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
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
Fish Species: Steelhead, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: MP's Antron
in Gray/Olive, MP's LED Moe Egg, bait including spawn, Silver
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
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
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)!