10-12-03 - Can't Neglect the Pike but man I want
to catch some fish!
Waters Fished: Pike River, Milwuakee River
Fish Caught: 2
Outing Date: 10-12-03
Air Temp: 70's at the peak?
Water Temp: didn't take it
Water Level: very low
Water Color: 1' visibility at best, very turbid
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon
Pattern Fished: Too many to metion, but nymphs and eggs produced
Pattern Color: It had to have chartreuse
Fishing Quality: Fair
So last night I had some great BBQ with A &
E, and while we're sitting there a storm kicks up out of nowhere.
Kinda spoils an evening sitting by the lake, but it bodes well for
the Tribs, right?
A & E headed back to Missouri in the morning,
and since I now had the day free, what better way to spend it than
fishing? I didn't get online (at least now I have a slow AOL account
I can borrow up in WI), so I made a blind-faith effort to check
out the Pike.
I knew what I was in for...no fish, of course the
rain would do squat, that's our luck this year. Well I show up at
A & 13th to find 25 cars. I walk this stretch and find 0 fish.
I head to another very productive spot on the river and again spend
a good 20 minutes hiking and sighting....again..NO FISH.
I was totally expecting this...the few fish that
are in the river are probably all stacked at the Dam and every moron
with a rod will be there...I didn't have a rod with me so I avoided
becoming another moron. Now being back online, I can see there was
a bump of sorts in the flow...like a couple CFS. A quick check at
weather.com showed .07" of precipitation overnight...with a
total of 0.27" for the month so far. The AVERAGE for October
is 2.49"; that should tell you something.
I put in a call to Chromeseeker; I had been toying
with heading to Indiana again but he was already on his way up to
WI, so we chose the Milwaukee (again). He wanted to give those spinners
another shot and see if he could do it again.
Well, I got to the Mil around 1:15 pm and headed
out. Finally got to spend some time with John
Kruger of TeamPB,
we had made some plans to meet at Oak Creek in the spring, and well,
due to scheduling it was about a 2 minute meeting. Anyway, John
had been out since early in the morning and was doing well on a
small beadhead nymph in chartreuse...this advice would come in handy
Needless to say I tried numerous offerings; things
like Moe Eggs in Chartreuse, Atomic Satellite Moes (chartreuse),
Larry's Serial Killer (Chartreuse), as well as glo bugs (chartreuse),
Crystal Eggs (Chartreuse). Somewhere in that mix (notice that "theme"?)
I managed my first hookup. The scary thing; the kid next to me hooked
up JUST before I hooked up...and off we go with a two-on.
My fish instantly cuts under his line, I have to
maneuver to the other side of him. I turn and slip and slide down
into the water...all the way up to my chest. I land on my butt,
no big deal, but I'm FULL of water. My GEAR is full of water. MY
BRAND NEW NIKON Coolpix 5700 is FULL OF WATER. Needless to say that
I have NO PICTURES of this afternoon!
I get up, get adjusted and the fish is still on...he's
getting PLAYED to say the least. Somewhere along the way, with most
of my line out, something happens and he just disconnects.
So I get over to shore and start strippin' down...not
completely...just turning over the hippers and pouring out the water,
disassembling what I can of my camera, putting it all in the sun
and just sit there. Fortunately my phone and wallet were in a waterproof
pocket, so I break out the cellphone to see where Chromeseeker is...turns
out he's been around for about 15 minutes, just downstream.
The good news is that Bart, Jacek, and George all
came up to day along with Jacek's mother and M., and John K. was
finishing up for the day, so I had some company while I sat and
dried out. Eventually I got up the nerve to go back and get a darn
fish...I wasn't going to be wet AND skunked this weekend.
No more screwing around; after considering what
John had shown me ealier I riffled through my box and found FAT's
Nuclear Serendipity on Steroids. If he cares to divulge the pattern,
so be it. I tied on and within just a few drifts of the pool I hooked
up big time. After a good 5-10 minute fight George got the net on
the fish and we brought it in...fair beyond belief! About 1/3 to
1/2 back in the mouth on the roof. GOD I love the fair hooks. M.
got a couple picks of me and the fish, and the fair hook in the
mouth, so when they're developed I'll scan 'em and post 'em.
George joked, "Matt, you have to show me how
you put that fly into the fish's mouth!" Several other anglers
asked me what I was doing over the next hour; to quote one "You're
the only one who's hooking them IN THE MOUTH"! Well, that's
not entirely true; Jacek came up from downstream with a great fair
Not too long after I hooked up again...was sure
it was fair. It was head shaking violently. Well, Jacek helped with
the netting and that's when I got the disappointing news...it was
a "Chinned" Chinook. GRR. A passerby asked if I was going
to keep it; made sure to explain it wasn't fair so it would be released,
but IF I landed another one fair he'd be welcome to it.
Well Bart and the gang headed downstream and I
stuck it out. FINALLY got another bite than sent my reel screaming.
Again, LOTS of head shaking (it feels different from a tail guys...I'm
starting to figure out how these guys really feel when they are
hooked fair...generally a lot of quick bumping and good runs...not
to mention you have SOME control over the fish). And as it happens,
those fair hooks occasionally jump too...although I DO agree with
the assertion that foul hooks are more LIKELY to jump and jump MORE
So a friendly stranger helped land this head-shaker...neither
inside or outside, more like the middle of the gum, corner of the
mouth, between the two jaw plates...a questionable hook but arguably
fair (with my understanding the law WOULD consider what I had fair...so
in my book it was "just barely"). In my judgement, it
would have been a tough call on the fair and it would have been
let go if I was personally looking for table fare. However, the
passerby was STILL waiting around to see if I'd land one fair, so
knowing he wanted to put it on the table (and the fact that they
were trying to catch Chinooks with WORMS) I decided to fork over
the fish. Considering he got to know about the "fair vs. foul"
situation and the look on his face when I handed him the fish, it
was a FAIR HOOK afterall.
And to top it off, the friendly stranger who had
been tossing some sort of treble hook with a chartreuse skirt asked
what I was using and how I was fishing it. Well, I explained the
egg fly, suggested he remove the copious amounts of lead and bump
it along the bottom. I furthermore explained that when on a spinning
rig he'd really need to fish a fly with some sort of float (both
for weight and a strike indicator...with fly line you have a "built
in" float and indicator).
I gotta say it really says volumes when folks who
either simply don't know better OR are actually trying to snag see
the fly guy winning the day. From my recollection I was the only
one to pull out ANY fair fish and I think that made an impact judging
from the attention I received after both hookups. When the snaggers
can't even get lucky snaggin and ask the fly guy how he's managing
so well...it turns out that this was a phenomenal day despite the
swim and the camera dunking.
And only to explain the above, I personally witnessed
one Coho jump in the pool, but other than that it was only Chinooks
today, and MOST of the Chinooks are getting DARK now. By next week
I'm starting to expect an equal number of zombies and corpses.