November 2006 & November 2002
YES, this report covers November 2006 and
November 2002. The Steelhead Outing of a
Life Time was essentially repeated. The
punch line is we hooked up about 100
steelhead and landed over 50 chromers
in a single day! We did this is November
2002 and now we did it again in 2006.
My friend Herald and I went on our annual
steelhead outing in early November to the
Lake Erie south shore tributaries in extreme
western New York. Herald is Herald Bair
who lives in Charleston, WV. We worked for
the same company for many years before we
both retired. We now meet at destination
places to fish together several times a year.
We were meeting our guide at our motel at 5:00
AM, suited and geared up ready to jump in the
The fishing was pretty good the first two
days with Herald and I each landing a dozen
steelhead a day. This is pretty good
steelheading success by any standard.
The second evening we had a soft drizzle all
through the night. The guide called us before
our wake up time and arrived earlier with
increased enthusiasm and a sense of urgency to
get moving. He announced we were heading for
a small falls on a Creek and we had to get
there in a hurry to get a preferred spot.
Grumbling, I agree to forgo even a cup a
coffee, let alone any food, to expedite our
getting the "spot." I was thankful the rain
had stopped by the time we got to the stream.
The Guide led us along the stream in the dark
from the parking area on a half hour walk to
a nice little falls about five feet high. The
stream was up a little bit and slightly stained
over the previous day's crystal clear condition.
There was a large pod of steelhead just below
We began to catch chrome steelhead in the six
to ten pound range at a nice steady pace. The
creek slowly continued to rise through the day
and we could see more and more fresh steelhead
arriving first doubling, then tripling the fish
pod below the falls. The hook-up rate just kept
increasing through the day. The steelhead battles
were near non-stop with the hot fish making
blistering down stream runs with many great leaps
and some performing multiple cart wheels in their
attempt to escape and perhaps return to return to
Lake Erie. Several hooked fish made second
lightening speed runs back up stream and tried
to make slack line jumps over the falls. One
steelie actually made the falls jump and continued
up stream to spool me before I clamped down to save
my fly line. It was certainly different fighting
a fish over my head.
In spite of taking several breaks in the morning,
Herald and I were pretty tired and very arm weary
by noon so we started fishing just one at a time.
Who ever was fishing would be hooked up in a couple
minutes so the fish battling was pretty much
continuous. We finally had more than enough
and quit fishing around 3:00 PM.
It was such a great day we decided to further
celebrate with some fine Italian dining at
DiPaolo's Restaurant in Blasdell, NY with a
Veal Saltimbocca feature accompanied by Santa
Margarita Pinot Grigio. We concluded four
years ago this was surely the Steelhead Outing
of a Life Time that could never be repeated.
Now in November 2006 we had repeated that
Steelhead Outing of a Life Time day.
The Steelhead Outing of a Life Time for 2006
took place on Canadaway Creek and in 2002
The flies used varied greatly such as woolly
buggers, glow bug and estaz eggs, and nymphs
including pheasant tails, zug bugs, prince
nymphs, and early black stones. Smaller nymphs
in size 14 seemed to get preference by the fish.
We used 10 Foot, 6 wt rods with large, high
quality reels with no resistance start up and
very smooth drags. These type reels are important
to reduce break off when chrome steelies initially
take off like a dragster.
Leaders were a 9ft, 3X base, cut back about
a foot, before adding a 24"-30" of 3X
flourocarbon tippets. We tried 8 and 10 lb.
tippets to reduce the break-offs, but this
also reduced the takes dramatically.
The streams are relatively close together,
but can have significantly different water
conditions due to localized lake effect rains.
The better guides are in frequent cell
communication with each other sharing stream
and fishing information.
Our guide service for 2006 was provided by
John Kovacevich who owns and operates:
J & K's Guide Service
2985 Valley Lane
Sheldon, New York 14145
We now believe it is possible to Three-Peat
The Steelhead Outing of a Life Time when three
critical conditions are met:
We will definitely be there in early November 2007
going for the Three-Peat. ~ Max
- Light rain for several hours to give the
streams a freshet of water to bring it up slowly
with a slight stain.
- Chrome steelhead standing by in the lake
at the river mouth waiting for the slight water
level increase to encourage them to make the run.
- Great local fly fishing guides with the
right flies, who keep on top of the fish and
streams, and who know where and when to go.