Steelhead Debauchery @ Dharma’s

At Dharma of the Drift, he lays out the plain realities of fishing for Lake Erie Steelhead. Not a pristine experience, it sounds much like Salmon fishing near me. A cluster of techniques standing shoulder to shoulder and the niceties of pristine experiences lost on the realities at hand.

Drifting, nymphing, bouncing egg patterns may offend some that swing a fly. It shouldn’t. Dharma explains the truth re hatchery/put ‘n take fishing in the L. Erie tribs. No need for pontificating. An aside, how many fly fishers (even shop owners) do you know that fish gear at least once a year? Pulling plugs, sturgeon, seriously? I haven’t in a long time, yet I have all my gear and still have an educated thumb for a level wind and can lay a spinner in a pocket behind a boulder with the best of them. So, I don’t waste time judging people that fish egg patterns or San Juan Worms, let alone guys standing shoulder to shoulder dredging for hatchery Steelhead.

The assumption is often made that if you fish a certain way you don’t appreciate or respect the habitat/resource. It may not be pretty, but this is a reality of man made runs. There were no native runs to degrade.

Swinging a fly, for me, is purposely selecting a classic technique to enhance the experience. If I wanted to up the odds, I would fish smaller waters and shorter lines with an egg pattern. I choose not to for the fun and interest of it. Read Dharma’s multi part series on Lake Erie Steelhead Fishing.

5 Responses to “Steelhead Debauchery @ Dharma’s”

  1. 1 Brian Martin
    January 17, 2011 at 07:54

    Hello Switters. A question and don’t take it wrong, just curious–
    Why don’t you reference the work of the bigger blogs and sites; info for beginners? It seems they are a ready source of information for you and your readers. Just curious



    • 2 SwittersB
      January 17, 2011 at 08:13

      Hello Brian,
      Well, I do on occasion reference those sites. In fact I just grabbed something from MidCurrent yesterday. I have referenced most of them like Trout Underground, Busters, Moldy Chum. Global Fly Fisher, Hatches, etc. But, your question is good nonetheless. I guess I figure most FFer’s go straight to those sites; not mine (as it is focused on beginners or maybe intermediates) nor many others yet to be discovered. I have a soft spot for many on my blog roll that started about when I did and turn out excellent work of the true independent/unique/innovative variety. Three come to mind: Planet Trout, Winona Fly Factory and Rough Fisher. They have grown in varying degrees to prominence through their fresh faced efforts.

      I like to find those sites that are new to me and have interesting content to share. Also, I get little recognition, so I know what it is like when you do get a nod from the bigger sites….it feels good. It is a momentary bump in attendance and a chance to showcase your good efforts. It is not like I am the benevolent overseer…I feel it is one struggling blogger show casing another’s good efforts.

      I hope that makes sense. I enjoy the full breadth of the FF/FT blogging scene, but particularly those sites that add freshness or reality to what can be reinventing the wheel at times. When you do come upon that new way of seeing or writing, then it jumps out and needs recognition. To the degree I can do that, I am quite pleased.


  2. January 17, 2011 at 05:05

    First off, Switters, thanks for the kind words! I set out in that piece to really try and tell a reader everything I wish someone would have explained to me when I first got started. Sure you pick it up along the way, but had I not had a few friends in the Erie area who were really into steelheading, I’d have probably been turned off of the whole deal. The primer went over fairly well and those articles are easily the most heavily trafficked on my blog, but I didn’t figure them to attract attention from a major blog like this.


    While I agree that it’s not the back-to-nature experience that I (and it seems you) enjoy, it’s not so bad as it might seem. The picture up there is from one if the single most popular, perennially crowded areas on the PA tribs. Most areas aren’t nearly that packed. On the other hand, THAT area is usually MORE crowded than the picture suggests, especially in the conditions shown (somewhat high, colored water, easily fishable, early fall).

    If you’re ever as far north as Erie, PA from late September to early April, I’d still recommend you give it a try…but since you seem to hate the crowds as much as I do…avoid the lower reaches.

    Thanks Again,



    • 4 SwittersB
      January 17, 2011 at 07:15

      Many of our coastal streams are like the pic when the Salmon are in. My three boys, at an early age, fished with older men, taking turns slinging weighted egg patterns to pods of fish cruising up river and pulling out of the line and working a fish down river to release. Some crave that experience and enjoy the energy it provides. It was interesting to say the least. My boys received the benefits of coarse language instructions; watching a son fish with his dad (a yearly tradition that my boys witnessed for seven years straight until the man passed away); and the self confidence, eventually, to hang around men. I thank those patient men for enduring the learning curve for the boys (I did try to teach them in advance, to prepare them mentally and skills wise).

      Really excellent segments Mark. Thank you for doing that hard work and for painting the accurate word picture.



  3. January 16, 2011 at 04:55

    This looks like the absolute worst fishing experience I can imagine. I can just see the fights breaking out now. I love fish and fishing and the great outdoors, but I could never love it like this. I’m afraid if my option for the season was to fish like this or take up skydiving, I’d opt for the latter. And I don’t even fly.

    Reminds me alot of that photo from across the pond with 300 people fishing a small pool or pond.
    I feel sorry for the folks that can’t find better, more productive, or more serene water to enjoy.



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