SAO Pages

Friday, May 23, 2008

October Weather in May

I woke up this morning, grabbed the gear, and fired up the diesel (ouch that hurt the wallet).  The goal was McDonald's by 5:45am to meet up with a great guy and new found friend.

Bret and I have been talking for months about trying to make con
nections on the water.  What brings us together is none other than our love for the sport of fly fishing and the guiding that often takes our free time.  

With the main Steelhead season over and everyone shifting gears to summer haunts, we decided we would try to make it happen in the small window 
that was offered to us.  Brett was making preparations to head out west for the summer to guide in Wyoming and I am, well, um, I, uh, well, I'm staying here :(

Well, I guess that isn't entirely true, as I will be heading into the mountains of California again this year in pursuit of Browns, Bows, Brookies, and the infamous Golden's.  But you know how it is....the grass is always greener.......

At any rate, we finally made connections at McDonald's in the heart of Steelhead Alley.  We decided we would hit a lower section of Conneaut Creek and see what Steelhead were left over and what Smallmouth we might entertain.

With the unseasonably cold temperatures, people have been fishing for Steelhead throughout the month of May.  This morning temps were in the high 30's in some areas and I can remember my conversation with Brett early in the morning moving toward how cold our hands were.  It definitely felt like late October or even early November.

We did find some fish remaining, but they were few.  We got one Steelhead and missed several others, and even had some fun with some other species of Bass.

Everything we caught was on swung streamers employed with spey casting techniques.  As they say, "The Tug is the Drug," and we love our switch rods.

Here are a few photos I took of Brett while I was guiding him....(sorry Brett, I couldn't resist).  Really, Brett held his own very well, and I look forward to the next time our paths cross on the water.

Brett With A Nice Late Season Steelhead

A Surprise Rock Bass Brought to Hand

A Nice Smallmouth to Pass the Time

We decided while out today, that the only thing Brett needed to complete his Steelhead Alley slam was a sucker and a goose.  Unfortunately we couldn't bring either to hand :)

Be safe out west Brett, and keep us posted on those nice butter bellies your cathching.  Oh, by the way, the pleasure today was all mine!

Tight lines.....

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson

Check out other adventures at

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fly Fishing Abroad, with SAO!!!

Steelhead Alley Outfitters Report For PA Trout, Late Season Lake Erie Steelhead, Small Mouth Bass, and much more!!!!

Central PA trout report from Jeremy Hoffman:

With all the recent rains the streams have been flowing better then they have this time of year for as long as I can remember. Pressure is definitely there, I see Spring Creek every day and there’s a lot of guys on the streams. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic but Spring Creek fishes wonderfully year round. 365 days a year when its not a flood you can catch fish. I stand on the bank and ponder, where are all these guys in the fall? The sulphur hatch is starting to kick, the crowds enforce that my findings are fact! While I personally feel certain sections have better hatches then others people are definitely not taking advantage of the plenty of solitude the stream has to offer.
A day can be spent in some sections where seeing one or two other guys could be it for the day. Below the paradise is HOT. It’s almost hard to find a hole without stepping on peoples toe’s. These semi early sulphurs are much darker in the nymph form and bigger in the dun/spinner variations(size 12-14). A switch will soon happen that requires lighter nymphs and smaller patterns(16-18). Spring Creek trout can be very picky, they are pressured hard every day and to catch a bunch of fish means you’re definitely doing something correct. A spinner pattern carrying an orange egg seems to rain supreme.

I find the fish to be crazy for no hackle duns, cdc emergers fished mid water column and also parachute patterns work wonders. The bald eagle has been high, very high and muddy. The lower section from Milesburg down saw its last stocking of adult trout for the year about a week ago. I must say, anyone fishing it better be holding on steady and it should offer great fishing into the later parts of summer.
Soon the small mouth and rock bass will pollute the upper section of the stream. These fish are a blast and although you can catch a few rather large fish, most are smaller. They are however very aggressive and will eat practically anything. Add to that crappies in the mix and a few sunfish and you can have a blast of a day. You wont catch many trophy fish but if you like numbers and aggressive native fish, man is it fun! A close friend of mine has been spending a lot of time with me on the water when we are free and we’ve been doing very well. Hope to see some of you very soon.… tight lines!

Delaware River trout report from John Miller:

The Delaware River is starting to heat up and the fishing has been rewarding with alot of dry fly action. A good mix of caddis hatches sizes #18 thru #14 in Olive and tan have been the top producers so far this week. We are seeing some great brown trout in the 20 inch range rising to dries daily. Our trout fishing here is in full swing and is going to get even better. Here are a few photos from this week. Good fishing Everyone!!! John Miller of SAO and West Branch Angler.

Late season steelhead and small mouth report from John Clouser:

If you told me we would still be hitting a few Lake Erie steelhead at this time of year I would have just shook my head in disbelief, but its true!!! The weather has been very cool and the water temps have held decent around 55-59 degrees this week giving us a few great days of steelhead. Swinging streamers, buggers, and John's Creatures have been the ticket for drop backs and these late season runners. We are Picking up good numbers of small mouth in the larger pools on the lower rivers pretty consistently now. Cray fish, emerald shiner, chub, and leech imitations are the top choices, and don't forget a few gray or brown deer hair poppers for early morning top water action.

Spending time with family and friends and passing on the fly fishing heritage:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cool spring rains mean hot fishing opportunities!!

Most of the rivers in Ohio desperately needed the cold spring rains this week provided. The higher water and the drastic change to cooler temperatures have allowed for, what may be the last push of steelhead into the lower sections of our Lake Erie tributaries providing a good mix of both drop backs and fresh fish. Most of these fresher steelhead have been smaller between 2 and 4 pounds, but as shiny as a new dime and full of fight.

