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With a Sunny day in the 40's and little wind, the mouth of the Pike River in Kenosha was the place to be. This is the view of the Lake Michigan beach immediately north of the mouth.
Looking south along the Lake Michigan Coast, including the mouth of the Pike River and the only other Angler I ran into all day.
Frustration! I spotted several Brown Trout today; almost all were under the ice. I eventually spooked this fish after trying for over 20 minutes to get his attention!
Arguably one of the nicest sunsets I've seen in a long time, which made up for the fact that as night approached, the browns became more active, swimming out from under the ice and back in...even looking at my offerings and thumbing their nose at them!

12-14-02 - Thank God For Global Warming!

Rivers Fished: Pike River & the mouth at Lake Michigan
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 12-14-02
Weather: Sunny & Clear
Air Temp: 40's
Water Temp: warming up?
Water Level: low
Water Color: FRIGGIN CLEAR! Like FN GLASS MAN!
Fish Species: Browns, Coho, Steelhead
Pattern Fished: various wollies, nymphs, streamers, you name it I tossed them all today!
Pattern Color: assorted
Fishing Quality: Much improved over past weeks

I must admit I never thought I'd be back on the rivers until spring, but with the recent week of 40 F temps, I had to hit it yet again.

Started out around 12:00 on the Pike at the Bridge at A. Nothing sighted. The river is still frozen over in most places, but I was able to drift a fly downstream and under the ice into the deeper pockets.

Around 1:00 I headed downstream to the mouth. I ran into one other angler (the only one I saw FISHING today, all others were walking but not fishing); to the guy who was fishing if you're out there I must apologize again for getting tangled up in your line...I didn't realize you were so close in the flow. I spent time casting into Lake Michigan, but the wind started to pick up. Crept north into the mouth's interior, and wow, found a pair of big browns sitting directly below the ice shelf. I tried FOREVER to get their attention. Ok, well, not forever, but a good 20 minutes until I spooked them; I was able to literally get within 10 feet of these fish without them even MOVING.

Around 2:30, I headed back up to A, working upstream towards the Country Club. Came across a pair of fish, at least one verifiable male COHO (still?!?!) sitting underneath the ice. His companion was either a small brown, small female Coho or steelhead. I was able to get within a few feet of these fish without them even raising an eyebrow. Again, after an eternity of floating flies down in front of this fish, I managed not to get a bite but instead spook him and send him running upstream. DARN!

Well, what the heck, around 3:30 I moved back to the mouth again. I cast in the lake and managed to nail myself in the head at least 4 times (I am still shocked that I didn't hook myself in the face!). The problem was a southerly wind that periodically kicked up; I'm a righty so facing out into the lake, the wind pushed my line back towards me with every cast. Frustrated, I checked out the interior of the mouth again, jigging flies through open holes in the ice. As sunset approached, I moved towards the back edge of the ice, first sighting a small fish (either brown or steelhead) and later, around 4:15, the browns came out and were on the move. At least one larger brown came out, sipped the surface right in front of me (the water was SOOOOOOOO CLEAR!). I got such a kick out of WATCHING the fish. Another large brown was cruising, periodically coming out from under the ice moving down towards the lake, and then swimming back upstream under the ice. I managed to get a fly in front of this guy once, and he looked, briefly, only to take a pass. I also noticed one HUGE steelhead in the pack who came out from under the ice and made the rounds; definite steelhead as it was too large for a coho, lacking the spots of a brown or chinook. Man I wanted that fish on my line in the worst way.

Well, if someone can figure out how to shoot a fly upstream underneath the surface ice, it's a whole new ballgame! This was the best experience I've had in several weeks on the Pike; as the two prior weeks not a single fish was sighted. Hence I rate this outing a 3 despite no fish caught. If you can make it out today (Sunday) do so! It'll take a lot of walking the ice to find those fish, but man, it was worth it. And please, pray for just a touch of global warming, or at least a warm week, as the 22nd is going to be my brother's first steelhead / brown outing ever!

Check out the brown trout under the ice; you'll see just how fun/frustrating the day was!

Fair Hooks & Warmer Days!

  MP 

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