picture of the Pike River Mouth; compare this shot to the pics
over the last couple weeks!
12-21-02 - Back to catchin' Fish!
Rivers Fished: Root & Pike Rivers (including
the mouth on Lake Michigan)
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 12-21-02
Weather: Partly Sunny
Air Temp: VERY cold in the AM, warmed up nicely though
Water Temp: ? - cold as usual, but no ice
Water Level: up due to the recent rains
Water Color: murkier than in previous weeks. Pike was still pretty
Fish Species: Coho
Pattern Fished: Wolleys, Sucker Spawns, Various Nymphs
Pattern Color: assorted
Fishing Quality: markedly improved
The first of a 2 part Rambling Report for this
weekend. I must preface by saying that I'm currently back in Chicago
going on one hour of sleep; I'll be at O'hare in a couple hours
to pick up my Brother and we're back out on the rivers tomorrow
at 6:00 AM with the FatMan! Not sure when part II (12-22-02) will
be posted; probably on Monday.
Ok, so I got out bright and early (lines in the
water about 6:35 am) with a bunch of REALLY nice guys from the TSS
site; would list you all but I don't know your handles and honestly,
I'm really terrible with names anyways. FatMan was our ringleader
this morning; he organized a "scouting party" on the Root.
Needless to say we covered a TON of water today. The Root's flow
is up; some fish were sighted in the pre-dawn hours. I personally
fished a 2 nymph system (large and small) and later switched out
to a purple crystal wolley bugger with sucker spawn dropper. FatMan
is taking my bro and I out tomorrow on my brother's first ever salmon/steelhead
fishing excursion; I MUST already highly recommend his service;
especially if you're the type who only gets to go out a couple times
per year, or you're out of state, or whatever. He really makes it
his business to know the rivers up and down; when going out as a
group this morning he worked us as a team, assigning us various
spots on the river and working it systematically to find the fish.
So get a group together and go out with Rich; Team-Fly-Fishing is
a great sport and was REALLY enjoyable ;)
We were literally ALL OVER the Root today; I don't
think any of us picked up any fish however. So at about 10:00 am
we pulled out, and I headed over to my baby, the Pike in Kenosha.
Got into the Pike at all my usual favorite spots,
and I wasn't disappointed. Got my first fish in weeks; a BEAUTIFUL
male Coho. He was in full breeding dress, and my personal technique
of dropping the fly in above and then jigging the flies up into
the current and drifting back in front of him eventually got him
PO'd enough to strike. The fight was VERY short, as there was little
room for him to flee and well, he was the smallest Coho I've taken.
Some other notes on the Pike; the flow is already
back to pre-rain levels, the water is almost back to clear, there
is currently no ice, the westerly winds basically turned Lake Michigan
to glass, and the mouth has been completely redesigned by the recent
Anyways, I have to rank this outing a 5 based on
1. I went out with a great group of guys; they
more than made it worth skipping a night's sleep! I also think I
learned a bit more than I knew before, and got to fish MANY sections
of river that I haven't before.
2. For this time of year, the fishing was GREAT.
Still catchin' Cohos! The abundance of fish is up, although nothing
like the fall it was nice to see them swimming again.
3. The weather was also great for this time of
4. If I had stayed out longer today, I am confident
this could have been a multiple-catch outing.
Fair Hooks, Tight Lines, and abundant fish!