12-27-03 - A good day for Birdwatching.
Waters Fished: Root River, Quarry Park Lake
Fish Caught: Closed Season Scouting
Outing Date: 12-27-03
Air Temp: upper 40's
Water Temp: 35F
Water Level: Not terribly low
Water Color: Clear & Stained
Fish Species: Steelhead and Browns were reported, but none were
personally sighted or hooked
Pattern Fished: N/A
Pattern Color: N/A
Fishing Quality: Typical winter Root.
So I find myself sitting at home recovering from
the flu on Saturday. I've slept in most of the day, it's about 1:00
pm, and for some reason I go outside. Then it hits me...it's not
even CLOSE to cold! What the heck...why am I at HOME?!
My folks are back for the holidays, and my Mom
is warning me, "You really should stay home and rest...you
might get worse if you go out...". I'm well aware of this,
but I'm also a "big boy" and can make my own decisions...and
I decide that I'm GOING FISHING!
I probably got to the Root around 2:15 and knew from the online
reports that there should be some willing biters around somewhere.
I figured Quarry Park would be my starting point...this area has
always been good to me.
Well, the water on the Root was flowing around 60 cfs at the time,
and it has come back to it's typical clear & stained winter
condition. In fact I'd say it was remarkably clear; with the low
water and clarity I could see the bottom of holes that I've never
Rather than cast and move, I know that winter steelhead can require
repeat persentations to get a bit, ESPECIALLY since I wasn't offering
them bait! So I focused my attention first on the pool that EVERYONE
fishes. While fishing, I ran into Dennis (the WDNR Creel Survey
guy) who told me that indeed, there were "TONS of Steelhead
in Quarry Park" and that "most of the browns are downstream
around Lincoln". In other words, I was in the right spot for
Well, after flogging the pool below the shelf for as long as I
could bear, I moved downstream to my little honey-hole...I think
most guys pass it over 'cause it's small, and perhaps unrecognizeable
as a hole. But I've actually never landed a fish from the big pool,
but this little hole has produced several hookups. Probably spent
30 minutes there without so much as a bite or tug...although I sure
hit the bottom plenty of times.
Back up to the Big pool to try from the other side...some guys
had shown up and worked it with spawn for awhile, but they had no
luck. I pretty much rounded out my time with no luck as well.
Hey, Quarry Park Lake's Season is 365 (minus the fact that it's
only fishable by anglers under 16 and handicapped individuals for
a portion of the spring). Dennis was back, and informed me that
the Lake had been frozen over...when I walked down I found that
the protected area inside the pier was still frozen but the main
lake was back open.
Nothing was up on the surface, nor did I expect anything to be,
so I went straight to the bottom by adding about 4 #7 clamshots.
Yup, jigging with my flyrod. I ended the day as sunset occured (the
Park closes then) without so much as a snag on the bottom, and to
top it off the flu definitely took advantage of my time spent in
the cold. But hey, as you can see from the pictures, it was a nice
day for birdwatching.