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
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"
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