Friday, April 27, 2018

Fishing Reports- 4/27/18

* 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 as always for reading our reports friends. As the weather gets more conducive we should be reporting more regularly....but we need your HELP!

Send any and all reports to admin@madriveroutfitters and we'll do our best to get them up.


Pre-Spawn Smallmouth Fishing has been really picking up the past week or so. Pat and Josh have been running trips and doing well!

The small cold front coming in this weekend will be short lived only making us more enjoy the weather next week.  Local water conditions continue to be high/stained on the bigger systems with clear to clearing water on the smaller streams.  Water temps vary by watershed, but we are at that perfect time when things are around the 50 degree mark.  As long as we keep the daily lows out of the 30's we should be good for a fantastic pre-spawn bite.  The ponds have been producing well for those targeting the warmest parts of the day.  

We are starting to hear reports of some crappies and panfish being caught closer to shore, but still suspended off of drops.  Bass will start to poke into the shallow bays and norther reaches of the lakes and ponds also.  Many of the local ponds have been having good midge hatches and the bait fish and panfish have taken notice.  With this activity expect a few predatory fish to be waiting for an unaware meal.  

Tactics for the next few weeks will focus on water temps.  We always preach having a water thermometer so you know where to expect fish to be holding and what fly to choose.  In streams and lakes a sinking line or sinking tip is a good choice as usual.  A Rio Streamer Tip or SA Titan Clear Tip are main stays for us in the shop.  Match this with a few neutrally buoyant flies of various colors and your set.  We are fishing Game Changers, Lil' Swimmers, BangTails, Stacked Blonde, Articulated Fathead, Woolhead Scuplin, Swimmy Jimmy, Murdich Minnow, and Zoo Cougars to name a few.  These flies will slowly float or suspend on the pause. 

Allowing your fly to pause causes all of the natural materials to "breath" and move very naturally. This is one of the key differences we have verses someone who fishes soft plastics or stick baits with conventional tackle.  

Long-time customer and frequent "Guide Tripper" Don Gregory was out on a trip with Josh on Wednesday and got this beast!

And another "regular", Alex Vaughan was out with guide Pat Kelly on Sunday

The small cold front this weekend will slow the pond fishing down a little, but next week looks great.  Seek out those shallow bays with dark bottoms and some structure and you will find fish. 

The smaller streams will be very productive this week and into next weekend.  Get out there and scout your usual stretch this weekend so you are ready for later in the week.  Look for...well we should say HOPE for... the Scioto and the Olentangy to start to clear and continue to drop to wading levels.  Start your focus below the dams and work your way down until you find fish. Look for a nice mixed bag of fish to be in these locations also. 

Mad River

Hendrickson! Hendrickson! Hendrickson! has been the talk for the past few weeks around the shop.  With the unusual weather the past few months the hatches have been very sporadic. It is extremely hard to say what the status of the hatch is. It is very likely that they have been hatching here-and-there and we may not see a "big push" this year. Just seems to be the way the season is going.

There have been bugs hatching in almost every part of the river, but no large hatches until this past week.  Our good friend Jacob called in explaining a very strong hatch in the upper river with fish consistently rising to them.  A few folks out today when the sun was shining in the same areas and didn't see much at all. Very strange Henny season!

Individuals swinging soft hackles and nymphing have been catching fish also.  These tactics are great choices while you wait for mayflies to hatch.  With the higher flows and overcast days earlier this week the streamer fishing has continued to be great.  

Good friend and great customer Mike Canter with a nice streamer eater from today!

Brian was out teaching the On Water Seminar last Sunday and found plenty of Sulphur nymphs while sampling so make sure you have your boxes ready for this upcoming hatch as well. He did not find the numbers of Hendrickson nymphs that he suspected which leads us to believe that the hatch is going to be mostly found in the upper river and may well be in the later stages at this point. 

A few shots from the On-River Seminar last Sunday:

We will continue to see Hendricksons next week throughout the river and expect to see and hear many people catching fish, but it appears that we may not see the "explosive peak" like we are used to.  It seems like the weather is changing but we are still a little hesitant as we have been let down many times so far this year.  Continue to have plenty of Hendrickson Parachutes, thorax, and Sparkle Duns.  Also make sure to have Rusty Spinners as you do not want to be caught without them in a Spinner fall! Also take a look at your Light Cahill, Caddis, and Sulphur box and be prepared.  

