Steelhead Trout:
The Ohio Division of Wildlife’s Lake Erie steelhead trout fishery is maintained by stocking approximately 400,000 6- to 9-inch Little Manistee River strain steelhead trout in five tributaries (west to east): Vermilion River, Rocky River, Chagrin River, Grand River and Conneaut Creek. This strain of steelhead trout average 25” and 7 pounds after two summers of growth in Lake Erie. This world-class fishery provides terrific opportunities for shore or wading anglers to catch large lake-run fish relatively inexpensively.
Fish close to the bottom in creeks and rivers.
Always use a fluorocarbon leader of 5- to 7-pound strength.
Use an 8- to 10-pound mainline.
Sharpen your hooks.
Check your line frequently for abrasion, kinks, etc.
Wear a ball cap and use polarized sunglasses for stream fishing.
When handling fish:
Always wet your hands.
Gently unhook and release fish
Cut the line of deeply-hooked fish off at the mouth prior to release.
A variety of rods and reels can be used effectively. Depending upon conditions, try an 8- to 12-feet limber spinning rod (noodle rod), 6-8 weight fly rod, or 12- to 13-feet long center pin rod.
Where to Fish:
Northern Ohio tributaries of Lake Erie between the Vermilion River and the Ohio/Pennsylvania state line. Fish in harbors and lower rivers early and late in the October-May season and everywhere during the middle of the season. Move to small streams when the main rivers are high and muddy or frozen.
Fall (mid-September-November
Good to excellent when streams have 8” to 12” of visibility.
Jig with maggots, minnows, spawn bags, or flies fished underneath bobber, as well as spinners and spoons; Various flies such as emerald shiner, yarn flies, egg-sucking leech, sucker spawn;
Any of the baits, lures, or flies listed and fished under a center pin type bobber.