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11-12-05 - TROUT RUN!

Steelies are IN at 12 Mile Creek.

A look towards Lake Erie up on 12 mile.

A feeder falling into 12 Mile Creek.
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Renee casts to a heafty buck.

Hooked up!

Not gettin' away this time!

Renee breaks the skunk by landing this aggressive skipper, TWICE!

11-12-05 - Renee, meet PA!

Waters Fished: Trout Run, 12 Mile Creek, Cascade Creek, Elk Creek
Fish Caught: 1/4 personally, Renee 3/5
Outing Date: 11-12-05
Weather: Breezy at times, clear skies
Air Temp: 40's, rising into 50's
Water Temp: n/a
Water Level: low & clear
Water Color: all were GIN clear except Elk, slightly stained green with 1-2' visibility
Fish Species: Steelhead!
Pattern Fished: EGGS!
Pattern Color: Tried something different - Mister Twister Exude Eggs in hot orange. They did work...

We drove across Indiana, through Ohio, and finally arrived in Pennsylvania around 3:00 AM. I really, really, really wanted to keep with tradition and take Renee straight to Trout Run. As in all relationships, compromise is crucial, so instead, I let her scrounge up a FREE hotel room (she wasn't even in that office two minutes guys, so you can just stop thinking thoughts right now...).

Well, by 7:15 AM we were up and by 8:00, we pulled up within view of Trout Run. I honestly expected "more" of a reaction out of Renee. Maybe I just talked it up so much that she was expecting what she saw. It was kinda like, "yeah, that's a lot of fish...wow...lets go fishing".

I've been itching to get back over to the eastern tribs in PA, and wanted to make sure that Renee's first location was a bit easier to access. Renee needed her license too, so after a stop at Poor Richard's (east) we headed just a bit west.

We arrived at 12 Mile Creek to find it relatively crowded and running GIN CLEAR. Somehow, Renee's license wasn't valid until 10:00 AM that day, so well...she sat while I rigged up and dit a bit of scouting. Well, hmm, not NEARLY the number of fish around when compared to last year. In spots that held DOZENS of fish I was likely to find a handful...often not even one. HMMMMMMM. While rigging up, a crafty CO pulled up and got out, ready to fish with "full snaggin' gear" - aka. a plain-clothes undercover operation. NICE!

Renee got out and watched for a bit while waiting for her license to kick in. On my very first cast along a logjam, a beautiful chrome hen rose in the water column and inhaled my bright orange "exude" egg. WHOW - talk about a breathtaking hit. Of course, I botched it!

We both got in upstream - Renee's license was finally valid! After a little while chasing 4-5 steelies that kept moving around the run, I left Renee with the camera and went back downstream.

Well, so far the Exude Eggs work! After a few drifts I hooked up with a heafty buck at the tail of a deep pocket. I shouted upstream multiple times but Renee just couldn't here me. Somehow, beyond belief, I managed to work him out from the logs and eventually beached him. Renee caught on and started coming downstream, but I lost my grip on that slippery steelie and he managed to get back into the logs!

Oh well, there will always be more fish. As the morning headed towards afternoon, Renee and I made our way upstream. There was a small pod of fish holding in a shallow tailout - huddled around them was a group of anglers. Discouraged, we worked our way further upstream, enjoying the scenery but really not finding anything. After milling around a bit, we decided maybe it was time to go check out another stream.

As we crossed, I stopped midstream and gasped. There, only a couple feet downstream from where I was crossing, was a LARGE buck. Beautiful red cheeks gave him away! I motioned for Renee to come back - this was HER FISH!

Renee had 3 or 4 takes in the next 45 minutes...the last one was a solid hookup that came up headshaking - the works if you will. The buck slid downstream and Renee's line shot back at her. RATS!

Once we relocated the buck in the next pool, Renee got back at it. I noticed a 2nd, smaller steelhead holding in the vicinity of the larger buck. Renee kept making presentation after resentation and FINALLY hooked up again - with the LITTLE ONE!

It put up a great fight, jumping several times! Renee slid it onto the shale bank...I got it unhooked and got my hands around it, only to have it pop right back out like wet soap. Well, the skunk was off, but no picture for Renee!

Four casts later, out of nowhere, Renee hooked up again...WITH THE VERY SAME SKIPPER! What the heck?! This time, it put up JUST AS GOOD A FIGHT as the first time around. Thankfully we didn't make the same mistake twice - we got our PICK (quickly, before it flopped back in the water again!)

