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8-5-04 - "I don't recall ordering these stream improvements!" Horlick is now a snagfest (as in snagging up your offerings on underwater structure).

Looking downstream from Horlick towards Rt. 38.

There is a carp or two in this picture.

My rainbow/brown mystery trout.

George is distracted while fighting a fish...

8-05-04 - It's so close...but it's NOT HERE YET. DAMN!

Waters Fished: Root River, Lake Michigan (Kenosha Harbor)
Fish Caught: 0 worth mentioning
Outing Date: 8-05-04
Weather: Winds out of the north
Air Temp: 60's
Water Temp: Root=WARM, Kenosha Harbor = 69F (root felt the same)
Water Level: Root about 200 cfs
Water Color: Root visibility less than 1 foot, Kenosha Harbor murked up too, maybe 1-2' vis.
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Carp???!,
Pattern Fished: Chicago Leech, Scuds, Kastmasters
Pattern Color: Leech in black, Scud was Olive, Kasmasters in white/chartreuse
Fishing Quality: POOR no matter HOW you looked at it.

So I ran up to the Root after work, Chromeseeker was already there and we were due to meet up with Matt (Chinook2Hook - yes, for those who know, THAT Chinook2hook) and Josh. Matt and I have talked much since our initial, um, maybe "falling out" or "disagreement" are good ways to put it, and well between you and me (that means everyone) Matt likes to stir the pot...just to see what boils up to the surface. He's Damn good at that too.

We got to Horlick Dam, hopeful but not over-expectant. Matt and Josh had fished 2 hours during the mid-afternoon and didn't see anything in the way of steelies (Skamania), let alone the possible early king salmon. However, Matt and Josh were quick to point out LOADS of big fish.

"Loads of big fish" being buttloads of CARP. This is the FIRST time I'll admit to doing it, but I looked at the water writhing with big bronze bodies and said "Ya know what? We're fishing for Carp.". Screw the fact that they are carp (and the fact that one summer we pitchforked 2 or 3 Hundred of them and it had a noticeable impact on the fishing in the next couple years). Yes, personally, I think they should ALL be pitchforked...even if you're a die-hard carp FAN they should STILL be pitchforked...carp have probably done more to alter fisheries across the entire US than things like Alewifes, Zebra Mussles and Gobies combined. Take a carp out of the equation and that leaves room for something else to fill its spot...hopefully that something else is something NATIVE, and perhaps something we can ALL agree on would be fun to catch. I know Matt feels somewhat differently on the subject, and he's entitled to his opinion and I'd respect it by not slaying any carp we landed while fishing with him, but man, ordinarily, they WILL get pitched if I'm targeting them. It's a drop in the bucket I know but it's also a principle. The bass that showed up after we killed 300 of them certainly told me that erradicating them WOULD make a big difference in any particular fishery they were removed from.

OK so off the soapbox and into the river. We all got in and I'm pretty sure we spooked all the carp off. No one tagged a fish...well actually Bart claims to have landed one on a bunny leech before we got there...just put it in front of the fish and waited for the take. I DID foul a rather nice brown...about 11"...all RED SPOTS..not a black spot on it. Obviously it was stocked earlier in the year, and for whatever reason it had decided to stay put in the river instead of going downstream like most do.

If there had been action we probably would've stayed all night, but all I did was lose fly after fly on what I can only guess was a new sunken log. About 9:00 we all decided to leave the Root and try our luck at Kenosha Harbor.

I got there first and found George casting away! Always nice to run into Bart's dad unexpectedly...in fact it happens quite a bit! We all started casting and frankly we were the only ones out...the COLD north wind probably kept most anglers away.

Wouldn't ya know it, Ken showed up..yeah I do remember now that he emailed me saying he'd be down there. So now there's 6 of us in total casting spoons in every shade and variety. The browns are there...not as active as on Tuesday but they are still there. I managed another TINY brown...or rainbow...honestly it was too dark to tell for sure and I haven't looked closely at the photo so I'm just gonna say brown. It nailed the spoon just as I was lifting it out of the water.

About 10:00 PM George hooked up. SWEET. He was on a short rod, light line (and not much of it) so he played his fish rather gingerly. Of course, when we got it to shore, we were all disappointed to learn that this one was fouled. @#$QW$ - Rambling Reports Rule, even though this was a huge fat male, full kype, easily 10 lb, there will be no pictures of fouled fish.

George put forth a lot of effort reviving the fish...it swam off and then FLOATED UP about 10 feet out. It floated for several minutes before swimming off. That's when I thought to take a temperature - at the surface the harbor water was 69F. Pretty much any fish landed would have to be kept; it's times like this that *maybe* I'd consider keeping even a fouled fish consider it is likely dead upon release, but then I have to come back to the fact that I always respect the law. It's unfortunate that we live in a world where we can't have laws that allow for "common sense" to be taken into consideration.

Well it was cold for MP in nothin' but a T-Shirt...most everyone else had a jacket, flannel, sweatshirt. While freezin' my summer buns off, Ken hooked up! I ran over to help him and he informed me that it was probably fouled. I pleaded for more optimism, but Ken's diagnosis was confirmed when his brown came in foul too. After release Ken's also did the floating act for a while. This pretty much ended my evening as well as George's and Bart's. They fish weren't reviving properly and all we were doing was fouling them..both happened to be on the tail. I remembered Capt. Rich telling me how they put the video down on a trolled line and watched the salmon whack at the spoons with their tails...could that have been happening here? Not sure, but even if that was happening, I didn't want a piece of that action (tail hooked fish are NO FUN at all).

I got off the water around 11:00 PM and headed home...it's only August folks...I gotta say another 2 weeks and maybe things will be better!

  MP 

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