Meet The Guides
Best Time 2 Fish
prices and packages
Ohio Steelhead Fishing
Western PA tribs
NY Trophy Browns
NY Salmon River
Online Photo Album
Steelhead Alley Links
e-mail us at
Steelhead alley Map
Google Map of Cleveland Ohio
Steelhead Alley Map
Google Map of North East Ohio
Steelhead Alley Map
make sure your fishing with a Steelhead
is our number one priority at Steelheadschool.com
We want lifelong customers. We strive to exceed our
guests expectations. Our guarantee is simple. If
your not 100% satisfied with anything we do contact us.
If we can't make it right. We will give you a full refund.
No questions asked.
March 18,19, 20th
Taking Reservations Now
Often imitated but never
duplicated. We have over 150 satisfied Graduates thru the years. It is a
three day adventure into the world of fishing Steelhead Alley. Our team of
local steelhead pro's teach you everything you need to know to be a successful
steelhead angler. It also includes a nine hour tour of the hot spots on the
streams. We will cover, When to fish where, knots, rigging terminal tackle,
leader construction, fly selection, reading water, fighting fish, spin, fly, spey and cenerpinn techniques
plus thee hours of hands on fly tying. All you will need are an Ohio fishing license and a
pair of chest high waders. . The weekend is value priced at $375 per angler and
included in the price is two nights lodging. Contact Don at 330-565-5457 for
Bill Rusinko at
Realistics Taxidermy is the
only one I will trust with my trophy fish, He lives in Michigan's UP and
he is an expert at correctly painting our great lakes species.
Blog's from the Alley's
This link takes you to
Greg Lum's blog. Greg is
a good friend of mine and an expert with the center pin. He is on the
river almost every day and his reports are funny but accurate.
Bob Williams blog is full of
good info and stream reports.
Mike Engelhardt's Blog is
packed with great photography and stories of his adventures.
Ohio DNR Info
OH Fishing Report
Ohio Steelhead Fishing
Ohio Steelhead Info
The Best informational book on fishing
John Nagy has updated his great book on Lake Erie Steelhead fishing.
Tube flies are all the rage on the
alley. If your interested in tubes you gotta check out Tony DiBenedetto's
web site tubeflytech.com
County Visitors Bureau's
Dfishinfool's Guide Service is a proud members of the
Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Their website lists local attractions, the areas fine wineries, hotels and other
information on the area.
Our Team of Guides have the
required permits to Guide on
Lorain County Metro-Parks property. Lorain County is host to some beautiful
well appointed parks.
Dfishinfool's Guide Service is a proud members of the
Lake County Visitors Bureau
Helpful links on rigging your spinning
outfit for Steelhead
We trust quality
RedWing floats and terminal tackle on
our guided trips
Here is a great link from
Redwing Tackle on rigging up your Spin or Pin outfit
Team Member Guide Websites
DDon Mathews and
Dfishinfool.com have been your Source
for Steelhead Alley info since 1997
Jeff Novak's website. Jeff
travels the Great Lakes Guiding Anglers.
Guide Dick Keagy is a true
OhioSteelheader check out his
Guide Travis McAllisters website.
Ben's Bait and Tackle Garden River Ontario
In addition to our guided Ohio and Pennsylvania trips
we offer a select number of trips each Fall to Western,
NY and the Cattaraugus Creek. Steel headers often refer
to the Catt as the "Crown Jewel" of our Great Lakes
tributaries. We fish the Catt during the month of
October. It is a beautiful stream and the early fall
fishing is great. Give me a call and we will discuss a
trip to the Catt. Don Mathews NY License #4348
Clubs, Trout Unlimited Chapters, Sports Shops
put together a great Power Point Presentation on Fishing
"steelhead Alley" its not just a bragging guide with a
bunch of big fish pictures. We have put together
an informative lesson on steelheading. It contains
many tips we have learned in our 10 year history of
Guiding Steelhead Alley. The principals we
show you can be applied to many other fisheries. We
offer this presentation at a very reasonable cost of
$100 plus our fuel expenses. We have a high
Definition Power Point projector all we need is a screen
or blank wall and a group of fishermen. Feel free
to contact Don at 330-565-5457 to set up a date for your
Area Fishing Clubs
Western Reserve Fly Anglers
Pennsylvania Steelhead Association
3 c u Trout Association
North West Pa
SONS of Lake
Erie Club (save our native species)
Trout unlimited Cleveland OHF
Boys Fly Fishing Club Toledo Oh
Tri County Trout Club
Other Great Clubs
United Fly Fishermen
Louisville Trout Unlimited
also have a presentation "Finding Fish on Steelhead
Alley" available to put on at your seminar, event, or
club meeting. We have assembled a awesome
power point presentation and
have all of our own equipment. We offer this
presentation at a very minimal cost, $100 plus expenses.
