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3-03-05 - the stoplogs are in place at the Root River Wier.
Much of the river is iced over.
Another skipjack steelhead. Finclips are CAUDAL and Left Maxillary. The LM clip for a steelhead of this age is Chamber's Creek - the caudal fin clip indicates this fish has been processed at the weir (and must have dropped back). VERY STRANGE.
I think it's a mink, out for a streamside stroll as the day warmed up.
The lower Pike is all iced over!
Upstream, no ice!

3-03-05 - SE WI - steelhead on ice!

Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River
Fish Caught: 1/1
Outing Date: 3-03-05
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: 30's
Water Temp: 32F in both
Water Level: Root around 80 cfs? Pike around 40 cfs
Water Color: brown, visibility around 1.5 feet
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Coho Spawn
Pattern Color: Chartreuse Mesh
Fishing Quality: Tough

You know that sometimes the stream just calls your name - on this first day of good weather in March I headed straight for the stream and didn't look back.

I started out the afternooon scouting the Root in the Lincoln Park area. As others had posted earlier in the week, the stoplogs were in place at the wier. It's a sure sign that the DNR is going to start processing steelhead in a week or two, if not sooner?

I spent a lot of time at "FAT BEND", one of Rich's favorite spots, with absolutely no luck. Most of my time was spent breaking ice. While attempting to drift without getting hung up on the shelf ice, a black SUV pulled up and out stepped a CO. It turned out to be Jason, who I had recently been emailing with.

After shootin' the shit for a bit, Jason headed off and I headed downstream to Island Park. Much of the lower park was frozen over, one of the larger bends was collecting all the slush ice that was floating downstream.

Hard work finally paid off with a fish from the gut of a bend - not necessarily where I was expecting fish to be holding, but then again, the water was 32F. A quick slide down the bank, a couple of photos, and another dink steelhead was put back for you guys to catch!

That was it for action on the root, well except for the Mink (or something else?) that decided to make an appearance on the opposite shore for a bit. It totally ignored me and just went about his business playing and rolling around in the snow.

Towards 2:00 PM I knew the bite would be slowing down, yes, slower than it already was. What the heck, I'll go check out the Pike! A quick call to Chromeseeker got me pointed towards the spot he had faired well in last weekend.

Well this time, no luck. Everything was iced over from the lake on up quite a ways. Across the road some construction was going on; using a huge crane they were pounding something deeply into the ground. Assuredly, this racket would put off any fish that otherwise might have been willing biters.

Further upstream, I worked the area around A & 13th. Again, nothing sighted, and talk about TOUGH fishing with a 13' rod! I probed every logjam, undercut and bend without success.

Finally, while working one of the bends, I absent mindedly let my float continue on downstream. Out of nowhere, a small steelhead broke the surface and attacked my FLOAT! My heart skipped a beat - after regaining my composure I drifted the lie repeatedly, hoping that maybe this little steelhead was a bit hungry? No such luck!


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