SEASON – Fall, Winter, Spring
TACTICS – walking the regional Great Lakes tributaries. Fishing the Upper and Lower Niagara from our boats
SIZE – Averaging over 6 lbs (fish over 10 lbs are common)
HABITAT – Tributaries of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario
THE BROOKDOG PERSPECTIVE…
Great Lakes Steelhead – these big, hard fighting, acrobatic fish probably draw more anglers to the Buffalo Niagara than any other fish.
Introduced from Washington State to the Great Lakes at various points in history dating back to the late 1800s, steelhead are by far the largest attraction to the region for fly anglers. Although some natural reproduction takes place, the state raises most of its steelhead in hatcheries and introduces them to designated lake tributaries as fingerlings where they “imprint.”
These fish live most of their lives in the deep, cold water of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where they gorge on baitfish and grow huge. Once water temperatures begin to drop in the fall, they ascend those same rivers where they imprinted to spawn, just as their west coast relatives have done for thousands of years.
It is during this migration, both ascending and descending the rivers, that they become an exciting target for fly anglers. Although not too difficult to catch (steelhead can be finicky), the real challenge is keeping them on once hooked.
Averaging over 6 lbs (fish over 10 pounds are common), no other fish in the region runs as fast and is more acrobatic. These fish often take you into your backing – destroying your knuckles with the reel handle in the process.
This is Buffalo Niagara Region fishing at its best and we have it dialed in. We target these fish on the famous creeks of this region to include the Lower Niagara River, Cattaraugus Creek, Canadaway Creek, 18 Mile Creek, and the Oak Orchard. Come fish with Brookdog – we’re confident the trip will imprint you too.