I enjoyed a fun day on the Niagara River with a friend Chuck. We got into lots of steelhead and many hens were fat and dropping a stream of eggs into the bottom of my boat! Yes, the steelhead are right in the middle of spawning on the Niagara River! It is very late for them this year, but the water temps are only just hitting around 47F. I have never seen them spawning so late. Steelhead will be in the Niagara River well into June this year, and maybe even into July!
The water colour was heavily stained below the power dams, and we only hit one fish, a nice brown that nailed a 6 inch pink worm. Above the dams had several feet of beautiful green “slaughter water”. We caught fish drifting three-way rigs and pink worms, roe bags and beads. Chuck had a certain hot bead that was on fire. He must have had 8 fish to the boat before I asked for a bead. The bead is a unique colour that was chartreuse with a hint of pearl white to it. We pegged the bead approximately 2 inches from our hooks with a rubber bead peg. Roe accounted for a lot of bites as well in natural peach tied in bags smaller than a dime.
I used a medium action Rapala North Coast rod 9’6″ in length with an RType reel spooled with 8lb Sufix Siege line. I tied the main line to a small black three-way swivel, added an 8″ dropper line 8 inches in length to a 3/4oz slinky. I then added a 7-foot Sufix fluorocarbon leader in 6lb test and a size 8 Gamakatsu octopus hook. The beads were threaded onto the leader line and pegged 2″ above the hook with a clear rubber bead peg, then trimmed. The pink worm was fished on an 8’6″ North Coast rod and Avantis reel spooled up with 10lb Sufix siege to the same three-way rig but with a 10lb fluorocarbon leader. The 6″ pink float worm was threaded onto the leader line with a bait needle, and then I added a small bead and a size 4 Gamakatsu treble hook. The big pink or methiolate worm can be deadly on drop back steelhead on the Niagara River, especially bigger fish.