3-04-04 - Spring Steelhead Season is here for the
Waters Fished: Pike River
Fish Caught: FAT 2/16, David 1/5, 0/10 personally
Outing Date: 3-4-04
Air Temp: 30's F
Water Temp: 39F
Water Level: Coming down, about 70 cfs
Water Color: 1 foot visibility
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: All sorts; "Goo Flies" were working the
Pattern Color: Blue & Chartreuse was the ticket
Fishing Quality: INSANE
Tuesday and Wednesday FAT (Rich Brown, www.fishinfatman.com)
and I had been emailing back and forth; Monday's rains had the streams
up following ice out, and we were planning on hitting the back end
slide. An email from a new buddy confirmed what we were suspecting...it
was time to go fishin!
FAT kicked me awake at 4:00 am...by 5:00 we were
in Racine to meet up with David, whom FAT had invited out to pre-fish
in anticipation of their guided outing planned for Friday. As is
FAT's usual trick, we got on the water prior to legal fishing time
in order to SCOUT....2 million candlepower spotlight en-tow.
When we got to our destination, FAT shined the
pool. OH MY GOD. The were fish EVERYWHERE along the tail. Countless
steelhead and suckers. By far the BEST I've ever seen it. FAT was
jumpin' up and down like a schoolgirl, doin' his "Fat Dance".
This was gonna be one FANTASTIC MORNING!
We got out water temp; 39F...not perfect but definitely
doable. I really don't need to provide a ton of details except to
say we hooked into a LOT of fish!
FAT was first to bring one to shore, a 15lb. Buck
getting into spawning colors. As the sun made it higher in the sky,
the action picked up for a bit as David got his first! Not too shabby,
a good 12 lb. fish! With the flows up large salmon-sized eggs in
blue with chartreuse wing were working the best.
Meanwhile I must admit frustration....I keep landing
huge suckers and smolts. A good 3 dozen smolts for the morning.
Blue was working well for hooking into steelies...I counted 10 hookups
but NONE landed. Admitedly some were probably foul, but the fish
were so fiesty that I really never got a good look at ANY of my
hookups. You just knew you had a chromer on when your line rocketed
upstream...suckers and smolts simply DO NOT SWIM THAT FAST! I'd
put the pressure on and unintentionally get snapped off for the
most part...sometimes I got my fly back after a turn or serious
head shake. NO jumpers though!
By 8:00 the bite turned off. David had work, while
I patiently still tried for another 45 minutes to get that first
steel of the season. Finally FAT kinda said "we gotta work
today Matt"...and the old song "You gotta know when to
hold 'em, know whem to fold 'em" started going through my head.
Definitely time to fold 'em.
Not to worry though, I'd be back tomorrow!