BEREA, OH – It’s always special to get out on the kayak for the first time of the year. Not just because it is a fun way to catch fish, but it usually (yes it does try to snow in April at times) marks a tangible measure that winter is over for me. This past winter, for some reason, just seamed exceptionally long. I had some extra motivation to make Wallace Lake the first outing due to a stocking that had taken place that included Brook, Brown, and Golden Trout along with the Rainbows. I wasn’t able to get out, even for shore fishing, and was agonized seeing all the amazing catches featured on the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Blog. The ‘recent’ stocking suddenly went from days ago, to weeks ago… and I just hoped some were left.
Arriving at the lake, my hope turned to confirmation as a shore angler was leaving with a fine Rainbow Trout on a stringer. I launched quickly and began covering a lot of water offering an inline spinner. My only taker was a small Largemouth Bass in the first hour. It’s impossible to know if conditions, fishing pressure, or total number of fish available was the reason, but the fishing was slow. I rarely had less than 6-8 fisherman within view and my bass was the only fish I saw caught. About the moment my mind started second guessing my decision to fish at Wallace over the river or a different venue… my spinner got smacked. The fantastic strike was followed by the rod revealing a decent sized fish that was giving plenty of fight. It didn’t take long to get it to the boat, but I did get very nervous about successfully landing it when I saw the distinct markings of a Brown Trout! It’s a species that I haven’t encountered a lot and I was so excited to get it landed. Weeks after the last stocking, I had somehow managed one of the ‘bonus fish’! Pure Joy.
While admittedly the Cleveland Metroparks Fishing Blog has shown plenty of examples of bigger or more interestingly marked up fish, this one was my catch, and it was prized. In fact I was so enamored by it, I found it almost difficult to continue fishing. I was so thrilled with that single bite it made me content that I didn’t need to do more. I fished a little less vigorously but did carry on another hour and a half. I managed another trout, this one being a small colorful Rainbow Trout, that was returned to the water.