Fishing Reports
June 18th, 2015
Scott Smith , June 22, 2015

Ohio:

Go now! The dry fly fishing for trout in Ohio is awesome! June is the best time of year for dry fly fishing in the Mid-West! However, bring a couple streamers for those over cast days and hold on!

Go Drake’n on the Mad. But these are Drakes so you may go mad chasing drakes. These bugs are as unpredictable as the smartest and most beautiful of the human species. However, as nature would have it, when you get it right- it is awesome! There are also some Sulphurs and Cahills still hanging around on the upper reaches. The fish are definitely looking up and eager to play! Go soon!!

The Clear Fork has been awesome when the water has been right. These little down pours have made timing the flows a bit unpredictable. However, the fish are definitely looking for Caddis and terrestrials on the top and caddis larvae and pupa sub-surface. This is an easy and awesome day trip and Mohican State Park is beautiful.

Smallmouth: There are still some migratory fish around and the resident fish will play when the conditions are right. The every other day torrential storms have made chasing smallies and catching poison ivy a little more challenging this year. However, you can still do both at least for the rest of June! Watch the water tables and catch them any way that makes you happy! They love medium sized poppers in the evening and olive rubber legged streamers during the day!

Presque Isle:

Speaking of smallmouth-this was an early and unpredictable fishery. Early May was on fire! However, the fish are departing a little early and this fishery is winding down. That means the big number days are slowing down; not that the fishing is poor. There are still numerous bass, pike and musky in the bays and channels. You can still have an absolutely awesome day at Presque Isle and it is a great time to grab a kayak and explore!

Pa:

The trout fishing in Pa has been awesome and continues to be incredible. Terrestrials and nymphs during the day and Drakes at night-how fun is that!

MI:

This is transition week in the great State of Michigan. The Drakes are still around but the spinner falls have been unpredictable. The Iso’s have come on very well and the trout love them! However, the main event starring the incredible “Hex” is just starting. This is a “must see” show. These bugs are huge, the spinner fall is absolutely incredible and the otherwise invisible monster browns come out to play. However, this is a night game so get your sleep now.

Starting next week, hit the water about 7:00 PM with an ISO Dun and catch a few good fish, switch to a Hex Dun at about 9:00 and catch a couple even better fish. Then, shorten your leader and switch to a Hex spinner at about 10:15. From 10:15 until 2:00 AM, enjoy the “flush” of a monster Brown crushing your spinner and then trying to land these pigs in the dark-this is a crazy game! Finally, assuming you have not had enough mosquito bites and want to see the entire show, find some slower water, tie on a Hex emerger and catch some ridiculous fish until about 5:00 AM. This is a great time to grab a beer, watch the sunrise and only then catch a nap!

Repeat this process for as many days as your body can take it until about July 10.

The next three weeks are made for night fishing for monster Browns-you can sleep in July!

 

 
May 11th, 2015
Scott Smith , May 12, 2015

There are so many options and so little time!

Steelhead Alley:

The steelhead season is winding down but what an awesome spring of steelhead fishing! All the tribs held great numbers of exceptionally willing fish and conditions were very favorable for much of the spring. You can certainly still catch steelhead in almost all of the tribs for the next week, especially if you focus on the lower sections. Drop back fish are aggressive and great fun. However, the season is definitely winding down and a majority of fish have gone to the lake.

Smallmouth Alley:

The smallmouth migration has started and most of the tribs are holding good numbers of these bronze backs. Most fish are in the lower sections but should be throughout all of the systems by next week. May 15-June 15 is an awesome time to chase these fish with almost any small streamer or medium sized popper. This is an incredible time to be on the water! Take a four weight and a handful of flies and explore the slower and woody pocket water. There are very few anglers and lots of happy smallmouth!

Carp Alley:

This is really fun and the next four weeks is prime time. They are currently in the tribs in great numbers and are an awesome game fish! Take a seven weight, some 2x fluorocarbon and a few weighted black wooly buggers or cray fish colored lead eyed buggers with rubber legs and cast to tailing carp that weigh between 10 and 20 pounds. These are smart and challenging fish that eat flies and fight like crazy.

