Early Season Steelhead - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Early Season Steelhead

Hello Everyone,

A friend of mine and I decided to go up to Erie for a weekend between 10/26 and 10/27. Unfortunately, there had only been one good rain up to that point, so only the larger creeks had fish. Our plan was to hit the lake pretty hard.

On day one we started out doing just that, fishing the lake. I got one after an hour or so on a spoon, but the bite never really took off. So, we decided to travel around to some of the streams. We had a few opportunities, but not much. The wind really kicked up pushing a forest of leaves onto the low creeks. It made it almost impossible to fish with lures. (I'd much rather catch fish that way over bait fishing).

Day two ended up being a lot more action packed. The weather was awful with 40 mph gusts and 45 degree air temps, but we pushed through. We hit the mouth of the first stream, which of course, was covered in leaves. I saw fish rising, so I knew they were there. I had a small trout magnet on, just pitching between the leaves. A fish rose just off the bank, so I took a cast. Out of the dark water came a very good sized steelie. Unfortunately, I was in a sea of timber. It did not take long for the fish to get himself wrapped. The fish jumped once and it was very dark with great colors. I never saw it again, however.

After a few more failed attempts on some streams, we ended up at our last spot of the day and the trip. I started with a small hair jig, just weighted enough to fight the wind. They were crappie jigs however, and the first fish promptly bent my hook out. This was an older jig, so I put on a new one. Just a couple casts later I hooked into another steelhead. This time the fight lasted a while longer, but again, bent out the hook. Last shot was to use a keitech swimbait. I had never tried this for Steelies, but it worked pretty well. I missed one on the first cast, and a few casts later I hooked and landed my first fish of the day. I ended up getting one more before dark, which I forgot to hit record on my camera.

Overall it was a super tough weekend, but man are these fish worth it. I have a video below for anyone interested!

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-06-2019, 02:49 PM
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Cool video. Thanks for sharing!

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 06:35 AM
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I enjoyed the video. The stream where you lost the steelhead in the woody debris looked pretty small. Do you ever use spinners when steelhead fishing?
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 07:59 AM Thread Starter
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Cool video. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you!
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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I enjoyed the video. The stream where you lost the steelhead in the woody debris looked pretty small. Do you ever use spinners when steelhead fishing?
Very small indeed. The mouth was really the only place fish had made it to. I love using spinners for steelhead, but it was just about impossible with all the leaves this time. When the creeks are flowing well spinners kill it for me. I usually take another weekend up there in February if the weather isn't awful. At that point, the fish are way up the creeks and you can do a little more exploring. That is when spinners do the best for me. It almost feels like small stream trout fishing, but the fish you catch are much bigger haha.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 02:02 PM
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I enjoyed the video. The stream where you lost the steelhead in the woody debris looked pretty small. Do you ever use spinners when steelhead fishing?
Very small indeed. The mouth was really the only place fish had made it to. I love using spinners for steelhead, but it was just about impossible with all the leaves this time. When the creeks are flowing well spinners kill it for me. I usually take another weekend up there in February if the weather isn't awful. At that point, the fish are way up the creeks and you can do a little more exploring. That is when spinners do the best for me. It almost feels like small stream trout fishing, but the fish you catch are much bigger haha.
I haven’t fished the Erie tribs for years because of the crowding. The last time I was there, the anglers were bunched together and when I got away from the crowds I’d run into someone that would stomp across the head of the pool.

Every so often I think about trying it again, especially since there are supposed to be more browns in the creeks than there used to be.

Last edited by Trout Traveler; 11-07-2019 at 02:58 PM.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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I havenít fished the Erie tribs for years because of the crowding. The last time I was there, the anglers were bunched together and when I got away from the crowds Iíd run into someone that would stomp across the head of the pool.

Every so often I think about tryouts it again, especially since there are supposed to be more browns in the creeks than there used to be.
I couldn't agree more about the crowds. I would really prefer to be fishing by myself with nobody around. When the conditions allow it, I like to wade into the lake. There about 20 guys crowded around the small hole at the mouth fishing for 10 fish, when I can just go out and throw some spoons in the lake and catch em. I'm usually the one doing it too.

The small creek where I lost my fish in the timber was kind of nice. Only one other guy there. When I go up in February the crowds are considerable less as well. I really look forward to that time more than the fall trip. Still haven't caught a brown, but I know they're in there.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 11-07-2019, 03:02 PM
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I haven’t fished the Erie tribs for years because of the crowding. The last time I was there, the anglers were bunched together and when I got away from the crowds I’d run into someone that would stomp across the head of the pool.

Every so often I think about trying it again, especially since there are supposed to be more browns in the creeks than there used to be.
I couldn't agree more about the crowds. I would really prefer to be fishing by myself with nobody around. When the conditions allow it, I like to wade into the lake. There about 20 guys crowded around the small hole at the mouth fishing for 10 fish, when I can just go out and throw some spoons in the lake and catch em. I'm usually the one doing it too.

The small creek where I lost my fish in the timber was kind of nice. Only one other guy there. When I go up in February the crowds are considerable less as well. I really look forward to that time more than the fall trip. Still haven't caught a brown, but I know they're in there.
The last time I went there was in the Spring in March, on a Wednesday and it was loaded with fishermen. That was in the late 90s or early 2000s.
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