About Me

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Fairborn, Ohio, United States
My name is Ron Lewis. I consider myself to be an avid fly fisher and have migrated towards quality over quantity these last few years. Not that going out and catching a half dozen Browns on the Mad River is a bad thing...I am just hooked on the high I receive while bringing a 28" Brown to hand, or have a day when eighty-one inches of fish are released in three hours. And yes, these feats were accomplished on the Mad River in Ohio. If you find yourself in the area get in touch. Also, be sure and look up Ohio Trophy Trout Hunter on Facebook and join the group. Guide Rates: Bridge to Bridge - $250 Custom Walks - $Call for Pricing Instruction on the Mad River - $200 (Instruction on the river consists of a personal assessment of the anglers skill sets, and then formulating a 3 hourish lesson designed for targeted angler improvement.)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Getting The Cob Webs Off

There is now an app for that...particularly an app for the iPhone which enables blogging from an iOS device.

Given this development I will again be posting here as well as on my new .com site. Be sure to check out the new site at www.OTTHGS.com. It is still in it's infancy but when it matures I hope it will be the go to site for fly fishing the Miami Valley of Ohio.

A lot has happened in the guide world and I am looking forward to sharing with you all the most recent developments. That day should be happening soon.

Till then be sure and check out the new site.

Be safe and catch and release!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Month ReCapped

Once again some time has passed since my last posting.  Not from the lack of desire however, it has been a busy busy time, both on the home and fishing fronts. 

First, a big congratulation is in order for my fiancĂ©e Angie who has just graduated from Kettering College’s Sonography program with a 3.94 GPA.  Being a very technical program this is truly an accomplishment and her dedication to her studies has paid off big so far.  I love you my Sweets!

My writing time has been consumed by my own education as well.  I will try and get more time in the blog so check back soon and often, or subscribe via email alerts at the top of the page.  Also don’t forget to become a member.

Now down to business.  I have had a very busy month in the fishing world although much of it is in the retail and trade realms since the local waters have been unfishable as of late.  That said, I did get out with Jim Calvert and Brian Furderer for two great days on the water.  As you can see in the pictures, both of these accomplished anglers scored big on our outings during some of the higher river flows, and just prior to loosing the river altogether.

Brian scored four big takes and put three in the net.  All of these hungry kids were in the seventeen to nineteen-inch range, and to add to his resume, Brian scored every one of these beasts behind me.  Talk about getting your ego busted!  Good job Brian. I’ll recover!

Jim beat his personal best on our day out by landing his first twenty-inch Mad River Monster securing his place in the Twenty-Inch Club respectfully.  Jim also took his third largest Brown to my net on our day, and I must say it was tough getting his head into my car for the ride back to our starting point.  Jim is a great fisherman and the friendly competitive bond we have is irreplaceable.  I was honored that he did his best ever in my presence, and he is now a reformed nympher.

I also made it out to my first river clean-up event with the Mad Men Chapter of Trout Unlimited.  These are a great group of people and I was surprised to not have any other local MVFF members there.  Perhaps we can get a small group to come out and aid in the upkeep and river projects sponsored by the Mad Men.  I have committed myself to contribute to ever detail day that I am off for, and I hope I can find some of you out there to join me in this pledge.  It truly is a great way to give back to our local resource and participation is self conscious rewarding as well as educational.  Hope to see you all out there at one of these events!
The weather has not been very cooperative these last few weeks.  One system after another has pushed through and left blown out river systems in their wakes.  This week is no exception; a day before the local waters were to be safely navigable and mother nature drops another inch or so of water into the drainage, destroying river opportunities for at least another seven to ten days barring more rain.  Someday I will be able to get my new outfit on the water and break it in appropriately.

I have finally joined the fly fishing business world by taking up part-time employment with ReelFlyRod.com working in Todd’s shop where I have found a great fit to date.  Todd and ReelFlyRod.com have been extremely supportive of the Miami Valley Fly Fishers and his shop is a budding bricks and mortar establishment with new regular hours, flies, and anything else one may need to outfit their fly fishing needs.  Todd is still lite on tying materials but there is simply no room at this time for such…I am working on it though!