Presque Isle:

This is an awesome fishery and well worth a trip or two each year. Look for a south wind and a couple of warm days, grab any fly rod and some clousers or white minnow patterns and enjoy. This fishery should be prime starting about May 15 and is usually great until at least June 15. Take a day and explore the bays of Presque isle. There are smallmouth, carp, pike and musky. You never know what you are going to catch, but you are most likely going to catch some really fun fish in a really beautiful place!

 

Trout:

Ohio:

The Mad and Clear are fishing well! The Hendrickson’s are winding down and we are starting to see some Sulphurs, March Browns and Caddis. If you cannot get them to rise, try a dropper green caddis, Pheasant Tail or any small bead headed nymph. They are eating! Also, the streamer bite is still solid. This is a great way to move some big fish!

Pa:

The fishing is great. However, the conditions are a bit low and clear so stealth has been important. Try some 6x fluorocarbon if you are getting refusals. Stick with the caddis and March Brown patterns. There are so many creeks and so many fish within an easy driving distance that you should leave now!

MI:

The steelhead fishing is winding down but the trout fishing is gearing up. There are certainly still catchable numbers of steelhead in many of the rivers so catch them while you can!

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The trout fishing got off to a slow start but this week brought epic Hendrickson emergers and spinner falls. As always, the trick was being at the right place and at the right time. However, when you guessed correctly and the weather cooperated, the results were awesome. It is unbelievable how one day these rivers seem like a sterile ditch and the next day there are fish feeding everywhere. The Hennies should last through this weekend and the Caddis, Mahoganies and Sulphurs should start in force. When in doubt, blind cast a big stone fly during the day or skate a mouse in the PM. Some of these brown trout are scary big!

 
May 4th, 2015
Scott Smith , May 04, 2015

Steelhead Alley:

The steelhead fishing has been absolutely incredible! Life is awesome when you can wet wade for steelhead-go now! There are a mix of new and drop back fish throughout each system.

The challenge is that all of the creeks are low and clear. If you have a choice, focus on the Grand and Conneaut. If not, fish anywhere!

The reality is that we need rain to keep this season going. So, fish this week if you can! They are literally eating anything that is presented reasonably well.

Interestingly, the smallmouth migration seems to have stalled. A little rain should change this pattern-but there is not much in the forecast. They are coming soon!

Mad River/Clear Fork

These rivers are fishing very well. The bugs are popping and the fish are looking up!

Pa Trout:

These streams have been fishing very well! Go now.

MI:

Transition time.

The steelhead season is winding down. This may be the last week of reasonable steelhead fishing.

The great news is that the Hendricksons are definitely popping off big time on the eastern rivers. The cold nights have kept the water temperatures at or below 55 degrees. This is the magic number for fish to actively feed on the surface. It should happen this week!

This is also historically Black Caddis week so be prepared. Your box needs Hendricksons, Black Caddis and Blue Winged Olives this week.

 
April 27th, 2015
Scott Smith , April 27, 2015

Steelhead Alley

This is a great time to fish the Cuyahoga, Grand, and Catt! Water conditions are awesome, fish numbers are spectacular and it is so fun to explore these bigger tribs. Take advantage of the big water when you can!

The Rocky, Vermillion, Black, Chagrin, Ashtabula, Conneaut, Elk and Mile Creeks are getting low and clear. The fish are spooky after a great weekend of fishing. There are more post spawn fish than spawners or pre-spawn fish and the fish are definitely starting to drop back and the sucker population is peaking.

These drop backs provide some of the best fishing of the year. They are tired and hungry and are happy to eat a fly or swinging pattern.

Keep an eye out for the Bronze backs! May and June will be spectacular smallmouth fishing and they are already holding and staging in the lower sections of the creeks and rivers.

Ohio Trout:

The Clear Fork and Mad River are in great shape. The colder weather has slowed the BWO’s and Hendrickson’s and the trout are just not looking up yet. That will change quickly so be ready for those first warmer afternoons! In the meantime, the nymph and streamer bite has been awesome.

