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1-3-04 - I'm not even rigged up yet when I have to drop everything because the water in front of me has erupted!
Chromeseeker doesn't like to lose fish like this...
His prowess with the Centerpin helps to bring Chromeseeker his first Indiana Brown.
A very quick hook removal on a steelie so small it was likely in fact a fish which had just "smolted". Oh, but Bart landed plenty of steelies in the 3-4 lb. range too...

1-3-04 - Well maybe I'm not bad luck for OTHER folks when fishing in Indiana!

Waters Fished: Little Calumet River
Fish Caught: Several by CS, 0 personally.
Outing Date: 1-3-04
Weather: Cloudy
Air Temp: Highs around 40F
Water Temp: didn't take it
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Typical Jade, clarity about 1-2 feet.
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Steelhead
Pattern Fished: SKEIN
Pattern Color: Uncured
Fishing Quality: Good for some....

If my New Year's Resolution had been to not fish in Indiana for 2004 (and trust me, I seriously contemplated that one) then I would have only gone 56 hours or so before breaking it. Weather in Iowa was due to be freezing and Wisconsin's weather was heading that way too, but Indiana had a good forecast for Saturday. Perhaps I'd get a few things on my list checked off.

First thing was to visit Dave @ Creekside and get his help in devising the removable 10" butt section for my 10' 10" 6wt. "Switch Rod" that I've been planning. Unfortunately, Dave was on a well-deserved was closed through the 5th. Well, scratch that for now but leave it on the "to do" list.

Second thing was to fish with Chromeseeker; he worked Friday (I got lucky to have Friday off) so this was the first day we'd get to fish together in '04 - I'm not going to pass up that opportunity. By the time I got to our spot Bart was already down on the water and had landed 2 smaller steelhead!

Well, Bart had been getting his directions wrong all day...heck he sent me all the way to Michigan City when he got his "east and west" confused. Somehow, he was also getting his upstream and downstream confused; fortunately as I walked upstream I ran into a couple friendly anglers (unfortunately guys, I'm bad with names) who knew Bart and knew he was in fact "DOWNSTREAM".

After giving him plenty of sh*t; we got to the business of fishing. And yes, I "caved and went to bait" right off the reason to screw around with the fly rod when virtually every native expert tells me I'm wasting my time doing so when winter steelheading in Indiana. Bart's success over the past few weeks dictated that I should at least TRY drifting something other than a fly.

To make a long story short, Bart creamed them. A total of 7 fish landed, from a couple 10" freshly chrome smolts to his first Indiana Brown, a very respectable fish around 6lbs. No huge double digit steelies for this outing, but 7 fish? It's taken over 10 days for me to land ONE on the fly.

Yet all the same, Bart has obviously picked up the knack of drifting for steelies in Indiana. Fishing the exact same rigs, drifting the same runs with the same bait, I would be generous to say I even had a bite. Sure, my float went down once or twice, but I came up with NOTHING. I mean, it's to the point where when Bart decided we'd move upstream, he said "First Cast I land a fish, just watch." Well, the 2 lb steelie showed up on the 2nd cast....


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