Sunday, October 31, 2010

Golden Brown and Shiney Steel

It was a cool morning with a little rain and we had good flows on Elk Creek. We were on the water early waiting for some day light getting our gear ready and already telling big stories of the fish we were going to catch. Little did we know that we were in for a major surprise.

I had the pleasure of fishing with Chip last year and I knew we were in for some fun. Chip managed a good number of fish during our last outing and we had high hopes again for this seemingly excellent day for Steelhead. Tim was on the hunt for his first fish to the net. He is a skilled trout angler and was excited for the chance at one these silver bullets.
Below is a picture of Tim with his first fish to the net. He had numerous hookups with fish charging right at him and then up the river, back down the river, slashing through the air trying to take Tim to school. With each hookup Tim gained experience and then success. He then went on to skillfully play numerous others. As you can see from the smiles, we were happy.A Well Deserved Steelhead for Tim

Pictured below is Chip with his second or third fish. You can see how nice and fresh this fish is. Judging from the smile Chip was happy to get this one to the net. This one was on fire.

Chip with a Fresh Fish

A Nice Hen for Chip

Tim with a Hard Charging Steelhead

We hooked and netted a number of nice fresh steelhead this morning and all was well. Suddenly it went from good to GREAT when Chip raised his rod tip and then fly line turned into backing. My heart began to pound as I suspected something other than Steel. As Chip skillfully played the fish back into the ball park, I saw a roll and jump and it was Golden Brown. Now my heart pounding and nerves going to pot due to the size of this fish we put ourselves to the test. After what seemed like a life time we got this fish to the net. The fished was around 27 to 29 inches in length and more than 18" girth.

We have been getting a number of browns on the Steelhead Alley. If you are interested in having a chance at one of these give us a call. Of course we can also get you into first class steelhead fishing as well.
Contact us at
Big Fish to all of you,
Scott McClintock

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Beauty of the Fall Steelhead Season

Thanks to all of you that have made it possible for me to do this for a living. I am truly living the dream. The only problem I have at the end of day is my face hurts from smiling so much. I really enjoy being out on days like this with good people and making new friends.
Today I was able to get out and do a little fishing on my own. I ran into Pat Robinson and his clients just before daylight with their flashlights on. It wasn't long after they got started when they were able to net a few fish. I was on hand so I snapped a few pics. Then I headed upstream for a little fishing.
The flows were good and there was some color. I know that pictures do not do this justice, but take a look and enjoy.

Just a little piece of Heaven

This is a nice quiet evening of relaxation. Pictured is Patrick Robinson SAO's Head Guide and Media expert. Pat spent the day guiding and took some time off to do a little fishing. With all the color surrounding him you can see why.

I hate to say it, but I guess I need to hit the tying bench to replenish my boxes.

Pat Robinson and his client with the first steelhead of the morning.

This guy almost made 32", but we'll call him 31. He's a nice fresh fish that gave me a heart pounding 15 minutes. After he was rested he was off to fight another day.

Can You Say Chrome?

A nice end to the day

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Flows dropped Fast - Another Front Coming

Well we had some color to the water and a little flow, but not as much as I expected and it didn't last long. The water really came down and cleared quickly.We have fish in Ohio and Pennsylvania tribs, but they are bunched up in their favorite deep shady pools. If you don't find them in your favorite spot, start walking. As clear as the water is they are easy to find, but they are spooky. Long leaders are required and stay back away from the pool. I suggest removing your indicator. The indicator hitting the clear skinny water will spook these fish.
Elk has most of the fish, but we are seeing more and more fish in the Grand, Chagrin, and Conneaut.
We have more needed rain and cooler temps coming which should get us back into better flows and bring another push of fish from the lake. Remember in higher flows get out your favorite streamers and change up your presentation techniques until find something that works. The name of the game is change. As the water comes down go to nymphing techniques. My favorite nymphs are small black stone imatations in size #14, and #16 with a slight bit of flash. Another great pattern is a size #14 and #16 bead head olive caddis pupa with a tiny bit of flash. Make them buggy! Pastel colored egg and spawn are good choices in the low water conditions.

Feel free to give me a call for current stream conditions. Our guides are out everyday. Check this page as we update at least once a week.
Good luck everyone,
Scott McClintock
RSM Fly Fishing Services

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Recent Rains Bring in More Fish

With the recent rains and cool temps we are going to see yet another push of fish into our tribs. Watch for the flows to come down a bit then get out on the water. There are plenty of fish to be found.

If the water is high and off color swing large streamers and make sure you cover the entire water column. As the rivers drop and begin to clear a little, stick with streamers if you like, but egg patterns and nymph rigs will work very well.

Contact us we can help you with the details of where to fish, how to rig up for specific conditions and refine your technique. ,

Below is a checklist that will help you prepare for Steelhead Alley Fishing Trip.

