March 7, 2009
Gorillas Of The Missed
The theme of the title was Bubba's hulking mass slowly disappearing into the morning mist and my periodic ADD episodes as I missed setting the hook or getting distracted. This is the time of the year when winter steelheading is coming to an end and spring is arriving. The past couple of days have been blistering hot compared to the frigid temperatures last week and today was no exception as the temps were in the high 60s. When that happens it means one thing - the attack of fairweather fishermen.
Fairweather fishermen are easy to spot, like a hooker on downtown street. They can be a easy target for the hardcore steelheader, but I find them usually harmless. Most if not all are not capable of walking past 100yds from the parking lot and usually fish water that never hold fish. But, we knew the hardcores would be out in full force and we had to be a step ahead.
Being the eternal optimist, I thought we would have a banner day. The rivers were in prime condition and the temperatures were in the 60s. It turned out to be a trifecta of misery as we struggled finding fish at the three rivers we fished. We fished fast water, slow water, shallow, deep, lumber, pocket water, tailouts and heads. We knew the fish were there, but they seemed unwilling to cooperate. When we decided to hit another river and you know when the fishing was bad when the easy access spots are vacant at 9:30A.M on a Saturday.
We drove farther east and were hoping that the threat of rain was just a threat, as Sunday was going to be a washout. We arrived to see that the ice was gone, but there was a ton of it littering the banks. Due to the warmer weather and cold water, there was fog on the river. The water was primed and knew where to find fish. But, it turned out to be one fish here and there. We plugged away and decided to go to head west. We arrived to prime conditions - dark green water and partly cloudy. Once again, the fishing was tough and Bubba shook off the skunk with a spawned out hen.
The tough day was the result of a coming cold front and that many of the fish had spawned in the previous days and seeked out the deeper holes to rest. With the rain tomorrow, I'm sure a lot of the PA steelhead in Ohio's tribs will high tailing it back to the lake and the Manistees will start pushing upstream. Either way there is excellent fishing to be had for the next couple of months and watch out for the suckers!