Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shorts and Steelhead

After trips to Florida and Milwaukee interrupted my steelhead spring, I was back in Ohio late last week when spring turned to summer. On Friday, the temperature gauge on the Huntington Bank building at East Ninth and Euclid declared 82 degrees about noon and it felt warmer.

It was still in the low 80s that evening when I went down to the Rocky River. The water temp was above 60 degrees. No need for long pants, and if I had neoprene socks, I might have tried to wet wade. The fishermen were out in strong numbers, but the steelhead were in only a handful of spots. We found a bunch in a popular run and landed about a half dozen between two of us and broke off several more.

Saturday a.m. was more of the same. It was 70 degrees at dawn. We only fished til about 8:30 or so, but caught several on white sucker spawn and nymphs. The fish were aggressive, but they didn't seem interested in minnow patterns. One nine-pound male did some aerial leaps that reminded me of film clips showing nuclear war heads being launched by a submarine. This guy leaped several feet across the stream at a sharp angle, before splashing back into the water. He repeated that act several times before coming to the bank. What a wild ride.

Summer came early, but it's supposed to leave again on Tuesday. Not sure whether there will be many steelhead left in the rivers by then. We'll likely need some cold rains. I think another season is coming to an end, and it feels right. I'm ready to go chase some stream trout on small dry flies in Pennsylvania.

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