4-08-05 - We fished it HARD!
Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: MANY! 2/4 personally
Outing Date: 4-04-05
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!