Pennsylvania Trout:

It was a great opening week so keep fishing! Dry flies, nymphs, emergers, soft hackles, and streamers are all the rage. Go and enjoy. What a great resource that is so close and accessible with both awesome numbers of native and stocked fish and great hatches.

Michigan Steelhead and Trout:

The steelhead are just peaking which is about a week to 10 days later than normal. The brutal winter has definitely extended the migratory fishing season.

Conversely, the long and cold winter has slowed the Hendrickson emergence and trout fishing in general. The water is still cold and the dry fly fishing is off to a slow start. Do not let that stop you-the entire fishery should come to life later this week! Go soon!

 
April 22nd, 2015
Scott Smith , April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

The steelhead fishing is absolutely incredible! Go as soon and as often as possible.

PS-watch the gauges as there are numerous little micro storms predicted this week. However, as of now, the fishing looks incredible all week!


 

Every trib is in great shape and holding great numbers of fish from bright chrome jacks to dark hold overs, in all types of water, in every stage of their annual journey, and throughout the length of every system. Even the Grand and “hoga” should fish this week.

Water temperatures are perfect and the forecast predicts great Steelheading well into May!

 
April 20th, 2015
Scott Smith, April 20, 2015

The Back Packers Shop Fishing Report

Keep fishing! There are lots of big, bright, beautiful and aggressive steelhead everywhere. New fish are coming in, other fish are staging, some fish are on the gravel, and others are dropping back. They are in every ditch and trib they can get to and people are successfully catching these fish using every method possible. What an awesome time and place to be a steelheader!

Go shoot a turkey in the AM, catch a bunch of steelhead mid-day and then toss a streamer in the lower stretches for the first smallmouth of the year. How great is that!

The Vermillion, Rocky and Elk are all fishing really well! The levels remain good but be prepared for a little stain depending on where these little cloud bursts hit. Regardless, the fishing is outstanding and should remain great throughout the week. The sucker run is also in full swing and the smallmouth are sure to follow.

The Chagrin, Grand and Conneaut are all a bit high today but should fish well by Tuesday PM and be in great shape by Wednesday. There are an incredible number of fish in these tribs and the fishing should be awesome later in the week! Again, the suckers are plentiful and sucker spawn has been an awesome producer.

With a little luck, the Cat and maybe even the Cuyahoga should fish by late Thursday and Friday AM.

By all accounts, we should get another push of fresh fish and have outstanding fishing until mid- May. By then, you can catch tons of smallmouth on mid- size poppers until about the Fourth of July.

Another nine weeks of great fun in our very own rivers and streams!

 
April 17, 2015
Scott Smith , April 17, 2015

Fish now or forever hold your peace!!!!

 

Steelhead Alley:

Temperature, turbidity, lunar phase, cfs, forecast and the migration stage are perfect and it’s a Friday!

Fish now! Fish Saturday! Fish Sunday! Who knows? With rain in the forecast for Sunday PM, Monday may be a blow out.

It does not get any better than the next couple of days. Everything will fish (except maybe the “hoga”) and I would even swing the Grand starting this PM.

MI Steelhead:

Fish now!

 

TROUT

Ohio:

Go fish the Mad, Clear Fork and Apple-they are all perfect and the bugs are coming to life!

PA:

Have a great opener! Weather, conditions and hungry trout will make for a great weekend!

MI:

They are just starting to look up but the streamer bite is fairly solid.

 

Presque Isle:

There are pike around-go play! Bring a kayak and explore-so fun! The smallies are coming soon!

 

Small Mouth:

There are an inordinate number of suckers in the tribs and the smallies will follow soon! This is the most overlooked fishing opportunity in Ohio. Nothing like a four weight, a hand full of poppers and hundreds angry and hungry smallmouth that crush the top water flies. Even better, hardly anybody knows we have a huge run of smallmouth and there is literally nobody else on the rivers.

 
April 15, 2015
Scott Smith , April 15, 2015

File your returns and go fishing!

 

So many fish and so little time!

Steelhead Alley:

The East Branch of the Rocky, Black, Ashtabula, Conneaut and Mile Creeks are fishing well and conditions are great today. The Conneaut has an excellent number of fish throughout the system!

