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    Greetings Old Friends,
    I hope that each and every one of you are well, and getting ready to stuff yourselves for the holiday tomorrow.
    I thought I'd take a sec, and get a report up, as it's been a long while since I've done so. It's been a difficult year, with the passing of my father. So I haven't fished as much as I'd like. I've purposely cut out most of my local trips to save up for one big trip every Nov..STEELHEAD TIME!
    I had originally planed to fish the Michigan Tribs, with NGTO's very own S.Trutta, but due to foul weather, and lack of good reports, we thought I may do better with heading back to the Alley, I worked it to where I'd have 10 days to chase the fish, which turned out to 14 days (which I will explain later).

    Day one West NY. I picked a smaller trib to start the trip. I figured once I found fish, I'd try and stay for 2days in each location to really work for the big guys. The creek was in great shape, with decent amounts of fish. There wasn't huge numbers of large fish, but the ones that were there were fresh, and chromed out. Here's a few favorite shots what I found for the first two days:

    After a good couple of day, water levels seemed perfect to go spend some time on the Erie big creek. I met my good friend and NGTO regular DeepWader for some big creek Steelhead. We worked hard, and both of us got a fish each. This is tough fishing in this creek. You really have to put your time in to get these guys. So both of us were very pleased to get a fish each. I was far away from Bob when he got his, so maybe he'll share a pic of his fish, but this is what I found:

    After a good fish each we decided to head to the war zones of lake ontario to try and find some dumb browns. We got to the "Dirty Burt" only to get rushed off early due to the gates shutting down. There were so many meat chuckers there, that I was happy to be out of there, and never went back. So total skunk there.

    Bob had hunting to do, so we parted ways. I headed to a stream to the east to try for some good action. This year I finally broke down, and got a 11"3 7/8wgt switch rod, for some of the larger creeks. I'll be honest, I never picked up my single hand rod again for the entire trip. If you've never experienced the spey/switch thing I strongly recommend you don't. Because if you do, you will be forever ruined, your single hand rods will be rendered useless, and so will your bank acct. for all the $ you're going to spend an all new gear. I probably will NEVER fish a single hand rod for chrome again...EVER.
    The spey/switch opens up twice as much available fishing drifts, and is a must have for those looking to swing the big tube flies, and streamers with sink tips the aggressive chrome are into.
    I worked this new area, met some awesome folks on the stream, and fell in love with swinging big meaty flies on the switch, here's what I found:

    Well, that was fun. I had a great time on the Ontario tribs, but after my day on the Erie Big River, I decided that I'd head back for a full day of swinging for some more serious Steel.
    There I met a few more locals who also were swinging flies, turns out we all hit it off and decided to fish the rest of the day together, I found this beautiful colored up buck swinging a intruder. The take was nothing more than shocking as the fish literally stole the running line out of my stripping fingers. After several leaps and crushing runs, I slipped the net under one of my favorite wilds of the trip. Not huge, but fun non the less.

    Here's another pretty wild one

    after a full day of cruising the big creek I was invited to Buffalo to stay with my new friends, and try my luck one North America's most epic rivers...The legendary Niagara. There reports, and pics shocked me. It turns out the 40 inch 30 lb Lake Trout had been taking flies, and fishing well. I couldn't help but give it a shot, as X'ing off a new species on the bucket list seemed like a great idea. For the next 6hrs of the following day I had one of the best big fish days of my life. These fish, are HUGE, powerful, and plentiful. It's tough fishing the 14 foot, heavy a$$ leader needed to get to the fish, but after a few I dialed it in nicely, and found these guys.

    After one of the most EPIC days ever, was again invited to Buffalo to get some rest, and head inland the following day for some insane trout action. I was stoked from the day, and went to sleep remembering the huge fish that slammed my flies earlier that day....This trout bum was in heaven. I awoke to find out that I had been sucked into the twilight zone stuck in Buffalo in one of the biggest snow storms in recorded history. I awoke to find this:

    So, after 4 days of fly tying, and being stuck I saw my window to get out of Buffalo.... Where did I go you ask?? RIGHT BACK TO THE LAKERS..Of coarse I needed to try and get one of these guys on a streamer that I tied, on the swing. I put my time in, and hooked 4, The 5th one I got. This is him, not the biggest, but by far my favorite:

    After 14 chasing fish days, I decided to head south before the snow melt wrecked havoc over WNY. Glad I did. What an awesome two weeks!!

