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2-29-04 - So I walk up to Bart & Jacek on the Root and this is what I find!
David watches on as we get read to launch...
Our destination lies within sight from the harbor...but we'll have a rough ride to get there.
Don't believe how rough the seas were? How about watchin' some VIDEO! A short clip (Quicktime Movie, about 1 mb).

I then turned to see how FAT, David and Dutton were doing (Quicktime Movie, about 1 Mb).

Yeah, we're fly guys all the way...even when trolling!
Capt. Rich was out in the Screamin' Minnow!
Oak Creek showed all the signs of being ready, but wasn't.
So I meet up with Jacek and Bart, and once again, WHO has a fish right as I'm walking up?!
It almost gets away...
But Bart brings in a nice brown for Jacek.
That thing totally INHALED the hook!
Jacek with another...I don't remember who's fish this is. (Copyright 2004 Bart Sitarz)

BART was out IN FORCE with the VIDEO! Watch Jacek touch but fail to land my first fish of the day!

Roughly 1 minute; these were so big I had to compress them. This is video in Flash - requires the Flash 6 player. Roughly 16 Mb (Copyright 2004 Bart Sitarz)

More Flash Video, courtesy of Bart. This time, Jacek redeems himself as the sans-netboy! We also have a very special message for those of you who stereotypically refer to certain anglers as "The Red Army".

Again, in Flash, about 29 Mb (Copyright 2004 Bart Sitarz)
Gotta get the "cheater shot" in with this nice Kenosha Harbor Brown. (Copyright 2004 Bart Sitarz)
Just another shot of the brown for some realistic scale. Gotta love that sweet spinning rod Justin built for me!

Once again, Bart is at it playin' with that new digital camera...more video! You guys keep tellin' me you really like the Video, so I hope you're enjoying the downloads ;) Again, Flash Video, roughly 22 Mb
(Copyright 2004 Bart Sitarz)

The resultant brown in the fight above.

2-29-04 - Let's hope I can outfish Bart & Jacek more than once every 4 years...

Waters Fished: Root River, Lake Michigan (WI waters), Oak Creek, Kenosha Harbor
Fish Caught: 3
Outing Date: 2-29-04
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: 50's F
Water Temp: Kenosha Harbor 36F, Pike River 33F, Root River 32F, Oak Creek 40F, Milwaukee River 32F
Water Level: All streams are up.
Water Color: Root / Pike Muddy, Oak kinda clear, Lake Michigan pretty clear
Fish Species: Steelhead, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: MP's Antron in Gray/Olive, MP's LED Moe Egg, bait including spawn, Silver Kastmaster Spoons
Pattern Color: see above
Fishing Quality: Good if you worked for it.

So Sunday morning I woke up feeling rather defeated...not only was yesterday's outing really bothering me, but the news of my lawlessness just had me depressed. I kinda moped around for a bit, but knew in my heart that the only way to get over a terrible day of fishin' was to try to have a better one.

I took my time getting up to the Root...after some cell calls I came upon Bart & Jacek...and there's Jacek holding a nice chromer taken in the deeper water! Meanwhile I had been talking with FAT - they're morning on the Root resulted in nothing sighted or tangled with...in other words not a good morning. In fact, FAT had also been to the Pike. Between the 32F temp on the Root, and 33F on the Pike, they had decided to take the boat out on the Big Pond. Not enough room for Bart, Jacek AND myself, so I had to ditch my buddies...I wasn't going to pound the water pointlessly with my flies when I could be out on the boat, perhaps getting busy with some browns!

I drove rather recklessly as fast as I could to meet up with FAT, David of efishingbooks.com, and Dutton. Somehow I beat them there, which left me ample time to rig up my 8wt. Yeah, my 8wt. FLY ROD. Rich and I had been talking and I wasn't about to forget out plan that the next time we headed out for the browns, there'd be some flies involved!

Earlier that morning the lake had been calm and very clear. By the time we got out things had changed. First, there was the wind. Next came the whitecaps, up to probably 3 feet at times....not a fun ride! When we showed up, we also found a HATCH going on...well, a hatch of aluminum. Probably 30 boats were pounding the brown's winter feeding grounds.

