A special magic attends the art of fooling a trout with an artificial fly laid down just right on a cold, clear stream, and while Ohio is not exactly prime trout country, several programs at the Castalia State Fish Hatchery property in Erie County might make your day this spring or summer.
That is because the Ohio Division of Wildlife again is offering limited opportunities through lotteries for adult and youth anglers to experience a day of trout fishing on the famous Cold Creek, a half-mile of which runs through the hatchery grounds.
The hatchery annually raises more than 400,000 rainbow trout for stocking in Lake Erie as steelhead, but some additional production is used for the lottery fishing program and for put-and-take inland trout stockings.
Three entry deadlines have been set March 1, April 1, and May 1, depending on the program. Here are the details:
March 1 entry deadline: This is for fly fishing during one of two seasons for adults, April 3 through June 3 and Aug. 22 through Oct. 28, and a season for youths age 16 and under, June 6 through Aug. 19.
An application form may be downloaded from the state Web site, www.ohiodnr.com, and must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $3 entry fee. Postcards no longer will be accepted for this particular program. Mail the completed form and fee to: Castalia Trout Fishing, c/o Ohio Division of Wildlife, 2045 Morse Rd., G-1, Columbus, OH 43229. Successful applicants will be notified by mail about fishing dates.
Individuals selected may bring along two adults and three youths for a total of six in a party. The daily limit will be five trout per angler, and catch-and-release fishing will not be allowed. Sessions will run from 7 a.m. to noon. Anglers 16 and older must have a valid fishing license.
April 1 deadline: This is for a series of clinics to instruct young anglers interested in learning to fly fish. In all 135 slots are available, with morning and afternoon sessions April 29 to June 3.
In addition to instruction, participants will be allowed fishing time as well. Instructors from the wildlife division and Trout Unlimited will offer sessions 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. on April 29, May 6, 13, and 20, and June 3.
To apply submit a postcard with the youth s name, address, and telephone number. A successful youth applicant may bring a youth or adult fishing guest, but the prospective guest s name must be listed on the postcard application. Only one application is allowed per angler. Mail the postcards to Linda Keesecker, Ohio Wildlife District 2, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, OH 45840.
Successful applicants will be notified of assigned time and date. Permits are not transferable. For other details call Kee-secker at District 2 headquarters, 419-424-5000.
May 1 deadline: This is for another youth-only clinic, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 10 only. Fifteen slots are available. Participants will receive instructions, will be allotted fishing time on the creek, and will be allowed to take home a fly rod and reel outfit provided by the Clear Fork Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
To apply young anglers should submit a postcard listing name, age, address, and telephone number. Each applicant must be age 15 or under by the date of the clinic, and each must be accompanied by a nonfishing adult. Only one application is allowed per angler. Mail postcards to Youth Fly Fishing Clinic, Ohio Division of Wildlife, 952 Lima Ave., Findlay, OH 45840.
Last and not least, a select group of 32 anglers aged 14 to 17 will be selected to attend the Rivers Conservation Fly Fishing Youth Camp June 19 to 24 at Allenberry Resort in Boiling Springs, Pa.
The camp was founded in 1995 to teach highly motivated youths about clean water, water resources, and fly fishing/tying.
Applicants must have been born between June 24, 1987, and June 19, 1991. In the application process, a youth must write an essay on why he or she wants to attend camp and provide a reference from a science teacher or guidance counselor.
Applications must be postmarked no later than March 15. Camp cost is $275, including meals and accommodations.
For other details and an application brochure, write the Rivers Conservation and Fly Fishing Youth Camp, P.O. Box 71, Boiling Springs, PA 17007. Or visit the camp Web site, www.riverscamp.com.
An Ohio record saugeye weighing 14.04 pounds has been certified by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, keeper of official state record fish in a cooperative program with the ODW.
The record saugeye, 301/8 inches long, was taken from Antrim Lake in Franklin County by Roger Sizemore of Orient, Ohio. Sizemore took the fish on a spinning tackle with six-pound-test line about 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 24, using a yellow Berkley Power Bait.
The saugeye is a hybrid of a sauger and a walleye and is stocked in many inland lakes and some streams by the state. Antrim Lake was never stocked with saugeye, however, so some mystery remains about how the fish gained access.
Steve Graham, fisheries supervisor for Wildlife District 1 in central Ohio, suspects the big saugeye may have entered via a pipe that once connected the lake with the Olentangy River, which contains the hybrids. Or the fish was caught elsewhere, then released into the lake.
The record supplants a 12.84-pound saugeye taken from Alum Creek Lake in 2002.
For details on the OWO record fish program contact Tom Cross, chairman, OWO State Record Fish Committee, 1497 Cross Rd., Winchester, OH 45697, or call Cross at 937-386-2752.
Joseph Barnett III of Bowling Green continues to add his name to records kept by the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wis.
The organization recently certified two white crappie rod-and-reel records submitted by Barnett, who has been filling in NFFHF line-class and catch-and-release records for years.
On Oct. 17 he took a 16-inch white crappie on four-pound-test line from a pond at Bowling Green State University. Next day he took a 15-inch white crappie on eight-pound-test line from the same pond.
For more information on the record program, contact the NFFHF at P.O. Box 690, Hayward, WI 54843, or call 715-634-4440.