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Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

Joined:
2007/2/21 22:57
From York, PA
Posts: 45
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Hey everyone,

I am trying to get ready for my first time steelhead fishing!! One of my buddys and I are going to take a trip to Erie for our first chance at catching steelhead.

I guess I am just looking for some advice from the experienced steelhead fisherman out there:
Is early March a good time to head up to Erie?
What flies work best that time of year?
What is your favorite (most productive) stream to fish (Elk, Walnut, 16 mile, etc.)?
Good hotel, close to fishing/food/beer?
Fly shop to visit?
Any other advice you have?

We do not have decent steelhead rods in our arsenal so we will be picking up new rods also. I am looking at Temple Fork Professional and Orvis Clearwater II in 9'-10' for 7 weight. How do they sound? Any other suggestions in that price range?

I appreciate you input guys. Thanks a lot!!

Justin

Posted on: 2009/2/24 11:41


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2008/2/18 10:20
Posts: 1266
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March is a good month to go. I like fall better, however. Anyway if you have the luxury of planning a last minute trip that would be ideal. Erie's weather can change like that.

Fly wise....I hear streamers work good in the spring, however, I have never used them. Small egg patterns, sucker spawns in a variety of colors produce. If flows are low you might want to use a more natural pattern like PT's, stoneflies and picket pins.

A 7 wt is a perfect rod for Erie.

Fly shop you can go to is Poor Richards Bait and Tackle

Good Luck!

Here is my favorite pattern! Although, I think it is more about the drift than the pattern. Remember, they are BIG DUMB TROUT IN FROM THE LAKE!!!

Attach file:



jpg  evb.jpg (0.00 KB)


Posted on: 2009/2/24 11:56
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2006/9/12 0:23
Posts: 319
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i would go with a 9' - 10' med to slow action 7wt flyrod. you will need to use faily light tippet, especially if the water is clear. 6lb fluoro would be the most likely, heavier if the water is stained.

as for flies, sucker spawn is usually the most producive this time of year and crystal meth. have a large variety of colors and change often when the bite slows. also single eggs in various sizes and colors. various streams again colors change from day-to-day, even hour-to-hour.nymphs also catch them from time to time. black or gold stoneflies, zugbugs, scuds. presentation is key, so use what works best for trout, for you. whether its high sticking, indicators etc. make sure you are getting deep enough, the fish usually don't move far. as for which stream, find clean water. move from stream to stream to get clear water and good flow. move from hole to hole until you find pods of fish and they are not always in slow deep holes.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 12:31


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6518
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I'm headed up with a smallish group on the 28th of Feb. You are more than welcome to join us. I've been going for steelhead for 2 years now. I am no means an expert, but usually catch fish. I have luck with any egg pattern in a cream color, and in the spring I like bead head nymphs, especially the prince. PM me if you want to meet up with us. I'd be more than happy to help you out up there.

Ryan

Posted on: 2009/2/24 13:53
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

Joined:
2007/12/1 15:23
From wellsboro
Posts: 452
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I would highly recomend the 10 foot rod over the nine. It probably will not affect your landing rate, but it is easier to get a good drift with the extra foot of rod. If you are fishing Elk there is a Holiday Inn (I think) right on Sterratania road that puts you close to some good fishing plus Folly's End is flyshop is only a few miles down the road and they offer a lot of access. The Holiday Inn also has a bar and restaurant in it. Everyone else answered your other questions so I will not repeat.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 15:33


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13599
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Quote:

Is early March a good time to head up to Erie?

Yes, as a general rule. But immediate weather conditions are important.
Quote:

What flies work best that time of year?

Egg patterns are the standby, have a variety of colors, even off the wall ones like blue. Switch often till you find something that works. Stoneflies also produce, as do general trout nymphs. If you hit optimal water temps and fresh, unmolested fish, they'll chase a streamer.
Quote:

What is your favorite (most productive) stream to fish (Elk, Walnut, 16 mile, etc.)?

I like Elk because there's so many miles of it. But really, you gotta play it by ear. Let the stream conditions do your choosing, they all have different runoff rates.
Quote:

Good hotel, close to fishing/food/beer?

defer to others on hotel, I just stay at our camp. Food, hmm, there used to be a good bar east of edinboro, at the junction of 98 and 6N. Avonia Tavern is top notch if you're on rt. 5 on the west side. The city of Erie has plenty too if you're crossing from one side to the other. It's not the middle of nowhere, there's plenty of food and beer options.
Quote:

Fly shop to visit?

Foley's is my favorite fly shop. Poor Richards and some others have fly gear as well. All are knowledgable and helpful.
Quote:

Any other advice you have?

Look for falling green water. Be willing to walk and explore. Name of the game is finding fresh fish to yourself. Have a good map (fisherie.com has some) with access points. Ask someone in a fly shop about what areas are posted.
Quote:
I am looking at Temple Fork Professional and Orvis Clearwater II in 9'-10' for 7 weight. How do they sound? Any other suggestions in that price range?


