Fishing a nymph ( a small fly imitating caddis larva) below an indicator ( a small floating orb, acting as a float to keep the nymph floating in the river, off the bottom), the river’s flow does much of the work. As the current garbs the fly it floats rapidly down stream, the strike ( fish attacking the fly) often comes just as the line tightens and the nymph begins to swing across the current. With a dip of the orange float and a set of the hook, the river explodes into action. Fish on, silver slashes, tail walking steelhead fight for freedom and then, just in time, our guide Dan steps in with the net to secure the fish safely for a quick release.
When I first called Bando to discuss a walleye trip he laughed at the other end of the line.
In Northeastern Ohio, he responded I fish for steelhead, “walleye are in the lake but I like the action on the river”. He went on to explain that the steelhead run starts in late fall and they’re in the rivers all winter, but the best time to visit is in April and early May, that’s when the rivers are full of big fish moving to and from the spawning beds then heading back to the lake. While they don’t eat during the spawning run up river they are quick to hit anything that might be interfering with the spawning beds, especially the aggressive 3 and 4 year old males.