Serving  all of "Steelhead Alley" in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York     Turkey Creek Oh, Conneaut Creek Oh, Grand River Oh, Chagrin River Oh,  Rocky River Oh,  Vermillion River Oh,  Twenty mile Creek Pa,  16 mile Creek Pa,  12 Mile Creek Pa,  7 Miile Creek  Pa,  Walnut Creek Pa,  Elk Creek Pa,  Crooked Creek Pa,  Racoon Creek Pa,   Cattaraugus Creek NY,   Zoar Valley south branch,  Clear Creek NY,   Canadaway Creek NY,  Silver Creek NY,  Chataqua Creek NY,                      WE GO WHERE THE FISH ARE.......................†

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Call 330-565-5457 

e-mail us at

Dfishinfool's fly shop click here

Honesty is our number one priority at 

We know most people are smart enough to spot a fake or a liar.  Before you book a trip with any Steelhead Alley Guide ask them how many years they have been fishing Ohio. If they are honest you might be surprised by the answer. Anybody can be a internet hero and since you don't need a license to guide Ohio.  Out of state guides are flocking to the area to make a quick buck. Our team of guides have been fishing Ohio and the rest of Steelhead alley our whole lives.  We want lifelong customers. We strive to exceed our guests expectations.  My guarantee is simple. If your not 100% satisfied with anything we do contact me.  If I can't make it right. I will give you a full refund. No questions asked.

webmaster and founder of

Don Mathews


The original

"Steelhead School" 

 Since 2001

Often imitated but never duplicated.  We have over 150 satisfied Graduates thru the years. It is a three day adventure into the world of fishing Steelhead Alley.  Our team of local steelhead pro's teach you everything you need to know to be a successful steelhead angler. It also includes a nine hour tour of the hot spots on the streams. We will cover, When to fish where, knots, rigging terminal tackle, leader construction, fly selection, reading water, fighting fish,  spin, fly, spey and cenerpinn techniques plus thee hours of hands on fly tying.  All you will need are an Ohio fishing license and a pair of chest high waders. . The weekend is value priced at $350 per angler and included in the price is two nights lodging



Bill Rusinko at Realistics Taxidermy is the only one I will trust with my trophy fish,  He lives in Michigan's UP and he is an expert at correctly painting our great lakes species.


This link takes you to Greg Lum's blog.  Greg is a good friend of mine and an expert with the center pin.  He is on the river almost every day and his reports are funny but accurate.


John Nagy has updated his great book on Lake Erie Steelhead fishing.


We are proud members of the Ashtabula County Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Their website lists local attractions, the areas fine wineries, hotels and other information on the area.


Our Team of Guides have the required permits to Guide on Lorain County Metro-Parks property. Lorain County is host to some beautiful well appointed parks.



We trust quality RedWing floats and terminal tackle on our guided trips

Here is a great link from Redwing Tackle on rigging up your Spin or Pin outfit



If your ever fishing in central Kentucky look up are friends at Cumberland Drifters for a great float trip is a great website with lots of good information. Especially for the Center Pin fisherman




A neat new concept in floats. 



Area Fishing Clubs

Ohio Central Basin Steelheaders

Pennsylvania Steelhead Association

3 c u Trout Association

North West Pa Trout Unlimited

SONS of Lake Erie Club (save our native species)

Neshannock Trout Unlimited

Emerald Necklace Trout unlimited Cleveland OHF

Firelands Fly Fishers

North Branch Boys Fly Fishing Club Toledo Oh

North Coast Fly Fishers

Tri County Trout Club


Other Great Clubs

Buckeye United Fly Fishermen

Derby City Fly Fishers

Northern Kentucky Fly Fishers

Bluegrass Trout Unlimited

Louisville Trout Unlimited


Bait for Steelhead

Nothing catches steelhead like the real thing.  A seasoned steelhead veteran knows that it pays to have several types of bait on hand.   Below friend Greg Lum has crafted an article on Bait choices for steelhead.


