10-23-04 - It's a slam kinda day!
Waters Fished: Root River, Lake Michigan
(at the Pike River Mouth & Kenosha Harbor)
Fish Caught: 4
Outing Date: 10-22-04
Weather: Misty in the morning
Air Temp: 68F
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Root coming up, 20+ cfs - Pike in the 40's cfs
Water Color: both rivers were muddy, visibility less than 1 foot
Fish Species: Chinook Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Bluegill,
Pattern Fished: Eggs Eggs Eggs
Pattern Color: Threw the gamut
Fishing Quality: Improving
During the fall runs, Saturday is always a day I tend to sleep
in. The crowds are always out in full force early Saturday mornings;
if you wait until later in the day you'll find a more peaceful (although
arguably less productive) experience on the tribs.
I found myself sauntering down into the water of the Root River
around 10:30 AM; Gerry Greene was out as well as FAT
& his fishin' progeny. Chief was upstream, tossing flies under
an overhanging Willow Tree, while Rich was downstream working a
pod of Cohos with Dutton.
It was around lunchtime, so when Chief moved on (one too many snags
in the trees) I moved in. It's tough, all side casting, but I was
quickly rewarded with an unsighted COHO that slammed my flies and
took me for a short ride. Gerry was all too happy to take the pictures.
I had already eaten (figured I had missed it, so I ate on the way)...for
a while there I was pretty much by myself. Chromeseeker showed up,
gave the water a look and headed downstream to float the deeper,
slower water. Meanwhile I sighted a small fish holding at the very
tail of the pool. The currents in this section made it difficult
to get a good drift; I'd either drift too short and swing several
feet upstream from the fish, or I'd get hung up! I fished to it
for at least 45 minutes before finally getting a drift even close
to this DINK! He slammed it all too happily once he saw it, and
in came to shore a fiesty "small" brown...maybe 3-4 lb.
Turns out he was a Seeforellen.
I gave my spot up to Chief after a while; I was on the hunt for
the Root River Slam. I have never landed a Brown or Coho from the
Root before (at least not that I can remember)...all I needed was
a King Salmon (should be easy) and a Steelhead (was gonna be tough).
I wasted a lot of time trying to get interest from a couple Kings
that were running around in the pool, trying to get out, turning
around, circling, and generally pacing like a lion in a cage. Needless
to say, these fish weren't interested in my flies.
I figured I should go upstream as there was some fast water with
no one on it! In short order I landed another Big Red Male Coho
Salmon that was holding in the current seam just below a riffle.
Not my king though, nor was it a steelie!
Bart was heading to the Pike, I was getting tired of fishin' the
Root, so I went down to talk with Gerry; Rich had also taken off.
Gerry convince me I needed to stay a bit longer and show him the
Well it's a good thing Gerry suggested I stay; while he was working
a pod of at least 10-15 Cohos, I was downstream working my own group!
There, amongst all the Cohos that were moving upstream, was a larger,
darker fish that seemed content to just hold in mid riffle.
Gerry came back down when I hooked up the first time; it was a
BIG brown! He thrashed violently and threw my hook...then slid right
back into his holding spot! I joked with Gerry; "I'm gonna
land that fish even if I have to line him!".
Thankfully, he was still PO'd and it only took another couple drifts
to get his attention, and strike, again!!! This time, Gerry came
to the rescue and after several failed attempts, we got this bruiser
in to shore! Talk about one NASTY Bruiser of a Brown Trout! The
lower kype was so long that this buck's upper nose was starting
to split into two!
As far as I was concerned, this was a great place to end my day
on the water. Gerry was still lookin' for that gleaming Red Coho,
but pretty much time had run out. I had to set this big brown down
THREE times while walking back to the car.
I got on the phone to see what Bart was up to...he was down on
the Mouth of the Pike and there were "fish everywhere"!
When I arrived, well, I can't say there were fish "everywhere"
but there was the occasional fish coming up. I even watched a brown
get tossed onto the beach by the waves, only to realize he had missed
the river as he wiggled his way back into the foam.
Action was slow, Bart was out for Chrome, and he did manage something
chrome, about the size of a half dollar, snagged. Bluegill?! Jacek
faired better, or maybe I should say fouled better; while retrieving
a spoon through the Pike "lagoon" he fouled up with a
LARGEMOUTH BASS of good size, 3-4lb. I hate to mention it, but the
coho sitting on the side of the river, belly sliced open, only EGGS
removed, was really, really annoying to see. You guys know what
As darkness approached, we headed over to Kenosha Harbor and tried
our luck there. Visibility was NILL. Jacek's buddy from Poland managed
an early night STEELHEAD on a Cleo, 100% fair. Nothing huge, but
So while I didn't end up with a Root River Grand Slam, I did WITNESS
all four species today!