I have also constructed a true guiding service that is also in its infancy.  I am currently contracting through Mark at Delamere & Hopkins in Cincinnati and Todd at ReelFlyRod.com in the Dayton area.  I look forward to growing my relationship with both of these organizations.  If you are interested or know of anyone who wants to get out on the local Dayton/Urbana waters please contact one of these shops and ask for me, Ron Lewis of Ohio Trophy Trout Hunter Guide Service (OTTH).  As previously stated, this is a new adventure and I am building the service as professionally as I know how, expecting great things in its future.

That sums up my month in general. I hope you all enjoy the pictures and art. See you on the water soon. May you all have tight lines! Ron Lewis

Friday, April 1, 2011

Good Times, April Fooled One...

Another great escape to the office today.  My friend Pat Cooper and I hit the river hard and came up with the biggest river chub I have ever caught, and then this beast toward the end of the day.

The river is in great shape and flowing at 350cfs with 80% visibility.  If the upcoming rain does not blow the river out I think it will greatly improve the fishability.  I expected more action today but am certainly satisfied with this gift.
Olive Tank

Cotton Mouth

26 inches of River Gold

Ready to Release

Great Day on the River
Special thanks to Pat for his excellent shots seen above.  See you on the water soon with you in the lead Pat...thanks again!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mufasa IS THE Word

In total darkness, it took a few seconds to realize my eyes were open and I was now wide awake.  A glance at the bedside clock reveals 0534, which is a cool hour before my scheduled awakening to begin a much anticipated day.  Expecting more rest was now a dream, which was exactly what the day had in store!

For a week, Mike Schmidt of Anglers Choice Flies and I had been mulling over intentions of getting together on the Mad River for a day of Trophy Brown Trout chasing.  Today was to be that day.  Ambient temperatures in the low twenties and clear blue skies foreshadowed a daily high of mid thirties, with ten to fifteen mile an hour winds making things interesting.  Icy guides were to meet up with green tinted 470cfs flows on this Saturday.

With our transportation secured, Mike and I dropped into the Mad’s flow around 0830, destined to make this a day we would each remember.  Having been spoiled for my last few outings with temperatures in the fifties and sixties, and activities beginning in the noon hour, the cold biting at my fingers was distracting to say the least.  Early morning fishing is not in my normal vocabulary.

100 yards in and Mike mesmerizes one of the Mad River’s residents to his offering.  Attached to ten pound fluorocarbon is sixteen or so inches of very angry Brown Trout.  In a flash to the surface and a turn downstream, the fight was over and Mike was left with mere frustration in his hand.  Mistakes were noted and practice was over!

Steelhead Trout are not the only prey entitled to the namesake of “A Fish of A Thousand Casts”.  Add to this list the mighty Mad River Brown.  Cast after cast and throw after throw, Mike and I made our way down a mile of the Mad River.  She had now witnessed the “Mufasa” many times over and gave nothing.  Skill and patience were pressed to their breaking points, and then as Mike says, “strip, strip, BoooooM”!

Mad River Gold
Hanging back under a tree, twenty five inches of Mad River Trophy Brown Trout awaited Mike’s perfectly presented offering.  The fight was on as this beast secured six inches of Mufasa and danced on the surface shaking his head before running and dashing about the river floor.  All the lessons had been learned, and Mike’s experience brought the battle to a swift end, filling my net with his foe.

25" Mad River Brown Safely Released
With the creature graciously handled and safely returned, Mike stood with his body still shaking from an adrenaline rush few have experienced from the Mad River.  An adrenaline rush earned through years of practice and honing skills to near perfection, for nearly every cast.  The well earned victory ritual of a fine cigar hallmarked the event, and signaled the continuation of our journey.

Bent Out Heavy Duty Hook
No other takers were found on this day, but the experience didn’t end on the sand bar where several photos were snapped.  Once again, fly fishing has adorned an opportunity for a friendship based on a common love and respect for a sport that aids in the preservation of our outdoor world.  A sport called fly fishing; a world where few enter, and even fewer leave.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Lessons Are For Learning...