It is very educational and
audience will learn from it. Please contact Don
for more info 330-565-5457
of our streams in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York hold fish during the winter months
MOST YEARS ALL OF OUR STREAMS FREEZE OVER IN JANUARY AND
York Steelhead fishing is best in October thru December
but most years the Cattaraugus Creek s the first stream
to get a run of fish
Pennsylvania Steelhead fishing peaks in November and
December but gets runs as early as September. They
are the most heavily stocked streams on "Steelhead
Alley" and hold the most fish per square mile.
Steelhead fishing starts in October and lasts until
early May. Ohio streams are usually fish the best
in the spring.
Family Winery 440-593-5403
Favorite Great food**
Ferrante Winery 440-466-8466
River Cellars 440-298-9838
Harpersfield Vineyard 440-466-4739
Firehouse Winery 440-466-9300
Wine live music **
Old Mill Winery 440-466-5560
My Favorite wines **
South River Vineyard
Family Winery 440-466-1314
Area Rental Homes
Orange Street Rentals in Conneaut
Ohio rents out a nice home in a quite neighborhood minutes from Conneaut Creek.
Fairport Harbor Rental Home for
very large Groups. 8 BR Sleeps 20. Vey Nice views of lake 440-773-2741
Fairport Harbor Cottage Sleeps 6 with nice
Lakefront views. 440-773-2741
Our Favorite Lake
Erie Charter Boats
If you want
to catch a bunch of Perch without spending a bundle.
Check out the Edward John head boat out of Erie Pa. Just
$28 for adults..!! Call 814-883-7622
My Time Too Charters
George Neil runs a 30' Baha out of Ashtabula Harbor
He will put you on the fish 330-637-0989
Capt Don lives
right on the water in Fairport Harbor. His boat an
gear are first class 216-337-1208
Clark runs out of Ashtabula Ohio in a 30' Baha Give
him a call for some hog eyes and perch. 440-241-2214
tells me Capt Gary Raymond catches fish when no one else
looking for some huge Lake Ontario Browns and Salmon I
Brian Edwards and Fatal Attraction Charters out of
Sodus Bay in Fair Haven NY 315-754-8914
If your ever fishing in central
Kentucky look up are friends at
Cumberland Drifters for a great float trip
If your looking for a guided trip on
the Mighty Muskegon or the surrounding Michigan Streams give
Chad Betts a call at
John Valk runs
Grindstone Angling . They
are located in South Central Ontario Canada. I have used John as a guide in the
past. He is pleasant and nice to fish with. I highly recommend John as
your guide if you travel to the area.
Grindstone Angling also has a
very nice flyshop.
A neat new concept in floats.
Quality eggs straight from
Alaska to your door
Steelhead Fishing Reports
From "Steelhead Alley"
is asking why so few website updates and pictures. After
14 years and thousands of reports and over 5,000
published photographs. I must give it up. Sorry
folks, I ain't
getting any younger !! We instead are focusing our
efforts on our guide trip customers and fishing. This has
always been our true passion. So I do apologize
for the sparse reports. The Steelheadsite
and fisherie websites provide a good source of
information. BUT honestly those USGS Gauges
are all you really need. Good Fishin..!! Don
March 16 2012.
We will only post periodic reports and updates to this
page but feel free to browse our
report archives dating
back to 1998.
Update from "Steelhead Alley"
Early thaw in store for steelhead alley.
We are fishing and catching fish now !!!
openings next week.
3-3-16 A little tough finding clean water the past
few days. Got a little fresh snow and it melted
quick. The runoff is about done and next week is looking
good. We have guides open most days. Give me a call to
discuss a trip at Don 330-565-5457
2-24-2016 .. Wow, the weather has been
unseasonably warm, and the fishing is excellent. we had
guides on the water the last couple of days and they did
very good. Easy double digits and nobody around. We are
getting blasted with rain right now.. so everything will
be blown out for the next few days. But I do expect good
fishing next week and we have guides just itchin to go
fishin. I am off to Madison Wisconsin for a
fishing Show but I will be back in my waders on Monday.
It was my first winter in Florida and I had a blast in
the saltwater but man I cant wait to tangle with some
chromers. I still have not made it out yet.
