October is looming, and that brings thoughts of steelhead. River tributaries of both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are within striking distance, and fall-run steelhead are even now starting to trickle in from the big lakes. The fishing will improve through October and into November.
One of the nice things about steelhead is that there are so many ways to catch them. From spawn sacks and plastic worms to dead-drifted nymphs and wet flies, some steelhead will eventually bite just about anything you care to fish with enough patience, care, and persistence.
In most years I’ve been drifting small nymphs deep with enough split shot added to the leader so the fly ticks bottom. This kind of high-sticking with a fly rod works pretty well but can also get tedious if too many hours go by without a taking fish.
So for this fall I’m going to be swinging some big ugly marabou streamers instead. At least in this case there will be more actual fly-casting involved instead of the endless lobbing upstream that deep nymphing requires.
I know that fresh-run fish, aggressive in the fall, will chase and whack these things. And there’s always the potential bonus of a big lake-run brown trout. But there are lots of other choices, too. Many who read this blog will be chasing steelhead in a few weeks. So I’m curious. What’s your go-to fly or lure? And what sort of gear are you fishing with?