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Big trout on Mad River

Discussion in 'Fish on the Fly' started by jamie329, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Lets hear about your big trout stories on the mad river. Lots of bragging aloud. LOL
    Chase Mamer likes this.
  2. My biggest trout ever came out of the mad. It was the best looking rainbow I have ever caught. I know that rainbows have not been stocked in the mad for years so that just shows how long it has been in there. The fish was not that long only a little over 19" but it was a football fish. You know the type, as big as a football in the middle. I have caught them longer but nothing that even comes close to the girth on this fish.

  3. Cool, I caught a 21 and a half incher on the mad, brown trout, but he was the same way, a football fish. On my 4 wt rod, lots of fun!!!!!!!!
  4. OK< I usually keep my trap quiet about the mad but I must admit, if you want to triple the pressure on the Mad, and have all the "wrong" types of anglers out there keeping every trout they catch, then the easiest way would be to put up a bunch of huge fish stories and pictures to follow up with.

    Yes, there are a few nice trout on the Mad and according to the last stream survey the ODNR did in 1994, approximatey 100 trout per mile over 9" and you might figure maybe, 1% or 1 per mile that might be over 18", thats not many, now the fishery is fishing a little better since 1994 thanks to Trout Unlimited adding habitat and pressure by several groups to stock a few more trout but putting visions of lots of huge fish on the mad is really gonna let someone down when they catch 100 fish and the biggest one is 13" (which is more of reality then most think) Im not against talking about great fish stories but when I see over 500 views on some of the past Mad River posts, I get mighty nervous someone will post a "where to" and that will be all she wrote.
    So I kindly remind you to be very careful what you post here and remember, this may be family, but like all families, there are a few bad eggs in every batch!

    With that said, over 12 years of fishing and guiding,and over 1000 days on the Mad (seriously) I have taken or guided 6 better then 18". Yes, they are there and if you want them to still be there, then you better release them all very carefully and not tell anyone where they are at. ;)

    For anyone who is interested, the statewide limit on inland stream trout is 2 fish a day, must be over 12"

  5. Thank you for your input Salmonid
  6. Great post Salmonid. Thanks for the info about the numbers of fish. I never thought about posting the average length of the fish I caught in a day on the mad. Lets see; all the small ones to one over 15" hmmmmm this changes how most would look at this river. Yes anyone can have a great day, and I have even had a few but I would say that my average is near to 11" on this stream. Now with a fly rod this changes everything. I might only catch five trout in a hole day and they would not be large by anymeans. Never claimed to be any good at fly fishing just love doing it. The mad is a good little hole but it will only stay that way if we release some of the fish.
    Have a good hook set.
    HappySnag likes this.
  7. I'll tell you the smallest one I caught was between 2 and 3 inches. It was a little brown trout. This was about 4 yrs. ago it was caught on a small nymph. Couldn't belive it at first it was put back to grow up to be one of the big boys someday. Later Matt
  8. Man that beats my best of only 3 3/4" native caught down in WV.
  9. My best trout so far in Ohio was a 17.5 inch I took just upstream of 36. Sorry to say it was on a spinner. None of my fly-caught trout have been even close to this one.
  10. still you can't complain
  11. Salmonid,
    Do you think it would keep the pressure down and improve the fishery if the ODNR made the Mad flyfishing only? Say from 36 on up? People might not be as quick to jump on it if they didn't have fly gear or weren't that confident with it. I'd still fish it anyway, even though I've never been that good with flies for trout. A bad day fishing still beats a good day at work, and all that. But, do you think that would help? Do you think the ODNR would go for it?
  12. Gulfvet and others.
    We have been around and round with DNR about inland trout regs and the such and the present regs ( 2 fish over 12") is where the compromise ended up and we were pretty happy about that. ( compared to other states)

    Anyways, with the limited amount of "troutable" water available in Ohio, the DNR is not interested in giving a few miles to the Fly guys, first it would seem discriminatory to others who for eons, fished that water and could no longer. Second,with only less then 50 total trout water miles in the state and many of them are questionable ( clear creek and Clear Fork) to give say 5 miles of water to the fly guys ( 10%) is a whole lot when numbers show that the fly guys do not make up 10% of the states fishermen.
    Lastly and most importantly, is that if the state gave us 1 mile of water, what do you think would happen?? thats right, every fly guy would beat that stretch to pieces and overuse the single mile and there wouldnt be any trout left to catch. Remember there is a 10% mortality from flies, which means if you catch and release that fish 10 times, no matter how careful you are, that fish is a goner. That 1 mile stretch would be empty from catch and release anglers catching and releasing them to death..

