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4-01-04 - Matt Przybelski (aka. who I've dubbed MP#2) made it down all the way from Green Bay to show us up on our own home river!

Sorry 'bout your head Matt, but we can all tell it's you with #2.

Action picked up big time around 8:45...I was shooting my buck while FAT was fighting his own buck!

We get ready to leave when Matt hooks into what he thinks is "the largest steelhead [he's] every caught in his life". Of course we stay to watch, videotape, land it and photograph, so both FAT and I are now running late!
We couldn't resist the gift we walked out Fat nailed this buck on the third cast.
JIM K's first steelhead of a lifetime.
(Copyright 2004 Matt Przybelski)

4-02-04 - Another day and the Smack-Talkin' has already started...

Waters Fished: Pike River
Fish Caught: 1/8
Outing Date: 4-2-04
Weather: Clear & Cold
Air Temp: 30's and rising
Water Temp: 42F
Water Level: 45 cfs
Water Color: still stained, visibiltiy still 12" or so
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Eggs Eggs Eggs!
Pattern Color: Pink, Red, Chatreuse etc..
Fishing Quality: Still good, but declining

Well actually, FAT started the smack talkin' the night before at Bass Pro's Thursday Fly Tyin. He must have been lookin' to start some trouble! Jim K. showed up and got surprised with his 4 wt...I hand it to FAT first, he looks it over, then I hand it to Jim. Jim "ohs and ahs" and then hands it back. I tell him to take a CLOSER look, and that's when he reads the inscription and we all start laughin.

Rich, Jim and I are sittin' there tyin' our brains out 'cause we're ultra low on flies from all the steelheadin' we've been doin! Well, FAT and I are low due to Steelhead; Jim's been stuck in California for the past two weeks. Friday would be time for the Smokin' Tahoe to stick it to the Fat Tribe with Jim gettin' his first steelhead ever.

Stayed at FAT's that night and man, he got me up at 3:00 AM?!?! in AM I awake? 2 Red Bulls on the drive over got me there; we met up with JoeR and his son, along with Matt P. from Green Bay who had planned to come on down. Jim arrived and we all packed in quick to get to our spots. Connor and Patrick were planning on being out as well, and they were although we didn't run into them. To top it off, David Stacey made it out again (always nice to see ya on the river David!).

Well it goes down like this...we're on the hole 20 minutes before we can legally start fishing. Unlike yesterday, there are suckers EVERYWHERE. We BS, get tied up, plan out strategy, and more or less do our best to kill time before we can fish. I'm giving the countdown...5 minutes...4 minutes....3 minutes...2..minutes..1 minute....TIME!

FAT was first to hook up and bust off. Somehow in the morning FAT had recruited MP2 as his latest FAT Tribe addition...this cheap move would prove to be good strategy for the FAT Tribe. Shortly after sunrise MP2 banged his first steelie...a LONG, almost aluminum-tubular hen. I whacked 4 bites and every single one came off....what's up with these HOOKS we used at fly tying last night FATMAN?! (I think Fat tied on them to give us a false sense of security.....he must have been fishin' something else). Action dramatically tappered off as the sun hit the water...we were left flogging the pool with nothing..not even suckers to keep us entertained. A few smolts here and there but they don't really count. Downstream Joe had landed a hen, but not much else was going on there. I chased a buck for a while, but again had no luck. Connor had arrived and between he and I we had some fun trying to find this elusive fish. FAT came down for a bit and watched Joe & Connor and the big guy.

Well we headed back up yet again and this time FAT & I scored. A double...he's landing his fish and I'm landing mine. AWESOME. One of our fine DNR Conservation Officers had been watchin' this fun through the binoculars and decided to check our licenses...couldn't be happier to oblidge.

So FAT and I get ready to leave 'cause it's 9:00 AM but MP2 hooks up AGAIN! It's big...we end up being late just so we can land and photograph MP2 with a NICE hen.

Somehow MS2 hadn't had so much as a bite, but we had to leave Jim K (who was out for they day) in the apparently very capable hands of MP2!

As FAT and I hiked out, I point my rod to a riffle and am about to say, "there should be fish there" when FAT beats me to it and says, "did you see that?"

"Nope"....but as we got closer I can see at least one steelie holding at the head of the riffle. FAT doesn't get to FISH enough..he's always guiding, so I said "Take him FATMAN". THREE casts later we're whoping and hollerin as I get down to net a nice smaller buck for the Fat Tribe; nailed a watermelon. Oh, and yeah, we had bet breakfast, so we had to stop at McD's to take care of that wager too. Fortunately I wasn't really "late" - I had car repairs scheduled for the Bitchin' Camaro and had been told they could take "ALL DAY" if they couldn't figure out the problem this time around. Gotta love Dan & Rich at the Riverwoods Mobile in Riverwoods, IL, they got it fixed in probably only 2 hours. BTW, you need a good honest mechanic, I can't recommend better. Tell them I sent ya...Dan's been our "family mechanic" for 20 years or so! I'll warn ya though, they are BUSY already!

The best part of the day though turns out that I had called Jim on his cell later that morning and left him a voicemail about the unmolested steelies we found...later that morning he and Matt P#2 got up there and Jim landed his first steelie ever! Now if I could just get a picture of that one...Matt I think has it on film so it may be a while!

Oh and BTW, MS2 quick the smokin' part, so I guess I'm Smokin Tahoe for two now? ;) No worries, MS2 is still the "Tahoe" 1/2 of our team...Pet Fly Smackdown only 8 months, 1 day away!


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