Mad River Fishing Report 12/18/13

Posted On: December 19, 2013 BY Delamere

          Yesterday Nick and I headed north to the Mad River to do some trout fishing. The temperatures stayed very low all day. Our guides never melted all day, we were constantly picking ice out of them all day. The river was in pretty good condition. It was running a little clear but the flows were great. The USGS station at Urbana was registering flows at 123 cfs. The sun was out all day and the winds stayed down for most of the day too. All in all, we had a pretty good day.

Mad River gold

          Throughout the whole day I caught six fish while Nick caught one. During the early morning hours we focused heavily on stripping big streamers on sink tips. The Mad has tons of fallen trees which make perfect homes for big trout. We were casting as close to the trees as possible. As soon as the fly hit the water we started stripping. While performing this technique, it is inevitable that flies will be lost from either casting “too close” to the tree or snagging one of its submerged branches. Don’t give up because of this. It is all part of the game, and I can promise that the rewards are worth it. Take plenty of streamers and a spool of 8-10 lb saltwater fluorocarbon tippet material.
          As the day started to warm up we temporarily put down the streamer rods and set up our 10′ 4 wts for nymphing. This produced the most fish yesterday, 5 in total. In cold weather and water, fish will hold in the deepest parts of runs and pools. Using heavy nymphs and lots of shot is a necessity in these conditions. While fishing these deep runs, if your indicator hasn’t shown signs of your flies hitting bottom in ten casts, increase the depth of the rig. Repeat until your flies start bottom bouncing right ion front of the fish. The top producing nymphs yesterday were the Hares Ear and red Copper John. With the water being as clear as it is, 5X or 6X fluorocarbon tippet is a must.

Took my red Copper John
          Later in the day we moved to a new spot. At this spot there was a big tree trunk: half in and half out of the water. It was sitting in about four feet of dead calm water. With the clarity being very good, I could easily see the bottom. Since nymphs couldn’t be drifted through this hole, I busted out the streamer rod with my trusty olive Zuddler variation. I cast right up tight to the trunk and made one strip, and out came a 20″ female brown who then watched the streamer. I suddenly started stripping faster, hoping to provoke an instinctual, predatory attack as the “food” was getting away. Sure enough I watched her chase down the streamer and then finally she inhaled it. I set the hook, she jumped, and the fight was on. She came to the net for a couple pictures and then I sent her back to her hole. She read the textbooks: she where she was supposed to be and acted as I predicted given the conditions. What a last fish of the day!
Streamer Lover
Right now I have been having great luck winter fishing both on the Mad and over at Brookville. Come in for some flies, tips, or a even guide trip for either of them. Good Luck!
Tight Lines, 
Alexander Helmicki



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