Great Lakes Steelhead

Steelhead Alley is a 200-mile stretch of shoreline that stretches from Pulaski NY to Sandusky Ohio.  This area has dozens of rivers and streams that drain into lakes Erie and Ontario, and draws anglers from around the country. I have been making fall pilgrimages here for more than 20 years and am continually amazed at the fish that these rivers produce.

My trip plans focus on the waters of western New York, which are diverse and accommodate a variety of fishing styles.  Some anglers like to fish large rivers with easy public access using spinning gear or a center pin outfit.  Others prefer to hike into more private pools on smaller streams and use a fly rod.  Swinging flies on two-handed Spey rods is also very popular.  Regardless of fishing style, you can always find opportunities to catch fish when runs are underway.

Buffalo doesn’t have a reputation as an outdoor recreational destination, so I know that some people will be skeptical about traveling here to fish.  All I can say is —  trust me.  Most of the rivers and streams that I fish flow through scenic rolling farmland, apple orchards and vineyards.  And there are some slate runs and gorges that are truly beautiful.

You should be prepared to see quite a few other people, especially early in the fall when fishing popular runs.  But crowding isn’t usually a problem in western NY, because 90% of the people tend to focus their efforts on 10% of the water, so you can always get away from people if you put in some effort.  And nearly everyone you meet here is friendly.

Lake Erie Chromer

I charge $250 to help you plan a fishing trip to western NY.  This is an excellent value because you can get nearly a week’s worth of fishing information for less than half the price of a day with a guide.  My services include recommendations on specific places to fish on different streams and what tackle to use.  And I can also make suggestions on lodging, guides, etc.

Catt Chrome

Weather (particularly rainfall) is the most important uncontrollable variable that can impact your trip, so I will provide you with information on places to fish during different water conditions.

In addition to trip planning services, I also occasionally host a trip to Steelhead Alley, typically during the first half of November.  Please contact me to learn more about my trip planning services, or to take part in a hosted adventure.

Click for Great Lakes Steelhead Photo Album

The Lake Erie tributaries can provide you with Alaska-like fishing on some of North America’s most spectacular rivers, at a bargain price;  provided that you know when, where, and how to fish them.

John Randolph, Editor, Fly Fisherman Magazine