Goose Egg

Early fall can get to the hardcore steelheader. After a long summer laid off, the shorter days and cooler nights get them stirring. The leaves start turning color and there is slight nip in the morning. But being at southernmost range of these magnificent fish, we are often forced to wait until late October and November before we start seeing any major number of fish. This year, summer still persist much to the chagrin of many. Somewhere out in the depths of Lake Erie, some steelhead patiently wait for the cool rains that will beckon them to come in. But for the time being, we must also wait patiently. The heat still persists and there is no rain in sight. 

 The Alley is still parched from a hot and dry summer. The streams are low and filthy looking. The brownish hue is a far cry from the brilliant emerald green colors of winter. The streams are stagnant not the place for trout. The streams out in Pennsylvania are so low, that fish wouldn't be able to make it in. Reports of fish are few and far between. I start to look at other options and one of them is fishing off the breakwall. 

There are numerous breakwalls near the mouths of several rivers. The Grand, Conneaut, and Ashtabula are ones that have public access. It was cool and grey day. Just a month ago the beach was packed with people swimming and tanning. Today, the beach is largely quiet except for a few walking along the beach looking for beach glass. The surrounding woods are full of birds, resting from their journey across the lake. The small park is an important resting and feeding place for migrants. The wind has kept the midges down. During the fall, the number of midges hatching from the lake can be staggering. Entire trees and rocks are covered in them. As I walk along, clouds of them swirl about. I swat them away and hold my breath as I don't want to inhale them. I can see many birds jumping from branch to branch, feeding as they expended a lot of energy crossing Lake Erie. Some of these migrants probably came from the boreal forests of Ontario and are slowly making their way to either Central or South America. 

The wind was blowing out of the northwest and from the top of the breakwall, I can see the water is very murky on the lake. The inner bay leading to the mouth of the Grand River is slightly off color, but fishable. Fishing the harbor in early fall can be a gamble as fish are few and far between. I stand on a large rock and rummage through the tackle box. The box mostly contains spoons that are either Cleos or K.O wobblers. I use a scuffed up silver and green cleo and start the long grueling process of casting out. There will be the chance that a fish is in the vicinity of your lure. The dingy water makes it that more tougher. I chucked and chucked until I couldn't chuck anymore. I didn't such much get a sniff of steelhead and that was expected. Walking back, I could see dark clouds over the lake. Many of the cottonwoods in the park were starting to shed their leaves. It will be a matter of time. 


Trotsky said...

I plan on beating my head against the fishy wall tomorrow.
It will probably amount to just a another walk in the woods but it makes my fish starved heart soar just to think of it.
Good luck this season.

steelhead08 said...

Nice photo!!!-Didn't read the it mandatory?