Copyright 2017 James Marsh
Fly Fishing The Vermilion River Ohio
The Vermilion River is one of Ohio's better steelhead
streams. It's a sixty mile long tributary of Lake Erie. The
river is located in northern Ohio. It has excellent runs
of Manistee strain, steelhead. It's also one of the state of
Ohio's Wild and Scenic Rivers. If you happen to be there
at the right time, fly fishing the Vermilion River can be
very rewarding. It can also be very challenging at times.
It's name "Vermilion", a color, is a good description of its
reddish clay banks and much of its bottom. As with any
red clay stream, the Vermilion will get muddy when it is
subjected to heavy rains. The headwaters of the river
lies mostly in farm country. Although the Vermilion River
located in fairly remote country, it's not just wide open
farmland. Much of it is heavily wooded. In some cases
hiking is required to reach the water you may want to
The river can be floated in a small pontoon type vessel
but only when the water is fairly high in the winter or
spring. The substrate consist mostly of shale. There's
also a lot of gravel on the bottom. The stream falls at a
good decline with the typical riffles, pools stream
configuration. There are plenty of deeper holes and
plenty of places for the steelhead to hold in low water
conditions. Although the river turns muddy easily and
takes time to clear, when it does, it can be very clear
and difficult to fool the steelhead into taking your fly.
The uppermost section of the Vermilion River has mostly
a shale bottom with lots of gravel and some deeper
holes. The middle section varies from pure shale bottom
to gravel bottom and deep holes between. The lower
section is generally deeper with shale and some gravel.
Fly anglers prefer swinging their flies in the traditional
wet fly swing manner. Nymphs and eggs are used with
and without strike indicators. Spey fishing is gradually
catching on and it's popularity is increasing.
The steelhead season is from October to May.
Steelhead can be caught as late as the end of April
depending on the weather.
During the Summer, the water is too low and warm for
salmon or steelhead.
Steelhead begin entering the Vermillion River as early
as middle of September. The fishing is good throughout
All but the coldest days of Winter can be good for
steelhead. The extremely cold water of January and
February can make the fish sluggish but otherwise,
fishing remains good throughout the Winter.
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Recommended Tackle & Gear
For Steelhead and Salmon
7, 8 , 9 or 10 weight for appropriate type
rod, sinking, sinking tip and floating
10#, 12# in 9 to 15 feet lengths
10# and 12#
Best Fly Rods:
Perfect Fly 7, 8, 9 and 10 ft. single hand
For 7 to 10 weight lines
Fly Floatants and Misc Items:
KISS Strike Indicators, Lanyards, etc.
Tools & Accessories:
Nippers, forceps, retractors, etc.
Vermilion River Fly fishing Report:
01/16/18 Stream levels are in good shape but the
water is very cold, or about 33 degrees F. Use
steelhead nymphs like our Giant black stonefly
nymph under an indicator.
|Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us (email@example.com)
with the dates you will be fishing this
stream and we will send you a list of our
fly suggestions. Please allow up to 24
hours for a response.
2. Call us 800-594-4726 and we will help
you decide which flies you need.
3. Email us (firstname.lastname@example.org)
with a budget for flies and we will select
them to match the budget and get them to
you in time for your fly fishing trip.
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