It's been a while since I updated the blog. With the shorter days it's been harder to get out and fish. Since I was going to be in western NY earlier in the week, I decided to look into the possibility of fishing for steelhead, something I've never done before. Since I've fished almost exclusively for trout and especially on small streams my equipment is more geared to smaller fish so I decided it was time to branch out and invest in some heavier gear. After looking around I found a good deal on a TFO 10ft 7wt and a new Lamson Guru reel.
I had arranged to fish to fish a day and a half on a tributary to Lake Erie. The day started out cool but the sun quickly rose above the hills and started to warm the air. In the first run I was soon into my first steelhead but quickly learned my first lesson, you need to really set the hook on these fish, they aren't trout !!! The first fish was on and took one quick run downstream and kept on going. Moving upstream and running the stonefly nymph through the tail of a riffle brought a second strike. There was no mistaking this strike and I reacted more forcefully this time. Now it was time for my second steelhead lesson - these fish are strong and very powerful. After a tug of war my first steelhead was in the net, a pretty bright fish.
As the day warmed, we moved upstream to a narrow deep run. In this section provided 5 hookups with three fish landed including a beautiful bright chrome female and a thick hook jawed male.
Moving back to the lower run yielded another two hooks with one more fish landed. What an amazing day, the weather could not have been nicer with temperatures in the upper 50', clear without a cloud in the sky, and water temperature at 43. We finished the day with 8 hookups and 5 nice fish landed. I was really pleased with how the new rod and reel performed. When targeting big fish like steelhead a reel with a good drag is a must and the Lamson was more than up for the task.
The next morning brought frosty crisp air with temps dipping down into the low 20's. The fishing was slow in the early morning. Once the sun broke over the hills and the air began to warm the fishing turned on. We fished the same water as the day before. The narrow run that produced the day before yielded the first fish of the day, a dark male that looked a lot like the fish that was taken the day before from the very same spot ! The run that was quite earlier in the morning produced plenty of action in the final hour of the morning with three more dark fish including the last fish of the day, a real hog of a male.
It was a great day and a half on the water with two beautiful, warm, November days filled with plenty of big fish action. All in all, I hooked into 13 fish, landing 8 of those fish. I hope I will have the chance to fish for steelhead again SOON !