Friday, April 13, 2018

Fishing Reports- 4/13/18

* 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.


The talk around the shop has been more and more about Smallmouth.  Mostly this is because once we start fishing for bass Winter is officially over, but this year it just seems to never end. We get a shot in the arm and then take a look at the forecast and its right back into winter.  This time of the year is really tough for a warm water fisherman especially in Ohio.  For those that have made it out during prime conditions pre-spawn Smallies and Saugeye have been caught. 

Understanding water temps, seasonal migration patterns, and forage are the key to successful fishing any time of the year, but more so in the Spring.  

With the very high water and few warm days the river fishing has been tough.  The most consistent fishing has been below the local dams or in small ponds.  Fishing a 6-8wt with a sinking tip line from AirFlo or Scientific Anglers is our usual rig.  Match that outfit with an articulated fly in white or shad colors and you have a great place to start.  For fishing the streams once they are at the right levels you will want to select Half and Halfs, Dungeons, Bottoms Up, Modern Deceivers and others.  For pond and lake fishing Dirty Hippies, Barely Legals, Bottoms Up, Murdich Minnow, Glass Buggers, and alike are a good start.  

These past few days have been great, but there is a lot of rain forecasted. Next week looks like we are back on the roller coaster weather pattern also.  The streams will not fish until late next week and this will be limited to just a few small creeks.  Pond fishing will continue to be the best choice.  Search out areas that have shallow bays or flats with dark bottoms.  If it is sunny and calm a rocky bank is also a great choice.  Get out there when you can and keep the dust off of your casting.  

Mad River

It has been great too see the river higher than usual for a good portion of the year so far. In general, the Mad has been fishing good to excellent and we expect that to only get better as we go here. 

Streamer fishing has produced the most buzz around the shop, but nymphing has been the numbers game.  For those that put in their time floating the river streamer fishing a good number of upper teens to low twenties fish have came to the boat.  Despite the clear water the flows have made the lower river a float only situation while the smaller upper sections have produced well for those wadding.  Euro nymphing, Indicator/bobber fishing, and streamers all produce higher in the system as well.  Pheasant Tails, Hares Ear, Hendrickson nymphs, and Prince have been the most productive nymphs.  Streamers that have produced are the usual Barely Legal, Dungeon, Big Hole Bug, Pearl Necklace, Zoo Cougar, and Peanut Envy.  

Dry fly fishing has been limited.  There have been a few Blue Wing Olives and Blue Quills around but the conditions have not provided good fishing.  The past few days we have finally seen some Hendricksons, but only sporadically.  These hatches usually start in the lower river when conditions are right and progress up river.  With the high and colder water things are a little different this year. The past two days the temps have been right for  Hendricksons to explode but the wind has kept this from happening. At any moment, all hell is going to break loose and fish are going to be eating Hendricksons until they burst.

We do have guide trips next week with the hopes of dry fly fishing. We'll let you know what we find out.

This guy will be the star of the show here as soon as the hatch gets into full-swing. Should be a few weeks of FANTASTIC dry fly fishing ahead. Be sure to have some nymphs as well for the hours prior to hatching.

Those wanting to take advantage of the Hendrickson on foot will need to keep an eye on the middle river.  The flows right now continue to be higher than usual.  Wading at a flow of more than 250cfs at 36 is not suggested.  Even at that flow it is challenging and not suggested for anyone new to wading or not familiar with the area.  Floating the river at the right times will put you in the needed areas to see the most Hendrickson action.  Like stated above the high water and weather have things pushed back.  Keep an eye out anywhere though and be ready with a box of Becks Hendrickson, Bears Para Hendrickson, and Hendrickson Sparkle Dun.  We have a feeling that since the weather has not been playing by the rules the bugs might follow.  We will keep you updated with hatch info as we see everything play out.  In the meantime Make sure to be nymphing a Bead Head Hendrickson, Pheasant Tail, or dark Hares Ear in the 12-16 range. Drop off of that nymph a Soft hackle or non bead Pheasant tail and you should be in plenty of fish.  

There is some rain in the forecast that will most likely mess things up for the first part of the week.  By mid week we should see perfect streamer water and Hendrickson picking back up towards the weekend.  Keep an eye on the flow gauges or shoot us a call at the shop and we will help you sort it all out.  

