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Latest Outing: 4-18-03


There are a few steelhead still hanging around due to the cold spring nights. Everyone has moved on to other species, so there is very little fishing pressure on the last few remaining fish. I walked well over a mile of stream this afternoon and found a few steelhead scattered in the smaller holes along with an obscene number of suckers. Most of my fish were caught out of one deep hole that had at least a dozen steelhead holding in the faster head water. Bait of choice today: Salted Minnows & woolly buggers when I ran out of minnows. The fish are very very scattered, but if you are willing to walk you will be rewared!!

Water Temp: 52
Air Temp: 54

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Who said the steelhead season is over?? Well, its NOT! I had the pleasure of fishing with a bunch of good friends from www.fisherie.com for the Second Annual Good Friday Fishing Tournament. Participants included myself (aka Shwack), Doc (aka Grendel), Kevin (aka Kevinupp), CanMan, SpoonChucker, & Al (we missed you PT). Top prize is a free lunch or dinner at the Avonia Tavern or the Freeport Restaurant for the largest fish caught or the first fish caught or the most fish caught or what ever Doc says just so he doesn't have to pay.

Overall water conditions were fair to poor in some spots due to the low water level and crystal clear water. Even with the low conditions, we were able to land a TON of fish on Elk Creek at 2 different locations. We started at Whitman's Bridge in the morning and found a fair number of fish up to the train tressel. Fly of choice here was an olive nymph with some flashback tipped with maggots. Suckers were also being caught regularly on just about anything (SpoonChucker can fill you in on the technique, I am no longer HOOVER BOY!). After lunch, we headed down to the Elk Creek Access where we found a lot of people and a fair number of fish holding in fast water. CanMan landed an unknown number of fresh and old fish on different green nymphs and egg patterns.

A great day of fishing, but an even better day with friends. I can't wait until next year!!

Click HERE for the pictures from this trip


4-12-03 (First Day of Trout)

A late afternoon trip to my favorite west side stream proved to be very productive. I bolted out of work at 5 and made it to the stream by 6. With NO ONE around (I thought this was the first day of trout?), I had the stocked brown trout to myself. The browns were not cooperating, but the steelhead were. I never did land a brown trout, but I did manage to land 4 steelhead on jigs & maggots. After a quick picture, all fish were returned to swim again.

Water Temp: 45
Air Temp: 48

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A late afternoon trip to a small west side stream proved to be productive. Only 2 fish landed in 2 hours of fishing, but both were large and unique. (pictures) I fished the main part of the stream for the first hour and found it to be a little too high and muddy, so I decided to fish one of the larger feeder streams. I found all the fish in the clear, fast water and resorted to kneeling in the water so I could get close enough to cast.

Water Temp: 39
Air Temp: 33

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With the last night's rain, Elk was a deep green color for most of the day which made for a great day of fishing. I fished the upper stretches of Elk alone in the early afternoon and found most of the fish holding in the faster water. With the warm water temperatures, the fish were in spawing mode. Later in the day, I met up with a friend on a middle stretch of Elk around the Gudgeonville Bridge. We found a TON of fish holding in the faster water and landed a fair number. With most of the fish in spawning mode, egg patterns worked well all day.

Water Temp: 50
Air Temp: 62

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I went ice fishing for the first time today with my guide Doug from www.steelheadconditions.com. We started out the afternoon at Trout Run where we found 10 inches of good ice. Whithin minutes Doug had a crushing hit, that ripped the rod out of the holder and almost down the hole. After landing 1 steelhead on minnows in 2 hours of fishing, we decided to try the Manchester Hole on Walnut.

The Manchester Hole had atleast 6 inches of solid ice, but I wasn't going out until Doug tested the strength. We drilled a number of holes and were surprised to see they were black with fish. Within minutes we were hooking up on fish with live minnows. Total for the day for Doug was 1 landed and atleast 5 others lost. I was able to get 5 up through the ice and managed to loose 5 others.

Water Temp: Frozen
Air Temp: 24

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I fished upper Elk this morning with Al (aka. Albud1962) from Pittsburgh. We arrived early and had the place to ourselves for the first hour of daylight. The fish were holding in the deep runs and staging in the pools, but were not very active. I was able to land 3 fish in the faster water on montana stone flies and creme colored suckerspawn.

Around 1pm we received a call from Mike (aka Doc, aka Grendel) who was fishing on the eastside streams. 16 mile and 20 mile were both producing a decent amount of fresh run fish. Elk was not producing, so we made the 30 mile trip to 20 mile. We were rewarded with a nice mix of fresh and hold over fish. Mike was hooking up every few casts (used the quick release on most of them) and brought 4 to the shore in the time we were there.

Total for the day was: Al - 2 landed (minnows and egg sacs), Mike - 4 landed (suckerspawn),
Me - 4 landed (montana stone, suckerspawn)

Not a ton of fish, but this is winter steelheading remember. The water temps are just above freezing so these fish can be a bit lethargic.

Thanks for the company Al and Mike!! You guys are a riot!

Water Temp: 34
Air Temp: 32

Click HERE for the pictures from this trip



Very cold temperatures kept most people off the stream today, which made for a pleasant day of solitude. I fished upper Elk today around the Elk Creek Inn and foud a lot of fish holding in the faster water. The stream was a perfect green color and a decent flow. Fishe were very active even with the cold water and responded to many different offerings. The ususal suckerspawn in pink and creme worked well, along with black montana stone flies. A gentleman next to me was catching fish on white clousers and zonkers stripped through fast water. Total for the day was 5 fish to the bank and countless "no touch" releases. Ice on the guides was a huge problem, but it was well worth it.

Water Temp: 33
Air Temp: 24

Click HERE for the pictures from this trip


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