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11-04-04 - Mike scores first with a buck King Salmon!

Not so long afterwards, Greer lands his first salmon (ever?), a beautiful, ripe, hen King!

FATMAN does the netjob on another fish for Greer!

I've never caught a Coho this big...massive! We put it right at the 10lb. mark. Greer is obviously all smiles!

Mike had this steelie on not once, but twice! A right maxillary and adipose finclip show this one to be a Skamania.

Greer has something the ladies like apparently; another ripe hen for him!

Later in the day I got my shot and scored my second time around, a small female Coho Salmon.

Matt "Chinook2Hook" happened to be out and about, putting in some time with the flyrod.

11-04-04 - MP Ties the Record!

Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 1/2 personally
Outing Date: 11-04-04
Weather: Cloudy
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!

  MP 

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