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10-19-04 - Rich takes a break to reconfigure his offering while salmon swim back and forth in front of him.

Gerry worked hard for this massive male King Salmon.

Ok, um, check out the rod on the 2nd guy from the left.

A panoramic view of the Estabrook Falls, standing at the base, looking upstream. Check out the enlargement above, or feel like you're there with the 3D viewer.

10-19-04 - NO SLEEP = Whacked-out Fishin'

Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 0/1
Outing Date: 10-19-04
Weather: Cloudy & Windy
Air Temp: 45F or so
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: low, around 150 cfs
Water Color: brown, visibitity approximately 1'
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon
Pattern Fished: Eggs Eggs Eggs
Pattern Color: Threw the gamut; the only to score for me was orange
Fishing Quality: The fish had LOCKJAW!

Bedtime came somewhere around 1:00....My cell phone rang at 5:00 AM. I leaned up on the couch and started feeling around for the phone...no luck finding it though. I had purposely put it out of reach so that I'd have to get up for it. Well, you know how night-guy does all these nasty things to morning-guy, right (remember Seinfeld)? Well, Morning Guy got back at night guy and simply fell back to a horizontal position (better known as sleeping).

My alarm clock went off at 5:30 AM; I again woke up and sat up. Unlike the phone, the alarm keeps going until you snooze or turn it off. It's LOUD...it's all the way across the room...it seems as though night guy is smarter than morning guy afterall. Now standing, I clumsily hit the snooze, not even thinking that when I got out of the shower, I'd again hear the grating, aweful sound of this alarm clock!

At least night guy had the courtesy to get a couple cans of Red Bull and leave them in the car for morning guy...Mr. M.G. was appreciative. It was after 6:00 AM when Morning Guy, aka. myself, called FAT to let him know I was on my way, finally.

I got down to the river probably around 7:30 AM when it was all said and done...the only folks out were FAT, Gerry and myself. A cold wind was blowing in from the east, gusting at times. Thick gray clouds hung in the sky overhead. I figured we were due for a BANNER day...no bright glaring sun to put the Salmon in a spooky, skittish mood.

So much for that theory; much of the morning was spent trying to find a pattern that the fish wouldn't run away from. Orange ended up being what I needed. However, the fish were doing ANYTHING but snapping at flies...most were moving upwards, in fact I dont' think any were actively redding. Most of the Kings were also getting rather dark in color...like Black in color. Between the cold air, stiff wind, nervous fish, and seeming pointless urgency of these dark fish to move upstream, I'd say that the KING RUN is rapidly drawing to a close.

Now, it's not like we had a tough time 'cause fish numbers were thing...make no mistake they were all over the place. They just weren't biting. I did see a few definite coho running around; as we left I gave 'em one more shot...Gerry was standing next to me and can confirm that the first time the coho hit it came to the surface head shaking and fair, and threw my hook. On the second drift, I was perhaps overzealous and set the hook on what I thought was a bite...ended up fouling this coho under the chin, watching it go absolutely nuts, cartwheeling downstream and again, throwing the hook (which was on the exterior of the chin). Surprisingly, I almost got a THIRD shot at this fish until it finally got smart and headed for deeper water. It all happened faster than it took you to read this.

Gerry and Rich were done for the day, but the entire drive out I had been wondering about the falls. Being skunked at this point, I was truly determined not to leave without a fair fish for the morning. We parted ways; when I arrived at the falls I found 4 guys on the water tossing spoons, dredging whatever through the fast water.

Let me say that I didn't so much as touch a fish here...numbers were actually better downstream where we started. I broke off twice on the same darn rock, even after upsizing to 15lb. simply so I didn' break off. Frustrated, skunked, and technically late for work, I hightailed it at 10:00 AM.

  MP 

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