My predictions are for a improved spring run as compared
to the last few springs. Number one we are seeing a
reduction in the number of fish with VHS virus present
in their gills. Hopefully strong genetics of exposed
Michigan brood stock fish are beating it. Number two...
we had a fairly mild winter with light stream icing. On
a stream like Elk creek in Pa. winter die off can reach
70% or more. Last week very few dead fish were present
in lower Elk creek. Some years you can fill dumptrucks
with the dead ones. Third... last fall warm lake and
stream temps in October and November kept the fish in
the lake longer. This resulted in less impact from
predators (humans). So there are quite a few
Pennsylvania holdovers and Ohio manistee strain fish in
the streams right now. I would not expect the
unbelievable fishing we had ten years ago but things
should be improving this spring. Now more than ever I
think the state should consider catch and release or
delayed harvest areas on our streams.
Go fishing. Take a kid along. Have Fun..!!
Don Dfishinfool Mathews
We are now booking spring 2016 dates in Ohio..
Our 2016 Spring School will be March 18, 19, and
Fall School November 4th, 5th, and 6th
To discuss or book a trip please give
Don Mathews a call at
Good Fishin...!!! Don "Dfishinfool" Mathews
The Garden River Experience
The Garden River is located six
hours north of Detroit near Sault Ste Marie in
Ontario Canada. We host a trip to the Garden each
September. We do not guide you on this trip. Our
native american outfitter Ben Belleau offers 5 night packages in
a deluxe all inclusive
We fish a exclusive PRIVATE area of the Garden River
reservation. Our native Ojibwa guide and
outfitter sets up a nice comfortable camp for us. Fishing is spectacular for Pink (humpies) and Chinook
(King) salmon as well as Atlantic salmon, rainbows, Brookies,
Coho and Steelhead. Our group of anglers land
unbelievable numbers of fish to 30 lbs. We have
miles and miles of river to ourselves. The fall foliage
is spectacular and the river is easy to wade. Bens
Camp accommodates sixteen anglers in heated wall style
tents with oversize cots. There are two hot water
showers and lighted latrines in camp. You will eat like king
and the native cooks prepare the delicious hearty camp
style meals. Everything is included in the package
price. All you need is your fishing gear and a sleeping
bag.. The Garden River Salmon fishery is the best
the great lakes has to offer. It is the trip of a
Five days fishing including all meals. $1350
US per angler
2016 Garden River Trip dates
Leg # 1 ..... departs Sept 9th four nights five days
Leg # 2 ..... departs Sept 13th four nights five days
Leg # 3 ..... departs Sept 17th four nights five days
Leg # 4 ..... departs Sept 21st four nights five days
Leg # 5 ..... departs Sept 25th four nights five days
still openings for the Garden River
2016 Salmon Trip
Stop and see
us at a show near you
October 26th....... Kent Ohio
November 4th....... Novi, Michigan
November 10th....... Charelston WV
January 22nd, 23rd, and 24th...... Niagara
January 30th.......... Cleveland Ohio
February 13th and 14th......, Tinley Park Chicago
February 26th,27th, and 28th........ Madison
March 5th........Ravenna Ohio
March 12th and 13th........ Warren Michigan
Canada Fall 2016
Exclusive area located near Sault Ste Marie On the
Private Garden River First Nation Lands. We use
Native outfitter Ben Belleau
and the guides at Bens bait and tackle. ***NO CROWDS fish
in solitude*** Easy to wade a fly fishers dream stream,
The best Salmon Fishing on the Great Lakes Bar none..!!
salmon, Pink salmon, Chinook salmon, Coho salmon,
Steelhead, Resdient Brookies and rainbows all in the
same stream..!!! You gotta fish it to believe it.
Jeff with a Garden
For more info call Don Mathews at
the best fishing I have ever experienced. You can
literally catch fish till your arms hurt..!! It truly
is a dream trip. I used to fish the Pere Marquette in
Michigan and the Salmon River in Pulaski, NY and I
honestly believe the Garden River gets a bigger run of
Chinooks than either of those streams. We seldom see
another angler that isn't part of our group. Salmon
fishing in such un-pressured conditions is impossible to
find anywhere else in the Great Lakes area. Only a
select few non natives have ever had the chance to fish
the Garden River.
Our team of
Steelhead guides for the 2016 season
You can call Don
at 330-556-547 or any of our team member guides to book
this Great fishing story
by Chris Blau
For More "steelhead Alley"
Fishing reports Click here
We want to hear from you
Tackle we depend on..!!
valuable stream time, buy your fishing license online
the day before your trip.
Webmaster - Guide
listed below are self employed. We have joined
forces. We believe that by networking together on
the stream our group of local guides can give the best
steelheading experience possible. We guarantee it..
