11-28-03 - $300 Steelhead
Waters Fished: Trout Run, Elk Creek, Presque Isle
Bay + many others scouted
Fish Caught: 1/12
Outing Date: 11-28-03
Weather: Extremely Rainy, Windy, overall very adverse conditions
Air Temp: somewhere in the 30's!
Water Temp: You think I bothered to take it?!
Water Level: EXTREMELY HIGH
Water Color: MUD
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Dragon's Tooth Spey
Pattern Color: as per pattern (purple with red, yellow and silver
Fishing Quality: Rapidly declining into nonexistant
It's Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and I get a call
from Arctic Snow Monkey.
"Hey, uh, things might not be so good, looks
like the weather took a bad turn. It's been raining here all day..the
PA creeks are probably not going to be fishable when you get here."
Hmm...after some quick consultation Chromeseeker
and I decided "Hey, we've fished muddy streams before, in fact
the Root is ALWAYS muddy...". Needless to say, around probably
2:00 Eastern we showed up weary at ASM's doorstep!
A few hours later we got the wakeup call and headed
out; it was raining (still). ASM's best advice was that if the creeks
were blown out we might try the lake. Since CS would definitely
have to see Trout Run, I figured we might as well start there!
Sometime around dawn (it was too dark and cloudy
to tell when dawn really occured) I got out and decided to brave
the rain. Lake Erie looked rather calm, so I figured a pair of hip
boots would probably do the job. Bundled up and ready to go, I hit
the lake. Meanwhile Chromeseeker (who had decided to drive ALL NIGHT
and MORNING) opted to take a nap. I told him I'd wake him up when
I had my first ten steelhead.
1.5 hours later, I was drenched. The waves had
kicked up, and in my exuberance at hooking steelhead after steelhead
I ignored the fact that as the morning had gone by, I was taking
on more and more water. 10 hookups, with one landed. As you can
see from the pictures above, it was CROWDED. Everyone keeps asking
me, "Man, why did you LOSE so many of your fish?". Well,
for starters, most hookups I missed the hookset, it was an on/off
kind of thing. By this point I had landed ONE (sorry, no picture,
with all the rain and darkness I left the camera in the car). I
woke CS up and told him to get his butt down in the water and FISH!
Meanwhile I changed, warmed up, and got back out
more properly suited in my chest waders. At first we took the end-of-the-line
position, but I quickly realized that the fish were on the move
up into the stream. I braved the crowds and inserted myself back
into the opening I had been fishing 30 minutes earlier. Another
hookup lost, and then another on and broken off. In my efforts to
keep the fish out of other people's lines I found myself clamping
down hard on the line, horsing the fish, and in the process they
were able to snap me off at the trilene knot! I was fishing 8lb.
PLine, that stuff is tough, but not being able to put a chrome steelie
on the drag has drawbacks (i.e. breakoffs!).
Well, conditions simply got worse. Throughout the
day we visited every stream from Erie on west to the Ohio state
line. ALL were blown out. We even visited BAC Tackle and tried the
North Pier of Presque Isle Bay! We found the same 0-visibility conditions
there, more rain and more wind, so after only a few casts we were
back in the car.
Back at Trout Run we sat for a while and laughed
our asses off while watching anglers brave the lake which now had
6 foot swells; we were taking bets on which angler was going to
go for a swim first! We never settled that bet, although we did
get to see one particular angler (who was trying to JUMP the waves)
go ALMOST horizontal!
So overall we had a nice day of driving around
looking at raging rivers (even saw a tree floating down Elk Creek!).
Oh, and we figured it out; that one steelhead cost me roughly $300
(I broke my brand new St. Croix Avid on Elk Creek; the tip shattered
in TWO places!). We spent the evening trying to decide what to do;
forecasts looked grim (rain and snow with winds, basically making
ALL water totally unfishable) so we had dinner with Mr. and Mrs.
ASM and opted to try our luck in Indiana the next morning. Our drive
back was all the more fun; SNOWSTORMS!