We have had great success on the lower rivers especially the first half mile to the lake shore, steelhead have pretty much completely left the upper rivers now and Lake run Smallies have taken up residence. Most of the guys have been targeting the Bass and been searching out the local area and tri state trout streams.

The Maumee and Portage rivers are still providing excellent opportunities for White bass and small mouth bass on the fly, and will continue to get better as we move toward warmer summer days. I have spent alot of time lately with clients targeting the white bass and having a great time.

Our new warm water page is up at our website, and we have added another great new member to the SAO team to help anglers accomplish their spey and fly fishing goals. I will have this new and exciting addition posted shortly, with schools and trip information to follow. I know you will be as excited as we are to have this gentleman with the SAO team.

Our hosted events page should be up dated here this week offering several destinations across the country for trout, steelhead, and salmon. Our new tube fly line is now just around the corner and coming soon. I hope everyone gets out to enjoy some of the great spring weather; that is in between the rains :) and has a chance to relax a catch a few fish with family and friends!!!

Tight Lines and Good fishing
Greg Senyo

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Rivers Rise, But So Do the Trout!

Well, currently our Steelhead tribs are up after the recent rains, but that didn't deter me from taking a slight detour from what is our early spring norm on chrome fish.

Friday as streams were on the rise, so were the fish on one of Ohio's few trout streams.  The Clear Fork of the Mohican is Ohio's only true tailwater trout stream and that is where I could be found.

After my arrival I was bummed to find they were releasing good amounts of water from the dam which for tailwaters can mean fish that are shut down....typically due to the large amounts of debris that is being flushed downstream.  This was definitely the case when I first arrived and I wondered how the fish would respond.  Within a short period of time, I noticed some hatches coming off sporadically.  From an occasional March Brown to a couple of Sulpher types, there were some mayflies in the air.  The other bugs coming off (and a much stronger presence on this watershed) were different species of caddis....from micro caddis up to size 12 and 14 could be found.  Every now and then you would see a fish rise to a caddis breaking the surface, but none could be enticed to rise to the artificial, at least as tied to my line :)

After hitting a few different locations, and trying numerous different offerings from mini streamers to nymphs to wet flies, nothing was producing.  I figured that the debris was to blame and was just about to resort to shooting some photography of the beautiful spring landscapes as opposed to fishing, when I decided to give it just a few more casts in one of my favorite slots.  First I decided to increase the size of my offering to a size 12 soft hackle nymph and drop it hard to the bottom.  A couple of casts 
later the line hesitated and I raised my rod to my personal best on Brown Trout.  Now, I understand that for others, this may be child's play, but for an Ohio Brown, this was no small fish.

I had hoped that the fish would break the 20" mark finally allowing me to be in that wonderful 20"+ group of anglers, but I have now been rejected again :(   I didn't have a tape on stream, so I photographed it against my net, rod and forearm and upon measuring them, I have officially come up one lousy inch short.  My initial guestament (yes I know it's not a real word) was 20-22" but I guess that just means I'm a real fisherman right?  The actual measurement was 19".

At any rate, it was a slow day on the water, but a rewarding one with a beautiful fish for the persistent angler.  

The hatches are really picking up pace here on the Clear Fork and only get better as you head over to Central Pennsylvania.

Drop us a line and let us know when you want to hit the water for some amazing fish and awesome hatches.  Myself, Graham, and Jeremy look forward to fishing with you soon!

Tight lines......

Patrick "Flybum" Robinson

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Passing of one season begins with another..

Well here we are at an end to another great week of steelhead fishing on Ohio's Lake Erie tributaries. The lower rivers have been very productive and responsive to streamers, sculpins, and emerald shiner tube fly patterns either swung of stripped though deep pools, runs, and cuts in the river. Casting into the Lake Erie surf near tributary mouths for fresh and drop backs has been exciting and the hits are down right bone jarring!!! These fish peel into your backing and head right for Canada!!!
Our brook trout retreat in Pennsylvania is down to one weekend available for the season and we still have late summer family vacation retreats and golfing retreats available. Trout fishing in Central PA is heating up and Guide Jeremy Hoffman is gearing up for a host of local hatches on Bald Eagle Creek, Spring Creek, and the Little J. if interested in a fly fishing trip to central PA give us a call we are now taking bookings 419-466-9382. Our fall steelhead schedule is filling rapidly, so please don't wait to get your prime fall steelhead days- No deposit required to hold your date!!
We will be doing several Fly fishing schools this year for Trout, Steelhead, Spey, warm water fly fishing in conjuntion with area fly shops and outfitters. I also will be offering again this year our popular on the water fly fishing clinic for steelhead this fall. I will be touring the Great Lakes during Orvis days and tying at several fly shops in MI, OH, PA, WI and NY starting again this Saturday at the Orvis Dayton store and then off to Cinncinati.

Our new tube fly line is just about complete with several new patterns coming out the first of June on our fly assortments page. I will have our hosted events page updated shortly with many great destination fly fishing trips and experiences to choose from accross the country.

Back to the fishing:

We have been catching more and more small mouth bass as the spring slowly progresses into summer, and we have switched to fishing to a host of warm water species. The White bass have entered the Portage and Maumee Rivers in hordes and I have started doing trips for them this week. Hot patterns were chartreuse and black double bunnies and leeches. The local reservoirs, ponds, and lakes are heating up we have hit large mouth bass in the 5-6 pound range as well as Blue gill in the 1-2 pound range. Bass and pan fish make for an exciting and enjoyable day of fly fishing and We have access to several local secluded lakes and ponds loaded with trophy bass and blue gill!!!

thank you and good fishing!!!
Greg Senyo