Lake Erie, Pa area had approximately 12"-16" of existing snow that melted with unseasonably warm weather and rain on January 9-12 2017 causing major flooding. We planned our guided trip to take advantage of the receding water levels and hopefully a fresh run of Lake Erie Steelhead on Saturday Januar View more...Lake Erie, Pa area had approximately 12"-16" of existing snow that melted with unseasonably warm weather and rain on January 9-12 2017 causing major flooding. We planned our guided trip to take advantage of the receding water levels and hopefully a fresh run of Lake Erie Steelhead on Saturday January 14,2017.
January 14, 2017--The first morning the water levels were a tad high and slightly off colored but the fish didn't seem to mind one bit. We caught several nice fish on egg patterns with the hot color being orange. We also caught some fish on a orange stone fly pattern that guide Clay Pankewicz tied up. Picture will be in photo section.
January 15, 2017-- We started off the next day in the same area and found more pockets of fish with our clients hooking up in the double digits. Pretty much the same formula for success...egg patterns, and stone flies. Water levels continued to recede but remained very fishable and a perfect green color. Air temps were prime for this time of year and after the chilly morning hovered around the low 40's most of the afternoon. Our guided trip was over and we moved to a new area a little closer to Lake Erie. Three of us fished for the last 3 hours of daylight and we caught 8 fish between us...many of them fresh chrome straight from the lake.The majority of the fish were caught on a streamer pattern that we sometimes use when we are scouting for active fish.
January 16,2017-- Starting temps 24 degrees. Unguided day so we decided to scout a different area in the morning and much to our surprise we found ice and slush from overnight lows in the 20's. We had to walk pretty far to find some small pockets of open water and after our best efforts we were rewarded with no fish. We moved to the area we finished up the previous day and we just didn't find the numbers of fish we were looking for so me moved again.
We only had about an hour and a half of light left and close to a mile walk to get to the place we fished the first day with our clients but it was worth the effort. All season this area has held consistent numbers of fish and it did not disappoint. After working up a sweat the three of us all hit different pockets of water we knew traditionally held fish. It didn't take long before my son Josh Grassi was hooked up on a gorgeous Lake Erie Steelhead. But the fresh chromer had different ideas and after a few minute battle was gone before we could get him in the net. Not to be deterred, Josh was hooked up on his next drift and unlike the first fish was netted and released after a few quick pictures. I headed down stream to a favorite spot of mine and I started prospecting with my nymphing rig. This spot is a bend in the stream with shallow riffles and small cuts that the Steelhead like to lay in. Most fishermen walk past it because it's very inconspicuous and it's hard for them to fathom that such large fish will hold in such shallow water...but they DO! After searching around I finally found a willing taker and the fight was on. I needed some assistance landing the large male and was fortunate to land such a fine fish. We ended up catching and hooking into a dozen or so fish in that last hour and they pretty much ate anything we threw at them...egg patterns, streamers, and stone flies.