After spending the better part of a week breaking through ice to free up fishing spots and packing in leftover holiday ham to help overcome the cold and snow I’m taking a break! The winter steelhead run is in full swing in Ohio and ice and cold are just part of the program. Fishing the tributaries off the main river systems near Cleveland means tiny water, urban decay, and lots of big fish.
The scene is something out of a Pacific Northwest steelheader’s nightmare. Under graffiti covered bridges and around other remnants of the industrial age is where your will find your quarry. You get used to the constant sounds of the bridges coming apart as the ice relents in the warmth of the day(+/-30 degrees) and fall to the slush and gravel below.
Small flies are key as the river temps are freezing and light tippets (so light I cannot mention) are the name of the game. This is what I would imagine the tail water fisherman feel like in the Rockies in the winter.
Sound weird? Well it is. The good kind of weird though. Like giving your grandfather the 2010 Women in Waders Calendar for Christmas. Happy Holidays!