Late Season Steelhead

IMG_0726This week I had heard of much quality fishing to be had many places in and around Rochester. While I knew Irondequoit would probably fish well, I chose to fish Allen’s Creek. Allen’s creek is a fun summer fishery, but I had never trusted to go there for salmon, lake run browns or steelhead, as I did not want to strike out and waste fishing time. Yesterday, however, I’d heard that Allen’s Creek was fishing well and could not pass up an opportunity so close to home. A five-minute drive put me on the creek. I was worried about how good the fishing would be, water temps have nudged 50°F this week, and that is a good sign spawning is coming to a close.

The first pool I approached with trepidation, this was the highest the fish could go up Allen’s Creek; if fish weren’t here, I thought, there would be none here. As I came upstream towards the pool, I saw no fish in the almost perfectly clear water. Sure enough, fan casting proved ineffective. In a sour mood, I moved downstream to fish a deeper pool that often holds swimmers in the summer. (Small Tip: If you know where I am referring to and want to fish there, but swimmers are muddying the water and disturbing the fish (mostly carp in the summer), just tell them to stop for a minute and look in the water. If they do, most catch a glimpse of the massive fish and promptly ask if it has teeth, respond in an ominous tone yes, needless to say the swimmers leave.)

Upon reaching this pool, I changed rigs, on the bottom, a small egg pattern orange or yellow, then 12” up a large Copper John, then 9” three micro split shot, and finally a Thingamabobber set at however deep was needed. First cast the bobber went down and I hooked a steelhead; however, it came unbuttoned within a few seconds and was gone (I blamed it on the dog walker watching me). I continued to fish for the next hour, I hooked three and landed one. Most seemed mediocre size (none had any real weight when I set the hook). The landed fish was a plump steelhead.

Steelhead season is winding down and with it, the cold weather. Get out as soon as possible if you want to catch some “warm weather” steelhead, I saw at least three dead fish stream side, one must have been +25”. Spring has sprung, make sure to bring more than just egg patterns as many small midges were coming off as the day progressed. No fish rose to them, but they were there. Get out there. Good luck and tight lines.

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Liam Bethlendy

Unlike many contributing on this blog, I am rather new to the fly fishing scene. I have learned loads of information off of this site and now hope to help others by contributing as well. I live in the Rochester area and slowly but surely I am trying to find and fish spots less frequently targeted by more experienced anglers in the quest for The Fish, don't get me wrong, I love catching big smallmouth and steelhead but I am just as happy catching small brookies in a wild stream with my 3 wt fly rod. I also tie my own flies, it is one of my favorite past times and it is what originally got me into fly fishing. I hope to keep learning and help the teaching process because as we all know we are all learning young and old. Tight lines... hope to see you on the water.

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