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11-02-03 - The Vermillion was breathtakingly beautiful!
Look at the colors on that trout-sized Chub brought in by Reel Easy.
Turns out this was the largest we'd land today...if we were targeting Chubs this would be a TROPHY ;) Fun fish all the same!

A 360-degree panoramic view of the Vermillion. All panoramics were created using the trial of Photovision Panorama 3.0.

Let me know if you like these Panoramas...I may go out and buy the software so I can bring you more!

Another 360-degree panoramic view of the Vermillion. Click to VIEW this Panoramic in a 3D viewer.
Gotta say you get really startled when you first notice a dead buck only 2 feet away from you.
A 180-degree panoramic view of the Vermillion. Click to VIEW this Panoramic in a 3D viewer.
Guess what, another 180-degree panoramic view of the Vermillion. Click to VIEW this Panoramic in a 3D viewer.
You like those? Well, how about another 180-degree panoramic view of the Vermillion River.
It was simply a gorgeous day. A special thanks to Real Easy for showing me around his home waters today!
Haven't had enough yet? Hopefully these 180-degree views give you a really good idea what it was like to be there.

11-2-03 - West Side Steelhead Clowns 2003 Outing - The Vermillion Steelhead (Chub / Hotdog) Massacre

Waters Fished: Vermillion River
Fish Caught: 0 of the silver kind...
Outing Date: 11-02-03
Weather: Overcast with brief breaks of sun
Air Temp: 60's
Water Temp: 56F
Water Level: "average"
Water Color: stained, approx. 2 ft. visibility
Fish Species: Steelhead, Coho
Pattern Fished: Dull Surprise, Tucker Nymph, Glo Bugs
Pattern Color: Naturals got more interest (from the Chubs)
Fishing Quality: Fishing for Strays is always difficult and sketchy, but no crowds either.

ASM warned me about the Vermillion River. It would be tough fishing, the concentrations are no where near Elk Creek in PA or even the STOCKED OH streams for that matter. This year's steelhead in the Vermillion are all strays!

Well, honestly, I was still all up for it. After the amazing experience of PSO yesterday I didn't mind if I wouldn't see another steelhead all weekend; I had my fill and then some! ASM somehow once again got me up early, probably around 5:00 am, and I came downstairs to meet RGHooker in ASM's kitchen along with Mrs. ASM and the last donut (thanks RG)! We made the hour drive east to the Vermillion River, site of the 2003 West Side Steelhead Clowns Outing. It was billed as the "2003 Vermillion Steelhead Massacre".

Let me start by saying we got there just around dawn and many folks had already arrived; many more arrived shortly thereafter. I met so many OH steelheaders that I will never keep their names straight! I mean no disrespect to ANY of ya, you were all first-class anglers in my book. However, some of the attendees who I do remember by TSS login include ASM, Mrs. ASM, ASM's Kodiak, IRISHREEL, Steel-Ted, RGHooker, NAG, and Reel Easy. I was caught off guard when Reel Easy introduced himself; he knew who I was right away and as soon as he mentioned who he was, I remembered him from the Smallie/Largemouth Swap with his awesome yet "unassuming" crayfish imitation.

Well, it looked like ASM had his hands full, and Reel Easy was going to head off in the opposite direction of most. I had yet to get my OH license, so Reel drove us down to a local bait shop that I just never would have found. Some caffeine in my system and I was ready to take on the day!

Reel Easy ended up showing me all around his home river (he lives on the banks of the Vermillion). In one word, breathtaking. We fished all morning without any strikes from steel, but we landed TONS of chubs. Reel Easy even managed a very respectable chub (see right) in its gorgeous fall breeding garb (note the tubercles on the head). I spent much of the day fishing a pattern offered up to me by Joseph (BWO) of One More Cast Fly Shop back in IL; the Dull Surprise. Its a really nice fly...the chubs loved it! FYI the pattern is simple, a size 10 Pheasant Tail Nymph on the same style hook as I use for my Tucker Nymphs, but the thorax is tied with Olive Estaz instead of Peacock Herl. Oh, and the bead head is silver.

One of the more startling moments while wading the slick rock of the Vermillion was when I caught a glimpse of a deer out of the corner of my eye. As a gut instinct I simply shouted "Whoa" and then turned...the "glimpse" happened to be of a deer not more than 2 feet away from me. Reel Easy was chugging ahead and asked if I had fallen or something, I asked him to turn around and we both inspected this newly dead buck.

There's not much else to say about this quiet morning on the Vermillion that all too quickly bled into afternoon. Well, bled being the operative word as Reel sliced up his finger on the door of his truck...man for a moment there it was bleeding pretty fast. Thankfully, his middle finger is still fully operational at last check in!

We got back to our original gathering place right at 2:00 PM and sat down to a great feast of hot-dogs, dirt-dogs, hamburgers, dirtburgers (yeah, ASM remembered EVERYTHING except grilling utensils; fortunately I had a pair of tongs in my car leftover from MP's BBQ back in late Sept.). Reel Easy, man, I didn't mention this before, but that PIE was simply EXCEPTIONAL; best pie I've ever had. Where did you get that?!?!?!?!?!?!??! And thank you to whomever left the orange tupperware full of cookies...that got sent home with me as "engery food" for the 6 hour drive to Chicago. Drop me an email if you'd like the tupperware back ;)

We all simply had a great time. Few steelhead were hooked into today; ASM I believe managed 4 steel hookups in the lower water, all on his centerpin, Steel-Ted had another one or two hookups, again on the pin, and another angler actually landed and brought on back via spawn. The Fishin' was quiet but that park shelter was roaring. Irishreel was in some respects the guest of honor; he is taking up flyfishing and several of us had gotten together and produced a few hundred flies to get him started, and I couldn't think of a more deserving guy. Heck, Irish showed up with cases of silicone lubricant for everyone...I hear the stuff works well on car locks!

Bottom line, I could not have met a better bunch of guys in Ohio; ever one of them was someone you'd want to fish with. I again must thank Reel Easy for his native's tour of the Vermillion; I hope I can fish with him again in this lifetime (in fact I intend to hopefully sooner rather than later!) I cannot thank ASM enough for his generosity; granted I had to call him this week and tell him that if he ever though of seeing our runs in action, now was the time! WE'VE GOT RAIN IN WI FOLKS!!!!!! FINALLY!

So in close for now, if you want to make a trip this November for steelhead, I can't suggest a more enjoyable spot than the Erie Tribs. While some spots are worse than the Root in a full swing Chinook run, the folks I've me through TSS and ASM were top notch guys. Not to mention as you can see from the pictures this weekend, the Erie tribs have our SW WI scenery beat hands down! Could there be another OH/PA trip showing up in the Rambling Reports this fall??

  MP 

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