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Muddy Mad River - Ohio Fishing

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One of my goals this fishing season was to catch some fish in different states. I picked up an Illinois license and an Ohio license to try on our way back to Maryland from Missouri. Illinois was a bust. It was pouring rain and got dark before I could actually get to where I wanted to fish. This summer we ended up on top of Taum Sauk to get to the highest point in Missouri. So i did some research and found that the highest point in Ohio was Campbell Hill which is near the town of Bellafontaine and is not far from the Indiana border. We stopped for the night in Richmond Indiana. I also found that one of the few trout rivers/creeks in Ohio, the Mad River, is also near there as well. Chance to kill two birds with one stone :P! As we drove into Ohio, I started seeing some issues with my plans mainly the rivers were running high and muddy :unsure:! I had researched some back-up spots, e.g., ponds, lakes, just in case the stream fishing was a bust. We crossed the Mad river and it was also running high and muddy. Hoping that the head waters would be running a little clearer.

We got to Campbell Hill and spent some time looking around the "peak", 1549 feet above sea level.

Campbell Hill - Ohio High Point - 03Nov18.jpg

I followed a map of fishing spots on the Mad River for public accesses. @JestersHK - check out madriver[1].pdf

There were two access points in West Liberty Ohio. We headed to the Lion's club park outside of the town. There was a small tributary running into the Mad River. With the water running muddy, I decided upon drifting a worm at the confluence of two waters. I saw a couple of spooked fish in the tributary one was a trout. I drifted a #12 hook with a small piece of worm and two split shot above the hook just down stream of the confluence. I got hung and broke off the #2 line. I re-rigged and cast my bait just behind the shadow of a medium boulder. Got a solid strike and set the hook on a spunky little brown trout!

Can just see it in the clear water below!

Mad river Brown - Lions club trib - 03Nov18.jpg

Mad river Brown - (2) - 03Nov18.jpg

Mad river Brown - (3) - 03Nov18.jpg

Nothing like catching a nice little brown trout during a beautiful fall day. Maybe if the water was running clear, I would have tried some maribou jigs and caught a few more. Still was able to land a trout in Ohio.  



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Nope. It's my understanding that it's a put and take fishery. Not native and I don't think that there are any naturalized populations in Ohio. Not enough springs or tail waters to support a reproducing population.

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14 minutes ago, BilletHead said:

         Closest thing to a mountain stream in Ohio onethousandfivehundredandfortynine feet above sea level. :) ,


We definitely had many jokes about heading into the hill country of Ohio. Not a mountainous state 😌.

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4 hours ago, Quillback said:

I believe they have a couple of streams up in the northeast corner that support steelhead runs.  However, I bet when the fish are in it is a zoo.

Yep.  I think most rivers east of Cleveland have giant steelhead and GIANT crowds going after them.  My cousin hits it every year and I've seen pictures.  Really any river east of Cleveland that flows into Erie has them.   


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