9-26-03 - Once again, the heat drops after the
fire is turned off.
Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 1 fair landed personally, several others
Outing Date: 9-26-03
Weather: 100% cloudy, shifting into rain
Air Temp: Cool, seemed to be 50's max
Water Temp: Didn't take it
Water Level: extremely low
Water Color: pretty clear and very stained
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Brown Trout, Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: Mostly Glo Bugs
Pattern Color: Patterns with Chartreuse worked best
Fishing Quality: Still fun although noticably declining.
So once again we got a late start DESPITE Phil
being anxious to get back to the river! Probably got back to Estabrook
around 2:00 pm again (!) even though I was up by 10:00 am...go figure!
Well, it was more overcast, colder, and more people out 'cause it's
I got my brother and Phil suited up, new leaders
etc..and they made their way down to the river. About 5 minute later
I'm all geared up; while walking down I noticed that Chris is standing
with net in hand 'cause PHIL already has a fish on! OUTSTANDING!
Before I could make it down to get some closeups of the battle,
the Chinook gets away!
Surprisingly, there are less fish at Estabrook
today. Not as many jumpers and many more people instead. Not what
I was hoping for. I slide out across the falls and try fishing the
now infamous Tucker Nymph, tied up as a size #10 instead of #18!
After 3 days of Chinooks, I'm ready for some Steelhead or Browns!
As it turns out, the Tucker would perform flawlessly.
On a retrieve back to cast I dragged the nymph over a deep pocket
of calm water at the base of the falls and watched a fair sized
fish come up, slash at the nymph, but miss it! Now, I've learned
this from experience, put the fly immediately back into that pocket.
I did just that, and my line zipped downstream!
Whatever it was had more silver to it...as it fought
the current I saw a lot of flashes...I was hoping steelhead. But
then it jumped a good 2 feet out of the water, giving me a clear
glance at what was probably a smaller Chinook! My bro came up, helped
me net it, and once we got a good look at it we determined it was
a Jack Chinook! Sweet looking too...totally fresh! A couple quick
pictures and the fish was back in the water!
Meanwhile another angler had also landed a fish...I
could tell right away from the head that it was a trout, not a salmon.
There was some red on the sides, so at first I thought "steelhead"...but
the red was more towards the belly, so my next conclusion was "spawning
dress brown trout"...I've seen them with rather orange bellies
I sent my brother over to check it out...he came
back with the report...a BROOKIE! I had to go over and see it for
myself...wow! Now, this is only the 2nd brook trout that I've seen
in the rivers this year; I know they come up despite being stocked
in the harbors for shore fishing, but it is a rarity. Apparently
this angler had landed 4 more brook trout yesterday. I was hopeful,
but didn't get any additional bites.
Another worthy note was my brother's lone hookup;
he's standing to my right, above the falls fishing below. All of
a sudden, fish on, and this monster Chinook looms its head out of
the water, jaws gaping wide open, fly dead center in the tongue,
as it lunged forwards. One quick turn was all it took for this fish
to free himself.
Well, it was heading towards evening and Estabrook
was starting to crowd up, so we headed out to try other locations.
Upstream to Kletzch? We did that, but I believe the recreational
dam in Estabrook is gated, thus preventing the fish from making
it that far upstream. Didn't see anything up there!
So we headed to lower Estabrook and met up with
Guppy who was literally just back from Minnesota! Within a minute
or two of my arrival, Guppy hooked up with a slow moving freight-train...a
quick land in the net and THEN the fish decided to fight. And while
all of this is going on, it started raining!
We spent the remainder of the evening hiding out
of the rain...I fell and bashed my leg up really good (bleeding
through my waders). I managed one additional hookup that evening,
probably fair from what I could see...my brother did as well, but
no additional fish were landed.
As the rain subsided, we ventured back out into
the river and fished to pods of very uninterested salmon. Most of
them bedded up as night approached...you could literally bounce
the fly on their noses and they just wouldn't bite...it was time
for them to spawn and die. Phil did a lot of wading and found a
huge brown holding in the riffles...despite a lot of good effort,
this fish too had lockjaw. While another good day, this was NOTHING