Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Fishing Reports- 4/20/16

* Please remember to call us for more up-to-date or detailed information! These reports are not meant to be your one and only, daily source of information. They are typically general, even seasonal type reports and we currently don't have a set schedule as to when we update. Please, just because we don't update as often as we like, it doesn't mean that we don't care.

There are many different approaches you should take in order to get a good game plan for a trip or a day of fishing. Also remember that things change and these reports are what we know at the time of posting only. Keep in mind that we do express opinions and personal preferences from time-to-time which may be different from yours or what you may read elsewhere. Thanks for checking and don't forget to call us if you need any further information or a more up-to-date report. 614-451-0363

Thanks for all of the reports this past weekend friends! We are all helping to make these happen!

Mad River

4-22-16 Weekend Update- The rains didn't budge the river. It's looking GREAT for the weekend and looks like the weather will be spectacular.

Good reports of Hendricksons the past few days and they have been starting around 1:00 and lasting for about an hour. Earlier as we expected with the warm weather and later in the hatch. They have been best for sure from 36 upstream and will continue to move North as we go here.

The spinner falls have been happening around 7:45 or 8:00 although that could get later as well here the next few nights. Remember that the most concentrated feeding of the day will be on the spinners so don't be afraid to stay late....and look up. 

Can't wait to hear what the weekend brings!

4-20-16- The Mad is in absolutely gorgeous shape! Great flow and for most great fishing!

The Hendricksons have been a bit sporadic as expected. Some seeing good numbers and feeding fish and some not finding them at all. We can tell you that we have had a bunch of reports of folks fishing from 8 a.m. to Noon and wondering why they didn't see bugs. Just to be clear, the Hendricksons are always an afternoon hatch and have been popping around 1:00- 1:30 the past few days. Earlier in the hatch they were coming off between 3 and 5 p.m. Not going to see them in the morning. We did get out over the weekend and saw decent spinner falls about 30-45 minutes before dark. The fish were feeding well. For those willing to stay late, the spinners appear to be the way to go right now.

It is likely that we will see the bugs slow-up here over the next week. They have been hatching now for almost a month, and sporadically. We have probably seen the best of it but who knows???? We have also seen some caddis flitting around in the late afternoons and evenings and you surely want to have some wet and dry in your box.

Thanks again for all of the reports and pics. Your "Fly Fish Ohio" stickers are on the way to you! Here are some of the highlights:

Bill Rice 4-19-16
"Fished the lower river yesterday from 1:00 p.m. to 7:30 yesterday. Water was clear although quite a bit of tree blossoms etc. in the drift. Modest numbers of insects noted, small stuff an occasional caddis. Did not see any Hendrickson duns, alhtough did see numerous shucks in the drift later in the day. No risers were noted, but fish were found in feeding lanes. Nymphs were the order of the day with most caught on my "go-to" Trophy Nymph.  I did land a 20" fish in an unexpected spot (soft water near shallow riffle) where I had only caught small stuff in the past. I guess you have to be open minded about where these larger fish can be. All in all a good outing."

Frequent Reporter Bill Rice and a beauty on a nymph!

Benjamin Soltis 4-17-16
"Fished from 0700 to 1100 this morning downstream from Lippincott Road. Caught 8 browns and 1 rainbow (see pic). All on nymphs (#14 frenchies and #14 pheasant tail soft hackles). Midges were around in the morning, no Hendricksons observed. After the sun got higher the bite slowed down.

I fished last Friday afternoon downstream of Dallas road until about 4:00 p.m. Water was high but clear. I nymphed up a couple small browns. Didn't see any mayflies."

Benjamin Soltis with a nice Mad River Rainbow from Sunday

Clay Sommerfelt- 4/17/16
"The river was absolutely gorgeous today, a little fast, but that didn't seem to bother the fish's appetite. Caught a few fish on some nymphs and dry flies. Overall the day was a success."

Justin Shiflett- 4/15/16
"Picked up this guy on the lower river yesterday morning. Lunch at Crabill's and dry fly fishing with a friend in the afternoon. Doesn't get much better than that! Big thanks to some new friends I met on the river, Tim and Dan, for being net men and helping me with the grip and grin."

Ann Heurman- 4/18/16
A couple friends and I went out to the upper Mad Sunday. Started with dries and got a few hits but nothing consistently and no fish. Switched around alot until I got a fish on the pink squirrel. We caught 4 total, all 4 on the the pink squirrel oddly enough. Including my first ever trout on the Mad! Great weather and great day to be out! Thanks for the reports, I love reading them"

Thank You Ann for following along and congrats on your 1st Mad River Brown!

