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Honor Roll subscriber John M. Lachin says his recent trip to various Lake Erie tributaries in search of steelhead was the best fishing trip he ever had, bar none. “My fishing partner and I caught fish after fish after fish,” he writes. “We caught at least 20 fish each per day for three straight days, more likely 30 or more per day.”
Lachin say their outfitter was Reel Action Fly Fishing (www.reelactionfly.com). He goes on to write: “Back in 2012, a friend and I took a trip to fish for steelhead in the tributaries on the south shore of Lake Erie (Ohio, Pennsylvania, or New York) with Reel Action Fly Fishing. We had a good trip and decided to do it again this past April. We fished for three days starting April 24. The first day our guide was Derek Sater, and the next day we fished with Norm Raffelson. We concluded the trip with a day on the water with owner Paul Jacob. All three were excellent guides. They really put themselves out on our behalf.
“As for the fishing, it was simply spectacular. We didn’t keep a tally, but we each caught more than 20 fish each day, probably 30 or more. The average fish probably weighed around seven pounds, but we caught a number that weighed more than 10 pounds. All fish were released. Interestingly, the Reel Action Fly Fishing company offices are in Rochester, New York, but they focus on the tributaries of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario between Cleveland, Ohio, and Rochester, targeting both brown trout and steelhead. They requested that we stay in a hotel in Fredonia/ Dunkirk, New York. That put us within a 1.5-hour drive of numerous streams. We either met our guides at 5 to 5:30 AM at a designated place and drove in tandem to the river du jour or we met at a designated spot near the river to be fished. All the waters we fished are open to the public. When we fished with Norm, he made a point of getting to the river by 5:30 AM to secure a prime spot until we arrived around 7 AM. We didn’t quit that day until around 4 PM. On our last day, Saturday, we decided not to get up at 4 AM. Instead, we met Paul near the designated stream around 7:30 or so. We parked at a crossing and then hiked upstream to fish. After lunch we moved to a different area and had a banner afternoon, not quitting until around 6 PM. In addition to steelhead, I caught a trophy lake-run smallmouth that day.
“Paul and the other guides at Reel Action fish the Lake Erie and Lake Ontario tributaries for steelhead and brown trout for the six- to eight week spring and fall seasons. The rest of the time they focus on their Alaska operation. They have a camp up there on the Kanektok River that is now entering its third season.
“If you decide to give their steelhead trip a try, be sure you have a superb Italian dinner at Rocco’s in Fredonia, just a few blocks from the house where the guides stay during the season. Rocco, by the way, is an avid fly fisherman, and he enjoys sparring with fishing yarns. We also had an excellent dinner at the Brick Room in central Fredonia. On our first trip with Reel Action, we stayed at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk. It is a fine facility on the waterfront, but it’s a little farther away from I-90, which takes you to your fishing destinations. On our recent trip, we stayed at the Days Inn across the street from the entrance to I-90 in Fredonia. It’s not as nice a facility as the Clarion but more than adequate, and their excellent breakfast buffet opens at 5:30. Enjoy!” Don Causey Note: Lachin says his main contact for the trip was Paul Jacob. His cell phone number is 585- 469-9872. As for costs, he says Reel Action charges $250 per angler per day ($500 with a guide for two).