All Natural

Iím strictly a bait fisherman when it comes to steelhead. I find natural baits are more effective than artificial ones. But, once in a while Iíll toss a fly or rubber worm. Is there perfect steelhead bait? No, as each has its place during certain times of the year and water conditions. Here are some of the baits used by steelheaders, some are common and others rare.

Eggs ĖThe number one bait used by Great Lakes steelheaders. Steelheaders will either used eggs or skein. Skein is the membrane that holds the eggs together inside a pre spawn hen. Eggs from a spawning hen come out more easily. I primarily use eggs and prefer uncured ones because of the natural scent. Cure eggs may last longer in the fridge and water, but curing them is an exact science that I donít have time for Ė plus I have a kick ass vacuum food sealer. I donít like to kill a steelhead or a brown trout for eggs. For that reason, I use King or Coho salmon eggs. I will buy cured eggs from one person - Craig at Erie Outfitters. His level 5 top secret cured eggs can give uncured eggs a run for their money. None of the other tackle stores in the area can touch his eggs. Fish are like humans and the flavor of the month often changes. I'll usually carry both cured and uncured.

Eggs are great to use in dirty water as steelhead have a great sense of smell. Depending on water conditions, Iíll tie quarter sized sacs for dirty water and cold water. Dime size sacs are great when conditions start to clear. When conditions get really low and clear, Iíll go into stealth mode and use single eggs. Single eggs are very popular in Pennsylvania because of the low and clear conditions.

Shiners - Before the VHS ban, many of the local tackle stores would get the large emerald shiners from the Niagara River. These shiners were huge about 4" to 5" long. Shiners are great to use in water that is slow or deep and steelhead find them irresistible. Three of my biggest steelhead came on them. I'm pretty fussy when it comes to shiners. Post VHS ban, most of the tackle stores carry shiners that are great for perch. If they're less than 3" I won't bother. Shiners can be used either alive or salted; it doesnít really matter as they usually die at the sight of a hook. I'll hook them through the lips using an #8 egg hook.

When it comes to using minnows, the Quick Minnow bucket is great for transporting them. Itís light and easy to carry.

Butter Worms Ė Are the larva of the Chilean Moth and they look like waxworms on steroids. There are huge often over an inch long. They are hard to get and bait shops donít carry them. A friend of mine orders them online from New York. I used them several times during the spring when the water was warmer and low. Itís something the fish donít see often; I was surprised how much they liked them. Not a lot of people know about them.

Waxworms Ė Are the larva of the wax moth. Most think panfish when it comes to these worms. But, they do work on steelhead. They are larger than maggots and easier to get than butterworms. Some tackle stores carry them and others donít. Anglers I know buy them from pet stores and they swear they work better than maggots. They are better suited for low and clear conditions and work great on pressured fish.

Maggots Ė Are very popular with Ohio steelheaders. Maggots are mainly used to tipped jigs. The jigs are often small ranging in size from 1/64-ounce to 1/32-ounce and are made from either bucktail or marabou. About 3 to 5 maggots will be placed on the hook. Itís unclear whether the fish are attracted to the jig or the maggots.

Michigan Wigglers Ė Are giant nymphs of the Hexagenia limbata Ė large species of Mayfly. Wigglers are popular bait for steelhead in Michigan. Many of their streams are loaded with this larva and smolts growing up in their natal streams eat them. When they return to those streams they remember "imprinted" the nymph and eat them as adults. Wigglers used for bait are preserved because they are hard to keep alive. Personally, Iíve never used them, but Iíve heard anglers rave about them.

About the Author:  Greg Lum is a Canadian transplant who resides in Cleveland Ohio.  He is a self proclaimed steelhead junky.  For years he was the webmaster of the popular website.  Greg loves his center pin setup and it is deadly medicine on the areas steelhead.



