8-05-03 - The Root is goreous in the summer!
Waters Fished: Root River, Lake Michigan (Kenosha
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 8-05-03
Air Temp: around 80F
Water Temp: Root - > felt about 70F, Lake Michigan in the 60's
Water Level: 180 cfs on the Root, normal on Lake Michigan
Water Color: Root -> Muddy, 6" max vis., Lake Michigan usual
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Chinook Salmon, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Whitlock Hare Sculpin (Purple)
Pattern Color: Purple & White
Fishing Quality: You mean there's actually fish???
It's been raining over the entire weekend, and
now the Root River has jumped from a flow of 10 cfs to 180! Oak
Creek had a nice little jump too, but nothing like the Root. Skaminia
have been in Indiana for a month now, Racine's should at least be
in the harbors right? Reports pointed out that Chinooks were staged
outside of the harbor, and that with the recent jump in flow a few
early salmon were spotted in the Root!
Now I'm not going to argue about rumors or my idiocy,
you and I both know that after a long season of warm unfishable
waters you'll take any excuse to hit the rivers, and a bit of rain
and some info was all it took to get Bart, Bob (Gumbo) and myself
out to the Root after Tuesday's work. I admit now the reports coming
in weren't anything like "there's a huge pod of salmon / steelhead
at XYZ", more like "Hey, I saw A SALMON", but at
least it's from someone who actually KNOWS what a salmon looks like!
So three guys chasing a handful of fish that could be anywhere in
a 5 mile river...of course the odds were against us ;)
The Battle Plan was simple, meet at Horlick and
work down. Bart got there first and amply covered the Dam area.
Bob and I got there a bit later, and started working downstream
in the "juicy" holes. Man, what fun! Me and two of my
favorite fishin' buddies had the Root all to ourselves.
Things went pretty slow, occasional snags on the
bottom, Gumbo and I traded rods for a bit so he could check out
the new 9' 6" that Justin at Alaskan
Rod Crafters had built for me. All the while we didn't sight
anything, although it would have been VERY EASY for a fish to disappear
into the YOOHOO colored water.
Well below the bridge I sighted my first "something",
a tail and dorsal fin briefly broke the surface. I didn't move from
that spot..it was a nice pool with shallow riffles above and below...if
the fish left the pool we'd know. Bart showed up and I called him
down...and then I saw a large golden fish surface at the back of
the pool? On that one, I'd have to say it was either a Brown, Carp,
or MUSKRAT ;)
So Bart didn't believe there was anything there
are first, until he saw something break the surface too. I spotted
another break, and then a practically full-boddied LIFT out of the
water...I'm pretty sure it was a Chinook but it all happened so
Bob showed up and now there were three of us working
the pool. We'd either hook up or spend the last bit of light trying.
We went the later route (aka. "trying" but not "hooking").
Clearer water is all we really would have needed to know what was
At dusk we decided to try to hit Racine Harbor,
but after 30 minutes of driving around through town (Bob describes
it as a warzone 'cause it's all TORN UP) we gave up; Bob called
it a night and Bart & I headed to Kenosha Harbor. Meanwhile
FAT had been out on the boat and limited in just a few hours!
Bart's Dad had been at Kenosha Harbor and landed
a nice 8 lb brown! Another gentleman had 5 Rainbows all strung up,
all 12-15" or so. It was about 9:30 and I wasn't screwing around;
Bart handed me a spinning rod + spoon and we cast. We cast all the
way up until after midnight, at which point we were both pretty
tired; no one had caught anything while we were there!
So overall, a fun, if not very productive outing.
This is a good time to start scouting about 'cause the rivers are
just gorgeous right now!