With the family moving recently, it has required some time devoted to researching new waters to fish. It seems each year I have a goal of fishing new places, the move has made this a necessity, whether motivated to do so or not. Overall, this is a good thing, and I just need to be patient with my expectations of instant fishing success. Today’s trip was unique in not only that it was my first time at the West Branch of the Rocky River at Olmsted Falls, Ohio, but also in the fact that I only took fly fishing gear. This is a personal goal of becoming more proficient with the fly rod and it seems if I take my spinning gear, the fly gear ends up sitting in the vehicle. I didn’t allow myself to let this happen today.
Whenever I manage to make it to new water, especially if it is a venue plagued by shallow water, I always worry about the presence of fish. Obviously, catching a fish makes that worry go away, but certainly even seeing a fish is reassuring. Before making my way down to the river, I started by looking down from a bridge to see what it would reveal. Along with some nice scenic views (including the photo to start this post), I was able to spot some fish.
Thanks to a good decision to bring both of my cameras, including the one with the 27x optical zoom, I was quite surprised at how well the photos turned out. The photo above was my favorite, as I didn’t even notice the smaller mystery fish until I was at home reviewing on the computer. I don’t have any idea what species it is, anyone have thoughts?
I eventually stopped looking at the fish, reminding myself I was there to try to catch them. Making my way down to the water, I realized just how popular the dam was. While some creative cropping yielded the desired affect of pristine untouched water, the reality was that this area was very popular. Along with several fisherman, there were five times as many people just wading and splashing around in the water. In a day and age where most kids are glued to the television or video games, it was difficult to be mad that they would cause the fishing to be more challenging. At least a few parents out there see value in prying their kids out of a chair. It was refreshing and reassuring to see.
As expected, the fishing was tough. Every time I found a decent hole, someone would walk through it or close enough to scare everything away. When I finally reached an area a little less populated, a group of kayakers decided to have a water fight and take respite on rocks right by where I was intending to fish. I forced myself to simply enjoy the scenery and work on my fly casting. After all, this was a beautiful place to practice.
Eventually, I found a spot under the dam that was unmolested from foot traffic. At this point, any catch would have made my day and I was thrilled to bring to the net two little Smallmouth Bass and a Rock Bass. I did have to ‘cheat’ and I won’t really consider it a fly fishing catch, as I used a 1/32 oz jig tipped with a Berkley Gulp! Minnow.
As a final note, the area I was at today is named David Fortier River Park.