I was starting to forget what Mike looked like. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but he is my fishing buddy. He said he had a pass to fish on Wednesday after work and needed to find some rising fish. In Ohio that means a trip to the Mad. I checked the weather, and things looked really good for some surface feeding fish Wednesday evening. However, when I opened the door to go to work that morning, I quickly carried the two weight back in the house and grabbed the four weight. They were calling for high winds, and I needed to go a little heavier than I might normally.
As usual, I had to wait on Mike. He was being slow or caught in traffic or whatever. He finally arrived at our meeting spot, and we were soon on our way to the river. We arrived mid afternoon and the water looked perfect, but the wind was not gusting; it was sustained. I was worried we might not see a rising fish. We quickly geared up and headed for some familiar water.
Within five minutes, I had missed two fish on a caddis. There was hope. Mike was not having as much luck, so we decided to head upstream to fish some water that I have not fished in three years. The area we fished allowed us to stay out of the wind. However, it did not prevent the debris from filtering into the river. There was a steady stream of grass and leaves and small twigs. There was also a steady stream of mayflies. The bugs continued to hatch throughout the afternoon. It was a fantastic hatch, but only a few fish seemed interested.
Mike and I hunted our way upstream. We slowly searched for rising fish. Finally, I spotted a good fish rising steadily under a tree and turned Mike loose. Mike patiently worked that fish for a half an hour before finally convincing that chunk of butter to take his parachute adams. It was just as enjoyable to watch the entire event unfold as it probably was for Mike to catch that fish. My only issue with the whole situation was the fact that Mike had not brought a net, and I had to christen my brand new net with his fish. I am not sure he would have even caught that fish without me. Seriously, Hank Patterson has nothing on me!
It was now my turn. I continued to fish with a caddis and a dropper, and we walked up on another rising fish. Within a few casts, I had hooked a solid fish that immediately went air born. It was not nearly as nice as the one Mike caught, but I was more than satisfied. Finally, I put my own fish in the net! Our game of hop scotch continued for another two fish. Mike caught another nice fish and I landed a good fish that took me for a ride several yards downstream. We were having as much fun as you can on a trout stream here in Ohio.
It would have been a fantastic evening to film, but somebody did not have his SD cards or batteries. We saw a ton of wildlife. I even poked a groundhog in the ear with my fly rod. There were mink and beaver and the oriels we spectacular along the river’s banks.
We continued to hunt for more rising fish, but failed to find any. We made one more move that ended with a couple of missed fish right before dark. Tonight was the type of classic dry fly fishing that I love most. Tough conditions, picky fish, difficult presentations all make for the most rewarding days on the water. I know this much, Mike sure seemed to have a good time. I am not sure if it was because of the fish he caught or that fact that he finally got to spend some time on the water with me. It was probably me!