Congrats again to Nick Renzetti who landed this Beast of a girl back in March!

Clearfork River

Clearfork Map

Not many reports from fishing up there, but the past few days the river has been fishing well. 

The upper river has been the only section fishable as they continue to dump water out of the dam in the lower.  There has been a few Hendrickson, Blue Quills, and Blue Wing Olives spotted, but with the past rains the conditions have just been good the past few days.  Most individuals have been nymphing to produce the best results.  There are a few that like to streamer fish this area and continue to be rewarded.  The higher water this Spring has provided plenty of great streamer water.  

Looking ahead there will be a large amount of rain heading into the area.  Look for the upper river to start fishing as early as mid week, but most likely your best bet will be later in the week. 

At that time we should see a good Hendrickson hatch.  Be prepared with a box of Becks Hendrickson, Bears Para Hendrickson, and Hendrickson Sparkle Dun.  If you do not see any activity nymph Bead Head Hendrickson, Pheasant Tail, or dark Hares Ear in the 12-16 range. Drop off of that nymph a Soft hackle or non bead Pheasant tail and you should be in plenty of fish.  Streamer fishing will continue to be great.  Make sure to have a good array of colors and fly designs so you are prepared for anything.  The lower river will continue to be very high and not fishable.  

Clear Creek

Clear Creek Map

There has not been much to report from the creek the past week.  Flows continue to be higher that normal.  Clarity has just been good the past few days with some stain lingering in the deeper holes.  No reports of Hendrickson yet, but the conditions are perfect and we are a day or so away from the best dry fly fishing of the season.  

Streamer fishing has been the preferred method with the high flows, but with minimal success. Fish continue to be caught nymphing small caddis and mayfly nymphs also.  Fishing overall this Spring has been slow and the crowds have not been helping.  Ask anyone local and you will get an ear full as the fish regulations have changed.  

With the rain forecasted this weekend the creek will not fish till late next week.  We will keep you updated if you happen to be down that way next weekend.  Dry fly fishing should pickup by next weekend or once Spring decides to stick around.  Right now most of the focus is at fishing the hatches on the Mad.  

Erie Steelhead

Gauge Links and Maps

Fishing has been fantastic.  All of our tributaries are packed with fish in all stages of the run. 

This past week we have seen many drop back hens being caught with a few fresh fish in the mix.  The suckers have made it into the streams in big numbers also.  Most fish are being caught in the deeper water behind these sucker pods.  At this stage in the run your most productive technique will be nymphing double egg rigs under a float.  There are plenty of fish in the shallow riffles actively spawning.  Beginners commonly are distracted by visible fish in these areas.  Remember that these fish are spawning and do not readily feed.  

There is a big rain event heading to the state this weekend.  This will mess things up for a few days and continue to keep the Grand high.  Focusing on the tributaries of the Grand and the smaller streams by mid week will be your best bet.  Pushing ahead to next weekend everything but the Grand should be in great shape.  This rain will push out the drop back/ already spawned fish and bring in some fresh fish.  Look for fish to be readily taken on various methods.  Swinging has been great and the new Pieroway Renegade rods have been a HUGE focus this season.  If you need help sorting all of this switch/spey/swinging stuff out let us know.  Nymphing double egg, bugger & egg, or egg and nymph rigs under a float has put numbers to hand also. 

Our go to rigs are either a 10' 7wt or a 6-8wt switch rod.  Match these with the SA Anadro, AirFlo Nymph line, or properly weighted Rio Switch line.  Flies to keep stocked up on will be Scrabbled Eggs, Glo Bugs, Otters Eggs, Wiggle Stones, Steelhead Stones, Chicken Little, and various colors of Wooly Buggers.  As for swinging flies grab Senyo's A.I. in various colors, Flow Ryders, and Sili-Leg Intruders.  Do not over look stripping streamers also.  As we get later in the season pulling out your Smallmouth rig and stripping will reward you with a mixed bag.  If you are heading up that way, give us a call and we will keep you up to date.  

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

Old friend and long-time customer Sam Hanna was out on a guide trip with Josh on Wednesday and they had continuous action. Steelhead season is full-on right now.

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

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Columbus, Ohio 43214