Fashionly Late Again

Hit the river out east this morning as I was once again "ahem" late. I got the call that the fishing was slow as nothing was caught. I arrived to see Bubba and Dave fishing upstream above a tailout. Having a members only card is great when being late for the river as I got a front row seat for the event. For late March, it felt like late December as the temperature was stuck below freezing. Lucky for us, the cold temperatures didn't bother the fish as we started hauling them in. All of them were fresh and feisty as it made the cold wind and icing guides that more tolerable.

The highlight of the morning was when Bubba thought he had another steelie on the line. As he was reeling it in, he chuckled out loud that it was a walleye. Sure enough, it was a fat walleye that took a pink sac. I've heard that some walleye are taken at the lower section of the river during the spring, but I've never seen one caught. We debated whether to keep it since walleye are leagues above steelhead when it comes to taste. I've liken steelhead to eating an old boot - no flavor and tough. But we decided to let it go and fight for another day or ending up on somebody's plate.

Nice 8 pounder

It was nice to see good numbers of fish as it felt eons ago when we surpassed double digit hook ups. I hope this is a prelude to my upcoming vacation. On a side note, VCU beating Kansas?!?!? I threw my bracket in the garbage when I got home.........

New Opportunities

Many along Steelhead Alley were curious to see how their home rivers looked after the massive flooding earlier this month. But before we could race down to the river, Mother Nature decided throw another egg at us and dumped more rain and jacked the temperature up. All of the rivers blew out during the week and the weekend was iffy. Many were chomping at the bit to kick off the spring run. Because of the flooding many of the rivers had heavy sediment loads and the water was extremely murky. I fished several times after work and caught the usual skippers that are found on the lower sections. But it was no where like past years.

Many were hoping we had a decent run of fish, but March can be a fickled month as the weather can change at a moments notice. Since the fishing has been so bad and the water murky, I didn't see the point of getting up at the crack of dawn. I arrived at the Chagrin at a very tardy 10:30A.M and I didn't see one car the lot. I geared up and walked down the trail. The height of the flooding was evident as the surrounding woods were scoured cleaned, branches and logs piled up and small shrubs flatten. This section of the river is constantly changing because of the clay banks being craved out and gravel moved from section to the other.

Much to my surprise the river really didn't change that much, with the exception of gravel and log jams being moved. With it being late March, fish at the higher sections are usually spawning and at several spots, I only seen a couple of fish spawning as I walked right on them. I hit a couple of my money holes and I was rewarded with several nice fish and all of them were fresh fill of piss and vinegar. But I had to work for them as it wasn't a easy day by any means. I received calls from friends and the reports ranged from nothing, a few here and there, and your a homo for catching fish. Both the Vermilion and Rocky were terrible on Sunday as many posted a shutout.

After getting my fix, I drove upstream above the Gate's Mills dam that collapsed several weeks ago. I was curious to see what the water was like, but I figured a lot of fish probably didn't make it up there if at all. There are several metro parks along that that section and I pulled into one. I walked along the trial and the river is slightly smaller with a mixture of riffles and lazy pools. I fished several spots and got no takers. There were quite a few others looking to scout water for the upcoming spring or next season.

It's a couple more weeks before my annual spring vacation and I hoping we get some more fish. I really think that the past flood flushed all of the post spawn fish out the system and very little fish made it in as the both the lake and rivers are the same temperature. Many I talked to felt the same, but some I know have all ready threw in the towel and are waiting for walleye and perch season.