Saturday, November 19, 2011

Old River, New Spots

Lakes change over decades, rivers change every season. Heavy floods this summer have altered much of the Rocky River west of Cleveland.

So far this fall, I've noticed the following changes along one of my favorite half-mile stretches of the Rocky.

A long slow pool is now at least a foot deeper in the tail as last year. The tail will hold more fish than ever.

A run that used to have two bends in it is now as straight as a ruler. It will be interesting to see if it holds fish like it used to. A visit today would indicate the answer is no, but I will continue to give it a try.

A few new boulders and a broken-up bottom seemed to create a new run in the middle of a stretch of river that has never held a steelhead in the years I've been fishing the Rocky. However, today the run was empty, perhaps next time. It will be worth checking out again.

About 25 yards upstream a small shelf that had previously not been deep enough to hold fish, had broken up over the summer and the heavy floods had carved out a 3-foot deep run behind the shelf. The new run is fairly short and fast. It cuts tight against the river's west bank. To get the fly down to the bottom of the run, the fly has to be cast upstream onto the bedrock shelf. Today the run held at least one steelhead, which I hooked only briefly.

More changes upstream haven't been explored yet. This is why river fishing is so much fun. Every season on a river is a new experience.

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