11-17-02 - Fishin with Lenny & Guppy; day #2!
Rivers Fished: Pike, Root & Milwaukee Rivers
Fish Caught: 1 Fair, 1 Foul
Outing Date: 11-17-02
Weather: Partly Cloudy
Air Temp: COLD - lower 30's
Water Temp: COLDER
Water Level: LOW
Water Color: Mostly Clear, Root was heavily stained
Fish Species: Coho, Chinook, Browns
Pattern Fished: mostly wollies and ESL's
Pattern Color: darks (blacks, reds etc...)
Fishing Quality: Below Expectations
Woke up at my place in Lake Como (Walworth County)
to find the lake 1/2 frozen over! I thought I might show Lenny around
the Pike, but when we got there it at 11:30 a.m. it was simply DEVOID
of fish. It had snowed and there was some accumulation. Nothing
holding in the usual pools. We literally stayed for about 10 minutes.
I did see what looked like a brown on a stringer..the thing was
barely 10" if that, and was either taken on a spinner or CORN
(at least that's what it looked like one of the guys was tossing).
Also ran across a guy who had been upstream, by the dam in the Country
Club, and had taken 2 male Coho. He hadn't seen anything either.
So I thought, OK, maybe the Root might be better.
BOY WAS I WRONG. The stench on the Root was nasty. Lincoln Park
is nothing more than a graveyard at this point, with only a couple
crusty Coho sitting in the fish preserve, and nothing sighted outside.
The Root River facility is COMPLETELY CLOSED now (as of Oct. 31);
perhaps that should tell us all something. I've included shots from
Sunday at the Wier of both the Trophy Board and
the Fish Totals in the pictures linked below.
We Drove up to Quarry Lake Park and actually got
in; the bottom is nice, solid rock, but in most spots it was only
ANKLE deep. We fished a couple deeper (ca 1') pools, but saw nothing
and connected with nothing. I didn't find any gravel bottom in this
The Root's water is VERY STAINED right now as well...coming
over Horlick dam it looks like someone taking a leak. I'm guessing
this is just due to the high amount of leaf litter that must be
collecting. The guys standing at the bottom of the Dam looked like
they were mourning something, perhaps the death of the Chinook run?!
Well, the choice was rather simple after that,
back to the Milwaukee around Estabrook. Lenny had learned his lesson
from the night before and got himself a hat :)
The glare of the water was too much at 2:00 (polarized
glasses didn't do shiznit), so we couldn't easily sight fish to
go after. I spent much of the afternoon simply swinging and fish
the riffles, as did Lenny. My first hookup was a CRUSTY little Chinook,
I believe he was hooked on the pectoral. This fish was the definition
of a "Zombie", at this point the few live Chinook in the
river are probably better considered as debris. Lenny just scooped
him up out of the water, got the fly, and dropped him back in. Fish
I continued swinging through the riffles, again
with the purple egg sucking leach (red head) and found success!
Another male Coho (man, these fish actually like to pound flies!).
The fight wasn't all that great but it took a good 10 minutes or
so to land; he kept running into deeper water and trying to turn
to go downstream. The fish rolled and thrashed his head at the surface;
wasn't sure if he was snagged or not. Came in 100% fair hooked,
that's what I like to see! Those of you who say that only the fouled
fish jump and splash, well, so far with the Coho that simply hasn't
been the case.
I got some pics of this stunning female, and debated
keeping this one, but opted not to as I already have 3 in the freezer.
He's still fresh, in beautiful breeding dress, so go get him if
you want him!
"Guppy" met up with Lenny and I again
and we moved upstream, fishing deeper riffles than I had been working
prior. The browns are holding up in these riffles. While we didn't
see or land any, "Guppy" did spend some time working some
cohos in the shallows. He did get some interest (hey, what do ya
know, another wolley / ESL kinda day!) but didn't get anything landed,
after the first few bites the males seem to wise up and ignore the
flies, so you only have a couple chances to get a good set and bring
the fish in! Lenny didn't hook up with anything on Sunday, but he
felt that the whole experience was well worth it. He put it eloquently
and yet so simply, "It's not just about catching fish".
That's about it. I'd say that this was a fair week
to go out; the guides on our rods were getting caked in ICE! The
water is frigid and so is the air, so all we need is a THOROUGH
rain! Jee, I know there were big browns and chromers sitting outside
the mouth of the Pike last week; what's it going to take to get
them to come in?!?!