The rivers have finally come into prime conditions after quite a few weeks of teasing us local year round anglers.  At 550cfs and a frosted green, The Mad River was the place to be, and mid 60's with clear blue skies was icing on the cake.  

Roy putting his lessons to work.
My Saturday was spent with Roy McAnear, the highest bidder for the Ohio Trophy Trout package at the MVFF Auction this past week.  I met up with Roy and we embarked upon a marathon-casting lesson that taxed us both with the elevated flows.  After an hour or so Roy was casting with some effectiveness and we began working on some fly control.  Though no fish came to hand, I feel a great base was made and our next trip will hopefully be more fruitful.  Roy has a long way to go but he is a great listener and learns readily.  A better student could not be expected and I doubt he will be missing class anytime soon.  Roy will be leading a twenty plus inch Brown to the net…mark my words!

John working on his presentation skills.
Sunday was just as beautiful and conditions equally impressive on the river.  A club member/fishing friend and I tried out a new stretch of water and did about an 8000 foot walk together.  We talked about fishing theory and fly presentation as we strolled down the river, throwing streamers into every nook and cranny thought to hold our prey.  Two beautifully colored, high twenty inch Browns were rolled, but both fell short of the take.  Gold was struck on two occasions, yielding one eighteen and a solid twenty inch Brown.  Both fought vigorously and were in great shape.  

When it all comes together...18 inches of Mad River Pride!
A big streamer is the way to meet one of these wary creatures under the high flows the valley has been experiencing.  Meat…its what’s for dinner!  That said one must have a plan if you intend to trick a Trophy Mad River Brown to your presentation.  Remember…every cast counts…there are no bad casts…presentation is everything.  Swinging a fly is one way of presenting a streamer, but ask yourself how much time is your presentation in the kill zone.  I’ll bet the answer is not long.  If you have a perfect cast, the fly hits the water and immediately departs the strike zone, where any predator would have to give chase to make it a meal. 

Mr. Twenty
This in mind, try altering your technique making your presentation vulnerable longer.  If done properly, you will yield more strikes from bigger fish.  Your assignment is to get out there and find YOUR way to accomplish the task at hand.  Hint… cast to seventy-110 degrees…mend a lot…hold on!

Me with Mr. Twenty...yes he jumped out of my hands
two seconds prior to the shutter opening...I promise.
Battle Scarred Red Rocket

Finally, please practice catch and release as these fine predators have lived a long life, and are truly rare.  Tend to them gingerly and ensure they are safely returned to fight another day.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Irish Green Water...

700cfs makes for a lot of water.

What a way to spend St. Patties Day...Although high, the Mad River was certainly fishable today.  Irish green in color with perfect fishing clarity, another monster rose from her depths in an all out assault on an Olive Red Rocket. Smashing its prey near the surface boiled the water, and the first run was on.  Being solo, and in high water proved to make landing this beast a difficult task.  Mission accomplished, and Twenty Eight inches of Mad River beast was once again king of its domain.

28 inch Mad River Brown
Big Mouthful of Olive Red Rocket
The Mad's condition is only going to improve over the next few days and should make for prime streamer fishing this weekend.  If you are getting on the water a sinking line and your streamer box is all you should need.  Tight lines out there.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Natures A Mother

Admittingly it has been some time since my last post. Partially due to my busy schedule, but mostly I have had little to write about on the subject of fishing due to the lack of fishable conditions.

The night of my last post the valley rivers blew out and have been unfishable, or in such conditions that fishing was futile to dangerous. For three cycles of rain now we have been within 24 hours of fishable conditions, and then a setback occurs as Mother Nature blows them out again. Perhaps this weekend will prove to be the Ohio Valleys lucky day.

MVFF had it's annual fundraising auction last night and it seemed to be a hit. There was a lot of money thrown around and I was happy to see my annual guided trip went for just under $250. Thanks for those who were in the bidding war and to the winner, Roy McAnear; a picture of you with a trophy trout will be on your wall soon. I look forward to assisting you with The Ohio Trophy Trout Hunter experience.

As I said, I have high hopes for this weekend and there may be plans in the works for a steelhead alley trip Monday or Tuesday, returning Wednesday.