I can provide a quick synopsis of the action....there wasn't any. When we finally got rigged up, we made several passes in the chop...two boards on each side and two flatlines (one being my 8 wt. with sink tip, a long leader, lots of lead, and a dual rig of MP's General Baitfish and MP's Buckwing Spey Dace). All too soon we had enough of getting bounced around so we headed back.

Bart and Jacek had been in the area and checked out Oak Creek - saw one steelie landed at the mouth but nothing in the stream yet. I departed and figured I had to check things out for myself. Definite NO FISH in the stream DESPITE a flow of about 40 cfs and 40F! The KIDS however were out in force. Dads out with their kids.YO DAD's, teach your kids some manners.

I watched this kid, maybe 10 or 11, move up right into the spot I was fishing, proceed to cast in front of me, snag up, start whining to his dad to take a lure out of a bush when the kid could have just as easily walked over and done it himself. When the dad got it free but accidentally tangled it up on another rod, the kid went ballistic on him.

So Dad, I didn't say anything on the river 'cause I didn't want to say anything in front of your son, but you and I know your son was showing you no respect...I would have called it a day right there, packed it up, sent him to his room without dinner (and if you're so inclined, if that was my kid he'd have been grounded for a few weeks...heck I was spanked when I was young...go for it).

So I'm sure you've heard me say this before, and I'll say it again, you think the Root is bad, try Oak. I stayed roughly 10 minutes until I couldn't stand this kid anymore...I just had to leave or I was gonna whack him myself sayin' "First, you need to show your father some respect, and second you need to get a clue about river etiquette." Trust me, if I bump into this kid again, and he does the same thing, words will be exchanged.

So Bart & Jacek had already headed down to Kenosha Harbor...I was GLAD I had snagged my harbor gear from Rich's boat (I think I left it in there back in January!). I did the McDonald's routine and showed up around 4:00 pm, just as Jacek was pulling in ANOTHER FISH. What is it with him having fish on every time I meet up with him at the water?!

After watching him land, I got the "clue in" as to what was going on. More or less the "Polish Style" (which again, is not snaggin). But this time, jigging on the surface rather than deep.

In no time I got my first bite...basically casting out, taking up slack the second the Kastmaster landed...ultra slow retrieve interspersed with short rapid jigs (more or less twitching the spoon)...maintain contact after as you reel down to continue the retrieve and you'll feel the strike.

Jacek came down to land my first...where was the net?! Apparently my fishin' buddies had NEGLECTED to bring one! And it just so happens I have one in the car. Well, watch the video...I consider this fish LANDED despite the fact that he made off with a spoon in his mouth and some mono wrapped around his gill plates.

Then came #2, another nice BROWN! #3 came thereafter! Talk about the "smack talking"....Bart when 0/1 in the evening. Jacek was 2/3 or 4. For once I've outfished my buddies at the harbor!

However, the real fun came towards the last bit of daylight. Earlier between my #2 and #3, Bart had cast and we all heard the snap as he cast his spoon right off. Well, Jacek then brings back his rod to cast and snap...there goes his spoon. We're laughing pretty hard at this chain of events.

So I come down after #3, and Jacek is sayin', "Matt, what are you doing?! You have to show me this 'American Style'".

Jokingly I say, "Alright, I'll show you." I walk down the rocks, bring my rod back and say, "Now, you know how to cast, right?" I bring my rod forward and snap...there goes my spoon, flying halfway across the harbor and landing with a small splash.

I kid you not, both Bart and Jacek had to put their rods down and crouch on the rocks they were laughing so hard. I had a good chuckle myself, but I've never seen anyone laughing so hard that they were literally rolling on the rocks!

Well, we ended this fantastic day at the Harbor around 6:30 PM Water temps were only 36F! This trip definitely made up for Saturday's Indiana fishin'...I've been on a cloud since that day. I've been itchin' to get back there....but again I have to be patient; I don't live in the ideal world, hence I don't get to fish whenever I want (although a lot of you seem to think I do)!

  MP 

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