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Chompin’ at the Bit

Early Spring Trout Fly Fishing

Spring is in the air… longer and warmer days are here. And that means only one thing – the trout are getting more active and we have all been chomping at the bit to get out. Especially with this pandemic keeping us inside. And without a doubt, fly fishing for trout can be the perfect way to get away from it all – especially since you are outdoors and generally away from others – naturally social distancing. And please do be safe and follow the appropriate distancing and hygiene guidelines we all know about. Here in Ohio, water temps are creeping up, and aside from heavy spring downpours, water is clearing up. So, let’s get after those finned favorites. Join us at Briarwood Sporting Club, an Ohio trout fishing club, to discover our little slice of fishing heaven at this wonderful time of year. And to start you out, here are my favorite early Spring tips for trout… 

The fish are chillin

The water temperatures vary right now with some cooler nights and warmer days – and even different parts of the streams vary. As the water begins to consistently and slowly rise above 50F, we know the trout will be feeding. Regardless, for now try fishing deeper, and a bit more slowly until those temps reach above 50 consistently when we know we will see fish feeding closer to the surface. Try a strike indicator if you want to keep it off the bottom. At Briarwood Sporting Club right now, we are seeing water temps in the upper 40s to mid 50s in streams, lakes and ponds.

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Clouser Minnow

Go big with flash

With slower moving fish and a murky, colder home, throw something bigger and flashier. Give it a try! Start using different streamers, like bright clouser minnows, larger chartreuse buggers with some tinsel, and simply favorite flies outside your normal color range are worth a cast. If you usually throw something with a size 12 or 14 hook, go for size 10. Bottomline, get their attention. Last April, a buddy and I tried size 8 articulated streamers at Briarwood Sporting Club and we both caught very large Rainbows with just a few casts, and then a few Goldens. And I don’t know if it was the streamer, but boy did they fight!

trout-fishing-fly-lures-briarwood chartreuse-bugger

Wooly Bugger

Make it a double

If you don’t normally use a dropper, now is the perfect time. Two is better than one, especially if you want to get their attention. As a refresher, a dropper is a 18-24” piece of tippet tied off the shank of your first fly hook – in this case, try a wooly bugger, streamer, zonker, or a large leech beadhead. On the end of the tippet you tie a smaller fly – I like to try a WD-40, or of course a perfect fly for now, a black zebra midge. (The latter is a fly box must have – sizes 14-20.) Fish this combo slow and deep at first. With double the trouble, you can get their attention.

trout-fishing-fly-lures-briarwood black-zebra-midge

Black Zebra Midge

Fish outside the box

This is the hardest concept for me, and I would imagine you as well. Simply trying something different. Does it seem like you are always using the same flies and fishing in the same spots? Don’t get me wrong, you have your favorites for a reason. But trying new flies and new parts of the favorite stream has rewarded me, especially at slower times.

trout-fishing-fly-lures-briarwood WD-40

WD-40

And now some of those flies, like the WD-40, have become a favorite spring fly. Dig through your flybox and tie on something you bought for a reason some point in the past, you know, the one with cobwebs dangling?! Now is a great time to try something different and new for you. Also, try those areas which appear deeperthose out of the way and tougher to reach, or perhaps an area where our finned friends can lie in ambush.  

And…just…be…patient…

Don’t fish often bite when you are looking elsewhere, chatting with a buddy, texting a friend a pic of the last whopper, simply daydreaming, or sometimes when you are just slowly retrieving that fly from the water? Sometimes it pays to simply wait a bit especially with these conditions. Let the fish find your offering this time! 

 

 

Tight lines my friends ~ Drew 

 

Drew McCartt, a fly angler for nearly 30 years and a member at Briarwood for more than five serves as Director of Sporting Services at the private fishing club located in Bellefontaine, Ohio. 

To discover more about Briarwood Sporting Club visit our website, www.briarwoodclub.com,  or email  Drew at drew@briarwoodclub.com 

For over 40 years Briarwood Sporting Club has been a “slice of wilderness” in central Ohio, delivering a relaxed atmosphere of soothing freshwater amid breathtaking rolling hills, meadows, and timber. Four streams are home to some very impressive “wall ready” trout – including rainbows, brown, brook, golden, blue and calico. 
As a majestic and vast landscape, Briarwood abounds with plentiful Ohio trophy whitetails, lunker bass, slab panfish, and other finned favorites. Gorgeous hardwoods, pines, and meadows present a habitat that has plentiful food plots and wildlife openings.  
First-class lodging, 5-star service and food, a welcoming loafing lodge, and incredible and diverse wildlife viewing complete the perfect outdoor escape to create an unforgettable experience. 