Feel free to call any of us at anytime to check on
availability or to just talk fishin.. Don't be
fooled by the NEW wave of guides in Ohio. These
guys are your
true local steelhead pro's
a trip with any of the above guides please call Don Mathews at 330-565-5457 .
He handles the website and our central booking calendar
You may also call your guide of choice at anytime with
questions or to check on availability.
Best Area Bait and
who travel to the area are in luck. Dan, Eric and
the team at FishUSA
are there for you. They stock what you will
need. Don't waste your money at the marts.
FishUSA will have
your order to you very quickly. They also have a
storefront in Erie Pa. with everything they stock
available there. You can stop there and get
online prices on the spot. Tell them I sent you.
Elk Creek Sports
have known Dan Seaman since I started guiding in Pa.
his shop Elk
Creek Sports is open early has licenses, shiners, bait and
everything else the Steelheader needs. He is
located on Rt.5 right at Elk Creek. He keeps his
reports page up to date and the info is good.
BAC Bait and
Tackle has Several stores with a great selection of
fly tying materials, bait, tackle, rods, reels and
waders. Located around the Erie Pennsylvania area
Gary and his wife Dot run a great bait shop located on
Rt 5 near Walnut
Creek in PA called
I have been a customer there since Gary bought the place
many years ago. The prices are good.
The selection is great, with everything you need to
catch fish, fly or spin. They clean fish and will
exchange your fresh caught steelhead for a smoked fish
on the spot. Check them out..!!
Jim runs Folly's End fly shop and campground. Jim
bought the shop a few years ago from my good friend
Larry. Jim has done a great job of keeping the
shop well supplied for steelhead fishermen and done some
nice improvements to the campground. Clyde Murray
has worked at the shop for years. He is a
steelheading icon. Clyde's friendly advise has caused
the demise of countless steelhead. The shop is
located on the banks of Elk Creek in one of the most
productive sections of stream. You can park on the left
side of the driveway going down to the shop. From there
you can access the stream to fish. Please stop in the
shop and let them know though.
at 3737 west 12th Street in Erie Pa. They are a
Orvis shop that carry's a nice line of upper end fly
fishing equipment 814-833-4040
Market is located just a half mile ease of Chautauqua
Creek on Lake Rd. The have NY fishing licenses,
bait and steelhead tackle.
Appalachian Outfitters is located at 60 Kendall Park
Rd in Penninsula Ohio. They are a full service
outdoor shop with a nice fly fishing department.
Bait and Tackle
Bait and Tackle is located in the Ashtabula county
metro-park at the Harpersfield Dam. They are open
seasonably and they have Bait, Tackle, Snacks, and flies
tied by local tiers. Give Joe a call at 440-983-9500 for
and see Frank at TMF Orvis if your ever near Ravenna
Ohio. Frank is about as good natured and friendly
as anybody you will ever meet. He runs a very neat
and tidy shop that has a great selection of fly fishing
gear for the steelheader, trout fisherman or saltwater
angler. His fly tying material
selection is great. They also have lots of quality
rods and reels.
at 263 Liberty st in Painsville Ohio. Minutes from some
of the best stretches of the Grand River. Kevin
has the best fly fishing selection in the area.
Chagrin River Bait
Bill Goble is a seasoned veteran Erie charter Capt. who
runs trips on his nice 30 foot Baha the
"No Woes". Bill also owns
Chagrin River Bait
and tackle located at 140 forest dr. in Eastlake
Ohio. They sell fishing licenses, bait, and
steelhead tackle. Bill closes up for a few months
in the winter but he offers fish cleaning during the
summer. His BBQ Ribs and Fish dinners are a big hit with
the locals. They open at 6:00 am most mornings 440-942-9716
River outfitters located at 100 North Main Street in
Chagrin Falls Ohio 44022. They are a full service fly
shop and they have one of the areas best selections of
Steelhead Alley fly gear. Give Dan a call at
Erie Shore General
and tackle located in Eastlake Ohio 440-942-3470
has bait and steelhead tackle plus a selection of Lake
Erie Tackle. Located at 413
South Ridge Geneva, Ohio (440) 466-3561
Neshannock Creek Fly
Shop is located on a nice trout stream about an hour
or so south of Erie they have a great fly fishing
Craig Lewis runs
Located in Sheffield Lake Ohio. They have a great
selection for the steelheader as well as lake fishermen.
