Brown Trout caught on first kayak outing of 2021

A beautiful Brown Trout caught from the kayak at Wallace Lake

BEREA, OH – Nearly a month and a half since the last trout stocking at the Cleveland Metroparks, Wallace Lake, I had guarded optimism for my first kayak trip of 2021.  Any doubt would be removed rather quickly.  I had barely gotten everything adjusted and set up from the long winter break (from the yak), and had an eager fish slam my inline spinner.  Fumbling to get the net while keeping tension on the rod, I caught a few glances of the fish with no evidence it wasn’t the typical Rainbow Trout.  Maybe it was all the splashing and commotion, but it was one of those very rare occurrences where I didn’t realize what I had until it was in the net.  If you read my post from February 6th (here), you know how stoked I was to catch one of the ‘bonus’ fish.  I was near speechless having caught this beautiful, just under 16″, Brown Trout!

Stocker trout make for guilt free table fare

The trout stocking program is one of those unique opportunities to catch & keep without anyone judging or a need for any personal remorse.  While I am an avid catch & release fisherman, it is unlikely there is any carryover through the summer.  This makes it very easy to keep your catch for table fare.  I ate this fish, grilled with lemon and dill, and it was delicious.

A small caught & released bass

After the near immediate success of the memorable Brown Trout, the fishing got very slow.  I went from thinking I would have my three fish limit in 45 minutes, to wondering if I would even get a second bite.  Well over an hour, possibly two, I finally had another hookup.  Instead of a typical Rainbow Trout stocker, it was a small Largemouth Bass.  It was released, and helped to provide a bit more motivation to continue fishing.  That would be it for the catching though, the only additional action being a very nice Rainbow Trout that followed my spinner right to the side of the kayak.  I never thought to try a ‘figure eight’, but maybe the next time that happens, I will!

While not a day for catching numbers, the Brown Trout more than made up for it.

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