Well, meanwhile, the big buck was still sitting there. Renee is still learning that if you are patient and present enough times to a fish, it WILL get agitated and strike. All told, she had probably been working this fish for an hour and 15 minutes now...FINALLY, a SOLID hookup and the fish exploded at the tail end of the pool.

I coached Renee a bit on the fight, making sure she didn't clamp down (we're only fishin' crappy 8lb. Vanish which is more like godo 4lb line). We started looking for a place to beach this fish (for some reason we went without a net today) - the best spot was across stream which gave me ample time to get a bunch of pics. As Renee made her way across, I noticed that, surprise surprise, her little skipjack was FOLLOWING her.

When it was all said and done, there was Renee with a "monster" PA steelie! Of course, like most all our steel, it was released to go again. Granted, when we left to head back downstream, a couple of anglers were already "eyeing" it over even though they had probably just watched us catch it AND release it.

That's another hookup!

Almost ready to be beached!

There it is, a BIG buck by PA standards! EXCELLENT!

Time to pull one from the logs...
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

That little skipper and Renee were just meant for each other!

Renee was tired and ready for a break, so she took over camera duties while I again worked the logjam. I was determined to leave with a fish picture in the camera.

A great shot of 12 Mile Creek.
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Still workin' the logs on a beautiful fall day.
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Still tryin' for another steelie from the wood.
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

It WILL happen!

It took a while, but I managed a nice hookup with a fresh hen. She dove deep and threw every trick in the book at me in an attempt to get away. Several times I had her inches away from being beached, only to have her turn and surge for the deep brush again. I looked around and found a calmer place to beach her out of the current and started working her towards the tail of the pool. The fight had gone on long enough, easily 10 minutes. I felt she was ready, but she had one last trick. As I brought her to the surface to slide her to shore, she turned and ran downstream, over the logjam that formed the tail end of the deep pocket, pluging over the waterfall and finally breaking off. @#$@#$%T#@$@#$%@%!@#$!@#$!!!

THERE IT IS!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Yeah, that steelhead is under a submerged log - had to put the rod under to keep the line from rubbing!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

8lb. test and a log jam...gotta finess this fish!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Puttin' up quite a fight!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

This fish seems to be gaining ground on me!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Ah, she's starting to wear down.
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Almost beached...
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

CRAP!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

Almost beached yet again...
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)


OH NO! The last shot before she went over the falls and broke off!
(Copyright © 2005 Renee)

I was finally done with 12 Mile for the day. We headed up to North East, PA, and grabbed grub at the best little PA hole-in-the-wall I've found - the New Harvest Restaurant and Pub. 2 dozen wings later (Renee got the butter garlic, I got the "Gold") we were ready to fish again. But where?

I contemplated 20 mile, but when I got on the highway I found myself heading west, not east. Shrug...guess I'm heading west then. Renee wanted to see a bit of downtown Erie. We happened to find our way to Cascade Creek, and got out to take a quick look. To my surprise, this time there was ACTUALLY a steelhead in this tiny stream!

In the end, we ended up heading to Elk Creek. We checked out some access points I hadn't been to before. Overall, lots of anglers were out, many were heading back (calling it a day), when we were just getting on the water.

There's steel in Cascade Creek today! Can you find it?

Look closer...

A fair amount of anglers were out on Elk Creek.

We hiked downstream a few bends to find that there were probably more anglers than fish in most spots. Finally, we got to a tailout that was holding a few fish. The gentleman upstream was more than happy to share the water with us (thank you!).

I love the contrast of the red brush and gray slate on Elk Creek.

Elk is just stunning in spots!

A small feeder creek flowing into Elk Creek.


Quite a strange sucker!

Renee works Elk Creek in the fading evening light.

Renee and I each quickly hooked up with (and lost) fish. Other than a strange looking sucker (at least not a species I've seen before) the action was pretty slow. I suspect our mutual angling did more to push the fish upstream, right into the drift of the angler who was kind enough to welcome us to fish :)

As the last light faded, I found a trio of angry bucks holding tight to an undercut. I fished right up until the very end without seeing any more action. By the time we arrived back at the car, it was dusk.

After hours saw us making the 2 hour drive back west, through Cleveland to ASM's new digs on the Vermillion River. It was great to get to spend an evening around the campfire with Mr. and Mrs. ASM + ASM's bro, ASM Senior and one of ASM's former coworkers. We all turned in relatively early - tomorrow we'd be getting up early for the annual West Side Steelhead Clowns outing.

  MP 

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