The river was in great shape yesterday as far as flow and color were concerned. Temperature was not the best, but it has also been worse. Today will likely be the last of the decent water for this latest river rise. After today, I would expect low, clear, and cold water. Thats three strikes on the Mad!
I dropped in around 11AM and was disappointed to see my walk was being walked. Since my ride was on the way, I decided to stick to my plans and do what I tend to do...relax, and hope to get at least one.
It was cold, in case you didn't get that, it was cold...I must be getting wimpy as I age because it seems every year it takes longer to get my "Steelhead" hands. This year with limited fishing I have no cold hands tolerance. A friend, Phillip did advise IceBreaker gloves. I will be giving these a try. I have more gloves than my wife has shoes!
I began the day with a top of the water column presentation and was having no luck with every color presented. I decided to get the fly down and that seemed to do the trick. Totally opposite of how I would normally fish the conditions, but, never draw absolutes with anything. There is always a time and place to look at other tactics.
Eventually I found out they wanted a slow or no presentation. Once again, way outside of my normal fishing technique.
I ended up with three to the net. 19 inches topped the tape and the other two were in their mid teens. I did not measure them because it was cold...I only measured the 19 because I thought it may have been 20 inches or so (look at the shoulders on this guy). Did I mention my hands were cold :). I missed a double take and one other, seeing both, they too were in there mid to late teens. That made for a nice day on the water. Took a bonus chub and snagged a poor Sucker to round out the Mad River "Trifecta" :).
It was a great day to get out. I know a couple of others did as well and had a tough day fish wise. So if you were on the water and were skunked, know other good anglers had the same result. In the end I think it was about figuring them out...thats what I seem to have a knack for.
The next forecasted rain is Thursday and the temperatures are supposed to be in the 50's and 60's the whole time. This should kick the river into overdrive; both fish and fishermen will be in a frenzy. Good luck finding unmolested waters but if you do, you have a great chance at a big score.
Please remember to catch and softly release. These fish do not belong on a wall!. Take a good photo or two and the fish can be recreated for a lifetime of enjoyment. They are also not going to be good eating if they are big. If you must sink your teeth into a Mad River Brown please make it a one or two year old...about 12-14 inches. That said, the best fish in the area is at the fish farm upriver...eat all your Omega 3 from there if you would.
Be safe on the water!
- 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.)