Next up in our Ohio Guide Series is Josh Trammell with Steelhead Alley Outfitters!
Raised in Northeast Ohio, Josh Trammell caught the fishing bug at an early age. At 9 years old, his fly fishing interest was sparked by a neighbor fishing in their backyard pond. Thanks to great parents, he was able to have access to numerous fishing locations around Ohio, fishing any little chance he could get. From there he has gone on to chase steelhead and warmwater species all across the South shore of Lake Erie. Josh also spends his summers guiding trout and salmon on the Naknek River in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he also enjoys pursuing fish on two handed rods in the downtime. While not on the water, he can be found hovered over a vice somewhere whipping up all sorts of fishy flies. Josh enjoys sharing his passion with others and hopes they can catch the bug as bad as he’s got it!
How long have you been fly fishing? How were you introduced to the sport?
I’ve been fly fishing for about 12 years. I was introduced through a neighbor that fished in the community pond behind my house when I was younger. Many mentors have helped mea great deal along the way.
When did you start guiding and how did you get into it?
I started guiding full time about three years ago. I’ve done Ohio for three and I’ve worked in
Bristol Bay Alaska for 5 seasons. When I was 12 and 13 years old, my parents bought me half
day guided trips for a birthday present. I knew from the moment I landed my first steelhead that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Working in Alaska at a young age was an amazing experience. It’s really where I fell in love with the sport and where I learned to guide.
Where in Ohio do you guide? What species do you usually target with your clients?
I’m am just about everywhere in Ohio these days. Pretty much anything between Columbus and Conneaut I spend time on. I of course spend most of the fall through spring on our steelhead alley streams. As the summer comes, I migrate to more inland waters for smallmouth bass and pike. I specifically target three species with clients; northern pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead. The amount of different species we encounter during the summer other than those three is awesome. We’ve seen carp, freshwater drum, longnose gar, largemouth bass, channel catfish, perch, crappie, walleye, hybrid striped bass and more. We are truly blessed with the opportunities we have here in Ohio.
What is your guiding style like?
It really depends on the time of year to be honest. For steelhead season we wade and float
depending on conditions. For the summer smallmouth and pike we are solely out the boats. We get a good mix of people. A lot come out to learn and quite a few come from out of town and want to just have a great all around experience. Our specialty is being able to cater to all different types of anglers; young to old and beginner to expert.
If there is one thing you wanted clients to know before going on a guided trip, what
would that be?
Enjoy yourself. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Fishing could be god awful or
insanely good. Positive attitudes and hard work throughout a day on the water get rewarded.
Throughout your years of guiding, what is your most memorable experience/story with a
I’ve met some really great people over the years. I had two older gentleman last year in Alaska and we had one hell of a week together. Two really great guys that knew how to fish. We landed some giants that week and it is one I won’t soon forget.
If someone wants to go on a guided trip with you, how can they get a hold of you?
They can contact me by phone, email or social media. My phone number is 330-604-9188, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and my Instagram is @jtrammell_72 . I work in Alaska in the summers so the best way to get ahold of me June-October is through email or social media as I do not have cell service. Also feel free to contact our booking coordinator at (888) 453-5899 for more information.
What is your favorite species to target?
I absolutely love pike and smallmouth. They are aggressive, you can fish them on the surface, and it’s some of the most visual fishing you can have in freshwater.
If you could fish anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I’ve always wanted to go to Mongolia and chase Taimen.
If you were stranded on an island and could only have one fly to fish with, what would it
Definitely gonna go with a trout bead on this one. I haven’t met a fish that won’t eat one haha. If I had to pick an actual fly though it would probably be a game changer.