Finally, It’s October! Fall is by far my favorite time of year. Here in West Virginia the air is getting cooler, the leaves are turning color and falling from the trees and people are excited to be back in the woods looking for a big buck to hang on the wall. Football is in full swing and the MLB playoffs have just started, but I am excited for another reason.
In Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York the weather is getting cooler as well and Lakes Ontario and Erie are dropping in temperature. This temperature change will signal Steelhead, Brown Trout and Salmon to make their run into the creeks and rivers to spawn. This in turn signals fisherman everywhere to make their runs as well. They will come from all over the East coast to wade in the same waters as these fish and test their skills and equipment against them. Believe me these fish will test you! Hooking a fresh steelhead can be like hooking into a passing car, you are just along for the ride until they get tired. I have seen many lines and even some poles broke chasing these fish but if you put in the time and pay your dues you will learn how to subdue them. Most of the big fish I have ever caught here in West Virginia or other places I can credit back to learning how to catch and land Lake Erie Steelhead.
If you have never been to the Great Lakes to fish then I have good news. Now is the time. Fish start coming into the rivers and creeks in October and can last until March or April depending on the weather. Virtually any stream that can hold fish will get a run of steelhead, brown trout, or salmon. They can be caught on pretty much any fly that you would use for trout fishing. My go to flies for steelhead are a flash back pheasant tail or a stone fly. Egg patterns work very well also, especially for brown trout which target the eggs from spawning steelhead and salmon. You will need a 6wt rod or bigger for steelhead and a 9 or 10wt rod for salmon. I usually use 3X tippet when the water is murky and down to 5X when the water is clear but anything smaller than that makes it really hard to keep fish on the line.
I know that you will find plenty to quality River Bum flies to catch these big fish on here online so what are you waiting for? Get out there and catch that fish of a lifetime!