Spring steelhead and smallmouth bass , , ,
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Erie spring steelhead fishing is a “strong flow” sport. At this time of the year, the median, spring flow on Elk Creek is 7.6 cubic feet per second. I translate that number as a steady, strong drift.
Even with a strong flow, the tributaries usually have a nice, deep-green color that can be fished with most presentations. Fly anglers trying to fool the fish may be at a slight disadvantage when up against bait anglers offering food. Both do well in the spring.
Spring steelhead season peaks in late April and ends in late May when the steelhead drop back into the lake for good. A decent run of spring jacks is now entering the tributaries. We need to release most, if not all, to preserve the fall run!
As the water warms, you will find smallmouth bass and plenty of emerald shiners in Lake Erie tributaries too.
Several things to keep in mind as you schedule a series of Erie fishing trips. Juvenile steelhead and brown trout have been stocked. They represent a future “run” of fish so be gentle when you catch and release them. You may need to change locations or presentations to eliminate accidental hookups.
As the numbers of smallmouth bass in the tributaries increase, you need to carry some tube lures or jigs. If you have colors that represent crawfish and emerald shiners, you will be prepared for the bass bite.