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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mainly being a trout fisherman, I don't normally fish around town. Anyone know of any good streams in Central Ohio that are wadeable and that hold a good number of fish? Any advice is appreciated.

Tight Lines
 

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There are quite a few around Columbus: Olentangy, Scioto, and the Darby. I'm sure they could also be found in stretches of the Big Walnut and Alum Creek if you are willing to invest some time.

The Ohio trout waters would be a good bet as well. Clear Fork has good smallmouth fishing as does the lower stretch of the Mad - I believe it was home to a previous state record.
 

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TSM, I hear ya buddy. I'm also a tried and true trout angler that is turning warm water. I have heard that the 'Tangy used to be one of the midwest/east's best smallie rivres. I don't know why people say used to be, maybe someone out there has a good explanantion why it used to be and isn't any more. My real question though, is like you asked--which ones are wadeable. I'm sure that most of em are in spots, but with the water always being muddy, how do you know where to wade? Even with a wading staff you're taking a mighty risk if you've never fished there and can't see anything in the water. Living in Delaware Co. I've wanted to fish the Olentangy since I moved here, but I don't ever see anyone fishng it anywhere. I just don't know where to go, or if it is even worth it. :confused: Good question, good thread!
 

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Define wadeable.

I fish the Olentangy, often wading. Does that mean I can wade across at most any point or up and down the whole stretch? No. Mid-Summer and Fall, it is quite wadeable. Not so much now.

I'd say good starting points are in the Northern stretch along Highbanks (park at Highbanks) and maybe in places near Antrim (park at Antrim, walk to the far East side of Antrim lake, and follow the trails through the woods to the river).

Those are starters.
 

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I have heard that the 'Tangy used to be one of the midwest/east's best smallie rivres. I don't know why people say used to be..... My real question though, is like you asked--which ones are wadeable. QUOTE]

The Scioto, Walnut, Olentangy and Alum are wadeable everywhere that I've tried to fish them. Same goes for the Mad and Clear Fork. In most of these rivers, as long as you're away from a dam of any sort and not fishing during spring high water, deep water is anything over your waist and there is little FAST water. By all means take precautions, but these waters -aside from spring floods - are pretty tame.

I had a neighbor that said he used to routinely catch 3+ lb. smallies out of the Olentangy in the 30s, 40s, 50s give or take a couple decades. He blamed the drop in fishing quality on the creation of Delaware Lake. There's been a fair amount of bed loading and the spring discharge may disrupt spawning grounds. Pollution has been an issue as well.
 

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The tangy fishes from the dam to Henderson Rd. in Clintonville. Below that it becomes mostly mud bottomed. I have waded from Henderson to about a mile north of 270. I'm going to explore farther north this year, including the stretch just below Panhandle Rd. in Delaware. It's supposed to be a good spot.
I have caught LM, SM, Cats, Carp, Crappie, Rockies, and 'Gills. Only the Carp have been big, but I have had 50 fish days.
There is a book circa 1935 that lists the tangy as "one of the premier Black Bass waters in the Midwest." Add the reservoir, the roller dams (which will be removed), and the pollution (at one time Delaware City was dumping literally raw sewage into the river) and you end up with a stream that is only now starting to make a comeback. Thank you F.L.O.W. and other groups.
 

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Thanks for all the replies and the directions! I guess the Tangy just looks deeper than crap. I define wadeable as something that I can comfortably stand and fish in. Actually last week the water was VERY low along 23. They must've had the dam closed for some reason. Back to the original question though (didn't mean to hijack!!) are there other smallie streams in Central Ohio?
 

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I think the major players have all been listed, at least I haven't come across any small creek gems in the last 10 years.

People are VERY tight lipped regarding good smallie waters, similiar to the trout streams back west I imagine.

Maybe I am just "lucky" but everytime I go near the Olentangy, it sems to be roaring along, muddy as heck and a little to deep for my wading comfort as well...going to try and get in a few times again this year.

Big Walnut also has some fish all along its run but the deeper holes are tough to find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
WOW! I could have written a chapter in a book with all that - thanks for all the insight, it's appreciated. I'll be sure to post if I find a good spot, but it always seems like my camera is bad luck sometimes. Thanks again
 
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