Steelhead Alley Check List

  1. Fishing License - With your guide discuss where you will fish and he provide you with direction on where and how to buy your license. If you would like to buy on line visit the Helpful Links on our website.
  2. Clothing - Since our weather can change from near freezing sleet, snow and rain and warm all in one day, I recommend layering with wool and/or synthetics. My personal preference is a soft wool long john with fleece pants over them worn under my waders. Wool long sleeve tee shirt and either wool or fleece shirt/jacket worn under a good breathable wading jacket. Two pair of socks. One nylon or poly type with wool over top. Layers can be added or removed as the temperature changes throughout the day.
  3. Hat and gloves - A good warm hat and two pair of gloves. I usually wear a baseball cap and if it gets cold I put my wool cap over top.
  4. Sunglasses - Any sunglasses will do but I recommend polarized to cut the glare making it easier to spot fish.
  5. Waders and Wading Jacket - We will be walking and wading so we recommend a good breathable pair of waders and wading jacket. This allows your body heat to escape when you are perspiring keeping you dry. Nothing worse than working up a sweat than stopping and getting cold.
  6. Boots - Although not essential we recommend rubber bottom and studded depending on the conditions. Felt soles have a tendency to absorb water and freeze.

Included in the guide fees is a good hearty shore lunch and refreshments. Pick up and drop off from a predetermined meeting point. We also provide fly rods, reels, leaders, tippets and flies for you to use during your trip. Our equipment is top of the line and well maintained. However, if you would like to use your own equipment our recommendations are:

  1. Single hand rods should be 9 to 10' in length and 6 to 8wt.
  2. Switch rods should be 10.5 to 12' in length and 5 to 8wt.
  3. Mid to Large arbor reels with good disk drag mechanisms
  4. Fly lines to match the rod. (Docile colored lines work best)
  5. Switch rod lines should be skagit style with poly sink tips if you intend to swing flies.
  6. We use an assortment of fly patterns. Everything from Nymphs, to Streamers and a multitude of egg and spawn patterns.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday Steelhead Alley Fishing - Exciting in many ways

The Cabin fever run along with a steelhead run was off to a bang on a fine sunny Saturday. While the water was a bit low and clear a number of fish were taken by all.

When flows are low try stripping an Iceman tube fly, but from a distance. These fish get a little spooky once the sun is up. Vary the length of your leader and weight depending on the flows. In the runs and shallow pockets try a double nymph rig with no indicator. The name of the game in low flows is find the fish. So, cover the water and be willing to change up your technique. Change flies, and weight to ensure you fish the entire water column.

Below is one our Steelhead Alley Outfitters clients who quickly got the nickname California. It wasn't long before people all over the river new "California". We had a lot of fun and as you can see below, California got a chance to see some Steelhead Alley Chrome

Tough morning, but finally a reward

A Fun Fish -- Trust me on this one, I almost got wet!!!

How about that Color

Stay tuned and visit often as we will be out on the water all next week. Our schedules really are filling up so give us a call to secure your dates for guided fishing on Steelhead Alley.
To book your trip contact me at or .

Stay tuned everyone and good luck on the "Alley"
Scott McClintock
Owner / operator
RSM Fly Fishing Services

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Fresh Steelhead are coming

I was able to get out and look at the rivers today as well as wet a line. We were high and muddy, but I knew there were lots of fish in. I decided to break out the switch rod and swing some large streamers. The fish below is one that succumbed to the Pink Lady Sculpin. There were numerous other Bright Chromers that came to the net. It was a pleasant surprise considering the high muddy water.
The rain made it difficult today, but it will bring in even more fish over the next few days. I expect the water to drop to fishable conditions by Saturday afternoon on some tribs and by Tuesday on others.
I plan to swing more streamers over the next few days which is always an exciting way to fish. When a steelhead hits a swinging streamer, hold on on tight and get ready for the screaming reel.
The streamers I have pictured below are some of my favorites. They are big streamers and are particularly good in off colored water.

The Pink Lady Sculpin took a number of fish today

My Favorites

Tube Flies and Flies with Stingers

They even look good wet

Get your gear ready and your fly boxes stocked. It's time to go steelhead fishing. Contact us to book a trip to Steelhead Alley or for special patterns that work on the alley.

Tight lines to all,
Scott McClintock
owner / operator
RSM Fly Fishing Services

Friday, October 1, 2010

September 30 Scouting/Fishing - WOW!

What a day. The Rains brought in a ton of fish. My scouting mission turned into a fishing trip. I could not resist. These fish were hot and fresh from the lake. You couldn't reel or strip fast enough on direction changes. On occasion they had you running after them to keep backing on the reel. Seeing the fish jump 5, 6, and maybe 7 times was amazing. These fish gave me a workout. I had more hookups than I can count and more fish to the net than a man deserves. I was actually tired and sore by the end of the day. My arms were tired and my face hurt from smiling so much. What a blast.
Now that I have your heart pumping, I must appologize for these pictures. I was by myself and using my cell phone and I don't like handling the fish too much so I only took a few pics.

Fishing should continue to improve as we get more water in the tribs. Reports are more rain over the next couple of days. A Nice Hot fish that gave me a workout

Another nice fish with the Iceman that stuck her

Almost like a mirror
As we get more water and the weather turns a little cooler our fishing will really kick off and become much more consistent. Based on current weather reports we are going to get off and on rain between now and next Tuesday. I am guessing that we should have good conditions by Wednesday next week. If it's a little high and off color, get out your big streamers and swing some flies. Stop back for updates or contact us at or Thanks for visiting and stop back soon,
Best fishes to all,
Scott McClintock
Owner / Operator
RSM Fly Fishing