Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Time to go fishing and other stuff

I won't give everything away because next Friday marks the restart of the weekly fishing report in the paper.

But now that you ask, the fish are beginning to bite.

In spite of the recent low water conditions, steelhead are still being caught in the Ashtabula River and Conneaut Creek though the Grand River's tributaries are pretty much too low for decent angling.

The best news is that the Grand River is fishable. Or was, until today's (Wednesday's) rains will bring the rivers up again. Hopefully that will lead to a new slug of fish entering the streams.

And while on the subject of the Grand River, Mentor resident Bob Ashley fished it Monday for steelhead but also caught a 30-inch, 9-pound female walleye. He used a Kwickfish crankabit.

One of the lingering questions is why the lower Chagrin River has seen such poor steelheading of late. No one seems to have much of an answer though these rains may bring some fish into the river's lower reaches.

Word is that the walleye bite is going well around the Western Basin's reef complex with the smaller males up on the refs while the larger females are just off of them.

I also want to tell a tale of my fishing the Ashtabula River on Tuesday.

I foul-hooked a nice steelhead, sticking the fly into the fish's tail.

When I "popped" the rod to pull out the lure, the affair came zinging back with the split shot punching my glasses.

Alas, the fly embedded itself into my cheek near the left ear. I could feel the barb in the flesh.

Not wanting to quit to find an emergency room I instead had fishing companion Paul Liikala of Cuyahoga Falls take his fishing plyers to the hook, locating the entry point. Then I told him to pull quickly.

The Otter egg fly popped out without much of a bite, though blood poured out until it was bandaged up.

The thing is, if I had waited several minutes the extraction would have been much more painful. When a hook first goes in the skin and flesh are pretty numb and it's best to "git 'er done" as rapidly as possible.

Oh, yes, I immediately went back to fishing and caught a few more trout. No point wasting a good day on the water though my wife, Bev, was none too happy.

- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn

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