Friday as streams were on the rise, so were the fish on one of Ohio's few trout streams. The Clear Fork of the Mohican is Ohio's only true tailwater trout stream and that is where I could be found.
After my arrival I was bummed to find they were releasing good amounts of water from the dam which for tailwaters can mean fish that are shut down....typically due to the large amounts of debris that is being flushed downstream. This was definitely the case when I first arrived and I wondered how the fish would respond. Within a short period of time, I noticed some hatches coming off sporadically. From an occasional March Brown to a couple of Sulpher types, there were some mayflies in the air. The other bugs coming off (and a much stronger presence on this watershed) were different species of caddis....from micro caddis up to size 12 and 14 could be found. Every now and then you would see a fish rise to a caddis breaking the surface, but none could be enticed to rise to the artificial, at least as tied to my line :)
After hitting a few different locations, and trying numerous different offerings from mini streamers to nymphs to wet flies, nothing was producing. I figured that the debris was to blame and was just about to resort to shooting some photography of the beautiful spring landscapes as opposed to fishing, when I decided to give it just a few more casts in one of my favorite slots. First I decided to increase the size of my offering to a size 12 soft hackle nymph and drop it hard to the bottom. A couple of casts
later the line hesitated and I raised my rod to my personal best on Brown Trout. Now, I understand that for others, this may be child's play, but for an Ohio Brown, this was no small fish.
I had hoped that the fish would break the 20" mark finally allowing me to be in that wonderful 20"+ group of anglers, but I have now been rejected again :( I didn't have a tape on stream, so I photographed it against my net, rod and forearm and upon measuring them, I have officially come up one lousy inch short. My initial guestament (yes I know it's not a real word) was 20-22" but I guess that just means I'm a real fisherman right? The actual measurement was 19".
At any rate, it was a slow day on the water, but a rewarding one with a beautiful fish for the persistent angler.
The hatches are really picking up pace here on the Clear Fork and only get better as you head over to Central Pennsylvania.
Drop us a line and let us know when you want to hit the water for some amazing fish and awesome hatches. Myself, Graham, and Jeremy look forward to fishing with you soon!
Patrick "Flybum" Robinson