This is a great time of the year to swing soft hackles that specifically represent the active bugs in the water.  Nymphing as always is a great choice.  Pheasant tails are a good choice along with Hendrickson Nymphs and Hares Ear.  Caddis in all stages will produce well also.  Flashabou Caddis, Holy Grail, Swinks Core Caddis, Shop Dip, Nitro Caddis, and Peacock Hares Ear are a good choice for those.  If you tie take a look at Brian's video on the Hendrickson nymph and the other variations.  Also Ryan's Jig style Trophy Nymph is very productive and can be tied lighter colors for the Sulphur variation.  

Clearfork River

Clearfork Map

Not much to report as most in that area are focusing on Steelhead.  The stream has been high, but fishing well for those who know the area.  Streamer fishing this spring continues to be great during those windows of stained water.  We have not had any reports of Hendrickson as expected with the higher water levels and temps. There are surely some bugs hatching here and there and we would expect that this will pick up dramatically in the coming week.

The lower river has been producing well for those streamer fishing and nymphing.  Along with trout there have been plenty of Saugeye being caught also.  As the weather starts to stabilize look for great dry fly fishing in the upper river and a mixed bag to continue to be great in the lower river.  

There is a cold front and some rain heading in this weekend.  Look for this to help out the streamer fishing, but continue to put off the Hendrickson hatch.  By mid week expect ideal dry fly conditions on both sections of the river.  If you want to take advantage of the Spring dry fly action make sure to have plenty of Hendrickson Parachutes, thorax, and Sparkle Duns.  Also make sure to have Rusty Spinners as you do not want to be caught without them in a Spinner fall!  Also take a look at your Light Cahill, Caddis, and Sulphur box and be prepared.  This is a great time of the year to swing soft hackles that specifically represent the active bugs in the water.  Nymphing as always is a great choice.  Pheasant tails are a good choice along with Hendrickson Nymphs and Hares Ear.  Caddis in all stages will produce well also.  Flashabou Caddis, Holy Grail, Swinks Core Caddis, Shop Dip, Nitro Caddis, and Peacock Hares Ear are a good choice for those.  If you tie take a look at Brian's video on the Hendrickson nymph and the other variations.  Also Ryan's Jig style Trophy Nymph is very productive and can be tied lighter colors for the Sulphur variation.  

As the water temps start to raise fishing for warm water fish in the lower sections can be very good.  Match that with camping in the State Park and you have a great way to spend a Spring weekend.  Target these fish with various articulated streamers line the Barely Legal, Mini Dungeon, Wooly Buggers, Zoo Cougar, Near Nuff Sculpin and others.  We are at least a month out from popper season though.  

Clear Creek

Clear Creek Map

The little creek has had a couple hard flushes over the past few weeks.  There have been a few trees moved around and newly added.  Before the high water Ryan was out with Will his son doing some sampling.  There were plenty of Hendrickson nymphs, Caddis, and Sulphurs.  We have seen a few Hendricksons this week so far.  We would expect that the dry fly fishing really picks up next week and could be a mixed bag with Hendricksons and Caddis leading the charge.

Nymphing the typical Pheasant Tails and Hares Ear will always produce.  Also fishing a small streamer like a Wooly Bugger in size 10 is a good choice to cover water looking for fish. These fish are small and not heavily stocked, but if you are in the Hocking Hills area it is worth a few hours of time.  

A small cold front is moving in for this weekend, but everything will rebound by next week.  Look for mid week to be ideal dry fly weather and hopefully a good push of Smallmouth Bass.

Erie Steelhead

Gauge Links and Maps

STEEL has been the other big topic in the shop over the past month.  Every tributary has plenty of fish in every stage of the run.  With the low temps and high water this season the fish are still fighting hard and kicking away strong on the release.  Fish have been actively spawning for the past month and the rain has continued to bring in fresh fish.  

If you have not made it out yet…

STOP READING and head north (well maybe stop by the shop or place an online order first). 

Jim Bagnoli out with MRO guide Josh McQueen on 4/26/18- they caught fish ALL DAY LONG!

