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10-17-04 - It's Renee's second day on the tribs! How will she fair?!
(Copyright © 2004 Rich Brown)

Chief continues to be ON FIRE with the Kings!

Time to end this battle...

Rich makes a mad dash for Kramer's King.

Rich with Chief and Chief's King!

Renee NAILED this Chrome Coho Salmon!

Same spot, now Renee lands a rainbow! Is it a Steelhead Strain or Domestic?

The adipose fin clip on Renee's rainbow...

...combined with the left pectoral clip mean that this is an Arlee Strain Rainbow Trout.

When we got there we had the place to ourselves; We left much earlier than we had to because it truly became a zoo...folks didn't seem to care if they got right into the spot you were fishing, crossed your lines, ran through the riffles wet wading. Some guys were nice, but others, man, no stream etiquette.

10-17-04 - MP get's Schooled by RK!

Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 0/3 personally
Outing Date: 10-17-04
Weather: Bright!
Air Temp: 60F or so
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: low, around 150 cfs
Water Color: brown, visibility approximately 1'
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Steelhead (Arlee)
Pattern Fished: Eggs Eggs Eggs
Pattern Color: Threw the gamut; again neon orange paid off (for Renee)
Fishing Quality: TOUGH!

What a weekend; Friday night Renee and I drove up to Milwaukee to visit with some friends of her's who were in town from Minnesota. We had a great evening, hit some interesting bars down around the North Ave. area, east of the river.

Driving back there was definitely an issue with the Bitchin' Camaro's transmission; it was slipping, disengaging, and with each passing mile it got worse. I opted for the back way home to Lake Como, off at Rawson west and then southwest on 36. Around 1:00 AM I literally gave up; the care would not move. Across the street was the Franklin Police Station.

We made it back to Lake Como after 4:00 AM. Talk about simply a draining night; I hit the pillow and it was lights out. Saturday saw me in NO mood to be on the river, even though the Recreational Dam on the Milwaukee had been pulled the day before, sending 2000+ CFS downstream. Despite there being no doubt in my mind that Saturday would be the best day of the year on the Milwaukee, between the night prior's events and the dark gray, 30 MPH wind on Saturday, I skipped it. Instead of fishin', Renee and I had an enjoyable day of cooking and fly rod building.

Sunday rolled around and it was time to GO FISHIN! We took our sweet time, arriving around NOON ;) This would be only Renee's SECOND time trib fishin'....would she do as well as she had before or was that just beginner's luck??

We arrived on the stream to find Chief wackin' fish as usual, Rich was playin' netboy for his son! Chief managed a total of 11...that's right, ELEVEN fair hooked and landed, all kings. I'm hard pressed to prognosticate which of the Fat Tribe Jr. Members is the dark horse to watch out for at this year's Pet Fly Smackdown!

Jim was ALSO simply slayin' the Kings...every time I looked at him his rod was doubled over and a head was thrashing at the surface. Meanwhile Renee and I wandered around, anxiously looking for fish. They were few and far between. Renee tried to coax an number from Jim later....Jim declined to answer exactly how many fish he landed fair. He only admitted to "double digits".

Frustrated with the lack of fish (other than in Jim's spot) I called the audible and suggested that Renee and I go check out Estabrook Falls....just a little bit upriver. When we got there we pretty much had the place to ourselves!

I worked downstream while I put Renee on what could be called the honey hole, a deep pocket that requires a LOT of weight to fish. Considering there was a small brown trout swimming around at here feet, this couldn't be a bad spot! 8 #8 clam shots went onto the leader tag through trial and error....9 hung up on every drift and 7 never touched bottom.

I hooked a fair fish or two and lost them both. I remember looking upstream, not even sure if Renee had said anything, but found her with the rod tip bent over pointing at a violently thrashing silver fish. I ran upstream and tailed it for her...FN FRESH COHO! It slammed her orange egg. TALK about a FISH?!

45 minutes later, we're back doin' our thing...well Renee is fishin' and I'm trying to explain how to rig to a pair of guys who came up planning on tossing spoons through the riffle water. They weren't out there to intentionally snag, REALLY nice guys. I wouldn't mind sharin' the water with them again, and guys, if you're reading this and would like to learn how to fly fish or run a mono rig, I'd be more than happy to show you sometime!

Renee again shouts....I can see flashes of pinkish-red and silver on her fish. Again, I run up and find that Renee has landed not a coho (as I initially expected) but a RAINBOW TROUT! After examination of the finclips, it's an ARLEE! While technically not a "steelhead strain", as Arlee's are "domestic rainbow stock", the technical definition of a steelhead is a migratory rainbow trout. This trout definitely HAS migrated about 6 miles upstream from the harbor, so it's "technically" an "Arlee Steelhead". Ok maybe not, the point is it's been a banner day with Renee's first COHO and fish TRIBUTARY RAINBOW (STEELHEAD!).

Dusk approached, I was still skunked, and man did the crowds show up. Tons of kids wet wading, a kid throwing some sort of chartreuse worm from SHORE, inbetween the wading anglers. Renee literally got crowded out when some guy walked up and started dragging some big thing through the same pocket. First their lines got tangled and I managed to get them undone. The second time around, I guess while I wasn't watching, Renee HOOKED HIM. She didn't feel bad about it at all; I wouldn't have either. Some folks need to learn some manners....let alone stream etiquette.

So there it is, the day Renee outfished me...probably won't be the last either!

  MP 

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