Chasing steelhead in Pennsylvania is a yearly tradition for many anglers. Steelhead fishing in the fall is about timing the run. In Pennsylvania, steelheads are moving up from Lake Erie into its tributaries at various times from now until early spring. Fishing success varies based on how good the run is. Weather and water levels have a big impact on how good a particular run is going to fish. The general principle is steelheads come into the tributaries when there are high flow rates. Thus, steelhead fishing in Pennsylvania is at its best as the creeks rise then go back down. Here are three fall steelhead fishing tips to think about as you plan your Erie trip this year.
Fish Upstream for Erie Steelheads
Steelheads begin to enter the Erie tributaries after the first few major fall storms. Fish collect near the mouths of these tributaries and await access to their spawning grounds. Of course, they will be swimming upstream. Fishing for steelheads upstream means following the path the fish are moving. Since you will be following, steelheads are less likely to see you and spook as you move in for a cast. If you take away no other steelhead fishing tips from this article, remember to fish upstream for greater success.
Jump Fishing Holes
The second of three steelhead fishing tips is to fish up tributaries until you find fish. Steelheads typically move through the streams, stopping at different pools to feed and rest. Jump to the next fishing hole if you take several casts and get no strikes or you do not see any fish. More than likely, your fishing time will be better spent elsewhere. Good news, if you do run into a few the chances are good there are a few more in the same fishing hole.
Fish for Steelheads Over Lunch
Fishing for steelheads at first light is not the only best time to be on the water. Crowds are usually heavy in the morning because people sneak a few casts before work and traditionally morning has been pushed as the best time to fish for steelheads. Try waiting till around 11 a.m. to head to the water in the fall. This time of day is less crowded and the fish have also had a few hours to calm down from the morning rush. Additionally, consider using a non-traditional bait that the fish may have not seen when fishing over lunch to increase your number of bites.
Steelhead Fishing Lure Choices for Fall
Combined with the three fall steelhead fishing tips above, lure choice is important to bring steelheads to the bank. If you are not fly fishing for steelhead this fall, then lure choice will usually include live bait. Live bait is popular among spin-cast anglers who are fishing for steelheads in Pennsylvania. Eggs and shiners are a good choice throughout the steelhead runs of Erie. Artificial lures like in-line spinners are also a good steelhead lure choice. Fish these through faster waters trying to catch a moving steelhead swimming upstream. Remember to think outside the box with lure selection if you are fishing in an area with a lot of pressure. Steelheads are more likely to grab a fresh lure than one that has been passing by them all day.
Do not get caught inside this fall, but instead use these steelhead fishing tips and plan a trip to Erie for some Pennsylvania steelhead action. Fall is a great time to be on the water steelhead fishing in Pennsylvania. With the right tips and some luck you will land a few nice fish.