- Ron Lewis
- 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, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
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.
- Loop a section of fishing line so it is three or four strands thick.
- Wrap the line around the hooks bend.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
However, if you get the chance to go to one of the exotic fishing destinations, please take me with you.
|28" Mad River Brown|
|27.5" Mad River Brown|
|Safely Released Trophy Brown|
|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.
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|
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.
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 fiancé 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!