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2-01-03 - It's going to take more warm weather than just two days to thaw everything out! This was downtown Lake Geneva at 1:30 pm!
The Pike is Higher, FROZEN TOTALLY from head to toe. One big icy-green sidewalk. There were SEVERAL layers of ice built up.
A view from the parking lot at the Pike River Mouth. It didn't look promising at first...
The "lagoon" had about 30-40 feet of open water, crystal clear, and not a fish lurking around.!
A view of the shoreline south from the Pike River mouth.
Another view, this time looking north.
One of my new spey patterns; MP's 2003, as it appears wet. Not too shabby in my opinion!
The channel at the Power Plant in Waukegan with the plant in the background.

2-1-03 - Still Cold (but warmer), Still Frozen (but thawing)

Rivers Fished: Pike River (including the mouth) and Lake Michigan at the Waukegan Power Plant
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 2-01-03
Weather: Overcast, Fully Cloudy & Hazy/Foggy
Air Temp: 35 F
Water Temp: probably just above 32 F
Water Level: low
Water Color: clear and clear
Fish Species: None!
Pattern Fished: Various Speys
Pattern Color: Mostly Darks, but one with chartreuse body
Fishing Quality: NONEXISTENT

2-1-03 - I got a late start today, but it's winter steelheading, no hurry! Leaving Lake Geneva around 1:30, I noticed that the ice fisherman are still out in full force!

Arrived at the Pike shortly after 2:00 PM I first checked out the area around A, after 2 weeks of solid below freezing temps I did not expect to find open water other than the riffles; to my surprise I found NO open water at all! One interesting note, the usual angler access was full of construction equipment like cranes and bulldozers; it cited "road work" but there was a long black tube and some structures that looked like the "Lunker Structures" they put in the Spring Coulee's out west. So is this really "road work" or are we looking at some river improvements?

Basically the entire river is like an ice sidewalk...I'm sure you could've walked the whole thing and not gone through once! Well, I didn't waste a lot of time up at A; moved immediately down to the mouth. Upon approach I could see that the "lagoon" was totally frozen over...was the river even flowing right now?

Getting down there, the answer is YES! There was some open water in the river, concealed by mountains of ice and rubble! The Pike was running crystal clear, low water but normal from what I've seen in weeks past. Absolutely NO FISH sighted (but hey, it was only 40 foot or so of open water)! So I focused my attention on the Lake Side of things.

The lake was unfrozen, and very little wind made casting a breeze. What made it even easier was that I could cast into the current, let it take my flies out (decided to toss spey-style streamers in the hopes of grabbing a fish's attention). I could swing the flies back and forth in the lake currents which meant I didn't have to do a lot of casting and retrieving. A yarn indicator at the base of the leader clearly showed the movement of the flies (kinda reminded me of the shark fin moving through the waters). I honestly wasn't terribly hopeful to catch fish, so I used this opportunity to check out some new patterns I came up with as well as spending my first day with a new rod/reel setup. Met up with another steelheader briefly who informed me that the Root River was a skating rink as well.

Around 3:45 I decided to try a new locale (well, new to me), so I made my way down to the power plant at Waukegan. I arrived probably about 4:20, and settled in. On the advice of other fisherman who frequent this local, I spent my time fishing the channel. The water must have been perfect, as there was a constant steam rising. The current is indeed strong; today I would compare it to the currents on the Milwaukee River. I removed the indicator (it was making casting difficult as the wind was from the south) and made sure to get a lot of weight on the line. Again I spent the majority of my time swinging speys...hopeing to get some attention, but alas nothing took. I may have had one little nip while my head was turned the other way, darn! A quick survey of the other anglers revealed that no one got anything today.

Oh well...I still had fun today! Tomorrow...the LC in IN!

Warmer weather ahead folks!

  MP 

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