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4-08-05 - Early morning the bite is always good...Marc is already hooked up!
There it is, first fish, on a white yarn fly!
Marc's FIRST STEELHEAD!

4-08-05 - We fished it HARD!

Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: MANY! 2/4 personally
Outing Date: 4-04-05
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: at least in the 60's for the highs
Water Temp: rose from 50F at sunup to 54F at 4:00 PM.
Water Level: 325 CFS, cresting
Water Color: dirty, visibility less than 6"
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Threw the Gamut, white and chartreuse were top producers.
Fishing Quality: Great!

We met up early...I want to say we left for Racine around 3:00 AM?!?! Well, this was a big guide, a joint effort of Rich Brown and myself. Today we'd be taking out 5 guys, 2 of whom came all the way from UTAH for this!

Rich and I met up with them right off of 20, and it was straight on to the Root. While Rich gave his presentation, I went down into Colonial Park with the spotlight in search of fish. NOTHING! WTF?! Well, we knew there were fish upstream at Horlic, so when everyone was ready we bolted up there...legal fishin' time was right around the corner.

We slid in and right away started hooking up - Clarence was first, battling a steelhead for several minutes in the dawn light. Shortly thereafter Marc tied into a really nice hen, still chrome yet spawned out!

The morning kept on going like that...bites were had all around, sometimes suckers and sometimes steelhead. Several steelies were lost, several suckers were landed! Matt got into the action next with a feisty jack who left the party early when it came time to take pictures ;)

Justin tied into a hog and, as he backed up, tripped over a submerged rock. He went "ass over teakettle" as Gerry G. would say, landing completely submerged with only his feet still above the water's surface. Rich was right there and in a split second had Justin back up in the air...the fish...turned out to be a sucker I think.

Clarence battles a fish! Matt works the seams upstream from the 38 bridge.

Later that morning, while chasing hookups, I myself encountered the same boulder and literally smashed my shins. Only later that night did I learn I in fact had been bleeding on both legs from that encounter. Someone should MOVE THAT ROCK!

Rich and I watched as the bite slowed down for everyone around us...time to make a change. We gathered up the posse and headed downstream to Quarry Park. It was a long, fun day...the pictures can do most of the talking.

Clarence and Rod ply some likely holding water. Justin disappears downstream in heavy water. Rod gets waist deep while fishing a dropoff.
Matt works the head of the fast water. Clarence works a rise in the riverbed. Justin fished some near-shore shallow water...yes it was holding fish!

Justin was now dry and went straight downstream, working the shore, and found himself moving into heavy riffled water. A bit worried he might repeat his earlier stunt, I invited him back upstream to fish some calmer water (I almost bought it trying to go downstream to get him). I suggested he fish a seam and VIOLA...STEELHEAD..I believe his first as well?! He was thrilled...he kept repeating "You said fish right there and he was RIGHT THERE!". Apparently there was MORE than one steelhead holding in that promising seam; Marc landed another one there shortly thereafter.

A nice jack steelhead comes to shore. Justin with his jack. Another Jack comes to shore.
Marc seems to be having the best luck today. Marc, is the water really that deep? Clarence (foreground) and Mark fish the flats...we had fish porpoising all around us.

Matt, Clarence and Rod worked a tailout, run and rise that was obviously holding fish...a few had already been lost. They worked methodically to cover the water. Even so, periodically a fish would rise in a spot that had already been covered...the steelies were toying with us!

We slowly worked our ways back upstream, eventually congregating where Justin had caught another steelie. Rod, who at this point I think had still gone fishless, was given the honor to fish a sighted pair, holding tight along a submerged bed of grass that's normally above water. The group gathered as Rod finally connected and was taken for the longest, wildest ride I've seen all season. I hope that in everyone's mind a day like this met their expectations...this was by far one of the better days on the water, especially for so many new steelheaders.

It's Rod's turn for a fish...what a wild ride. FAT waits patiently as Rod's fish takes him well into the backing. It's that moment...FAT lunges for the fish.
It's time for the handoff... Rod with a great steelhead to end the day. As with most all steelhead...she's put back to swim (and fight) again.

The guys called it a day in the afternoon, leaving me to myself to find my fish for the day. Turns out the same spot where FAT had landed his fish yesterday there were again a group of steelhead holding. In fact, "Patch" was back and was the first fish I hooked up with (and lost midstream).

I continued to work the area and connected with a Jack, which also got away. Apparently a LOT of Jacks were running around in this stretch of river - shortly thereafter I peeled off another small male from the depression. Standing in heavy current, not wanting to make the wade to the far shore, I shot him there in the stream and released him.

Not too long after, I hooked up with the reason all these fish were congregated in that spot...a nice CHROME HEN! She put up a great fight and was released for another angler's enjoyment!

My first fish of the afternoon, a nicely colored Jack landed midstream. I can end my day with this chrome hen! Gerry Greene gets a jump on the weekend and makes it out for the post-work evening bite.

By that time of day I was DONE, but Gerry Greene was just arriving after work to put in some time PRIOR to what would assuredly be a busy weekend. We chatted for a while as he fished the likely holding spots we had found earlier in the day...unfortunately I later heard he ended up fishless for the evening...that's how it goes sometimes!

  MP 

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