A view of the Chagrin River from one of Lake Metroparks wooden overlooks at Chagrin River Park less than one hour ago saw a handful of anglers.
However, only one or two looked serious enough to be judged a dedicated steelheader. The rest were wading wet, shirtless and holding spinning better suited for perch or bass than steelhead trout.
Not surprising that the stretch was barren of serious steelheaders. The overlook also offers a perfect vantage point for gazing down on migrating trout. But in 10 or 15 minutes of watching I didn't see any steelhead go up or down the stream.
And when a park ranger came riding up on his bicycle he also noted the lack of fish. In fact, he said, the numbers of fish moving around the streams at all of Lake Metroparks holdings has been very slim this year.
It wasn't much better Wednesday and Thursday for an annual get-together of outdoor writers called the Lake County Steelhead Fish Camp. From the Chagrin River to the Grand River to the Ashtabula River the word on the street (or stream) was the lack of trout.
Haven't heard much either from the Rocky or Vermilion rivers for that matter.
Now walley are a different story. Steve Pollick - the outdoor writer for the Blade in Toldedo - said at the Fish Camp how good the walleye fishing's been off Crane Creek in 10 to 12 feet of water. The fishermen are catching limits of male walleye in a short hurry there along with those anglers casting crankbaits off the reefs, Pollick said.
What's more, with the hot, dry weather in store for this Easter holiday weekend the Maumee (and to a lesser extent, the Sandusky River) should experience excellent jig fishing not only for walleye but for white bass as well, Pollick said.
I guess the fishing is starting to gain a good head of steam. Unless, of course, it happens to involve stream-run spawning steelhead trout. In that case the engine never did crank over.
- Jeffrey L. Frischkorn