shoot me an email also check out this web site fisherie.com you will find some useful info if you can find some post from the fall and winter hope this helped a little

11-19-2008, 01:24 PM
Buckeye, I will be in Lima Ohio for Thanksgiving. I was hoping to take a rod up there and look for some of those SH waters. Anything near the Lima area? I have read about several fisheries up near the lake outside of Sandusky, but thats almost 2 hours from Lima.

Any advice?

11-20-2008, 10:53 AM
GK - You picked an area of the state that I am not familiar with. Try going to this site -
http://www.ohiogamefishing.com/ and click on the "Main Forum Index".

They have a board that divides the state into 5 areas, with the NW being one of them. That would be your best bet for info.

11-21-2008, 08:45 PM
Do you know how fishing has been so far this year?

02-05-2009, 05:34 PM
GrannyKnott ,

I'm from Lima . No . Their is quarry near Bluffton that has trout . Most of Steelhead i know is up by Cedar point amusement park.

02-16-2009, 04:04 PM
Check out this site. These guys seem to be pretty intense in the pursuit!
www.steelheadalleyoutfitters.com . That should get you there. We fished with one of these guides on the Muskegon several years ago. He moved down to this area, says there are more fish. I have not fished the area, though want to do it.........maybe this year. See how the economy goes though.