Friday, March 29, 2013

Varied Terrain, Very Fun Fishing - pt. 1

This past weekend, I had the the opportunity to fish two quite distinct types of waters for Great Lakes steelhead. First, while visiting family in Ohio, I took my brother-in-law, Shane, up to the Chagrin River on Lake Erie's famed "Steelhead Alley." Shane and I used to fish for chrome up here on spin gear when I lived in the state several years ago. He hadn't fished it yet with fly gear.

The conditions were looking good, and reports had been showing a fish picked off every day the water was fishable. So our hopes were high, but I knew I was playing the guide on waters unfamiliar to my fly rod. I felt pressure to get Shane his first chromer on the fly, but I also new with a now-one-year-old son at home, Shane was just happy to wet a line. And not having fished with him in some time, I was happy just to have an old fishing buddy back--if only for a day.

We chose to fish some new water on this old river. I forgot how gorgeous these Erie tribs are. Whether staring straight up a shale bluff in constant erosion, down a cobblestone shoal along green and white water, or across a limestone run, I was in awe all day.

And we did get Shane that first steelhead on the fly. We laughed at it's diminutive size of maybe 11", but we took seriously the milestone. Perhaps that moment gave Shane the steelhead addiction. And when we didn't have chrome to play with (um, most of the day), we had plenty of big, Great Lakes Grayling (suckers) to bend the rod. At least we knew we were getting those flies down.
Future Badass
Great Lakes Grayling

I wish I had more than a day to fish Steelhead Alley. I highly recommend these waters, and I highly recommend getting a guide that's not from out-of-state ;)

[Stayed tuned for part II of my weekend, to be continued shortly...]

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