A 10 ft 7 wt is probably the perfect steelhead rod. Can't speak for the exact rods you mention. I have a Sage Fli 9 ft 7 wt, it works fine. Discontinued model, so if you can find them they're on clearance, thats how I got mine. Unlike regular trout fishing, put a little money into the reel. A large arbor with a good drag is a big advantage.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 16:31


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2008/1/20 22:58
Posts: 101
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As for the hotel Heritage and I stayed at this one in November http://www.sunsetmotelpa.com/.

Good prices ($49.95/night). The owner was very nice. Plus you can back your vehicle right up to your room.

I second the Avonia Tavern. Good food at a good price.

For breakfast or lunch you may want to try the Girard Dinor (the spelling is correct). You have to try one of their homemade pies. Their meals were large, delicious and not a spec of low cal anything to ruin the meal. It's near Elk Creek.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 17:07


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

Joined:
2006/10/18 15:46
From Patterson twp, Pa (Beaver Falls)
Posts: 6518
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I second all of what is said (don't want to quote and have the thread be 8 miles long)

for your reel, make sure it has a good "click". Which is the sound it makes when pulling drag. That is one drawback of my steelhead reel. It is fantastic, but little to no click. It's important to find out how much line the fish is taking off of you and at what speed to keep in control. One ounce of slack, especially with barbless hooks, and the fish is gone. I have a 9ft 8wt TFO rod and an 8 wt SR Cabela's reel. Like the backbone of a little extra rod, and it can cast a mile, which is nice for fishing lakes for bass, and not too heavy.

most of all, just have fun, and dress for the elements. It's def not fun if you can't feel your fingers and toes, but you warm up pretty quickly when the adrenaline's running through you from a big steelie on the end of your line!

Posted on: 2009/2/24 17:10
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2006/11/6 17:18
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Personally I wouldn't go hog wild on a new rod if you have something in a 9' 5 weight or 6 weight (for PA). I tried an 8 wt the first time up and it was way overkill. I now use a 10' 6 weight in heavy flows and a 9' 5 weight for lower flows. When the water is clear and tippets are light, a heavier stick is actually a detriment IMO.

With a 5 wt, you can whip a steelie in under 5 minutes (sometimes well under- most are only 4 to 7 lbs) if you learn how to fight them. Sideways pressure on their head with the rod swept low, and pulling opposite their travel is key. Keep them guessing. A rod held high in the air is a sure sign of a long fight to come- it just let's the fish control the situation. Take control and whip them fast.

Don't make it tougher than it is; take your nymphing rig, have egg patterns from size 8 to size 16 in cream, pink, orange, yellow, chartreuse, and powder blue (my favorite); even mix colors on the same fly (black/yellow, blue/pale yellow, RWB, etc). Also nymphs in dark colors and smaller sizes. I take a vise and replenish in the room each night. Tippet from 4x for low & clear to 2x or heavier for higher, colored flows. And don't overdo the weight- I start with one 4 shot and add more as necessary. Often 2 or 3 number 4 shot is sufficient even for good flows(and don't be afraid to try none in lower water once you have a saturated fly).

Stay away from the mouths of Elk and Walnut unless you like a circus. There can be hundreds of people there, and yet I can find relative solitude a few miles upstream or on a lessor known stream. Take your map and spend a day exploring.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 17:50


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2007/4/25 10:02
Posts: 5865
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mill- try this website

http://www.fishusa.com/fisherie/

I would say the flows are the most important thing to success in Erie. Second would be bootfoot neoprenes.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 17:51
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2006/9/9 19:37
From aliquippa
Posts: 620
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i`m not much of a nymph fisherman, so i like to use streamers, but water temp has to be 50 deg or higher when they hit the fight is on

Posted on: 2009/2/24 22:18
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

Joined:
2006/9/18 8:28
From Attitudinally, one mile south of Lake LeBoeuf
Posts: 871
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Probably be a good idea to get a reading as to whether the mouths of the creeks are still ice-locked. If they are, it doesn't preclude that some new fish can enter the systems, but it does reduce their numbers.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 22:56


Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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To build on what PCRAY said...when Elk and Walnut aren't fisheable.. Most of the Mile streams will be!

and like Acristickid said stream flows really are the most important thing to go by.

Posted on: 2009/2/24 23:02
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

Joined:
2006/12/29 10:00
From Harrisburg
Posts: 2013
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What I did was print the maps off of Poor Richards website. I then went there BEFORE I fished and asked them what stream would be good for the day. When they told me which, I pulled out the map of that stream and asked them where.
The man pointed,
I went,
I caught'em.
Cloudy water or dark light, eggs and spawn.
Clear water or bright light, nymphs and woolybuggers.
When they get tight lipped, switch flies as often as possible. Try every goofy fly you can find from the darkest corners of your flyboxes.
Dont sweat it, you'll catch atleast one even if you do everything wrong. A report would be nice.

Posted on: 2009/2/25 11:34
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Re: Help: Erie Steelhead Fishing

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2007/1/2 11:55
From Bozeman
Posts: 19931
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Quote:

acristickid wrote:
Second would be bootfoot neoprenes.


They really helped that much? I've fished in iced over streams with my lightweight waders, but I am considering a pair of these for steelheading. I wasn't that uncomfortable really, but being a bit warmer would be nice.

Posted on: 2009/2/25 11:38



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