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4-02-05 - Don't you wish every report started with a picture like this?
That's a great chrome steelie to break the skunk!
(Copyright 2005 Cory Potter)

4-02-05 - Part 2 of 2 - 2 days with A Fly Guy and his buddy!

Waters Fished: Oak Creek
Fish Caught: 2/3 personally
Outing Date: 4-02-05
Weather: Overcast changing to sunny in the afternoon
Air Temp: 40's, rising to upper 50's
Water Temp: Oak 42F
Water Level: Oak 50+ and falling
Water Color: both dirtier from recent rains
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Chartreuse was the ticket AGAIN!
Fishing Quality: Good, in a challenging kind of way.

We hit it RIGHT this time...back out to Oak Creek at first light with Todd and Cory. FAT was down on the water with his Mom too! It's a Saturday, everyone is out! Talk about simply a GREAT DAY!

Right off the bat we got to fishing...my first few drifts in I tied up and lost a fish. it took at least an hour but somehow, just below the riffles I reconnected with a stunning chromer. Broke the group skunk quickly - that's what I was hoping for!

After that I was satisfied...time to let the other guys fish. The key was FAST water...that's where the fish were holding today. It wasn't so much that they were there for oxygen, but rather for concealment and the fact that we were looking at all fresh fish that were actively migrating upstream. We couldn't have asked for a better day.

Cory and Todd ply the fast water. Todd works a deep pocket. Mrs. Brown, FAT's Mom, proves she's a hearty steelheader too!

I played guide a bit, helping Cory and Mrs. Brown as needed...surprise surprise here comes the guys from The Hawg Trough! We first met last year on Minnesota's North Shore...I truly wasn't expecting to run into them in SE WI as most are MN natives! I've never really been able to pin down The Hawg Trough website and guys - it's kindof a loose-knit group of angling buddies, some who guide, some who don't, which gets together and does fishin' trips as a group, and from time-to-time posts a fishin' report or two on their website. All around these are simply a great group of friendly anglers!

Talk about a slew of angling buddies - ya never know when you might run into the posse from The Hawg Trough! Cory and Todd again working faster water. We looked downstream on Oak Creek.

Well I should get back to the fishing - as the morning wore on Todd connected time and again but simply didn't seal the deal...can't say why but that's how it goes sometimes. We hiked downstream and back up after deciding that angling pressure was a bit high for such a small trib, and the fish, well the fish weren't readily apparent downstream. It occurred to me that they were most likely in "run like hell upstream" mode...it'd be a bit before they dropped back from the dam.

Not much going on downstream, so we headed back up.

Our best bet was to hang out upstream where the fishing had been good. I hung out with Cory; they had until around 1:45 to fish before having to head back to Madison and ultimately Minnesota. Cory had a couple hits but nothing finalized earlier in the morning..I kept telling him to work a certain seam but he was disinterested.

Well, someone had to fish it, and sure enough, "Cory's Honey Hole" produced another stunning chrome hen in short order. The battle was intense as the fish ran upstream into the riffles. From above, Josh Lenda was shouting, "Matt it looks foul"!

One of his buddies chimed in, "that's definitely a fouled fish...snap the line".

I knew Josh was just giving me shit, and well, by the time I landed the fish it was plain to see that this was anything but fouled!

I guess this is a "fouled" fish as the guy on the bridge was yelling to me?!?! Yes, another stunning hen!
(Copyright 2005 Cory Potter)
Back she goes!
(Copyright 2005 Cory Potter)

I think my success spurred Cory to give this section of stream another shot. There was less than 5 minutes left on his timecard before he and Todd had to pack up and head for the highway.

Sure enough, he hooked up and the battle was on. Again, shouts came down from the bridge, "That fish is fouled!".

I shouted back up, "No it's not, your seeing the dropper".

Honestly, I was a bit annoyed even though these are generally good angler folk...it was just annoying knowing that the jeers from above might discourage Cory from landing what was obviously his first fair steelhead, especially considering yesterday's results. Well, Cory's came in fair as I expected, and there was much celebration.

What's this?! Cory is HOOKED UP! Josh Lenda heads in with the net! Fantastic, my vow paid off, and Cory has his first fair steelhead on the fly rod - only his 2nd day ever fishing the fly! Yup, nuttin' but fair hooks today!

After 2 early mornings I was beat...what can I say other than it had been a great weekend on the water with Todd and Cory!

  MP 

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