Ohio Steelhead Fishing
Featured by the Detroit Free Press, Fish With Jim Outfitters organizes expertly guided fishing trips on the most productive Steelhead rivers in Northeast Ohio's "Famed" Steelhead Alley. Ohio stocks the Manistee Strain of Steelhead that begin to migrate to the Ohio Lake Erie Tributary streams at the beginning of October and can be caught through the peak run in April. They average 24 inches in length and weigh 6 – 10 lbs. Fishing these rivers for Steelhead is an exciting game for any fisherman. Enjoy breath-taking scenery and extremely energetic fish capable of long, drag screaming runs and multiple acrobatic jumps!
Fish With Jim Outfitters knowledge of the Ohio Streams will guarantee that you will be in the best possible water on the day of your trip. We specialize in finding "out of the way places" that are not crowded. We are available seven days a week during our season. Start planning your trip today, these fish are waiting for you and are like silver rockets waiting to go off.
Fish With Jim Outfitters offers an easy, unique and efficient way to fish on Steelhead Alley. Enjoy fishing the Vermilion River, Chagrin River, Grand River, and Conneaut Creek in style from one of our custom boats that are roomy, stable and rigged to fish! Our guides are proficient with many techniques that are proven to put fish in the boat and our streams are the perfect backdrop for an action packed fishing adventure! They have incredible scenery with 100-foot cliffs of shale and sandstone, waterfalls and all types of wildlife for all to enjoy. This trip can be enjoyed by fisher-people of all ages. Upper River Float trips are subject to river levels.
Strap-on your waders and walk into some of the most productive Steelhead water that Northeast Ohio has to offer. Enjoy fishing the Vermilion River, Rocky River, Chagrin River, Grand River, Ashtabula River, Conneaut Creek and many other Secret Creeks. Our guides are proficient with many techniques that are proven to put fish in the net and our streams are the perfect backdrop for an action packed fishing adventure! They have incredible scenery with 100-foot cliffs of shale and sandstone, waterfalls and all types of wildlife for all to enjoy. River selection is based on conditions and is subject to change prior to your trip.
Our Fishing Techniques
Center Pin - Pinning is a relatively new technique to Steelhead Alley which uses a noodle rod and a center pin reel to present bait, jigs or flies under a float (bobber). The method is commonly used from boats or from the bank on rivers and is currently popular with freshwater Salmon/Steelhead anglers who drift floats downstream. The reel can be mistaken for a fly reel and is very unique as it has a spool that spins freely allowing anglers to send long drag-free drifts that is often the reason for its productivity. Fighting a fish with a center pin is a blast as the angler has complete control of the amount of drag that is applied to the fish making for a more efficient fight that makes it easier to land and release the fish. Fish With Jim Outfitters is one of the only guide services to offer this technique as an option on Steelhead Alley.
Spinning - “Noodle” rods have been the mainstay of Steelhead fishing on Steelhead Alley for close to 30 years because of the versatility. A noodle rod is basically an elongated spinning rod that comes in different actions, such as light, medium, or heavy action. Fish With Jim Outfitters uses light action rods that allow for better sensitivity and a better fight. Our guides are very proficient at knowing when to use each of the three techniques; float fishing, bottom bouncing and casting plugs based on water conditions.
Trolling/Plug Fishing - “Pulling plugs”, as it’s called in the Northwest is the most fundamental Steelhead boat technique. This technique is where plugs are strung out behind the boat into the current. The length of line that you would release would depend upon the type of plug you’re fishing, the depth and of course the clarity of the water. The oarsman would then back the plugs down the river at a snail’s pace. When a Steelhead grabs a plug initially they’re looking to crush and kill this little annoyance that’s made them snap. The fight is unbelievable as this technique targets the most aggressive fish in the area. Trolling plugs is very similar but is done where there is little to no current and the movement of the boat makes the plugs work. The hit and the fight are virtually the same as you are targeting the most aggressive fish in the area.
More About The Rivers
The Vermilion River is located in northern Ohio. It is a tributary of Lake Erie. The river was named due to the reddish clay that is the major local soil along its route. The river is commonly muddy after rains. At the rivers headwaters, many local farms feed it and it commonly stays muddy days longer than other rivers that are larger than it. It is more of a rural river by nature and a good set of legs are required since hiking is required to reach the good fishing.
The Rocky River is a relatively short river that borders Cleveland Ohio. It is a tributary of Lake Erie and an urban river with a forest on both sides running through one of the most underrated of the Cleveland Metro Parks system, The Rocky River Reservation.
The Chagrin River runs through suburban areas of Greater Cleveland in Cuyahoga, Geauga, and Portage counties, transects two Cleveland Metroparks reservations, and then meanders into nearby Lake County before emptying into Lake Erie. The river has two branches, the Aurora Branch and East Branch. The Chagrin River was designated as a State Scenic River in 1979. It tends to clear up fairly fast due to its headwaters being on a protected suburban real estate and lush forests. It offers all types of scenery and wildlife and is the most diverse river of the five.
The Grand River is located in northern Ohio and is a tributary of Lake Erie. Today, the river follows an odd course that was influenced by the glaciers. The headwaters of the river can be found in Portage and Geauga counties. From there, the river flows north through Trumbull County and into Ashtabula County. In the northern part of the county, the river begins flowing westward into Lake County before dumping into Lake Erie.
The Ashtabula River is a fine steelhead river this is approximately 40 miles long and empties into Lake Erie at the city of Ashtabula. The name Ashtabula is derived from an Iroquois Indian name meaning “river of many fish.”
Fish With Jim Outfitters also offers guided trips on the many secret creeks that surround the major rivers. These areas are primarily fished in high water conditions.
$99 - 1 Fisherman Walk-On for 4 hours
$199 - Up to 2 Fisherman for 4 Hours
$299 - Up to 2 Fisherman for 6 Hours
$399 - Up to 2 Fisherman for 8 Hours
$499 - Up to 2 Fisherman Upper River Float
Call 248-252-1277 for details. Upper River Float Trips are in Ohio only and are based on conditions.
Time: October - April.
License: You will be able to purchase an Ohio Fishing License for $11 daily, three-day for $18, Resident Annual for $19 or Non-Resident Annual for $40.
Directions: Drive 20 min from Cleveland Airport, 2.5 hrs from Detroit, 4 hrs from Cincinnati, 5 hrs from Chicago; please contact Jim for the meeting place 248-252-1277.
Steelhead Tackle: All tackle is provided at no extra cost. Spinning, Center Pin and Plug Rods are available. Bait including Jigs, Fresh Spawn, Flies and other live bait is provided.
Waders: For your comfort, we recommend a breathable stocking foot wader. We have waders available in select sizes for $20 per day.
Keeping Fish: You are able to keep two Steelhead or Trout over 12 inches per person.
What To Bring: We recommend you bring the following items to make your trip as enjoyable as possible; bottled water or soft drinks (no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the metro parks), a rain jacket, polarized sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, camera and a cooler for your catch. We fish in a variety of conditions so please dress in layers.
Gratuity: Please remember your guide at the end of the day. A normal tip is 15% of the total value of your trip.
Ohio Steelhead Photos
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