Lake run Smallmouth Bass have started showing up also.  These are the early fish and with the cold water temps they are not consistently chasing streamers yet.  Most of these fish have come from swinging streamers or slowly fishing crawfish patterns.  Suckers are also in the systems in large numbers.  These fish are usually found in the slack water areas adjacent to fast water.  Nymphing with double egg rigs have been the most productive.  Egg patterns to be well stocked on are Glo Bugs, Scrambled eggs, Otters eggs, Cyclops, and Sucker Spawn.  As the water clears and drops swapping out an egg for a nymph is a good choice.  Swinging streamers has also been very productive.  Flow Ryders, A.I., and Sili-Leg Intruder, Skiddish Smolt, Woolhead Sculpin and Wooly Buggers are the flies to have.  If you tie flies take a look at Ryan’s Sunken Fox on our YouTube page.  This has been a hot fly in the clearing water conditions.  

We need some rain to help keep water temps and levels in perfect shape.  Looking at mid week temps there will be a lot of fish pushing to the gravel to spawn.  If the extended forecast holds then cooler temps and rain will come in later in the week keeping the fish happy.  The guess as of right now is that we still have a couple weeks of fishing left before the water temps get too warm.  We will keep you update as things start to change.  Feel free to give us a call or shoot an email for up to date conditions.  

Click Here to check out the details and pricing on our Steelhead Alley Guide Service

Here's Greg Shoup who was out with Josh on 4/23. We usually see a nice push of big Manistee fish right around 4/20 each year and 2018 did not disappoint!!!

Mad River Outfitters/Mad River Travel/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Guides, Trips, Classes, Schools and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


Fly Tying- The Carpinator

The Carpinator

The Carpinator is all around a fantastic carp fly and without a doubt my hands down go to fly. Not exactly sure where it came from but I do remember that Brian used to custom tie this for the shop going back 15 years or so. I think he said he learned it from Brad Befus at one point.

There are a few key characteristics I look for when I am either choosing or tying a carp fly. First I want a pattern that can be tied quickly and is very durable. It also needs to tied/designed in such a way that allows the fly to enter the water very quietly but at the same time sink very quickly. I believe this is why I turn to this pattern more than any other in my carp box. It can also be easily tied in a multitude if different colors to either match bottom color or a specific species of crayfish.

Try this fly! I think it will become a top producer in your carp box!

Be sure to check out the tutorial on our You Tube channel which is linked below.

Pat Kelly- April 2018

Carpinator Recipe:

Hook: Daiichi 1650 #6-  Click Here
Thread: Fl. Orange UTC 140-  Click Here
Tail: Crawfish Orange Rabbit Fur cut from a Zonker Strip-  Click Here
Flash: Rootbeer Krystal Flash-  Click Here
Legs: Barred Orange Sili Legs- nymph-  Click Here
Body: Crawdub Dubbing- Softshell-  Click Here
Rear Eyes: Medium Mono Eyes- black-  Click Here
Front Eyes: Medium Bead Chain- black-  Click Here
Collar: Hen Back Patch- speckled brown natural-  Click Here

1. Secure hook in vise. Lay down base of thread and secure bead chain eyes approximately three hook eye lengths behind the eye of the hook.

2. Cut off piece of rabbit from the hide and tie in directly above the barb and wrap with thread half way down the hook bend and return thread to just above the barb. *When the fly is lying inverted on the river bottom it will give the appearance of a crayfish posturing up in a defensive position.

3. Tie in Krystal flash so that it extends a full tail length beyond the rabbit strip tail. Return thread to tie in point and secure mono eyes with figure eight wraps.

4. Bring thread back to where tail begins and dub your thread and begin to work up the hook shank and around the mono eyes. 

5. Once you have dubbed around the mono eyes continue dubbing to about half way between the mono eyes and the bead chain eyes and tie in your Sili Legs. 

I like to take one Sili Leg and fold in half and then half again. This will give you four individual legs that will be the perfect length, not so short that the will not wiggle around in the current but at the same time not too long as to foul while casting. Once the legs are secure I like to make a couple wraps with the dubbing behind the legs as to help prop them up. I find this maximizes the action of the legs.

6. Continue dubbing all the way up to right behind the bead chain eyes. At this point you will want to tie in your hen saddle. 