Get out and wet your lines when you can. See you on the water!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Happy Man Syndrome

Had another great day on the river today. Lost one early on that was certainly beefy but I think it missed the hook. Then a short time after I landed a 26" beast. That made my last three fish to net 27.5, 28, and 26 inches. That puts the Mad on the map with 81.5 inches in only 3 fish! My very next throw into the same run yielded a 16 plus. Didn't measure it due to my hands being too cold. I'll try and get pics up soon as I can. Get out there and fish kids. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Once Bitten...Twice Shy

The subject of a fishing friend impaling his finger on a hook while tying flies recently came up.  Anytime I hear of this occurring I cannot help but to be drudged back through memory lane and tell my story. 
            A few years back, while accompanying a few MVFF members on the Grand River I caught my first Steelhead Trout of the year.  I remember it was early in the morning and slightly on the cold side, with a lot of snow and ice around.  Water levels were up and stained, but we still enslaved our bodies to the two-mile hike and two river crossings necessary to arrive at our fishing destination.
            Once there, some further instruction was given to a few members of the party, and they were set off to employ their lessons in hope of catching a Steelhead Trout, leaving me some time to do my own fishing.
            Taking my time to ensure all my knots were secured properly with my numb fingers, I secured an egg pattern followed by a large four-inch Steelhead Woolybugger.  A few passes later and I was gleefully saying fish on, with no-one else around to even hear it…hmmm.  My prey and I battled it out and once we were both tired, she finally gave up and came to rest at my feet in about seven inches of water…so I thought.  As I reached down to remove the hook from this beautiful twenty-eight to thirty inch lady she caught her second wind, and charged for deeper water leaving a tugging and popping sensation in my now very numb finger.  In my mind I knew what had just happened, but in reality I hoped when I got the nerve to look at my finger that was encased in my other hand, I would not see a four-inch woolybugger attached to it.  Reality proved that I kept one fly, and she kept one fly.
            I now had a very large, barbed hook, buried to the bend at the first joint of my right middle finger.  Panic was soon replaced by, “what am I going to do now”.  I walked down the stream until I met one of my companions and as he gasped, he told me another of our party was a surgeon, and to go ask him about getting the hook out.  I met up with the surgeon a short time later who said he had just “read” an article on how to get a hook out, and to meet him back up the river at the first mans position, as we were going to need his help.  I walked back up stream and soon the good doctor appeared…with an egg pattern buried in his finger.  We all laughed and then went to work trying out this newly learned theory (to us), of how to remove a hook.
            Since the egg pattern was smaller and less intimidating, I voted to try and get it out of the doctor’s hand first.  As we went through the steps that follow, I remember the panic returning and thinking there is no way this will work without destroying this mans finger.  A loop of line was tied around the hooks bend, as downward pressure was applied to the hook eye until we thought it was level with the hook point, and then with one quick jerk of the line, the hook was out with minimal pain and no excess damage.  Things were looking up at this point even though there were no comparisons to be made between the two hooks, and the severity of their lodgings.
            We now focused on the woolybugger I was gifted.  I remember at this point getting very sweaty and nervous…yes I was feeling faint at the thought of these men jerking on this hook, and it still being connected to me when all was said and done.  We prepped the hook as we had previously done and one snappy tug later, I felt a pop and the hook was free and clear awaiting another Fall Steelie.  The wound bleed for a few hours and when it would get a little tender, I would dip my finger in the cold water.  Overall, it was a way better experience than I thought it was going to be, and certainly better then walking out and going to an ER an unknown distance away.
            Below is the technique we utilized to remove two hooks from two men in a manner that did not increase our level of pain, nor did it additionally traumatize the tissue around the original wound.

  1. Loop a section of fishing line so it is three or four strands thick.
  2. Wrap the line around the hooks bend.
  3. Place downward pressure on the hook eye until you think it is near the level of the hook point. It will most likely be touching the skin and making a divot.
  4. Ensuring you keep your grip on the fishing line give it a hard snappy jerk in the direction you want the hook to travel.
    • Steady and secure the finger or effected limb while performing this step.
  5. Clean and sanitize the area if you can and seek care if you feel there is a need.

           I hope this can be used by some of you in the event you find yourself in a similar situation in the future. Just be sure and practice commonsense with safe and respectable habits. By the way, I rarely ever fish with two flies any longer and still seem to catch as many fish as before, and with fewer hassles from the trailer fly.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Fifty-Five Point Five and Counting

Recently I realized my last two fish to net total a length of fifty-five and one half inches.  These include a twenty-seven and a half inch female Brown caught on December 10, 2010 and my last of twenty-eight inches caught on February 16, 2011.
28" Mad River Brown
27.5" Mad River Brown

Safely Released Trophy Brown
I am not posting this to brag, well ok a little gloating may be involved, but I am showing you and the world the fish are in your back yard.  You do not need to book a trip, fly for hours, and spend thousands of dollars to get out and fish.  Just get out and fish!  Put your time in and you will soon be showing your friends and family pictures of you holding a beautiful and rare fish.

Ohio Scenery

17.5" Mad River Smallie

However, if you get the chance to go to one of the exotic fishing destinations, please take me with you.

A Day To Be Forever Remembered

Getting the homework caught up and projects completed around the house took priority in my life for a few weeks, and then came the big warm up.  Well all my hard work paid off and I was able to get out on the water for a few hours of "Ron Time".
The morning began with phone calls getting logistical plans put in place for a pick-up at the end of my walk.  I made arrangements for a fishing buddy to pick me up at dark and drove to the parking area where I began gearing up.  Soon a passing vehicle slowed and I met Pat Cooper, who was also planning a day on the water that he scrubbed to hang out with his daughter.  Pat and I talked for a bit and exchanged numbers so we could talk about him joining the local fly fishing club, Miami Valley Fly Fishers.  Around 1530hrs I dropped into the river with confidence.  I had a feeling today was going to be a big day.
Instinct was driving me to try out a new fly I had picked up from a local tier out of Dublin, Ohio named Mike Schmidt.  I saw a YouTube video of Mike’s fly, the Red Rocket, as it swam in the water column and I could not get over the realistic action it possessed.  This fly looks like a six-inch fish in the water.  Check out Mike’s AnglersChoiceFlies.com web sight and see the future of trophy trout malware.  They are going to hate this guy. We are going to love him!
Due to water levels being in the 400cfs range and stained green I decided to use my Teeny sink tip with two feet of ten-pound fluorocarbon looped to its end.  This allows unencumbered fly action while still getting the offering to the depths necessary for monster strikes.
Swinging the fly, with a modified dead drift technique combination, allowed a presentation of a stunned fish regaining its awareness to be offered.  The theory revolves around the fly hitting the water and drawing the attention of your prey.  Your quarry is looking up at a fish that is now twitching slightly but is stationary in the current.  As time ticks the offering begins to make more defined movements and seems to be projecting itself through the flow in an attempt to escape.  Slam, this is when the take is most probable, and it will be violent so always be at the ready.
Thirty minutes of practice and honing paid off with a massive sequence of tugs as the Red Rocket was entering swifter water to effect its escape.  Finally getting a fish I know from experience to have been in the twenty-inch range on my drag gave me false reinforcement.  Running down river against my drag and suddenly turning 180 degrees and charging me, I allowed for my rod tip to fall behind my body, which resulted in a slack line and a fish victory.  I’ll never know its true size, but the Red Rocket had just proven itself worthy.
I noted the conditions this victorious slab was residing in and pressed on in search of a similar scenario.  It was soon found against a bank with large root balls projecting into a deep hole.  In front of the hole, possessing a slow moving current was a faster channel of water. 
Throwing deep against the bank and offering a stunned meal resulted in a streak of predator furry, and one of the most violent takes I have ever witnessed.  Meeting the Red Rocket as it had descended a foot in its escape, this hunter cleared the water and began rolling on its surface, as if it were two cats battling in a back alley.  Amazed at the furry before me, I concentrated on getting my line to the drag and keeping it tight.  After nearly a minute of this show the fight was on.  Run after run, the predator turned prey attempted to free himself.  Looking around there were no shallow areas to bring the fish to rest in, and my net was not big enough to be effective.  Playing the fish for thirty minutes or more finally allowed me to get close enough to grab him up by the tail, and put his nose into my net.  The battle that left us both tired was over.
28" Mad River Brown caught by Ron Lewis with Red Rocket
Measuring out to twenty-eight inches of Mad River Brown Trout, this majestic creature was photographed, properly revived, and released unharmed to fight another day.
Darkness was rapidly approaching and it was now time to walk out of the snow melt fed rising river while it was still safe to do so.  The feeling was indescribable as I journeyed the forty-five minutes to meet my ride.  In route, I first called Mike; the creator of the Red Rocket, to let him know his fly was just photographed in the mouth of one of the biggest, if not THE biggest Brown Trout to come from the Mad River in Western Ohio.  I then let Angie know I was safe, as it was now dark, and contacted my ride to set up a secondary pick-up point. 
This was a great time on the water and I did it twenty-five minutes from my house in a populated area.  Reward yourself by taking a friend and getting out to fish.

