11-8-03 - Minnesota Mountain Goat Boy somehow DRIVES
to WI to fish! Goats can drive?!
Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River, Lake Michigan
at the Pike River Mouth and Kenosha Harbor
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 11-08-03
Weather: Overcast with brief breaks of sun
Air Temp: started at 18F, got up to just around 34F
Water Temp: Root - 39F, Pike - 39F
Water Level: Root - UP, Pike - NORMAL
Water Color: Root - MUDDY, Pike - clearing up
Fish Species: Cohos, Chinooks, Browns, Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph
Pattern Color: original gold BH pattern
Fishing Quality: Hours of hiking with sporadic fishing
So Minnesota Mountain Goat Boy (as Brennon was
dubbed by Red Hat) shows up on Friday night and Saturday morning
we meet up with Tim S. on the Root, again pretty early, around 6:30
am. We fish for a while in Lincoln Park and I spot a brown surfacing
in the fast water. FAST WATER? It was 39F! All the fish should be
Well we worked our way down into Island Park and
checked these areas too....all in all it was cold and the action
was nonexistant. Getting close to 10:00 am we decide we've had enough
and we head to the Pike.
Between yesterday and today I've basically checked
the ENTIRE RIVER for fish, and let me tell ya, the Pike was empty!
Upstream we came upon a trio of spawning cohos. As Brennon had driven
the farthest we gave him first crack at them. He slid down the bank
upstream and started laying out line with a flourescent red wolley
bugger as his offering.
Tim and I both coached Brennon from our vantage
point on the bank. As his fly came closer we'd shout directions
like, "Two feet down and a foot to your left!" Brennon
got a few chases but didn't connect. A couple recasts to get back
into position and finally he had the perfect "HOLD" about
a foot away from the bright red male that was dominating the redd.
Ordinarily what follows next is the word "WHACK"!
This time though, the male just slowly came up, his jaws opened
and gently closed on the tail of the wolley bugger. It was all happening
in real-time slow-motion! Tim and I are slow to react to this mind-blowing
take, by the time we start shouting "SET THE HOOK" the
coho releases the fly just as gently as he took it...then leaves
the redd and chases the other male into a pool below. We wait for
the fresh male to come up but he doesn't; only the crusty male is
brave enough to come back to the female.
So Tim hops in and gives it a shot, but eventually
both fish spook off the redd. The female goes upstream and both
males are in the pool. I spend some time swinging MP's Egg Spey
in Chartreuse and Black. I might have gotten a hit in the pool,
but it may have just been a rock too.
Well, we head downstream to E and go up and down.
Right upon our arrival we sighted a lone Chinook moving up the river,
but nothing else is seen after that. The lower Pike is devoid of
fish. Brennon and Tim want to try the golf course; upon arrival
we come across 2 anglers with 2 fish each on the stringer; 1 stringer
of King + what looked like a steelhead, and the other having a King
and a Coho (kid thought the king was a brown?!)
I check downstream of the Golf Course and find
nothing. Brennon and Tim make their way through the golf course
and find 2 anglers on every hole. I went back to check out the cohos
and find an angler who has just landed one of them and a brown.
Well, what next? Let's keep going downstream. We
plan on fishing the mouth, but the winds have put a chop in the
water. It's all murky; hardly fishable. We move on to Kenosha Harbor
by about 3:30 pm and find it deserted! Unbelieveable, I figured
this would be THE place for anglers on a day like today. Well, an
hour later we've seen a couple browns jump but NOTHING else. So
chalk this day up as one of those "Character Builders".