new to steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead Talk' started by BIgbassin07, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. this is my first winter/year for steelhead. i mostly fish the rocky. i have noticed that the river has been alot higher than the summer due to the snow pack and colder temps. is this usually the case through out the winter or can it get low at points. with the high waters ive noticed a more muddy look to the river. in this case should i be staying with bright colors and things that smell. i have been using sucker spawns and flies mostly. i havent tried minnows yet but thought it was probly too muddy for those. also i like 10 min west of cleveland are there and areas that are not as heavily fished as the rocky near by. maybe a creek or smaller area. any pm would be appreciated . thanks for the time everyone and safe and happy holidays
  2. There is a term, "prime", for the rivers when they are great for fishing. When the someone says the river was "prime", it means that the water wasn't too low or too high, and wasn't too clear and wasn't too colored. The two are very closely related. If the river is really high, it'll be muddy. If its really low, it'll be clear. Generally the rivers do run higher in the fall, winter and spring than in the summer. Steelhead love current though, so its not a bad thing. When the rivers are prime, they will be have a greenish tint with like 16-20" of visibility.
    When the water is muddy, you are correct, big bright smelly things work good.
    When the water is clear, think small and natural, smell still helps.

    Generally, the larger the river, the slower it is to drop after heavy precipitation or snow melt. The grand can take a week or more to clear, while the smaller creeks and such can clear in a day or two. I dont fish the rocky because i'm closer to the east side of ohio, so i dont know any area over there. The ODNR division of wildlife website has maps of steelhead rivers with access points etc. Check them out, the maps aren't very detailed, but they are good info.