I prefer to tie in my saddle by the tip and with the concave portion facing rearward. This achieves two things. By tying in the feather by the tip it allows the shorter more stiff fibers to support the longer softer fibers. Secondly, by tying in the saddle with the concave portion of the feather facing rearward when you begin palmering the feather forward it ensures the natural flow of the feather veils back toward the rest of the fly. 

After wrapping the feather in its entire length tie off and advance thread in front of the bead chain eyes. At this point you will finish the fly by building a nice tapered thread head, whip finish and add a little zap or hard as hull. 


The Carpinator from the back showing the "defensive crayfish" posture that helps to make it such an effective carp fly.

Watch the Video!

Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


Monday, April 23, 2018

Midwest Fly Fishing Schools- Our Sponsors

We would like to thank the following companies for their friendship, support and sponsorship. We are honored to have their endorsement for our efforts. Without them, what we do would not be possible.

Please join us in supporting them in return.

The world's largest supplier of fly rods! Rick Pope and company have always been supportive of what we do and we are thrilled to be partnered with them in this venture. Our students will be learning to cast on quality TFO equipment.

A leader in fly line technology! The folks at Scientific Anglers have been friends and supporters for years and we are glad to have them on board. We will be using SA lines, leaders and tippet for all of our schools and classes. With pride!

Simms is one of the most recognized names in the fly fishing industry and we are truly grateful for their support. Waders, boots, sportswear and more. Our instructors will be wearing Simms! 

It's not only the support of these companies that is appreciated. It is the un-dying support of our friends and reps that help to make this all happen.

From TFO we'd like to thank our reps, Ray Schmidt and Kate Smith. They have helped us grow the brand immensely the past few years and we couldn't to it without them. Also Rick Pope and Frank-Paul from the home offices in Dallas. Your guys support is amazing!

From Scientific Anglers we'd like to thank our Rep, Park Burson and of course the new President Brad Befus. Brad, your support and enthusiasm all these years for what we do around here is soooo appreciated.

And last but not least, Kim and Tony Ferrie, our Simms reps, single handedly made this happen for us and for this we are grateful. We couldn't do this without you guys!

Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214


Saturday, April 21, 2018

Fly Tying- The Quill Body Nymph

Quill Body Nymph- Hendrickson

This is a fly I have been tying now for a few years and using it during the early Spring and into the season as the hatches around here progress. It is a really simple pattern but I think it's damn sexy and has served me well. The UV resin coating is of course what brings it to life and I find myself using this stuff on most nymphs these days. I also love the Thin Skin as the wing case and another product I use alot of. I do tie these in a bead-head and non-bead version. The color I'm showing here does pretty well for the Hendricksons but I also tie a Sulpher #16 and a BWO #18 version. I just change up the colors and size of hook, otherwise, the tying is the same of course.

Like I said, nothing special here that I necessarily invented, just a sexy little nymph that catches fish. Play around with the colors and sizes and let me know what you come up with! 

Brian Flechsig- April 2018

Quill Body Nymph Recipe: 

Hook: Tiemco 5262 #14-  Click Here 
*of course any quality 2X long nymph hook will do the trick
#16 for the Sulpher and #18 for the BWO
Thread: 8/0 Uni Thread- Click Here 
Ultra Thread 70 denier or Vevus 12/0 works fine also
Tail: Whiting Farms Coq DeLeon Hen Saddle- Click Here
Natural Brown on the Henny and Fl. Green Chartreuse on the Sulpher and BWO
Abdomen: Standard Quill Stem- Rusty Quill-  Click Here
Rib: Fine Copper Wire-  Click Here
* gold on the Sulpher and BWO 
UV Resin: Loon Thin UV or equivalent-  Click Here
Wing Case: Thin Skin- Mottled Bustard- Natural-  Click Here
Thorax: Ice Dub- Golden Brown-  Click Here
Optional Bead: Flymen Real Fly Beads- 1/8" Pink-  Click Here
7/64" Caddis Green on the Sulpher and 3/32" Caddis Green on the BWO 
Legs: Whiting Farms Coq DeLeon Hen Saddle- same as tail-  Click Here

1. Start your thread as you normally do and wrap back to the bend of the hook. The thread should hang right at the barb.

2. Select a feather from the Coq DeLeon Hen Saddle and cut off "a bunch" of fibers to be used for the tail. This is usally a chunk about the same width as the hook gap to give an idea. 

