Dfishinfool's Guide Service
It's not easy to have consistent success while winter
steelheading on "Steelhead Alley". All of our
rivers lie in Erie's snow belt and rain, snowfall and
ice outs can rapidly change fishing conditions. All of
our streams will have good numbers of fish by now BUT
stream conditions more often than not will determine your success this
time of year.
We seldom fish the same spot two days in a
row this time of year. To catch fish every day you have
to be part weatherman and also have a intimate knowledge
of twenty different streams. Each stream has
different depths, runoff rates, and drainages. Ice
jams will form in the same areas each year. The only
open water may be below a falls or dam. That's where the
experienced guide who knows all of the streams and is willing to travel a little has a big
Ohio's larger rivers stay free from ice
longer and with the Manistee strain steelhead starting
to run you could land that fish of a lifetime.
Pennsylvania's smaller shale bottom streams clear much
quicker after high water periods but are the first to
ice over. Both Ohio's and
Pennsylvania's steelhead stay in the rivers all winter
long waiting for that perfect water temperature needed
to spawn. Weather will be the determining factor as to
where we fish.
years of experience at winter steelheading. We spent
well over 150 days fishing on the streams last year.
Winter is my favorite time of the year to fish. Crowds
thin out and it's not uncommon to find yourself all
alone on a gray silent winter afternoon. The only sound
is the whip of the fly line and the rustling of your
jacket. You ask, how is the fishing? It can be terrific.
You might get to fish in a whole pool of steelhead that
haven't seen a angler yet.
Water temp is very important
and determines the methods we will use. If air temps are
below freezing it can be tough fly fishing. For many
veteran steelheaders winter means its spinning rod time.
Of course we will fish to your preferred method on our
guide trips. We like to sleep in a little in the winter. As the
water temperature rises so will the activity of the
fish. Early starts are not necessary. I recommend hitting the river between 8:30 and
9:00 and fishing till dark.
In the morning your guide will meet you
at the hotel or meeting point just off the interstate.
You will need to dress
in layers and the outer layer must be waterproof. Warm
clothing is a must as are polarized sun glasses. Many
anglers prefer neopreme waders but I wear breathables
with two layers of fleece underneath. You will need a
change of clothes in the truck in case of a accidental
dunking. I will have a wading staff for you to use and
comfortable lifejacket vest's for anybody who wants one.
If its really bad I will often bring a portable propane
heater to warm your hands. I prefer wool gloves and
always carry a extra pair. Some of the new thin neoprene
gloves are very popular. I like to wear a pair of
surgical latex gloves. They really help keep you
warm. Give it a try..!!
If conditions are right
on Ohio's Grand river we may take the drift boat instead
of walking. Its a great way to fish in the winter.
I keep a light schedule during the winter months. If we
get unfavorable conditions and can't fish all deposits
are refunded. I also maintain a E-Mail list for people
who can go on a very short notice when I feel conditions
are ideal for some great fishing and I have a opening or
cancellation. First one to reply gets the date.
All guided trips are all inclusive and include use of
high quality rods and reels and all flies, tippets,
bait, hot and cold beverages and a excellent streamside
lunch. All you will need are waders and a license. A $50
deposit will hold your date. Winter steelheading can be
both rewarding and challenging. Are you up to it?
Let's Go Fishin..!!