The area on the southern shore of Lake Erie extending just west of Cleveland, Ohio to Buffalo, New York is commonly referred to as "Steelhead Alley" and for good reason. This region contains some of the most productive steelhead tributary streams and rivers in the Great Lakes region.
If you are looking for the best places to fish in Steelhead Alley, you're in luck. We've put together this interactive map of the best steelhead rivers in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York to help you explore the area. Click on the map markers for information on stream access and to get directions.
Get the DIY Fly Fishing App and save fishing hot spots, boat ramps and stream gauges to your own map. Get turn-by-turn directions to fishing locations and real-time stream flows. Spend less time looking for places to fish and more time fishing!
Steelhead Alley includes tributaries to Lake Erie in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York that receive two major runs of steelhead in the Spring and Fall.
Reel Action Fly Fishing shows us what fishing in Steelhead Alley is all about. Ready to go?
Ohio's primary steelhead rivers are Chagrin River, Conneaut Creek, Grand River, Rocky River and Vermilion River. Several other rivers including Arcola Creek, Ashtabula River, Beaver Creek, Black River, Cold Creek, Cowles Creek, Cuyahoga River, Euclid Creek, French Creek, Huron River, Turkey Creek, Wheeler Creek get runs of stray steelhead.
Rivers in each state that receive steelhead runs are listed below. Click on the links provided for more information about each river including maps detailing stream access, stream flow charts and steelhead fishing reports.
New Fly Fisher host Colin McKeown joins expert steelhead angler Jeff Blood to learn some excellent nymphing techniques for Lake Erie steelhead.
You can make steelhead fishing as complicated as you like or keep it pretty simple. To help us out, Mike Durkalec explains the basics of Steelhead fishing gear.
In this Wild Ohio TV video, Mike explains the benefits and differences between five rod-and-reel setups that are typical of Steelhead anglers, including spinning, noodle, fly, spey and center-pin setups. He also discusses a handful of fly patterns, as well as lures that mimic two of Steelhead Alley’s most fed-upon baitfish – the Emerald Shiner and Gizzard Shad.
If you're fly fishing, a single-handed, 9-ft or 10-ft, 7- or 8-wt rod and large arbor reel with a good drag and floating line is an excellent choice. This setup is great for fishing tandem nymph rigs as Mike discussed in the video above. If you are into swinging flies, an 11-ft switch rod or 12-ft double-hand spey rod makes life a lot easier.