Sunday, April 7, 2013

My fave Ohio Tributary

Well it’s been a long time and it feels like it.  I fished solo in the morning, and down at the first riffle on this Lake Erie tributary.  I had my 8wt switch rod by TFO lined up with at 375 grain head.  The tip I used at first was 11’ of T-17.  This would prove to be ok, but the fly’s has to be lighter.   I was snagging bottom with my leeches and large deceiver/scandi patterns.  I was the only down there on the river.  I got on the river at about 0530 and waited for the sun to rise.  I lit a cigar and sat on the bank and watched the great heat tab in the sky rise. 

As I crossed the deep challenging riffle littered with basketball size smooth boulders I saw something.  What in going to describe to you was Mother Nature at her finest.  On this tributary she has a large natural walleye population.  I had my headlamp on illuminating my way down the path.  I arrived at the river’s edge and I could hear her crash against the rocks.   I looked into the water with my head lamp and stepped into her inky green water.  I scanned the riffle for any debris that could give me fits.  I saw nothing smooth sailing to cross.  I peered into the water with my head lamp and I saw tiny little mirrors shinning back at me.  I thought what in the hell is that.  I looked harder and what I was witnessing was spawning mature walleyes.    The females ranged from 22” to about 26-ish inches!  The males that were getting their grove on were like 16”-18” long.  I could of scoped them up by hand.  They just minded their own business.   I watch them for a bit and moved on.  I could hear splashing water and that meant steelhead getting their groove on.  I was going to fish the pools behind the active spawning pelletheads. 
I got across the river without incident and began to rig my rod.  By this time it was about 0530.  I fished a olive tube fly about 4” long and sparsely ties on a ½” copper tube.  This would be the fly that would not get snagged.  All the other heavier leeches got hung up to often.  Using the California step down casting method of covering water methodically I did this over the .125 mile stretch. 

I was about to give up and head up stream when it happened.  A silver bullet about 70 feet away from me jumped.  I had him hooked right in the kisser.  My fly line went tight and it was on.  He was not happy.  He would take a little more line out and I put the screws to him.  I applied side pressure to keep him off balance.  To me there is nothing worse than keeping your rod tip up and letting the fish control you.  About 2 minutes passes by and I could grab my leader and try and try and tail him solo.  He relaxed a second and the moment I touched his wrist he snapped off and the way he went back into the inky green darkness. 

I love days like that,


P.s Andrew thanks for the great company ole friend.  I know their has to be fish in there! lol