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12-11-04 - Derrek starts out his day working the face of Horlick Dam.

One more view of the Horlick area before heading downstream (only to leave the stream all together!)

Oak Creek had great flows but didn't produce the results!

One last look at Oak Creek!

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
Weather: Cloudy
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!

  MP 

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