Ohio Trout Club – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Ohio Trout Club

Club fishing is an old tradition in the world of “Gentleman and Trout” with it’s origins reaching well back into the days of kings and possibly beyond. Although there are still remnants of this tradition around the world, I had never been to one until last week. My wife gave me a pass for the day during a recent family trip back east and I was able to meet up with some folks I’ve guided over the years for a day of fishing on their trout club.

Rockwell Springs is one of only a handful of traditional trout clubs left in the US. Founded in the early 1900’s (maybe late 1800’s) the club has a spring creek that meanders through the property complete with walking paths, foot bridges, manicured lawns, a clubhouse, and it’s own private hatchery. At first glance, I would describe it as a golf club for Leprechauns!

However, the stream is teaming with trout (Rainbows, Browns, Brooks, and Tiger) in the 10-12” range with a few bigger ones here and there. If not for the surroundings and fact that you could hardly look into the water without seeing a dozen fish, the stream itself looks like a spring creek you’d find just about anywhere else in the world. This little gem of a fishery is a welcome oasis of “troutness” surrounded by world-renowned Walleye and Perch Central of Port Clinton, Ohio.

As is often the case when it comes to trout fishing, just because the water is full of trout that are supposedly stupid hatchery fish, the transition from fantasy to reality in terms of the catching can be a painful process! The shear numbers of fish makes it almost impossible to not spook a fish or two as you cast to the chosen target. Minimal insect life makes fly selection tough with midges and small nymphs being the mainstays for the sight-fishing angler. Small streamers fished down and across to unseen fish was definitely the most productive the day I was there. The creek has something for just about every fly angler, regardless of skill level.

As I had never seen anything like this before, my presumptions into the ease of angling and the “air” of the place could not have been further from the truth. The atmosphere was welcoming and geared toward families with a place for everyone from the catch and kill to the barbless dry fly dude. Great food, fun fishing, and wonderful company made this a day that I won’t soon forget.