Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hunting for Steelies on the Ottawa

So, there was an article in our local paper (found here for those who are interested. Great article!) regarding steelhead being in a local river, the Ottawa. This, mind you, is totally unheard of. Why? Because the Ottawa is nasty, cloudy, and full of trash. So, what did I do? I went to find out if there were any way I could catch something!

I packed all my gear and left my house around 10 AM on the 10th, which was a lot later than I wanted to. The guy who caught the steelhead in the article was on the University of Toledo's campus when he caught it. The Ottawa river runs through UT which provides, apparently, excellent fishing for bass and pike even. I drove everywhere. It was crazy. I found some area that was close to UT and parked on the side of the road out in the open, got my gear packed up, put my waders on, and started to hike to the river. It took me 5 minutes to get to the river itself but to my dismay, it was super shallow. Of course. I then thought that I could hike all the way to UT but after attempting to walk through the woods in my gear, I decided against it.

I found yet another park that was a lot closer to UT, about 1/4 of a mile yet it was quite a ways off. This particular section of the river was on a public golf course. Giant parking lot with no one save a man sitting smoking in his car, I quickly got my gear on and started to walk towards the river. I saw an even worse site: the river was so stagnant the water was frozen. I found an open spot under the bridge and started towards it. I saw a raccoon along my travels. Cute little thing. Maybe getting a drink, I don't know.


What most of the river looked like.

Small patch of water through the ice.
So, I finally got under the bridge where I wanted to be. I felt that this was a good time for me to test my new waders out! I took my backpack off and got into the water. To my surprise, it got very deep very fast! I was almost up to my waste in a matter of 4 steps! I was moving around testing them for a few minutes but that was the probably the extent of my excitement for the far. I got my stuff and got back to my car. As I was about to leave, a lady stopped with her husband and was asking if I caught any steelhead. I told her no and we chatted for a bit. I showed her some places where she could do a bit of spincast fishing for bass possibly.

I found out as I was talking to her and her husband that her husband fly fishes or ties flies or something. We started to chat about that and I gave them some of my egg-sucking leeches along with some egg patterns telling them to fish it with some lighter line. They were very grateful for that. We exchanged numbers and then parted ways.

Yes, it was a bad day for fishing especially since I couldn't get into UT but I got to test out my waders and I got to network with a local fisherman on top of doing a kind deed. Made me feel good. I guess that was better than nothing, right? As the summer draws near, so does my graduation and wedding. I guess I have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. HURRY UP SUMMER!

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