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3-26-04 - Finally someone hooks up...Doug!

Nice little action shot for ya...
A very respectable fish on a tough day! Congtrats Doug.
Looking downstream into Upper Quarry Park.
Cross the street, and you can see that Horlick was pretty much empty!

3-26-04 - Lockjaw!

Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 0/1 fair, + 2 foul
Outing Date: 3-26-04
Weather: Overcast
Air Temp: 50's
Water Temp: 56F
Water Level: 150cfs
Water Color: stained, visibility about 6-12"
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Assorted Wolley Buggers, Speys and BIG eggs
Pattern Color: Again back to PINK!
Fishing Quality: Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink (i.e. it sucked but not for lack of fish!)

Another Early Morning Trip :) This time, a bunch of us were going to meet up and fish the Root. FAT had the distinct pleasure of meeting his clients at 3:30 AM to show them how he finds the fish. No joke, he starts that early when it's uncertain where the fish will be!

Well, I got the call from Glen to get my ass up out of bed; after 45 minutes of packing for Missouri and showering, I finally got out the door and made my way to the Root, late as I often am, around 5:30 AM. I found Jay downstream in Lincoln Park along with 20 other anglers, one of them hooked up and had his fish run downstream, tangling in a stringer, but I think they still managed to free the line and land the fish.

Meanwhile the hot tip was that the majority of fish were up at the dam, and no joke, when I got into the water after 6:00 it was relatively easy to tell they were all over the place. I made my way down to the first pool; a fish porpoised right in front of me and I knew I was in the right spot.

My buddies were scattered all over the place; Gerry was hooking up (lost 3) under the bridge while Kevin was giving it the college try; downstream in a fast run I found Dave, and Glenn came to find me. Chris and FAT were workin' all of the river that day, and came up later in the morning to say hi.

All the while I'm watching fish swirl, run, chase, surface, and everyone else is fishin' other spots. I was thinking I had it made. Well, on a peach egg I nailed what looked to be a large hen....she came up, shook her head at the surface and my line flew back towards me...fish off.

The next 2 came foul...one while I wasn't even paying attention, but was talking to Glenn. I turned around to see my line racing up the pool, so without hesitation I brought the heat. Well, I learned quickly that this fish was ass-hooked, so down went the rod tip as I tried to snap him off. Let me tell you 8 lb. Pline is strong stuff....the fish had to make his way into the fast water at the small "falls" before it finally snapped. Trust me, I was trying, but all I ended up doing was dragging this buck in closer. Pline is some serious strong line!

Despite watching fish literally swim up to my feet, then realize I was there and high-tail it downstream, the bite just wasn't really happening. I did see one guy walk out with a stringer of three....can't say I saw him land them or anything. As I made my way out after trying way too hard for too long, I found that Jay had come up and was fishing with Doug (I think, water was loud, not sure I got your name right). They were running mono rigs drifting moderately sized eggs, and as I passed Doug hooked up. Brought in a nice chrome hen and let me put their picture up here for ya. All the while, we still pretty much had the Horlick area to ourselves.

It's just frustrating when you know the fish are there, you throw the entire box, every technique you have, every rigging change you can think of, and they just aren't willing biters. After sitting on that pool all by myself for three hours with Glenn watching, I pretty much concluded that what we were seeing was a couple males chasing each other around. Pretty much anytime I've seen that on a trout stream there is 0 chance of getting one of those trout to strike a fly; they are too interested in beating the crap out of each other. Now, I'm only guessing that's what was going on here, the water was far too murky to see, but I can say that it seems that the same couple bucks were surfacing, rolling, and dashing around the pool. Overall, it seems that Friday ended up being one of those days where the fish just had lockjaw for everyone. Perhaps the rising water levels and temperatures played a role in that.

You guys were tired of me catchin' steelhead every morning anyway, right?

  MP 

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