For weeks, I have been battling the mother of all colds. I can't get rid of this little bastard of a bug. Every night I'm practically hacking a lung out or I need industrial strength Draino to unclog my head. But it won't keep me in bed - not for this diehard steelheader.
Finally for once the sun decided to poke its head out and stay for the day. The rivers were down to fishable levels and many were hoping for a last kick at the can as it was May 1st. With gas at $4.15 per gallon, I wasn't going to make a long haul out east. I decided to stay closer and fish the Chagrin. The lot had about 6 cars and I didn't have to think really hard where they were fishing.
I fished the mid section of the river and the first thing I noticed at the first gravel bed was no redds. In past years, this section would be littered with redds and fishermen. With the high water, there would be signs of redds dug out near the shore, but there were none. All I saw was two lonely males looking to fornicate. Unfortunately, they were late for the party. Farther up I fished a run and caught a couple of measly dropback hens.
As I wrote last week about the spring steelheaders, there is another one that I forgot to mention - Fattie McSnaggingpants. They're the fat slobs usually found around gravel. They're fat like a bear and often have the temper of one. Extremely territorially, they have no patience for some youngster loitering around their fish. This bonehead made it clear to me as he furiously pointed at the 3 fish when I crossed over. I looked at him and made sure he could read my lips "eat shit loser". I should of walked on the fish and pleaded that I didn't know. Sometimes, I'll do it just to be dick. Like an old bear he huffed and puffed and I knew he wasn't capable of chasing me because his XXXL neoprene waders would hinder his ability to run and would probably drop dead from overheating if he did so. He went back to plundering what available fish he could floss.
I walked by several gravel beds and I didn't see any redds or fish. I fished the pools and runs and got nothing. Maybe the fish blew through it and beyond the collapsed dam. I walked back and Fattie was on the bank trying to look for fish - what a douche. He scowled at me as he didn't forget my pleasant exchange.
I drove several miles past the dam and parked at one of the park's lot. This section of the river had some very nice water. It was a mixture of riffles, pools, nice long cuts along the bank and submerged trees. There wasn't a person around and I used the opportunity to scout some more water. Access was very easy as the trail was very close to the river. I could see this section holding a lot of fish during the winter months. But it was the same here as downstream - no redds. I fished one run and managed to catch a couple of drop back males that were hiding in a dark deep hole. I fished several more pools and didn't catch anything. I talked to a couple of anglers and they didn't hit anything. They shared the sentiment as me that were happy to see this terrible season come to an end.
It seems to me that most of the fish ( if there were any ) are long gone.