SAO Pages

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rancho Relaxo

All things considered, it was a good week of catching. Monday brought the first lake effect snow to the Southeast shore of Lake Erie. And it came blowing in with full force. Certainly made for interesting driving conditions in a full-on white out, but we managed to stay on the road and get to our fishing destination. Unfortunately, the camera was left at home. So although we caught fish in the driving snow there were no pics for the blog that day ; (

Tuesday was a day of relaxation, then back on the water for the rest of the week. (See Pat and Greg's posts).

Watching the second snow fall of the week, this time from the windows of Rancho Relaxo (AKA home), reminded me of Wednesday's trip with Don and Ryan from the Schultz Ranch in Montana. As you'll see from the pics, neither the fish nor the anglers were bothered by the snow on the ground from Monday's blizzard. Living in Montana, they had a chuckle at what we call "winter weather".

Don and Ryan have been working on a pipeline outside of Columbus, OH for several months. Their first thought for fishing Lake Erie was to link up with a charter captain to take them walleye fishing. As luck would have it, however, they ran into a fellow angler that enlightened them to the little kept secret of Ohio's excellent steelhead fishery in the tribs to Lake Erie.

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Don and Ryan with a distinctive Ohio landmark in the background.

Even though the air and water temps were cold enough to keep the snow on the ground, we started hooking fish first thing in the morning. Because of the colder water temps, and the slower metabolism of the fish and less chance of a fish to move to a swung fly, we stuck to drifting nymphs and eggs under an indicator.

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Ryan with a nice chrome hen.

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Don quickly followed Ryan's fish with a short, but stout male.

As long as we were willing to move to find fish, and took the time to adjust the amount of shot on the leader and the depth (the length between the indicator and the weights) of the indicator for each spot, we were able to stick fish throughout the day.

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Ryan with a big hen caught in the afternoon.

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Nice green backed, chrome sided girlfriend.

The catching was good enough that as the day wore on a competition grew between Don and Ryan. I came to find out that Ryan had bettered Don on the last several fishing trips. Of course, Don was looking to even the score and as luck would have it on the last pool of the day Don lit into a big hook-jawed buck that gave him a good fight before finally coming to the net.

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Even though Don had bested Ryan, they both had a great time fishing steelhead alley for big chrome fish.

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Will Turek

Head Rancher, Rancho Relaxo

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