Josh McQueen recently took on the new role at Ohio Fly Fishing Guides as head guide. So we sat down with him and asked him a few important questions.
You’ve taken on the role as head guide for Mad River Outfitters Ohio Fly Fishing Guides, what’s your goal for the guide services?
I'm most excited about offering a guide program that gives our clients the best fly fishing experience possible. By not only offering them guide services that help them catch great fish, but also experiencing what Ohio has to offer through our fleet of unique watercraft, the nature they're around and learning along the way. My number one goal is to offer a guide service that's better than anything you can find in the country. A guide service that is on par or better than anything you can find in Montana and Alaska. I want each angler to be in a comfortable and safe environment where we're having fun, learn and catch great fish.
So, what’s your top fish to fly fish for and why?
I don't know if I can state just one... I mean, obviously, I think as far as Ohio goes, the three main things that I fish for are Ohio Pike, Steelhead and Smallmouth Bass. Honestly, I love them all and it's hard to pick just one. The reason why is that they are all so different. Steelhead gives you great fights with great action and hits. Smallmouth is the same only in the summer, with a mean fight and Ohio Pike, last but not least… Honestly, they’re probably first on the list. They are fierce, fast and shocking when they go for a fly. They really get you excited and get your blood pumping. So how about a top three? It's way too hard to pick just one!
What should people know about Pike in Ohio and Protecting them?
It takes 18 years to grow a trophy Pike in Ohio. That's a really long time. So obviously if you mishandle or kill a fish, that's not a resource that's easily recoverable. The other thing that's tied into handling that people don't realise is how tender and sensitive that fish is. Even though they are large predators and tough looking, which, in their environment they are, when you're handling a Pike, you have to be incredibly gentle. We need to also fight for them legally, as they are not protected by the State of Ohio. If you want to go out and keep 100 Pike a day that are between 18"-40" long you can take as many as you like legally, and that is just not right. This is a fish that definitely should be protected, that have to be careful with and educate anglers on.
Your top three pieces of fly fishing paraphernalia that you can't go without?
That's definitely tough. Can't go without my buff. I gotta have that. Can't go without my pliers, I always have to have a great pair of pliers. Last, definitely my Size 6 Beadhead White Wooly Bugger. Won't leave home without it. Won't do it. I mean, if that's the last fly you have, you can catch a Crappie on that and use it as Pike bait. You can always start with the food chain at the bottom and work our way up with one of those!
Watch our recent fishing trip with Josh here: