I have only posted on the forum one other time about a year ago, but now being in college, especially up here in the North (me being from Texas0, I am very eager to get on the water more and more. I wasn't too hot and heavy for fly fishing, until I visited Alaska this past summer. Our last stop was in Fairbanks and we had a day to kill before we left for home, and since the whole graduation gift, my grandfather took me to a fly shop to buy me another fly rod, since I hadn't brought mine. We spent a whole morning and afternoon back in the woods off the side of the road by the creek, and that is what made me fall in love with the sport. Having the beauty of Alaska and just getting to enjoy being outdoors fly fishing really made me decide to be more active.
Being from Texas, I'm not really used to fishing in faster moving water, only in ponds and small creeks for bream, rockfish and bass. I go to school in Columbus and a few weekends back I traveled with a few friends to Oil City, PA to hang out at a cabin and I brought my fly rod so I could get some fishing done. Again it was a great experience (not quite as pretty as Alaska in the summer) but still really nice to be in the more northern part of the country.
Right now, i am an open book for learning about fly fishing up here. Any help on where to go or what to use, or even what I will be fishing for is helpful, not really knowing what seasons are for what type of fish. Also, if there are any more experienced members that i could possibly meet up with a few times before spring rolls around, that would be fantastic!!! Again I am looking for ANY help! Help me enjoy the sport more and catch some fish!
Welcome to the northern states and to the forum. Sounds like you had an exceptional experience in Alaska. That's on many a fly angler's bucket list so by all means consider yourself very lucky to have had the opportunity to get there!
Mad River Outfitters is in Columbus, I'd suggest getting to know those guys well. I've ordered tying materials and gear from them, they are a top notch shop. They are likely to have classes or seminars on the various types of fishing you might encounter in the area.
Right now, Steelhead and in some cases Salmon are the fish du jour on the Great Lakes tribs. It just depends on which ones you want to hit as to the best time of year. You can tangle with them in Ohio and also PA right now, though Ohio's runs are generally stronger over the winter and spring. Those would likely be the closest locations for you to tangle with anadromous fish.
There will be plenty of warm water fishing you can get into also. I went to college up the road from Columbus at BGSU and every March, the walleye run in the Maumee River was a real spectacle. That might be something else for you to think of doing while you're living in the northern states.
If you're looking for trout, I'm not so sure there are a lot of good options for you in Ohio, but I'm sure there are some streams to get into them. Lots of states around you have good trout fishing worthy of a road trip or two. PA, NY, KY, WV TN just to name a few.
Hopefully others will chime in with other options for you too.
Ditto what jaybo said, I'm also a BG alum by the way. Ohio has prime steelhead waters in the winter months. Look for steelhead alley on the web. Also ohio game fishing forum. During the spring, summer and early fall, small mouth bass fishing in ohio is great on a fly. Fly fishing for carp is also getting to be popular. In the spring dnr stocks at least one lake or pound in almost every county with brown trout but they usually only last a few weeks, sometimes days. You're also semi close to the Mad River and the Clear Fork River both of which have brown trout.
There are quite a few really good smallmouth bass streams real close to Columbus. Fish topwater in the summer and streamers and clousers in the spring and late fall. As others have said check out Mad River outfitters, they have always been really helpful and are knowledgeable about the warmwater and coldwater opportunities in central OH. Ohio really does have a lot of different fisheries that are suited to the fly and if you just concentrate within and hour and a half of Columbus you can fish, trout, bass, muskie, carp, bluegill,etc. There are a couple of books on Ohio fishing and a good canoe/kayak book that covers a lot of the streams. If you have access to a small boat or canoe there are a lot of reservoirs that are open for fishing also.