What gear do I need for Lake Erie Steelhead?

  • Your PA fishing license with a Lake Erie Stamp and a Trout/Salmon Permit
  • 6, 7, or 8 weight fast or medium action fly rod
  • Floating line matched to the weight of your rod, try for a green or dark color
  • A quality fly reel loaded with backing
  • Tapered leaders; you can tie your own or buy chemically tapered leaders
  • Tippet or spare spools of light pound test line (4-8 lbs test, if you’re streamer fishing go up to 15 lbs)
  • Split shot or some form of weight you can add onto the leader
  • Flies (a nice, clean drift matters the most, but, Steelhead eat iridescent and fluorescent colored flies as well as natural imitations)
  • Nippers or nail clippers to trim you tag ends when you tie knots
  • Hemostats or needle nose pliers to remove flies and other gear your catch may have connected to it
  • A landing net if you intend to catch and release; if you intend to harvest many Erie anglers “beach” their fish
  • Waders or thigh high wading boots
  • Map of where you intend to fish. Have multiple spots in mind because Erie is a very popular fishing destination and you could be combat fishing if you come unprepared to jump spots.
  • Polarized sunglasses; protect your eyes and cut down on glare so you can see wading obstacles and fish
  • A tackle bag or hip pack to carry a fly box, water, and spare terminal tackle
  • Proper outerwear; check the weather report. You cannot put on what you do not have!
  • Spare clothes in your vehicle, including spare socks.

If you would like to shop locally in Erie, Pennsylvania, the following bait and tackle shops are locally owned and operated:

  • East End Angler
  • Poor Richard’s Bait & Tackle
  • Folly’s End Fly Shop
  • Tudor Hook N Nook
  • Fisherman’s Haven

The following are quick links to my Amazon Shop. I recommend going to your local fly or bait shop and talking to the men and women there—you’ll learn things you can’t read about on the internet, and you just might make friends. It’s always nice to walk into the local shop and see familiar faces.