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3-15-03 - The Pike is now the fountain of Yohoo! You're not seeing the bottom there, what you're actually seeing is muddy water flowing over ICE.
The Pike is up quite a bit and very muddy; compare this shot to the same location back on 12-27-02.
Ha! I've learned by now that the mouth of the Pike may always LOOK bad from the parking lot in the winter, but usually it's flowing!
Check out the plume of cocoa-colored water flowing into the lake!
Looking upstream from the mouth, the "flood plain" is still frozen over.
Fished the Lake and fished the "lagoon" hoping there was some staging going on.
Was curious about the Root, perhaps they dropped the wier boards in? Nope, and although it was much more open, I don't think we'd gotten a fresh wave just yet.
Thinking that maybe some overwinter Chamber's Creek might be below redding gravel, I tried my luck further upstream...obviously I wasn't the only one who had this thought.

3-15-03 - Flows are up but the ice remains!

Rivers Fished: Pike River, Lake Michigan (Pike River Mouth), Root River
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 3-15-03
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: 50's
Water Temp: 33F
Water Level: Up a bit
Water Color: Muddy
Fish Species: none sighted or taken
Pattern Fished: Estaz Eggs, Speys
Pattern Color: Chartreuse Eggs, darker speys
Fishing Quality: NADA!

3-15-03 - Got a late start as always, but this time because I had some other things going on in the AM! Arrived at the Pike around 2:15; started up at A. The water flow is up SEVERAL inches, but much ice remains. It appears that the upper stretches may have actually frozen solid, as the water was flowing over VERY SOLID ice...I had NO qualms about walking on it (besides, the river is seldom over a foot deep in the places I was). A quick temp check confirmed what I suspected, 33F.

Moved to the mouth around 2:30 or so, figured there'd perhaps be some staging on. The Pike is really flowing now, perhaps more than I recall seeing it through most of last fall & winter. A deep chocolate plume of riverwater was visible along the lakefront all the way back at Hwy. E! That's gotta drag the fish in! I tossed everywhere, both in the "lagoon" and drifting in the outflow into the lake (the current will take all your fly line out, then strip retrieve). Drifting the current seems to work great for getting a fly out as you don't have to fight with the wind to get a far cast. I tossed mostly speys here, figuring anything small would just be too small to be noticed in such large quarters.

Around 3:30 I decided to head to the Root River; my first stop was Lincoln Park to check the wier status. The wier is still out, but flows were up. River temp was still 33F! I figure it like this; until all the ice is melted the it's like getting a coke full of ice at the drive thru; it stays COLD.

Anyways, I worked the pools of Lincoln Park all the way through. Most of the deeper water is still covered with ice, the water flowing OVER it. I changed up here and tossed a Black Heron (for fresh aggressive fish) and a size 12 Chartruese Estaz Egg for those more interested in smaller offerings.

I moved upstream of Lincoln Park in the hopes that I'd connect with some overwintered Chamber's Creek that would perhaps be holding below the gravel. Through several drifts I connected....with nothing but sticks and leaves! The Root just isn't quite ready yet from what I observed.

With little time left, I returned to the Pike Mouth around 5:30 and fished through sunset for about 30 minutes. Being the best "bite time" of the day I remained hopeful, but sadly did not connect with anything.

Tomorrow is a warmer day...

  MP 

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