    Now,we can prove this theory because once we ( DNR and Trout Unlimited) put in 1/3 of a miles worth of habitat at St Rt 36, pressure increased 6 fold by our estimates and even though our samples went from 1- 9" fish pre structure to electroshock numbers afterwards of between 80-125 after the habitat was put in, most anglers still couldnt catch any fish there and all complained to us about it. Now, add this to really confuse you, before structure, fish held in wide open deep troughs where you could camp out and slowly catch all 10 trout in a single run, but once structures are in, those same 10 fish ( plus more usually) are still there but mostly tucked into the structure hiding and now only 1-2 are actively feeding, so in the old days you got all 10, now you get 1-2 and you figure their are less fish there but in reality, there are way more, just being more selective in there eating habits and now, when you catch one, chances are better that you wont catch the same ones over and over again, but you are now spreading out the catch rate over more fish thus adding more biomass to the area but ultimately giving you worse fishing results, does that make sense?? Fish management is a tricky game and contrary to personal beliefs, the DNR does know what they are doing and sometimes the obvious solution is the worst thing that you could do. food for thought, chew on that for a while and either swallow it or spit it out. :)

    Keep the ideas coming...Ill gladly explain the pros and cons of many trout ideas (CNR, Barb Vs No Barb, Trout Stamps,etc)

    PS I even got a few from the Mad yesterday in the chocolate milk!!
    ejsell and TheCream like this.
  13. It looks like these posts were from awhile ago, but let's see who's still keeping up with all the monsters now a days?? :)
    As noted before, I don't like to share exact details of how/where/when to catch the monsters but as a a shared passion for catching trout, I'll say the mad river is an amazing place to trout fish once you put the time into it and find where/what you need to do.
    My personal biggest is 24-1/2 inch brown. I netted a 23-1/2 inch brown my fishing buddy caught the year prior to. I honestly believe there are a number of fish with size in the mad. We've hauled in several fish between 18-21 inches with the minimum being 16 inches. A family friend showed us a picture of a 28 inch he caught (I was baffled)
    Without a doubt, the hardest part is weeding thru the smaller fish/chubs and being there at the right time. I have personally found that using the water level finder on google to be extremely helpful. Early on, id just fish whenever I had time and it was nice out. Now, I make time when I see the river on its way down from rain with murkiness. This is when the big boys have consistently come out to play for me. I refuse to say what I use and where I go, bc I am a firm believer that's the hardest part to figure out and it took me years to do it. My biggest piece of advise is to scout out the river. Take a kayak down. Sometimes the bigger ones are harder to find bc they are away from all the small ones and away from pressured areas.
    Everyone knows Urbana area has a lot of trout, but don't be afraid to explore different sections than your typical 55 bridge or 36 (all great spots but pressured)
    If you don't have a ton of energy or a kayak to explore, I suggest going when the river is going down from a big rain and bridge hopping. It's a convenient way to try multiple deep holes, fast. Or walk to the first bend as the mad seems to hold nice fish in areas as such.
    My last piece of advise is to be patient!! It is truley all about presentation. We've made hundred of casts on spots only to get hammered on the next cast because we were at a different angle. Cast farther up stream, and let it roll more naturally, other times, cast it just in front of the Eddie or break. If you are using a spinning rod, let your lure or bait get to the bottom and don't be afraid to lose hooks, it's going to happen.
    I think it's awesome that there's such an amazing river in this part of Ohio! Good luck guys!! Hopefully the fish gods are with you :)
    rickerd, HappySnag and Salmonid like this.
  14. Ain't never been no big fish in that river.
    I could probably look up through some old notes and show total numbers of fish I have landed or netted for friends over the years, it's a couple. But that's boring

    However the population goes through cycles, and it's currently coming out of a several year down cycle for size, numbers are good though. As salmonid said, put up too many pictures or give away locations on where the big fish hold and they leave on ropes. After what I have seen over the years I believe that's part of why we have been in a down cycle on big fish there.
    ejsell and Salmonid like this.
  15. ChromeBone

    ChromeBone #PimpMyBucket

    I have a nice long stretch that, unless your kayaking im pretty sure nobody fishes because I walk around a mile upstream in the current to get to it. Every single time I go I at least get one fish over 16". Last time I was there a rainbow that was bigger then most steelhead I have caught up near PA swam up to my leg fallowing my bugger. Must be trout club escape fish. Anyhow my personal best was the second time I ever fished the Mad and found this area of the stream. I got a 24" brown.

    I dont fish the Mad as much since my car got broken into 3 years ago. I took my wife to my "money spot" last year and she got her first brown and it was an 18" I watch 3 other very nice fish fight over her presentation it was glorious lol...

    Rule of thumb look at the trees around the stream.. Whats walking around on those is probably a good bet to what you should be using... It will surprise you how big fish will eat something so small :)... hint of the day..
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    rickerd likes this.
  16. Ipack

    Ipack Formally Flymaker

    Ive caught my share of nicer fish on the Mad , But I prefer to keep my trap shut . Ive been fishing that river 30yrs ....Its a gem in this state , its a good river not a great river . I needs to be treated like the gem that it is ....tread lightly , handle the fish as little as possible or not at all . I try never to touch the fish ....Once in my net , the barbless hook removes very easily with hemo's and I just lower the net so the fish can swim out . Another thing I don't do is fish them in the summer when the water is warm ....plenty other fish to chase else where .
    ChromeBone likes this.