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10-22-04 - Scott battles a king at FAT BEND in Lincoln Park.

This is what the Root looked like at 12 CFS.

Guys were tossing flies to fish that were "resting" in the riffles, their backs not even fully covered by the water.

Downstream I nailed this beautiful chrome Coho hen; first fish on the new rod, MP's #22.

The Pike was even lower still...pretty much devoid of fish (But not anglers!)

Went to check out the mouth of the Pike...

SOOOO close, but it's NOT connected to the lake. That means NO FISH are entering the Pike, and probably haven't been for the last few days.

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
Weather: Cloudy
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' RIDICULOUS".

"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.

  MP 

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