Dan Pribanic is here today to take us to Chagrin River Outfitters, the Steelhead Alley area, and some fishing tips and tricks. We discover which strains of steelhead they are hitting up there in that part of Lake Eerie. We also get his take on single-hand versus two-handed rods and spey. We also dig into which other species he’s focusing on this year in his area.
Dan and his team are the big reason why our last trip to Ohio was so successful, so let’s find out exactly how they work the magic.
Chagrin River Outfitters with Dan Pribanic. Hit play below!
(Read the Full Transcript at the bottom of this Blog Post)
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Chagrin River Outfitters Show Notes with Dan Pribanic
2:25 – Dan tells how he got into fly fishing. He came from a big family with 10 siblings. His older brothers were involved in outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting, so they were the ones who influenced him to fish. His first fly-fishing experience was in central Pennsylvania.
3:54 – He grew up in Pittsburgh. There are a lot of great trout fishing and warm-water opportunities there.
5:01 – He shares the story of how he started Chagrin River Outfitters. Around 1999, he thought of going to law school. He worked in a law firm for a year with his brothers, who are attorneys, and that was when he realized that that was not the path he wanted to go down. He and his wife eventually opened the shop in 2006.
7:34 – Their shop is right on the Chagrin River, which is a great fishery. They cover the northeast Ohio area at a little bit of Pennsylvania at times.
8:20 – He takes us into their fishing program if somebody visits their shop around the summer. Steelhead is their number one species. They also have pretty good smallmouth and pike fishing in their local rivers.
12:03 – I ask his thoughts on the steelhead versus not steelhead thing that some people talk about.
14:29 – He talks about how they fish throughout the seasons, particularly the fly patterns and lines. A lot of fishing in their area involves floating Skagit heads and changing up the sink tips they’re running. He also describes his go-to rod for his home waters.
19:22 – We dig into smallmouth bass, which is native to their area. These species start coming in by the end of April.
22:48 – He also mentions some other species that they target throughout the year, such as carp, quillback, and gar.
26:44 – There are not a lot of other fly shops in their area, but he mentions the Backpackers shop, which is about an hour and 10 minutes drive from their shop.
27:18 – We dig into Steelhead Alley. They’re right in the middle of it. That area has been called the Steelhead Alley for a long time.
29:16 – He walks us through what their shop looks like throughout the year. He mentions some staff members who usually man the shop and provide guiding services.
31:24 – They focus on single-hand and two-handed rod fishing for steelhead. They also host six trips to the Bahamas and Belize yearly for bonefish and permit fishing. They tie steelhead flies and also sell some shop merchandise.
33:27 – He tells the story of the first time he met Jeff Liskay. He has known him since he opened his shop.
34:30 – They also offer single-hand casting classes in their shop.
35:21 – We dig into single-hand versus two-handed casting for steelhead.
36:15 – He mentions some fly patterns that work well for hitting steelhead. He also gives some fishing tips and tricks for catching steelhead, such as speeding up his fly.
42:31 – Most anglers start to fish for steelhead in September when it starts to rain a little bit and the temperature cools down. They also get a lot of guys in their shop who prepare for salmon fishing in Michigan and New York at that time of year.
45:35 – If you want to avoid the crowd, he recommends fishing at Steelhead Alley in December. He also likes fishing from late February to March. For those who are interested in our Steelhead School with Jeff Liskay, visit wetflyswing.com/SteelheadSchool.
47:58 – We throw him a question from one of our Instagram followers about tying droppers. For steelhead fishing, he ties up a bunch of droppers and rigs in advance and puts them in a little bag, which he says is a time saver.
51:24 – He never listens to a podcast, but he loves listening to music and reading books. He’s a huge fan of Gordon Lightfoot.
52:03 – He tells us a bit about his busy daily schedule.
53:06 – He talks about Cleveland, Ohio. It has a great food scene and nice fishing.
You can find Dan Pribanic on Instagram @Chagrin_River_Outfitters
Visit their website at ChagrinRiverOutfitters.com.
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Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below
Chagrin River Outfitters Conclusion with Dan Pribanic
Chatting with Dan was an absolute blast! It’s so inspiring to hear from someone who’s truly passionate about their craft, and Dan’s knowledge and enthusiasm for fly fishing are contagious.
If you’re looking for an awesome fishing experience in Ohio, Chagrin River Outfitters is the place to be. And with so many exciting species to target this year, there’s never been a better time to cast a line in the beautiful waters of steelhead alley. Thanks for tuning in, and happy fishing!