Erie Tribs fishing in February/March

T

td566

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Bethel Park PA
Hi everyone.
I recently posted about my afternoon fly fishing on an Erie trib last week.
I’m still new to the steelhead fishing thing, 4 trips in the last 2 years. I’m basically using my knowledge of trout fishing for where and how to fish for them, along with info from John Nagys book on flyfishing for steelhead. Last week I fished a section from the Conrail tracks downstream. Found very few fish and had no strikes or hookups when slowly drifting small nymph and egg patterns near log jams, undercut banks, and current seams.
I appreciate any and all tips and comments you may be willing to share.
Thanks. TD
 
Hi everyone.
I recently posted about my afternoon fly fishing on an Erie trib last week.
I’m still new to the steelhead fishing thing, 4 trips in the last 2 years. I’m basically using my knowledge of trout fishing for where and how to fish for them, along with info from John Nagys book on flyfishing for steelhead. Last week I fished a section from the Conrail tracks downstream. Found very few fish and had no strikes or hookups when slowly drifting small nymph and egg patterns near log jams, undercut banks, and current seams.
I appreciate any and all tips and comments you may be willing to share.
Thanks. TD
I have only been to Erie a handful of times for steelhead, but I have had my best fishing there in March. Sparkly buggers in white/grey and other minnow patterns have been my best. I have caught way, way more fish on streamers than I ever have on nymphs/eggs up there.
 
I tend to slow down and try to visually locate them before I blind cast - unless the run looks really greasy then I might drift it a few times. You didn't mention what the stream conditions were like but I like small natural nymphs and subdued small eggs (creams, apricots, sparsely dressed angora patterns) when it's low and clear, and bigger and brighter as flows increase and visibility drops. Nagy's book is a great resource for tracking flows.

I will say, streamers seem to be really effective especially during late season. White/cream buggers, emerald shiner patterns and hold on.
 
I tend to slow down and try to visually locate them before I blind cast.
This is what I did the first time I went to Erie. I was looking for fish in small streams, and I trudged forever and never saw a fish. People said I'd be able to see them. I then said "screw it" and just started fishing a bugger all over the place.....

There were so many steelhead in there, big fish, too, that I had no idea were in the creek until they ate my streamer.

I'm not saying Turkey is wrong, but I am saying don't believe there are none there if you can't see them. They are good at hiding.
 
Thanks for the responses guys.
I fished Crooked Creek. Water conditions were low but not exactly as clear as I had expected. The deeper spots were hazy enough that I couldn’t see the bottom. Maybe 2-3 feet viz. I tried with a somewhat brighter color in the egg patterns and a darker colored nymph.
 
Thanks for the responses guys.
I fished Crooked Creek. Water conditions were low but not exactly as clear as I had expected. The deeper spots were hazy enough that I couldn’t see the bottom. Maybe 2-3 feet viz. I tried with a somewhat brighter color in the egg patterns and a darker colored nymph.
That is the exact stream I was talking about. I caught the biggest steelhead of my life from there out of skinny water.....I couldn't see the fish.
 
Hi everyone.
I recently posted about my afternoon fly fishing on an Erie trib last week.
I’m still new to the steelhead fishing thing, 4 trips in the last 2 years. I’m basically using my knowledge of trout fishing for where and how to fish for them, along with info from John Nagys book on flyfishing for steelhead. Last week I fished a section from the Conrail tracks downstream. Found very few fish and had no strikes or hookups when slowly drifting small nymph and egg patterns near log jams, undercut banks, and current seams.
I appreciate any and all tips and comments you may be willing to share.
Thanks. TD
Try upstream much further. My buddies put up big numbers around I-79 McKean last week. That's good water and holds a lot of fish this time of year until they start to drop back.
 
What you’re doing (and adding in the suggestions above) will work fine, just need more reps.

Read and learn more about the way steelhead move and the time they enter the creeks. Sometimes you’ll find sections of creek that are loaded with fish, or almost none around. Just depends on time of year, water flows, etc.

If you were confident in your drifts etc and not getting anything, keep moving. You may need to even move to a different section of stream. Keep at it, you’ll find em.
 
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