Fly Fishing in Ohio

blog-April-28-2016-1-pike-flyfishing-in-ohioI arrived in Ohio late last night.  This is a day early for my Friday speaking engagement at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History but friend Jerry Darkes, who is hosting me and running the event, offered to take me fishing.  No sane fly fisherman would miss out fishing a cold rainy day in Ohio!

 

blog-April-28-2016-2-pat-kelly-fishing-ohioJerry lined us up with guide Pat Kelly of Mad River Outfitters in Columbus.  A month ago Jerry and Pat had a plan to get me on my first ever sauger on fly but the sauger run was over early this year.  Pat is a born and raised Ohioan and quite savvy when it comes to catching toothy critters with a fly rod.  He knows a few of the most southern haunts for northern pike here in Ohio so they became our quest.  In fact, Pat also fishes musky frequently and funny thing, we were both on Cave Run nearly the same day last week in Kentucky.

 

blog-April-28-2016-3-fly-fishing-in-ohioThe weather began no less than horrifically as you’d expect with a guy nicknamed “Monsoon”.  The rain came down in buckets for the first two hours of the trip.  There’s no boat launch where we started on the pretty section of the Cuyahoga River but the grass was so wet that Pat’s slick little raft nearly launched itself.

 

blog-April-28-2016-4-fishing-in-ohioThe fishing was tough.  The rain was cold so along with raising the flows and muddying things up, the water temperature dropped to where it wasn’t exactly comfortable if you’re a pike.  Half way through the day we were cold, damp and had seen exactly zero pike.

 

blog-April-28-2016-5-flyfishing-for-ohio-pikeI was blanked on my musky trip ten days ago.  I was skunked back to back days’ grass carping on the golf courses of Kentucky last week.  Could it be possible that I was setting up for my fourth skunk in a row for my target fish of the day?  I was certainly in danger of it when lo and behold, Jerry pulled a hammer handle pike from behind a wood pile.  Game on!

 

blog-April-28-2016-6-flyfishing-ohio-with-mad-river-outfittersThe three of us were going through the motions before Jerry hooked up.  But all it takes is to see a fish caught and you regain the confidence.  From then on we worked our tails off.  Pat made sure we hit every pocket even if it meant ducking under fallen trees to get there.

 

blog-April-28-2016-7-pileated-woodpeckerThe rain stopped in midafternoon.  The sun never appeared but it became a serene day nonetheless.  Although we have great birds in Idaho, honestly they’re nothing like the birds of the hardwood forests in the Midwest, especially during spring migration.  At least twenty different song birds went off when the rain stopped.  Their songs were absolutely mesmerizing.  Every so often they were interrupted by the drilling of a pileated woodpecker.

 

blog-April-28-2016-8-jeff-currier-flyfishing-ohioThe fishing didn’t exactly turn on like we hoped, we plugged away and got our total up to four pike.  The biggest was the solid 28” pike Jerry caught that kicked off this blog.  While I missed two of the three that attacked my fly, I stuck and landed one.  He’s a far cry from the pike you saw in FT3’s Turning Points North but I broke my three-day skunk nonetheless.

 

blog-April-28-2016-9-cuyahoga-riverIts special fishing new water.  I’ve been incredibly lucky this spring to add a new country to my list (Gabon) and a new state (Ohio).  A lot of folks don’t fish where they live.  They only trout fish out west.  For some that’s once a year.  For others it’s once every ten years.  All I can say is, “You’re crazy if I’m talking about you!”  A fish is a fish and no matter where you live.

 

I had a great time fishing in Ohio today.  A special thanks goes to Jerry and Pat for taking me out.  Tomorrow is a big day speaking for the Cleveland Trout Club for their Reflections on the Water event at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.  I hope to see you there!

 

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

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4 Responses to “Fly Fishing in Ohio”

  1. Greg May 1, 2016 at 8:54 am #

    Jeff, love your blog. Your statement is so true, “A fish is a fish no matter where you live”. When I moved to New Mexico many people told me there’s no fish here. I chose not to believe that and went and found incredible fisheries. Last week I was catching bass with a bonus big catfish on the fly in a reservoir and this weekend I was catching browns on the swing in a river. I’ve yet to find a place where there are no fish and the discovery can be as good as the catching not to mention the beauty of wilderness and wildlife you see along the ride.
    Glad I signed on,
    Greg

  2. Jeff May 1, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Thanks for commenting Greg. Its been my quest for more than 20 years to get folks to step up their act and fish for the available. Although some still don’t get it, we’ve made a lot of progress and the trout only folk group is getting smaller by the day.

  3. Scott Smallwood May 11, 2016 at 8:53 pm #

    Jeff,
    You could not be in better company. Both Pat Kelly and Josh McQueen have done their homework on those waters. Caught your presentation at a COFF meeting in Columbus, Ohio a year or two ago, ironically bought the pike mug!
    You should return with fairer weather and truly get to experience Ohio pike!

    Take care, keep traveling & go big!

    Scott G. Smallwood

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  1. Fly Fishing in Georgia - Jeff Currier - July 1, 2016

    […] been to fish new rivers this year.  Three weeks ago it was musky in Kentucky.  Two weeks ago was pike in Ohio.  This week it’s all kinds of great warmwater species in Georgia.  I really appreciate the fly […]

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