October 24, 2019
Even with all of the low-water challenges, fresh steelhead continue to enter Elk Creek and Walnut Creek. I witnessed steelhead running upstream on Elk Creek and see plenty of fresh fish caught in the Walnut channel and above Manchester Bridge.
I believe that we agree, at this point in the season, the total number of available fish in the tributaries is low because of the low water.
Today general fishing conditions changed little from yesterday. We did get some clouds, air temperature was cool - mid-50, stiff breeze, flow was minimal, and the lake was not fishable.
The big difference for today was the “bite”. We had 1.5 hours of steady action before things slowed. Throughout the day, the steelhead turned on then off.
Usually the pre-dawn bite slows as more anglers arrive at the fishing locations. Hopefully when we get more water, an “all-day” bite will be possible.
Lower elk also has kayaks and boats added to the overwhelming number of shore anglers. All that activity affects the bite. All of that is a part of fishing in Erie when low water and a rough lake narrow the number of good fishing locations.
Upstream fishing locations on all tributaries have a “catchable number” of steelhead. The quality of the fishing experience is poor because of low water and high fishing pressure.
I witnessed steelhead caught on nearly every type of presentation you can imagine with the exception of those used by fly anglers. Best options remain sacs, jigs and metal. Pick your favorite and go to it!
Watch the weather and flow gauges. Weekenders may get a low-water Saturday followed by a blown-out Sunday-Monday, if the rain forecast is correct. The water level does not need to be flood stage to spoil your trip. Silt, leaves and trash will make any flow increase hard to fish.
Lake anglers tell me the lake will not settle down “color-wise” for days. That won’t matter at Trout Run. If we get a favorable wind, anglers there catch fish no matter the water color.