For More "steelhead Alley" Fishing reports Click here

contact us


Save Time and buy your fishing license online.  Please check with your guide on what state you will be fishing.






Welcome to our Steelhead Fishing Reports page.  Here you will find, Ohio fishing reports and Pennsylvania fishing reports, compliments of Ohio Steelhead fishing guide, Don Mathews and the team of guides at

Webmaster - Guide Don Mathews


All guides listed below are self employed.  We have joined forces.  We believe that by networking together on the stream our group of local guides can give the best steelheading experience possible.  We guarantee it.. Feel free to call any of us at anytime to check on availability or to just talk fishin..   Don't be fooled by the NEW wave of guides in Ohio.  These guys are your true local steelhead pro's

Guide  Jeff Novak



Guide  Dick Keagy



Guide Travis McAllister



Greg Lum

He's usually too busy fishing to be bothered guiding BUT on occasion I can talk him into helping me out. If your looking for a guided trip with the center pin give me a call and I'll hook you two up

TTo book a trip with any of the above guides please call Don Mathews at 330-565-5457 .  He handles the website and our central booking calendar at  You may also call your guide of choice at anytime with questions or to check on availability.



ATTN:  Clubs, Trout Unlimited Chapters, Sports Shops

We have put together a great Power Point Presentation on Fishing "steelhead Alley" its not just a bragging guide with a bunch of big fish pictures.  We have put together an informative lesson on steelheading.  It contains many tips we have learned in our 10 year history of Guiding Steelhead Alley.   The principals we show you can be applied to many other fisheries. We offer this presentation at a very reasonable cost of $100 plus our fuel expenses.  We have a high Definition Power Point projector all we need is a screen or blank wall and a group of fishermen.  Feel free to contact Don at 330-565-5457 to set up a date for your club meeting.


Stream Maps



New York


"Steelhead Alley"

Steelhead Facts

All of our streams in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York hold fish during the winter months December- March 


New York Steelhead fishing is best in October thru December but most years the Cattaraugus Creek s the first stream to get a run of fish

Pennsylvania Steelhead fishing peaks in November and December but gets runs as early as September.  They are the most heavily stocked streams on "Steelhead Alley" and hold the most fish per square mile.

Ohio Steelhead fishing starts in October and lasts until early May.  Ohio streams are usually fish the best in the spring.



In addition to our guided Ohio and Pennsylvania trips we offer a select number of trips each Fall to Western, NY and the Cattaraugus Creek. Steel headers often refer to the Catt as the "Crown Jewel" of our Great Lakes tributaries. We fish the Catt during the month of October. It is a beautiful stream and the early fall fishing is great. Give me a call and we will discuss a trip to the Catt. Don Mathews NY License #4348

We also have a presentation "Finding Fish on Steelhead Alley" available to put on at your seminar, event, or club meeting. We have assembled a awesome slide show and have all of our own equipment. We offer this presentation at a very minimal cost, and your audience will learn from it. So Please contact us....

Many lodging options exist along "Steelhead Alley" and Interstate I-90.  Here are a few lodging options located near to the streams that we fish.

Comfort Inn Elyria Ohio;  440-324-7676
EconoLodge Elyria Ohio; 440-324-3911
Howard Johnson's Geneva Ohio Exit#218; 440-466-1168
State Park Lodge Geneva Ohio Exit #218; 866-806-8066
Hampton Inn Ashtabula Ohio Exit #223; Call   440-275-2000
Comfort Inn Ashtabula Ohio Exit #223; Call   440-275-2711
Days Inn Conneaut Ohio Exit #241440-593-1226
Best Western Erie Pa exit#18 814-838-7646

Clarion Inn Erie Pa Exit#18 814-833-1116

Comfort Inn Dunkirk NY Exit#59 716-672-4450

White Inn Fredonia NY Exit#59 716-672-2103

Best Western Dunkirk NY Exit#59 716-366-7100

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