The Vermillion, Rocky and Chagrin are slightly high and stained but should be fishable late this afternoon and ideal Thursday. There are lots of fish in these rivers!

The Cuyahoga, Grand and Cat are out until at least Friday. However, the feeder creeks to these larger streams are loaded with fish!

Get out there and fish this afternoon and Thursday. With rain predicted for Thursday, who knows what the conditions will be this weekend.

MI: The West Side Rivers are fishing well with a new push of fish coming in on this high water. This should be a great a great few days in the great state of Michigan!

Trout

Ohio:

Apple, Clear Fork and Mad River are fishing well. The Hendrickons have just started to pop and the fish are looking up! Dry fly season-love it!

Pa:

Enjoy the opener! It should be awesome.

MI:

The streamer bite is on and the Hendrickson’s should start next week. What a great hatch! They hatch from 2-4:30 PM regardless of the weather and the fish love them! Then, start looking for epic spinner falls the first week of May with big fish going crazy all before 9:00 PM. This is the only bug that allows you to catch big browns on a dry fly and get a respectable night’s sleep-that is awesome!

 

Presque Isle:

Go catch a few pike in any of the bays and creeks! Bring a kayak and spend the day! It is sooo fun!

 
April 14th, 2015
Scott Smith, April 14, 2015

That weather system caught just enough of Steelhead Alley to blow out our tribs. They are high and muddy. Stay home today!

The only major trib that is currently fishable is the Conneaut. However, this river spikes a little later than the others due to the large drainage area. Therefore, if history repeats itself, this river will blow later today.

The Ashtabula, Black and Vermillion should be fishable by tomorrow. The Rocky and Chagrin may be fishable by tomorrow afternoon and certainly by Thursday.

The Grand may be fishable by Friday as long as the anticipated Thursday rain is light.

Sometimes these windows of fishable conditions are really short! This past Sunday fished fairly well and Monday was unbelievable in certain sections of the rivers and awful in other sections. And, then we got hit just enough to ruin a perfectly planned tax relief fishing day!

Stay tuned.

 
April 12th, 2015
Scott Smith, April 12, 2015

The Vermillion, Rocky, Chagrin, Conneaut, Elk, Walnut and Mile Creeks will fish well today!

Go now! This is the best window for fishing of the year!

The fish are here, the weather is beautiful, the conditions are great and most fisherman will think the rivers are still blown out and will stay home.

The Vermillion, Rocky, Chagrin, and Conneaut are all at about 500 cfs and average clarity at the moment. However, they are fishable now, clearing very fast and should be ideal by this afternoon and tomorrow.

The higher flows and darker conditions are a blessing with the high and bright sun! Embrace the adversity and use it to your advantage. Low and clear conditions are coming fast and they are much more challenging.

These tribs should all fish well for the next three to four days and the larger tribs should be fishable by Wednesday.

Carpe Diem!

 
April 10th, 2015
Scott Smith, April 10, 2015

Steelhead:

The rivers are a mess!

The fish are spawning and having a great time in the mud. The fisherman are frustrated!

Consider all rivers and streams unfishable through the weekend.

The great news is that you will not miss any fishing opportunities while attending Castapalooza. Go see Jeff Liskay, Jerry Darkes, Greg Senyo and a host of fly fishing experts at this fifth annual fly fishing extravaganza. This event is from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Saturday on the Grand River at Lake Metroparks Hidden Valley Reservation. Just take Route 528 South off I-90 and follow the signs.

The specifics:

The Vermillion, Black, Rocky, Chagrin, Ashtabula, Grand and Conneaut are blown out through the weekend.

The Elk, Walnut and Mile Creeks may be fishable Saturday but the fish numbers are low.

The Cat is blown for a week.

 

Ohio Trout:

Clear Fork and Mad are blown out through the weekend.

Look for BWO and Hendricksons when the water clears!

 

Michigan:

The steelhead fishing has been excellent and the water conditions are very good.

Trout season is very close and look for size 18 BWO’s and the first rising fish early next week. Then the Hendrickson’s will start to usher in the awesome dry fly season!

 
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