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1-12-05 - The Root River at lower Quarry...it's free, flowing, and clear!

Looking downstream on the Root.

As usual for this time of year, Ducks are more prevelant that fish!

The Pike was "just about there"...but still no fish in the pools and undercuts.

Another view from the Pike.

Kenosha Harbor was open, free of ice. This was the only spot where I saw any signs of fish activity.

1-12-05 - What's goin' on Locally?

Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River, Kenosha Harbor
Fish Caught: 0/0
Outing Date: 1-12-05
Weather: Dense Fog + Thunderstorms!
Air Temp: 40's
Water Temp: Root 35F, Pike 37F
Water Level: "Up" for this time of year. Root est. 50-60 cfs, Pike 50-60 CFS and rising
Water Color: Root was clear, visibility 3-4'. Pike Muddy, visiblity less than 1'. Kenosha Harbor murky, visibility 1-2'
Fish Species: Trout?
Pattern Fished: Eggs and Leaches
Pattern Color: Cerise and Orange Eggs, dark black on the leeches
Fishing Quality: more like "scouting" than fishing.

On a warm and foggy winter day I couldn't think of a better way to spend my time than on the water - if I was lucky I could even get a fish or two!

It all started at the Root around 1:30 PM. I had intended to fish the centerpin through some deeper spots, but having found that I left my spawn sacs at home, I went with the fly rod.

I spent around an hour working my favorite honey holes, you know, those holes that every time you go to you hook a fish, even if they're not immediately apparent. Well I guess things just weren't going to shape up on the Root unless I wanted to ice fish downstream...with the relatively crystal clear water I could see the bottom in spots that usually are concealed. Suffice it to say that I personally walked through enough of my honey holes and didn't spook up a darn thing. If there were fish upstream, they weren't showing themselves and weren't interested in my tiny offerings.

Next stop was the Pike; after scouting around a bit I dropped in and fished the mid sections. Water temps were just about perfect for me to find fish - 37F....maybe 37.5F. Runoff, snow melt and rain had all brought the Pike up in flows from the normally low winter state. Muddy water dictated that my dropper fly be something large.

3 different big black wolley buggers and leaches later, I was without a nibble. Again, I spent most of my time slogging through the water, not kicking up a darn thing. Again, the honey holes held nothing. For whatever reason, the fish weren't present here either!

My last stop for the day was Kenosha Harbor. As I pulled up, I found it free of ice - precisely what I was hoping for since the lake, by my house, has been ice free all winter. I ran into a guy down by the waterfront and stopped. He had a fishin' pole leadened up against his car. I asked him "have you been out fishin'?". He kinda looked at me and replied that he wasn't there to fish. I thanked him for his time and drove by, only then realized that the "fishing pole" was in fact his car's antenna. Yup, laugh it up.

I recall having a good time in winter at Kenosha last year, so I was hopeful that it'd repeat. Kastmasters were my only available option, I tried a number of retrieves from fast and violent to slow and deep. Surprisingly I saw two boils on the surface while I was there...the 2nd one was a confirmed small trout of unknown species.

Again, chalk it up to my need for a good skunking perhaps, but Kenosha Harbor failed to pan out either. Between the lightning and wind, I opted to call it a day around 5:00 pm.

  MP 

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