    Forever NGTO member,
    Bass Rex
    The Trout Fishing Bassist,
    Bassasaurus Rex

  • #2
    That is living the good life right there, beautiful fish


    • #3
      You made up for your absence, this is how you define epic trip - great fish, new friends, 4 feet of snow, new species, it doesn't get any better than this.

      I hope Lux didn't ruin it all for you, he is a grumpy dwarf.

      PS - I am going steelheading next year, period. I am going to buy a spey rod, what do you have?

      Support the Mission Statement - buy the TU License Plate!


      • #4
        WOW.....I just moved steelhead fishing to the top of my bucket list
        "Fly Fishing Is Not A Team Sport"----Tom McGuane

        The fisherman now is one who defies society, who rips lips, who drains the pool, who takes no prisoners, who is not to be confused with the sissy with the creel and bamboo rod. Granted, he releases what he catches, but in some cases, he strips the quarry of its perilous soul before tossing it back in the water. What was once a trout cold, hard, spotted and beautiful becomes number seven.
        Tom McGuane


        • #5
          Sincere condolences about your father.

          Looks like a total awesome trip that turned into an adventure. Those lakers are freaking cool!

          What's the deal with that reel? That thing is WIDE!


          • #6
            @RScott, and LewDogg,
            Thanks fellas!!
            For the Rod I went with a Rugged Creek Classic switch 7/8 11"3
            The Reel is a Hardy Angel II 9/10
            When doing the Spey/switch set up, you have to use the next size up reel
            On the 7/8 rod, you need a 9/10 reel
            The running line, and shooting heads you use are huge, and would bog down a reel of the same size.
            I used two types of lines. When I was nymphing I used a rio musky/pike size 10. In the switch rods you need to use two sizes heavier than the actual weight of the line. The line worked great for roll and over head casts.
            For my shooting head lines. I chose a Scandinavia hybrid made by rugged creek. I believe the grain weight was 475 without a sink tip, and about 500 grains with the sink. It does take a few days to get used to, but when you do it's insane. I could easily Spey cast huge streamers 80feet all day.
            The Trout Fishing Bassist,
            Bassasaurus Rex


            • #7
              I am so green with envy. You've come a long way from stomping through the mud at whitewater.
              ad illudendum , et in sibilum

              "Laughter is my drug of choice"
              - B. Nelson, HSD, AA, BS, MS, LPC, LMHC, NCC, FFF CCI, ACI, PADI AD, OPP, OCD, ADHD, ODD, PIB, MIB, PBR, PB & J, General Manager of the World, Fluent in Sarcasm

              TBoy to GB: "An education doesn't fix stupid, you're living proof of that "

              "Your a Idiott" - RScott

              I Beat Tommy King in a Spelling Bee.


              • #8

                Originally posted by Gatorbyte View Post
                I am so green with envy. You've come a long way from stomping through the mud at whitewater.
                You probably have the best Justin story out there. I believe you saw me take a spill about 7 years ago! Hope all is well brother.

                RScott, GB,
                You guys seen this guy lately?
                The Trout Fishing Bassist,
                Bassasaurus Rex


                • #9
                  Saw him this past weekend, I am going to steal this pic and taunt him with it.

                  Support the Mission Statement - buy the TU License Plate!


                  • #10
                    Absolutely GREAT stuff here!!! Love the pic with you roaring with the lake trout. I think you had a similar pic last year with the monster brown you caught.


                    • #11
                      I'd be scared to handle a few of those fish for fear of getting my arm bitten off. Wicked report!

                      George Anderson and Jimbo Meador were my companions, men who never confuse angling with male bonding: fine dining and gentlemanly hours were out the window. - McGuane


                      • #12
                        Great report and good to hear from you on the board! I am headed to Cherokee tomorrow and will never forget the first time Vidalia1 and I fished it with you as our "guide." Learned all about that river from you, my friend!
                        Those sure are puurrtty stars


                        • #13
                          Pure mayhem. Prevailing on giant char in the heart of the storm--impressive. If you play down here this winter, I'm around. I'm sorry to hear about your dad.



                          • #14
                            Deepest condolences on the loss of your father.
                            Great report.
                            I still get a chuckle out of the first time I met you on the Chattooga.
                            I don't fish to live, but I live to fish.
                            I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong.


                            • #15
                              Hey Bass,

                              Just catching one of any of those fish would make my year!!!