12-15-04 - "That's a double..."
Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 2/3
Outing Date: 12-15-04
Air Temp: lower 30's
Water Temp: 35.5F
Water Level: Root 25 CFS? Gauge is freezing and unreliable...likely
in the 60-70 cfs range.
Water Color: muddy, visibility less than 12"
Fish Species: Steelhead, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Egg Flies
Pattern Color: 2 on red, 1 on hot orange, both #10s
Fishing Quality: Surprisingly Good
Between leaky waders, errands and all sorts of
obligations, I managed to make a detour between Chicago and Lake
Como...Racine! I arrive late in the afternoon, about 4:00 PM. Despite
everyone's insistence that Colonial Park was simply THE place to
be, something was tugging me towards a familiar riffle at Quarry
10 minutes in, my line stopped and I came back
to set the hook on what I presumed would be yet ANOTHER rock. Imagine
my surprise when the rock started shaking and then ran downstream!
A dogged battle ensued; when it was all over I brought to shore
a really nice fish..definitely a male Rainbow. Turns out looking
back on that fish the finclips (adipose and pectoral) denote that
it was a Male Arlee. This confirmed my suspicions; Arlee's fight
like Loopers, which happen to fight like Brown Trout. Lots of head
shaking, bulldogging and overall an ornery, but not aerial or acrobatic
10 more minutes went by. I figured that this hole
might in fact hold more fish - there was no way to tell - I was
definitely fishing blind. Again, as often happens, my line stopped.
The hookset that followed produce not one, but TWO flashes of silver.
The fish at the end of my line seemed conflicted...that's fish as
in the PLURAL usage. I muttered to myself "Holy shit that's
Then the first fish went airborne - bye bye double.
The one remaining fish simply went NUTS. It was probably in the
air more than the water until it finally calmed down. Cartwheels
abound - this fish spent so much time spinning through the air like
a figure skater that when I finally landed it, the line had to be
unwrapped 6 times before I could get down to the fly. Another steelie,
this time yes, an unclipped steelhead.
The last 25 minutes things simply got cold and
windy and then finally it was the end of legal fishing time. I left
with 2 beautiful steelhead which will be sent to Rich Benedict for
replica molding...all in all a very successful 45 minutes - had
I been able to continue that would've been a 4 hookups per hour
kind of day! It was definitely grounds for heading out again in
the early AM with Rich
After dark I headed downstream to break out the
spotlight and see how things were in Lincoln Park. To my surprise,
within 2 minutes I had sighted 3 brown trout holding in slower water..including
one massive fish that easily was in the 20-25 lb. class, possibly
even a 30! I'm telling you, it was simply a HUGE, FAT, FRESH brown
trout. It's almost a shame we can't night fish....