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3-4-04 - FAT gets into the "catchin" with this fantastic sunrise steel.
We estimate this monster at about 15 lbs.
As we do with MOST of the steelies we land, this one goes back to fight again.
David's first steelhead of his life.

Fish on (again!)

I probably landed 3 dozen of these. Just call me "Dinker King" (Fat's Kids came up with that one).
Ideal flows!

3-04-04 - Spring Steelhead Season is here for the Hard-Core Steelheader

Waters Fished: Pike River
Fish Caught: FAT 2/16, David 1/5, 0/10 personally
Outing Date: 3-4-04
Weather: Cloudy
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 best.
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!

  MP 

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