You can’t graduate from University of Edinboro of Pennsylvania, be an avid fishermen and not know what the tug of the Steel is like. Meet my Southern Steelhead friend Matt Cousineau that i’ve known for 13 years. Matt and I became friends in college and kept in touch over the years through the small world of the internet. In fact this website you are surfing right now is one of Matt’s many talents. A few years back Matt offered to help me face lift Reel Fish’n and it turned out great.
Fast forward 2 years and I owe him a fishing trip for his effort. All he wanted in repayment was a Steelhead. 5:30am Tim (Matt’s father in-law) & Matt show up at the Glass House Inn in Erie where I was staying for the night. This was a great place for us to quickly get our waders & gear on before heading to the streams.
Next stop was “Poor Dicks” aka Poor Richards Bait & Tackle Shop which is must when heading to Erie. Single eggs, egg sacs, minnows and floats were on the menu and we were in route to Elk Creek. First stop was the tubes arriving at 6:30am before first light. We quickly rigged up our rods and headed down to the stream. First hole didn’t have any fish so we moved down to the tubes where we found a small pod of fish. We worked them hard trying just about every thing we brought in our tackle. Fishing was slow due to the low water conditions and extremely clear conditions. It was time to move and find a better option higher on Elk. Crowds were low in the morning which I was surprised to see. Next stop was below Girard Park which was a better option for us. We found a pod of fish that wanted to play after a few drifts. We changed our tackle to size 14 hooks which might have made our trip. First few drifts and BAM Matt was hooked up on a minnow. He fought this fish longer than anyone I ever saw fight a steel which was great to see. He didn’t horse or rush the fish. He showed her the at most respect until she was ready to be landed. Watching Matt fight this fish and truly enjoy the experience he was having was something you don’t get to see everyday. He had a true respect for what he was doing and it was something really neat to see. The fishermen above us watched Matt fight the fish and land it. They stopped down before they moved on to congratulate him on his first chrome. It was a very rewarding experience for everyone involved. The rest of the day didn’t produce many fish but Matt did mange to land another chrome before we called it a day.
I stopped at other areas along Elk on my way back to 79 seeing similar conditions and anglers having the same results that we did on our day. Slow fishing and not much water to make a good trip. If you are a avid angler and take paid time off to head to Erie I would would off until conditions improve. Yes there is fish, Yes you can catch fish but the best of the season is to come. It’s been a very unseasonable November with some rains to scatter fish throughout the streams but not enough cold rainy days we want to see. Rain is coming this weekend and temperatures look to be dropping which should only lead to good things.
Congrats Matt on your first & second Steelhead. Hopefully this won’t be your last. Thanks for supporting the Reel Fish’n “Catch & Release” from South Carolina and standard hand shake after the catch.
Till next time our lines will be kept Tight, Wet & Tips High..
Keep It Reel,