Ohio Cabin and Lodge Rentals | Briarwood’s Serene Getaway

Ohio Cabin and Lodge Rentals at Briarwood Sporting Club

Let’s face It, cabin and lodge rentals are a dime a dozen, especially when you are searching online. Finding the right area and cabin or lodge can be a tough process. Some rentals may only offer a cabin and relaxing setting, they may not offer enough privacy or activities that are friendly to kids and families. If you’re close to Ohio, or simply looking for a great adventure, Briarwood Sporting Club might be that perfect getaway. A membership at Briarwood offers serene wilderness, secluded lodges, great fishing, and excellent scenery to make for a unique and enjoyable experience!

Relaxation and Plenty of Adventure

Read a book overlooking one of the many pristine lakes, keep warm in an expertly crafted fire pit hangout, or spend a quiet afternoon on the dock. Briarwood is the ideal setting for a remote and tranquil escape. It not only offers the amenities and setting your craving with a lodge or cabin rental, but supplies plenty of adventure for you and any loved ones tagging along.

 

Briarwood Sporting Club offers four rustic lakefront lodges to choose from. Each lodge is furnished with DirecTV, modern kitchens, massive stone fireplaces, a variety of recreational equipment, and a deck with outdoor grilling stations.

Become a Briarwood Member

Membership not only includes private access to one of four beautiful lodges, but also access to the Loafing Lodge, a tranquil getaway exclusively for fishing members. Click here find out more on fishing club memberships for Briarwood!

Plenty of Character

Pine Lake Lodge, Rainbow Lake Lodge, Briarwood Lake Lodge, and Trout Haven Lodge each offer their own unique feel. Take a look at a detailed description below, follow a link to follow a full gallery of images for each lodge!

Pine Lake Lodge 

Pine Lake lodge is the ideal setting for a big family. The lodge contains five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, and can sleep an outstanding 15 people! The lodge is nestled between giant pines, and has plenty of space to spread out around the lodge and the lakefront access. The lodge contains modern kitchen facilities, WiFi, DirecTV, pool table, a massive stone fireplace, and a large wrap around deck complete with an outdoor grill. The lodge and lake are strictly private and require reservation only access.

Rainbow Lake Lodge 

The Rainbow Lake lodge offers plenty of room for families, but also offers a very private relaxed feel in the lodge. It contains seven secluded bedrooms, three full bathrooms and sleeps twelve. The most stunning view in the lodge is a 360-degree fireplace with sunken seating. This view is matched with the breathtaking outside fire pit overlooking Rainbow Lake. Enjoy the lake and large deck while cooking on the outdoor grill. This lodge and lake are private and may be used by reservation only.

Briarwood Lake Lodge

Briarwood Lake Lodge contains four private bedrooms, two full bathrooms and sleeps eight. The lodge contains full kitchen facilities along with a massive natural stone fireplace. This lodge has an extensive wooden deck with an outdoor grill. The upper level is private when reserved. The basement houses the Locker Room which is open from 8 am to 5 pm to our fishing members. Briarwood Lake itself is open to all fishermen, but there are 2 boats set aside for members who have booked the lodge.

 

Trout Haven Lodge

Trout Haven Lodge has a quaint, cozy, rustic feel, perfect for a couple getaway or a solo fly fisherman. It is one large room that offers Queen over Queen bunk beds, full bathroom, kitchen, DirecTV, and outdoor grill. This lodge sleeps 4. Located on our Perch Pond, the lodge is private and may be used by reservation only. The lake, however, is open to all fishermen.

Fishing Opportunities

Becoming a member of Briarwood Sporting Club is obtaining access to the ideal place to not only rent a cabin or lodge getaway, but a place family, friends, or associates can appreciate together! Come see for yourself how serene wilderness, secluded lodges, and excellent fishing make for a unique and enjoyable experience!