There is a nice launch down the street that puts you about 6
miles from the sandbar. A lake Erie fishing hot spot in
recent years. Erie outfitters has shiners, bait and
Gone Fishing Bait
Laughard owns Gone fishing Bait and tackle at 1027
Munroe Falls ave in Cuyahoga Falls Ohio. The word
is out on the steelhead runs the Cuyahoga has been
getting the past couple of years. Plus it has some great
bass and pike fishing. Bill knows the river well
and he knows where they are biting. 330-945-4590
Snug Harbor Bait
Snug Harbor Bait and tackle located at 1021 Broad Street
in Conneaut Ohio. The shop sits on the bluff looking
over the mouth of Conneaut creek and the Harbor. I'm in
his shop daily in the summer because in my opinion
Conneaut is the best fishing port on lake Erie. The
perch fishing is consistent all summer and fall and the
walleye fishery peaks in July and August. Snug Harbor
has the right bait, tackle, and advise to make your trip
a success. they also clean fish. Jack also maintains a
river report line call 440-593-3755
store carrying a variety of fly tying supplies at
DeMartino owns the online store CustomFishingTackle.com
out of Rochester NY. He is a Great Lakes pioneer
of using Centerpins for steelhead. He also builds
custom Rods and sells a wide selection of gear for the
centerpin enthusiast online
Area Camp Grounds
Open year round
Jim and Clyde at
Folly's End have a great fly shop on site
at their riverfront campground. You can access one of the best sections of Elk
Creek from their campground. They offer daily stream parking and camping.
As well as seasonal camping. If your near Elk Creek stop in. They will hook
John's Elk Creek Campground is located right on the
stream near the mouth of Elk Creek. Fishing is
very good on their property. John is a great guy
and he let me hold my Boy Scout Merit Badge Classes in
one of his cabins for free. The cabins are for
rent they are new and are very nice. The showers
and restrooms are great The place is always clean and
well kept. It is very angler friendly. He offers
daily stream front parking for a small fee.
Campground Geneva Oh Phone 440-466-8191
Best Area Chow
can' find something you like to eat in Cleveland
your in trouble. I'm not going to waste your time
trying to list hotels or restaurants in the Cleveland or
Reynolds Road Mentor 440-946-2090
4057 Erie Street Willoughby Try the Cheddar Ale Soup..!!
101 River Street Grand River is located on the water
and is a locals favorite for Crab Legs, Prime Rib and
Shrimp. I highly recommend them. 440-352-6343
Street Grand River Excellent fresh fish and seafood
Friends Restaurant Located right at Exit #218 Good
Breakfast and reasonable prices. 440-466-0041
located right at Exit #218 On Rt 534. They have a
nice dinner menu and serve some local wines
Winery is my favorite place. Don't wear your
waders. Good Italian food. Meals are $10-$20.
Located 5 minutes from Exit #218 call 440-466-8466
Nest Restaurant Follow Rt 11 north and you will dead end
in their parking lot. Good choices lots of selections
reasonable prices. The monster bowl of Chili will
warm you up. 440-964-2696
in Historic downtown Ashtabula harbor 440-964-2273
Beer Great food for the money. Home cooked meals.
Daily specials, Hearty burgers. Bottled beer your
real likely to run into one of us there. They Even have
a fish tank table. Located Right at I-90 Exit #241 Right
near the state line.
Biscotti's Restaurant 186 Park Ave Conneaut
Local favorite Pizza and Italian food Call 440-593-6766
is just 2 1/2 miles south of I-90 on Rt 18. Great food
but don't wear your waders. They have a grill in the
center of the place and you can cook your own steaks if
you want. Call 814-774-8450
for me to drive by Avonia Tavern Just West of Walnut
Creek on Rt 5. Great Wings and Burgers all the food is
great and they have reasonable prices.
is located at 5360 West Lake Rd. Just a short
drive from walnut creek. The subs are fantastic
and a big hit with the area fishermen all 814-833-6913
I-90 to Peach Street and there are a lot of choices.
Quaker steak and lube wings are a local favorite.
Or jump on I-79 North to Mill Creek Mall. All the
big chains are in town.
Lighthouse Inn 3704 East Lake Rd is our favorite over
that way. 814-899-9300
located East of 20 mile Creek on Lake Rd just across the
NY state line. They have good burgers and cold
STEELHEAD ALLEY Motels
Comfort Inn Exit #241 Rt 45
Austinburg Ohio is the home of our Spring Steelhead School and offers convenient
lodging for guests fishing Eastern Ohio. 440-275-2711
The Green Roof Inn is located Just
2 miles south of I-90 on rt 18 they are close to the action and very fishermen
friendly. Gene tells me the rooms are very clean. They have reports
on their web site.