This morning the Rocky River level had reached the upper edge of the low range -- 200 cfs -- for good fishing. There was just a hint of color in the deeper runs and the shallow riffles were clear. Overcast skies kept the dawn light to a minimum and the steady rain and cold breeze was enough to cause saner folks to stay at home. But I stood in the Rocky River not far from the interstate staring at a half dozen steelhead trout. This is the time of year when the fishing gets easy. Spawning fish may not be all that eager to eat, but they can be enticed to strike a swung fly. But it's much more fun to swing flies into the deeper runs behind the spawners. The aggressive males wait behind the spawning females for their chance to finish the job of fertilizing the eggs. The males will chase anything -- other steelehead, and certainly minnows.
They crushed the minnow fly with enough regularity to give me a sore arm, and fought hard enough to make me wish I was better at tying knots.
Sadly I could only fish for an hour before work called. I was hoping to fish the morning and evening commute, but no such luck. The rain fell long and hard to the south and sent the river above 800 cfs by the early evening. Blown out, as they say. Not sure when it will be fishable again, but the steel will be there. So will I.