***Again friends, alot of folks fishing the mornings and expecting to see Hendricksons. Not going to happen. They are a sun loving, afternoon hatch. If you are looking for dry fly fishing, no reason to get to the river before NOON! Also, since we are now pretty late in the hatch, it is very unlikely that you would find Hendricksons in the lower river. Hatches move up a river and more likely to find them in the upper reaches now. We will begin looking for Sulphers here in the lower river over the next few weeks while there still may be some Hennys hatching way up North.

Keep the reports coming friends. We'll check-in with a "Weekend Update" on Friday.

****Please make note of the ODNR "Creel Survey" that is going on now...runs April 1st- November 1st. It is very important that we help these guys out by completing the Survey Cards and sending them in after outings. You can read more on our Blog from 4/2 and we'll post it again periodically throughout the season.

The Survey cards are available in the shop and we can also send them out to you if you can't make it in the shop. We'll be happy to drop some in the mail to you free of charge. Once completed they are postage paid so all you have to do is drop them in the mail.

This is a great chance for those of us that fish the Mad to help the ODNR to help the river!

Clearfork River

4-22-16 Weekend Update- Not a budge here either so we are looking good for the weekend. Have had good to great reports of bugs, especially in the Upper River. Hendricksons, Caddis, Midges and even some terrestrial type stuff. Seems that they dry fly bite has really picked up and the streamer bite may slow down.

Not many reports at all from the lower stretch but it's only been a few days fishable here so we'll hope to get a first-hand report here from the weekend.

4-20-16- The Big News on the Clearfork is that they have finally dropped the water level on the lower stretch and it should be fishing well. Hard to say exactly what is happening down there as it has been a few weeks since anyone has fished there due to the high water. For sure the nymph fishing should be good to excellent. Probably a good idea to chuck a big streamer around as well. 

We would expect that there will be some Hendricksons hatching down there. Especially in the next few days. Also likely to see midges and caddis as well. Look for the caddis in the late afternoons and evenings. 

Just like on the Mad, the best fishing on both streches will be late afternoons and into the evenings. Keep your eyes out for Hendrickson spinners and caddis about an hour before dark. The river can come alive with risers!

Meanwhile, the Upper Clearfork continues to amaze! Here is a report from frequent contributor Bryan Clem:

"Fished the UCF yesterday and the water was terrific.  It was flowing hard, but was clear.  I was looking for a change of pace, so i was high-stick nymphing most of the day and picked up a few small fish on hare's ear nymphs and midge larva.  The hendricksons really started coming off around 530, but i never saw any risers.  With no fish rising I figured i'd finish the day streamer fishing and I was not disappointed."

Bryan Clem with yet another Clearfork beauty!

Sam Hojnacki- 4/18/16
"Howdy MRO- I spent the evening on the Upper Clearfork trying my luck. The river was in great shape. Started out with wet flies and caught a nice little brown (my 1st Ohio brown trout) on a beadhead pheasant tail. A little before 7 there were some risers, couldn't tell exactly what they were rising to. I hooked one on a nondescript brown dry fly, but it got off. Attached is a picture of the nymph eating brown. It was a grand ol' time. Thanks."

Sam Hojnacki's 1st Ohio Brown Trout- Congrats and Thanks for the report!

***Sam- when you see fish feeding but can't see what they are feeding on...think either midges or emergers. If you can't see any other bugs flying around (emerging)....think midges, especially on the Clearfork

Chris Schalz- 4/17/16
"Wish I could give you a good trout report from the upper fork but couldn't get any to the net. Hit the water at around 9:30 a.m. with approx. 24 inches of clarity. Started with streamers, but as the sun got higher switched to tandem nymphs (PTs, hares ears, prince nymphs). Lost one shortly after an awkward hook set around 11 a.m. Switched back to big streamers pounding the banks and the bigger creek chubs were happy to whack them, but couldn't get any browns to play. Saw the occasional mayfly, but no active hatches and no obvious feeding behavior between 9:30 and approx 2 p.m. Didn't see anyone else bring any to the net during that time either."

***Thanks for the report Chris. As stated above for the Mad, if you only fished until 2:00 p.m., you probaby missed the fun! The Hennys have been popping up there around 2:30 - 3:00 and lasting for about an hour. Although the dry fly fishing has not been stellar, just as we stated above for the Mad, it is definitely a late afternoon to evening game right now. Better luck next time and keep fishing.

