12-11-04 - Double or Nothing? I always lose at
Double or Nothing?!
Waters Fished: Root River, Oak Creek
Fish Caught: 0 (1?)
Outing Date: 12-11-04
Air Temp: lower 30's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Root 125 CFS, Oak 30 CFS
Water Color: Root & Oak = muddy, visibility less than 6"
Fish Species: Steelhead, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Egg Flies
Pattern Color: Nothing truly produced
Fishing Quality: tough
Of course, if you have one good day on the tribs
you have to try to keep the streak going! I was supposed to meet
Derrek at Horlick on the Root at 1:00 PM....around 1:15 he called
to ask where I was - apparently he was already down on the river
while I was waiting for him in the car!
On my way down a pair of anglers were leaving for
the day with 2 steelies on the stringer. A polite querry as to where
they got them was replied with "right at the dam". This
is what I'd been hearing for the last couple days, so when I met
up with Derrek on the water we pretty much headed right to the face
of the dam.
Unfortunately after about an hour of working the
various runs, plunges and seams, we both came up 0/0. My original
battle plan was to head downstream to check some gravel-filled spots;
perhaps we'd get lucky and find some browns redding in the evening?
Colonial Park was a total bust, at least in the
fact that there were 12 cars already in the parking lot. Between
"Creel Survey" Dennis's info and this, the Root wasn't
sounding like a very enjoyable place to spend the rest of the afternoon.
Derrek hadn't ever seen Oak Creek...hmm.
Shortly after arriving at Oak Creek, Derrek hooked
the first fish, a brown trout, which unfortunately was fouled. We
both worked downstream; in essense looking for redds with fish.
All we found here were OLD spawning redds, at least a couple days
after the fact.
Dusk came way too quickly - we made one last ditch
effort back upstream where we had started. This time, as the last
couple minutes of legal fishing time approached, I noticed a tail
poking out of the water at the base of a riffle. I started casting,
hoping to connect. Then I noticed not one, but at least 2, possibly
3 fish, moving up into the riffles.
I adjusted my cast but not my weight, and this
is probably my downfall. In a fury of excitement I cast repeated
short drifts in the vicinity of the fish - when my line went tight
I set the hook and the battle was on.
By the time I landed the fish, it was probably
after the end of legal fishing time - VERY DARK. Close inspection
proved it to be a MASSIVE male Coho - when I originally saw the
fish my first thought was KING SALMON based on size, even though
for the most part their season is well since passed.
Digging around in the dark, I found ONE FLY lodged
in the chin of the fish and never did find the other fly (it very
well could have been lodged somewhere in it's mouth!). Rather than
fuss about a large yet crusty Coho, I chalked it up as foul and
sent it back to the water. Our time on the water didn't exactly
go as we had liked, but hey there are still fish to be caught as
long as the rivers aren't frozen over!