As the air grows crisp and we say goodbye to summer’s sweltering temps, many cool weather fans are gearing up for a new season of adventure. If you are an avid fisherman (or woman), chances are you have thoughts of steelhead swarming your brain. Want to know where you can seek out world-class steelhead fishing in Western New York? Pack your gear bag and get ready to head out. The answer lies in Ellicottville, NY. Adventure Bound onthefly, located downtown on the main drag, has the guides, the gear and the knowledge to help you live out the fly fishing experience of your dreams.
But it’s not just about the fishing. The staff at Adventure Bound knows how important it is to keep your non-fishing family members happy too! When it comes to activities for the entire family, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better fly fishing destination than Ellicott-ville. In addition to world-class steelhead fishing amid the stunning canyon capes and gorges of Zoar Valley, Ellicottville and its surrounding communities offer great lodging, restaurants, a wide variety of activities, shopping and some of the friendliest customer service and community vibe around. Amongst the pages of this publication, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy every family member’s “shop-play-dine-stay” desires …
Anglers and non-anglers can enjoy a wonderful experience in Ellicottville with an assortment of adventures for the family including Sky High Adventure Park at Holiday Valley Resort, bike rentals to take advantage of the amazing trail system in and around Ellicottville at EBR (Ellicottville Bike Rentals), Ellicottville Oasis Spa inside the Tamarack Club at Holiday Valley, kayak and SUP rentals at Adventure Bound, hiking and swimming at nearby Allegany State Park and the wide array of shopping venues that make mountain towns so charming.
LET’S GET BACK TO FISHING …
For eight months of the year, Ellicottville is a geographic hub for some of the most diverse fly fishing opportunities in the country. In spring and fall anglers are impassioned by the chance to catch steelhead, pike, muskie, walleye and bass on the fly. Those who are up for a bigger challenge will fish for the 20 lb. freshwater bonefish (otherwise known as carp).
But the most exciting species of them all … the steelhead.
As you may already know, steelhead and rainbow trout are categorized as the same species, Oncorhynchus Mykiss. The major difference is that rainbow trout live exclusively in freshwater and steelhead are anadromous, or go to sea. Unlike most salmon, steelhead can survive spawning, and will spawn multiple times.
Various steelhead strains throughout the past decades have been introduced to the tributaries of the Great Lakes. Adventure Bound onthefly anglers access these fish on the world famous tributaries of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. Fly fishing publications refer to these Erie tributaries as “Steelhead Alley”.
These naturally anadromous steelhead, known as “Lake Run Rainbows”, enter the tributaries by the tens, hundreds and thousands every fall, winter and spring to spawn. Timing of the runs is largely dependent upon weather conditions and lake temperature. During a typical season, air becomes cooler in late September, accompanied by several fall rain showers. When these conditions exist, you can expect the steelhead to be in the creeks October through May. Though some steelhead can be caught year around, the fall and spring months are the peak seasons to target these magnificently strong fighting fish.
GUIDED FISHING TOURS
Steelhead can test the best of tackle with strong, powerful runs downstream, and then back up, followed by a huge leap into the air. Every part of your rig will be tested as the drag of your reel screams, your rod bends from tip to butt and your leader gets dragged across rocks.
Lucky for you, Adventure Bound staffs a professional team of fishing guides that can help make your fall fishing season an enjoyable one. Their guides use nothing but the best tackle from Orvis, and you can surely find what you need in the shop’s fully stocked fly section - let them pair you up with the right flies, rods, reels and other tackle so that you’re sure to have a great day on the water. Better yet, let their guides take you on a guided fishing trip! Adventure Bound guides specialize in both single and two hand casting, rigging and presentations. They have decades of knowledge of this fishery and will put you in the best position to have the exhilarating experience of catching Steelhead on a fly. The cost for a guided trip is $325 for a 1/2 day or $450 for a full day.
ADVENTURE BOUND’S NEWEST GUIDE
World-class fishing guide, Damon Newpher (pictured), has joined the team at Adventure Bound onthefly … just in time for steelhead season! Damon will be managing the store’s fly fishing trips, instructional courses, youth initiatives and Orvis fly shop. He will also promote the SUP onthefly brand of inflatable standup paddleboards, which are designed with features that work well for fly fishing.
Damon comes to Adventure Bound from the Glendorn Lodge in Bradford, PA, which was recently named the #1 Resort Hotel in the U.S. by Travel & Leisure Magazine. Glendorn also won the distinction of being Orvis Fly-Fishing Lodge of the Year, largely due to Damon’s efforts. Glendorn was the first Orvis-endorsed lodge in the northeast and mid-atlantic states to win this award.
In addition to being a veteran Glendorn staff member, Damon attended the Wulff School of Fly Fishing and is nationally certified by the Federation of Fly Fishers (FFF). He is certified and licensed by Orvis as an endorsed guide and by the states of New York and Pennsylvania as a registered guide. He has also been certified through the National Skeet Shooting Association as a certified skeet shooting instructor. Previously, he worked in Arkansas at the Ozark Angler and mastered the Little Red, White, Norfolk and Spring Rivers, known countrywide for their excellent trout and smallmouth fishing.
Damon says, “I am looking forward to developing Adventure Bound and Ellicottville into the fly fishing gateway for the tri-state area. Adventure Bound is a world-class shop, with world-class brands in a spectacular adventure-oriented small town. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to contribute to the momentum of the Adventure Bound and SUP onthefly projects. My wife and young daughter look forward to being a part of the village of Ellicottville as well.”
Anglers know that the waters of western NY, northern PA and eastern OH are home to incredibly diverse species. From steelhead and bass to pike and muskee, this part of the world provides endless opportunities for anglers of any age. Combine that with unsurpassed dining experience from restaurants like Villaggio, Silver Fox Steakhouse, John Harvard’s Brew House, Dina’s, and EBC, as well as lodging at Holiday Valley Resort, Wingate Hotel, Ilex Inn B&B, and EllicottVillas, and you will discover that Ellicottville, New York is truly a fly fisherman’s paradise!
Stop into Adventure Bound onthefly and see fishing guides Damon, John or Nick to get rigged and ready for success on the water. If you are interested in booking a guided trip for Fall 2016 or Spring 2017, you can call the store at 716-217-4047 or email the crew at email@example.com. Join us in Ellicottville to sooth your angler’s soul and have your non-angler friends and family enjoy a spectacular time all at the same time. Spots are filling quickly for the fall season. So book your trip today!