Welcome to DeFranks Flies & Guide Service - We are Steelhead Junkies
Trophy SteelheadLooking for some explosive, arm wrenching and acrobatic relentless fights from the Great Lakes Steelhead? Come join us on an adventure that will etch a permanent spot in your memory to take home forever.
Let us put a smile on your face!
We net many trophy Steelhead for our clients each year from 10 to 20 pounds.
Be sure to check out our Photo Gallery
Steelhead Guide Trips for two Seasons each YearNot many destinations can brag about having long seasons as we do along Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania Great Lakes Steelhead Tributaries. We run our Steelhead Fishing Guide Trips for both Spring and Fall Run Steelhead.
Steelhead Alley!Our Tributaries in Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania boasts the largest runs of Steelhead per mile in the world!
Check Out Our Custom Intruder Guide FliesGet your swing on with some of our Intruder Guide Patterns. We continue to pursue the addition of new patterns to strike Chrome!
Interested in booking a Guided Steelhead Trip? Email or Give us a call 724-317-8582
Thinking of tying some of our Signature Patterns or just creating a few flies to your specs. Visit our Fly Tying Products Pages. We carry products new to the market and most of the must haves.
Take a moment and visit our Photo Gallery
of our past guests days spent on the water with us. Our average size Steelhead runs about 7 pounds, but as you will find browsing thru the albums, we land many trophy size fish in the 10 to 15 pound range and the occasional lunker exceeding 15 pounds. The Ohio State Record for Steelhead is 21 pounds 3 ounces and PA State Record for Steelhead is 20 pound 3 ounces. Enjoy the photos and give us a call, we would love to introduce you to the world of fly fishing for Steelhead.
Steelhead Fishing Reports
Visit our Guide Blog
to stay up to date on what's happening and how the steelhead fishing has been along Steelhead Alley in Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania Tributaries. We will also post current news and events here as they unfold.
Custom Steelhead Flies
All flies for sale are used exclusively on all our guide trips and have proven to be effective and worthy to land a permanent spot in our fly boxes before we put them up for sale. Visit our Steelhead Flies Product Pages
to browse our selection of signature patterns.
Here at DeFranks Flies & Guide Service, we specialize in guided steelhead trips for the great lakes steelhead, signature steelhead flies for sale and all aspects of fly tying for steelhead flies to be able to catch a steelhead and salmon on your own fly you tied no matter where you fish in the world.Our guide trips are centralized to the great lakes tributaries through-out Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania area in which there are 2 major runs per year, Spring and Fall.
Fall Steelhead Fishing -
By the end of August the Steelhead start to stage at the tributary mouths and start their migration upstream as the air and water temperature cools, periods of daylight changes and the Fall rains start to raise water levels. The larger runs of Steelhead generally start to make their migratory runs in mid October considering all of the conditions are favorable. Lack of rainfall causing low gin clear stream conditions will hold fish from migrating until a good rainfall and send a fresh run upstream. Mid October thru the first week of December is the prime of the Fall Steelhead Season then slowly relaxes into the onset of Winter Steelheading but most rivers continue to produce decent numbers of Steelhead until the rivers start to freeze over, which generally happens some time in January. Some Steelhead will winter in the deeper holes until Spring.
Spring Steelhead Fishing -
With the Winter thaw comes the new smells of the fresh Spring air, and this means one thing for the hardcore Steelheader…it’s time to bust out the rods and blow some of the cabin fever gloom away. Spring Steelhead Fishing – anticipating the runs is the opposite to Fall Steelhead Fishing, speaking of the air and water temperature starting to rise as the grip of winter subsides and gives way to March and April. These two months are prime Spring Steelhead Fishing which personally is my favorite time to Steelhead Fish.
Attributes of a Steelhead -
Basically our Steelhead are a lake run Rainbow with alot of attitude! Once the hook is set a the fight is ON with the start of an explosive run up or downstream with head thrashing acrobatic leaps then a sudden turn in the opposite direction, then the moment you think you have him under control…wrong, another mind blowing run, a few more leaps, a couple direction changes and another bounding leap and you think to yourself…ok I have this fish under control now. But you’re wrong, the fish spots the net and it’s on again. I have literally had Steelhead run so hard leap out on the stream bank wiggle back in and continue to fight, I also had them turn directly at me and go airborn into my body.
I still enjoy the look on a clients face on their first Steelhead fishing experience and the first hookup. Words could not describe as well as the very moment it happens. The transformation of the anglers facial expressions display volumes of emotion, speechless disbelief of raw unexpected power at hand transferred thru the rod.