Keep the reports coming friends. We are shipping stickers today!!!!

Clear Creek

4-22-16 Weekend Update- Same story here. Should be a great weekend and with the trees and flowers in full bloom this will be the place to be this matter how the fishing is. We are expecting a strong Hendrickson hatch down here but you may need to go a bit upstream to find them. Nymphs and streamers in the lower parts of the creek and caddis throughout. Have heard of some ants and beetles starting to produce a few fish on the surface as well.

Let us know how you do this weekend!

4-20-16- The Clear Creek fished pretty well over the weekend. A good mix of dry fly activity, nymph fishing and streamer fishing was reported. There seems to be a pretty good mix of bugs but the Hendricksons and Caddis are what the fish seem to be focused on. The water is in good shape right now and with this rain coming in the next few days, it should make for a great weekend of nymph and streamer fishing.

Our good friend Elliot Cantwell sent this report and pics:

"Fished at varying times of the day the past few days, Sunday evening bwo and caddis hatching with few fish rising. Monday and Tuesday I saw not hatches and caught all fish on caddis and hares ear nymphs. Lots of ants, beetles, and moths around. An attractor pattern as an indicator is a good bet, a few fish Tuesday morning took the attractor."

Beautiful Clear Creek in South Central Ohio

Nice Brown from Clear Creek courtesy of Elliot Cantwell

Erie Steelhead

4-22-16 Weekend Update- Despite the low and clear water, things did seem to pick up the past few days. We have seen some fresher fish around and catches were better later in the week than earlier. Regardless, with as low and clear as the tribs are getting, it will still remain pretty tough until we get some more water. Best we can hope for is a little cold snap and some rain to keep things going another few weeks?

The Grand has been the hot ticket the past few days and this is where most of the guides in the region are hanging out. At least those looking for steelhead. It is starting to get on the low side though and may get tougher as the weekend goes. Still fish to be caught though.

We have had guides out on the West side the past few days searching for smallmouth....and they are finding them!! Mostly in the lower parts of the rivers but it won't be long before they are throughout the system. Seems right now that the further West you are, the more smallmouth you'll find and the further East you go the bettter chance of steelhead. We'll hope to get some good reports/pics from the weekend and let you know early next week. We do have guides on the water looking for steelhead this weekend so watch Social Media for updates. In the meantime, here's guide Pat Kelly with a pig smallmouth from earlier today:

4-20-16- As good as we expected the fishing to be last weekend and the past few seems that mother nature has thrown us a curve the form of heat.

Although there are fish in the streams, most appear to be drop backs and are headed back to the lake. Guide trips over the weekend were pretty tough with only a handful of fish to the net. They were making a beeline to lake Erie. Seems that the water warmed up to the point that they want out. 

The big news is that the Grand is fishable and does have plenty of fish in it. If you were to go the next few days, that's the place to be. Although, most of the fish we are seeing and hearing of are definitely drop backs. Also hearing of quite a few walleye and smallmouth so we may well be nearing the end. Hard to believe.

If we happen to get a good push of water with the rain expected, along with some cooler temps, things might pick back up again, but right now it's not looking great.

All of the other streams outside of the Grand are getting very low and very clear. Probably going to get very tough here until we get some rain, clouds and cooler temps.

The good news is that we are starting to see....and catch.....some of the Lake Run Smallies. The V was full of them a few days ago. More smallmouth than steelhead, especially down low. Anyone interested in booking a smallmouth trip let us know, it seems they have arrived.

Here is a report from guide friend Troy Shirley from Avon Lake, Ohio:

"So us up here at Backpackers shop guides are seeing a decline in steelhead. Unless you want to rake the beds. Unfortunately a lot of fish pushed out, but fresh fish came low, really low. Dropbacks even started pushing out. We did also have a small first push of smallies, but nothing to write home about yet. As for the Grand, there is still a healthy bit of dropback steelies and lake run walleye to Bates Rd."

Friend and customer Kevin Lang out with MRO Guide Josh on the V the other day. Lots of Smallies!

Guide Patrick Campbell still finding fish but mostly dropbacks. We didn't get the push of chrome that we expected with the last high water event. Hard to say what the next few weeks will bring?

Get out there and let us know how you are doing! Send a pic and a report and we'll send you out one of the new MRO "Fly Fish Ohio" stickers!!!!!

We'll let you know what we do and always feel free to call the shop for an "up-to-the-minute" report!

Mad River Outfitters
Fly Shop, Guides, Schools and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214