10-22-04 - My LAST unused DAY OFF for 2004!
Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River, Lake Michigan
(at the Pike River Mouth)
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 10-22-04
Air Temp: 55F or so
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Root low - approx. 12 cfs - Pike Low, approx. 8 cfs
Water Color: both rivers were muddy, visibility less than 1 foot
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Eggs Eggs Eggs
Pattern Color: Threw the gamut
Fishing Quality: Tough
Before the whole car fiasco, I had ONE day of vacation time in
2004 that I hadn't already allocated; it was indeed the emergency
/ whenever day. Knowing that I'd have to probably go up to WI during
business hours to return my rental and pick up the Whinin' Camaro,
I informed everyone at work that I'd be using up this one last day.
Well the whole week went by and the car wasn't finished; I wasn't
going to go another week with the rental at $40/day. Mike's Auto
Repair in Lake Geneva had said it would be done by Friday...without
knowing it the car was ready and waiting Friday AM. Meanwhile, I'm
still wondering when it's gonna be done, if there's been any unforeseen
developments. I risk it an take Friday off.
Since the car is not finished (to my knowledge) I figured I'd go
out fishin' for a couple hours and call them mid-day! I met up with
Rich Brown and Scott on the Root...as I arrived Rich shouted out
a warm greeting to join the bathtub fishing!
There were a few kings running around, as well as coho, but FAT's
spot was lookin' pretty tight. Some of the upstream water was devoid
of anglers; I moved up to find Cohos, Kings and a single brown all
chasing each other around. I stripped a spey for a while, got a
couple follows but no aggressive hits!
Later on I looked up to see two police vehicles, lights flashing,
by our cars. I figured maybe they were hauling away the guys who
were snagging and netting fish downstream from Rich. NOPE! They
were writing parking tickets?
I got over there as folks were moving the cars (after the police
had left)...Rich got a ticket, I had a ticket on my windshield.
"What's the ticket for?" I inquired?
Rich responded, "Parking on the grass."
"How much is it?" I queried?
"FIFTY", Rich said.
"FIFTY FUCKIN' DOLLARS" I shouted..."that's FUCKIN'
"No no, FIFTEEN" said Rich, correcting me.
Ok, so a $15 parking ticket was issued because I (like everyone
else) had pulled our cars half off the drive (like any sensible
person would do) to allow traffic to pass unimpeded. It's NOT like
there's a SIGN there that says "no parking on the grass"....although
there is a sign on the other side of the road for no parking over
there. Not to mention I saw some city employees driving all over
the grass later that day in their pickup.
So rather than issue a $300 per fish citation to the snaggers &
poachers who were RIGHT THERE, the local Racine Law Enforcement
issued $15 parking tickets to thoughtful folks who were trying to
be considerate to other motorists while enjoying a morning on the
water. WHAT A FUCKIN' JOKE.
Yeah, I was PISSED, and I'm STILL pissed about that. But it did
get me to leave and head downstream, where I bagged my first coho
of the year in short order...a chrome hen pushin' 9 lbs or so...she
was FULL of spawn.
Later on Rich and Scott came down; we all gave a shot at some buck
Cohos that were brightly colored and hammering each other. As I
drift a big bright streamer in the pool a male came shooting up,
appeared to hammer my fly and went ballistic, thrashing and rolling.
When we finally got him in, and untangled (the line had wrapped
around his head at least 4-5 times) I figured out that he was in
fact fouled; more precisely LINED, the salmon fly stuck squarely
in the exterior corner of his maxillary. So while he did make the
move, he ended up coming to shore fouled. Can't win them all...put
him back without a photo (remember, as a general rule, there will
be no FOULED FISH pictures in the Rambling Reports!).
I worked downstream for a while and found a pair of nervous Cohos
who were trying to spawn at the very head of a riffle. It took all
my stealth to approach them from downstream, kneeling, while trying
to get in a position where the diagonal flow would work with an
upstream drift. Meanwhile, a small trout or salmon was pulling the
"sneaker" move, trying to get in between them and downstream
from them, half in the riffles, either to eat spawn or to get in
himself. I worked these guys long and hard until ultimately spooking
them back into the pool (and losing my patience). I really wanted
to figure out what that sneaker was.
On to the Pike...would it be better? Well, there were like 9 cars
there, on a Friday, at 11:00 AM. WTF?! Considering that they were
all upstream of A, well, I did the only sane thing I could do, look
DOWNSTREAM. This ended up being a total letdown...one fish was cruising;
I ended up fouling him and landing him..a Jack King about the size
of a large stream trout (14" or so). What a waste.
Movin' on down to the Pike's mouth, I really didn't fish. Turns
out that there wasn't enough flow to keep the sandbar from forming...the
mouth was CLOSED.
I was on my way to the harbor when I called and found out that
the Bitchin' Camaro was rearin' to go; that canceled my harbor trip.
I figured I'd go get it, then fish some more. Turns out the earliest
that Enterprise could do the car swap thing was 3:00 PM, so there
I sat at home, tyin' flies and such. Bottom line, I got the car
back, it runs, life is getting back to normal.