The Power of Fishing

It’s been some time since my last post.  The great ice age of 2011 has come and gone, and we are finally able to see the ground here in SW Ohio for the first time in nearly two months.
I did have the pleasure of making it out on the water with Mike and Pat, whom are mentioned in the prior post.
I met up with the two brothers around 1430hrs.  Upon my dropping in I was met by Mike who shook my hand, and began telling me of him having just watched his brother Pat fight a monster Brown from a distance away.  Mike was very excited about his little brother, who was now closing the distance separating us, hooking up with a big fish.  Today is Pat’s birthday.
Once Pat made it to us his greeting contained a huge grin as he told me of his battle, and even though this fish did not come to hand, Pat’s excitement was projected as he described the fish of a lifetime at the tip of his net.
Mike took the lead from here as Pat and I hung back and worked on Pat’s technique, and discussed fishing theory.  The clear but cold day did not produce but one more strike, however, all three of us had a great time just being able to hang with friends.
This brings me back to my message from my last post.  I hope by now you have taken another fishing in your favorite haunts, or at least have plans to do so.  If you are just reading this, make plans.
Our day did not end here on the water.  We were soon joined by my beautiful fiancĂ© at a small restaurant in Fairborn for a great dinner, and a couple of fine beers among friends.  Pat and I now have plans to meet up for some smallie fishing out of Pat’s new boat, which should be completed by spring.
This is budding friendships and I value both of these men for who they are.  I will always look forward to the next fishing adventure with these two brothers.  The power of fishing is real but you must unleash it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Plans Are A Phone Call Away

     I received a great email, from a man I guided along with his brother a year ago, on a very cold and wintery Mad River.  Buried in the email, was one of the greatest fishing compliments I had ever received.  Its author, Pat, wanted me to know that they were headed back up to the Mad this Sunday, but neither thought it would be the same without my company.
     I called Pat and we talked for about thirty minutes on the phone.  Thirty minutes happens to be a very long time for me to be engaged in phone conversation.  We talked about the days past, and what we were each up to now.  He spoke of his latest boat building project, and I of my current events, and a few recent fishing highlights.  I remind you, this is a man who other than a few cold winter hours spent together, is a stranger to me.  This is the relationship fly fishing can build in just that amount of time.
     Here is the challenge...call a friend or an acquaintance and invite them out for an afternoon on the water.  Your reward may be a friendship which lasts you a lifetime.  Take a kid out and your actions may alter their entire course in life.  Just do not be stingy with all your hard earned knowledge, under the guise that its yours.  Share and reap your rewards.
     Sunday is a busy day for me.  However, I have altered my schedule for the week, in order to enable me to spend a little time on the water with two new friends.  If I actually get to fish with them, that will be great.  If I am too late, and get to have dinner and a beer at a table of friends, that will be awesome.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Become a Member and Post

At this time I am requiring you to be a member to post on the blog.  Feel free to sign up and post.

Welcome to Trophy Trout Hunter!

This site is obviously still under construction, but I encourage you to bookmark and follow me as I finish the project, and begin to take you along with me on the greatest journey through your back yard you could ever have.  Thats right, some of the greatest fishing you will ever experience, is right here in your back yard.  Stay Tuned!