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.