3. Tie in the tail at the bend of the hook using the pinch method. Wrap over the butts to secure and then wrap your thread back to the bend. 

4. Tie in the thin Copper Wire at the bend, secure up the shank and again bring the thread back to the bend of the hook. This will be used as the rib over the quill body.

5. You should have your quills soaking as you begin tying. I usually let them sit in water for 5-6 minutes or so before I need them. Watch the video for a bit more on this. I then tie them in at the bend, just like you did the copper wire. Tie it in by the tip, thus it will give you a gorgeous, lifelike taper and segmentation effect. Where you tie it in on the quill will determine the "size" of your segments. Higher on the tip for smaller flies for example. 

Now bring your thread forward to the mid point on the hook shank.

6. Wind the Quill Stem forward to the mid point of the hook shank making sure that each wrap is tight against the previous. Secure with your thread at there and trim the excess. May have to take a few wraps to lash-in and hide the trimmed butt. 

7. Wind the Copper Wire over top of the Quill abdomen as your rib. Always nice to see an evenly spaced rib to accentuate the segmentation. Tie it off an trim the excess as you did the Quill. 

8. Apply a thin coat of the UV Thin to the entire abdomen section and then hit it with your UV Light to cure. 

9. Cut a thin strip of the Thin Skin, obviously long enough to be tied in and folded over as the wing case. The width of this strip should be slightly less than the gap of the hook. You will then trim one end to a point, which allows easier tie-in and also helps ensure that it doesn't bunch up at the rear where you fold it over. 

10. Tie in the Thin Skin on top of the hook shank, right there at the mid-point of the hook shank. You can now also do a quick measurement to ensure that your proportions look good. If the abdomen seems a bit long and the thorax too short, simply wrap back over the thin skin and the abdomen, thus lenthening your thorax. I seem to do this quite often on these. 

11. Dub the thorax with a thin thread of the the Ice Dub. Make sure to leave plenty of room behind the eye as you need to tie off the wing case yet as well as add the legs. Don't crowd the eye.

* If I'm doing a bead head version, I add some Ice Dub behind the bead then tie off the thread. I then re-start the thread in front of the bead and dub a bit more in front of the bead. This places the bead in the proper position with enough room in front as described above.

12. Fold the Thin Skin over the top to form the wing case. Secure with a few wraps of thread and make sure that you wrap back towards the bend as securing. This ensures that you don't cut your thread when you go to trim the excess right behind your thread. I often have to get my micro point scissors in on this to get the final little nubs of Thin Skin out of the way when I trim. 

13. Apply more UV Thin to the Wing Case area and hit with your UV Light. I don't mind being generous with this as it creates a fantastic looking effect. You'll be blown away at how great this looks with the Thin Skin and Ice Dub "glowing" through! 

14. Cut off another "bunch" of Coq DeLeon and you are now going to tie them in as legs. I do one bunch on the side of the nymph closest to me, and one bunch on the far side, of course using the pinch method. I usually rotate my vise a bit which makes the placement a bit easier. Once in place with a few wraps, you can adjust the length as well as make the two bunches fairly even, by pulling on the butts. 

15. Once you have the length set, we are now going to position them in a downward slant. I do this by pinching and positioning them with my thumb and index finger. Hold them in the position you want while wrapping the thread back to secure. This again ensures that you don't cut your thread when you trim the butts. 3-4 wraps usually does the trick. 

Using your Micro Point Scissors, trim the butts as close as you can.

16. Make a few more wraps of thead to clean up the head and cover the remaining butts. You can then finish the fly with your favorite method. As many of you know, I typically just use a few half-hitches and then a few dabs of head cement.  

That's it! The Quill Body Nymph. This has become my "go-to" for Hendricksons, Sulphers and Blue Winged Olives. For the Sulpher I use the Fl. Green Chartreuse Coq DeLeon, Sulpher color Quill and Olive Ice Dub. For the BWO I use the same just switch the Quill color to the BWO.

Try this and let me know your thoughts. I think you're gonna love these....I know the fish do!!!

Watch the Video!

Mad River Outfitters/Midwest Fly Fishing Schools

Fly Shop, Fly Fishing Guides, Hosted Fly Fishing Travel, Schools, Classes and more!

813 Bethel Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43214