11-04-04 - MP Ties the Record!
Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 1/2 personally
Outing Date: 11-04-04
Air Temp: Cold!
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: receding, now 80 cfs
Water Color: Muddy, visibility about 6-9"
Fish Species: Coho Salmon, King Salmon, Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Eggs
Pattern Color: Orange was again the ticket!
Fishing Quality: Good, we found the fish!
The plan was to meet up with FAT in the AM; he had a couple clients
and we were all gonna fish! Well, of course FAT got there first;
he had already scouted out the downstream stretches of the Root
and just like I had found the day prior, there wasn't anything going
on. Meanwhile, upstream was looking pretty good!
We all met up at Horlick, suited up, geared up and got on the water
at legal fishin' time! In short order Mike landed his first King.
Greer was definitely looking forward to his first fish; he had come
all they way from Tennessee for this!
Greer's first hookup was a Coho that literally slammed his Chartruese
Bugger at our feet. To top it off, it was a HEN Coho...they just
don't usually DO that kind of thing! I watched it all happen, and
it took a moment to set in to either of us that the fish had actually
hit the fly! Somehow, this first one got off!
We turned our attentions to the riffles opposite the slow bend,
and there we found some Kings and Cohos! Greer again hooked up on
the Chartreuse Bugger, and again fish off! Third hookup was a male
coho...I almost had him tailed when he turned, flew downstream and
busted Greer off.
OK, it was clear that Greer was having a great morning, but we
REALLY, REALLY should land one of his fish, right? Well, the fourth
hookup came on a Dragon's Tooth I had given him...a slammin' hit
from a Hen Coho. It took Greer way downstream; a net, lent from
another friendly angler, saved they day. Greer was officially UNSKUNKED
and in true FAT fashion!
Back upstream Mike was working a pod of Cohos, at least 6 fish
were milling about in front of him. Greer went upstream and noticed
a fish holding in the riffles; he tried several drifts and swings
with the Dragon's Tooth but didn't connect.
I was thinkin' about it, and lent him my 10' 6wt. which was rigged
up with eggs. On only the 2nd or 3rd drift, Greer connected and
set the hook hard. A massive eruption of Red appeared before us
out of the brown, muddy water. Talk about a COHO!
FAT came up and did the guide thing, netting Greer's Coho. We all
marveled at the size of this one; I'm putting it right at the 10lb.
Mark Simply a stunning fish; nothing like you'd catch in Tennessee!
FAT had to take off, but me, with my new found unemployed status,
had some time to stick around. Mike had managed to score a couple
cohos upstream....it was looking like maybe the upper stretches
of Quarry Park deserved another look.
The idea paid off, with Mike going nuts as he lost a Steelhead
on the CHIEF SPECIAL, tied with a chartruese body and hot pink wing.
FYI, the Chief Special is this unreal lookin' fly that FAT's son
came up with. In fact, the Chief Special that Mike was fishing had
been tied by Chief himself.
I suggested that Mike keep swinging in the pool...if the steelie
had hit once it might hit again. The suggestion paid off with a
great fight, lots of cartwheeling and headshaking, and finally a
beautiful Skamania was brought to net, photographed and released.
I was thinkin' maybe we should all head back downstream...Mike
was now 3/4 of the way to a Root River Grand Slam. All he needed
was the Brown Trout, and that would be relatively easy compared
to how scarce steelies have been this fall. Greer wasn't quite ready
yet...he had to go and land another FAT King.
We all planned to head downstream for that brown, but when we got
out of the river Greer and Mike realized it was time to go, they
had a business lunch to attend. Meanwhile, Matt "Chinook2Hook"
showed up out of the blue, and we decided to head downstream despite
my initial feelings that we had pounded upper quarry pretty hard
by that point.
Well, my gut feeling panned out, we both had a hard time finding
fish, and by noon it was decided that maybe we try another stretch
of river. On the way out I found a couple fish holding at the bridge,
and managed one hookup with a TINY female coho.
Enter lower Quarry Park, where the anglers were even more present
than upstream. I considered this both a good and bad sign. We went
way downstream and came back up, only sighting two fish personally.
I stopped at an area which I consider notoriously GOOD; there are
almost ALWAYS a pair of fish spawning in this one particular riffle.
Sure enough, I found a pair of Cohos.
After a couple casts I was on the mark, expecting (and trying for)
the Male to come off and hit my flies. Of course, things don't go
as you'd like them to, and I managed to hook up with (and land)
the hen! I shouted to Matt to go for the male, but Matt is still
new to the Fly Rod (he's a drift rod kinda guy) and wasn't getting
even close to the mark. Once I had released the hen, he suggested
that I give the buck another shot.
Unfortunately I put in a bad drift, off the mark, too close to
the fish, and fouled up on the pectoral fin of an otherwise breathtaking
buck. It was well into the afternoon at this point, I was unskunked
and had things to do (like head to Chicago, pick up packages, head
back to WI to finish my centerpin) so that last foul was the end
of my trip to the Root.
Seeing as it's day #130, now officially tying last year's record,
this is one heck of a day!