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4-09-05 - Jim Breaks in the Forester!

Waters Fished: Pike River, Oak Creek, Root River
Fish Caught: 1 personally
Outing Date: 4-09-05
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny
Air Temp: 60s?
Water Temp: Pike - 48F. Oak Creek - 54F. Root - 53F
Water Level: Pike - 40 CFS and falling, Root - 290 CFS and falling, Oak - 20 CFS and falling
Water Color: Pike - Visibility 1',
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: You name it.
Fishing Quality: Excellent

4-09-05 - My first and only fish of the day. A adipose clip combined with a left ventral clip denote this fish as a Ganaraska Strain Steelhead.
(Copyright 2005 Jim Kercheval)
Jim patiently rerigs.

You may remember my fellow Smokin' Tahoe teammate and co-founder, Jim K. Well, work has been kickin' his butt this year, and I don't think he had made it out yet to fish!

That all changed on this particular Saturday. Jim picked up one of the used Pennington Bamboo Rods I had for sale, specifically the 7' 6/7wt. Forester that I had used to hook into a brown a couple months back. I had a Hardy Reel I had picked up for these rods, and well, Jim now has that Princess on the Forester. It's a CLASSIC combo.

Jim got out long before I did (in relative terms) and by the time I had arrived at the Pike, he already had 2 fish under his belt with this 20 year veteran rod. If that's not a compliment to Jim and the rod, I don't know what could be. I was itchin' for a pic of Jim with a fish and the rod, but it turned out to be my turn first when I connected with an average steelie, still chrome!

It was looking pretty bleak for a while, but Jim stuck with it, putting several flies into the trees with daring casts. He was convinced there were some steelhead holding in the deeper slot oposite us.

Well, his hunch definitely panned out with a HUGE hookup. Bamboo rods don't have nearly the backbone that a graphite rod sports, so this fish took a bit of time to bring in. Technically, Jim was *almost* undergunned.

There was NO WAY this fish was gonna get away...Jim took his time and the effort paid off with a fat, chrome hen on the bamboo. Turns out that she was a Kamloops Strain (Looper)! That's 3 for Jim!

This fish tries anything to get away from the net! Jim with a chrome hen looper landed on the Pennington Bamboo Rod and Hardy Reel. This is about as good as it could ever get! FYI, Jim's a big guy...this fish was pushin' the 8-10lb mark. Jim puts her back to be caught another day.

We had pretty much fished out this spot...the steelhead that hadn't moved up or down were nervous and skittish. Jim and I moved upstream to water that he hadn't fished before.

Fair caught suckers all around...yeah they take eggs!
Suckers on the bamboo! Jim just looked so "perfect" castin' that bamboo on the Pike River. More Suckers for me!

Well, the sucker bite was great...probably the perfect size fish for Jim's new rod. There simply weren't any steelhead around though. What next? How about Oak Creek?

Up to Oak Creek, more suckers! It took a BLUE EGG?!

When we arrived, it was apparent that we were way too late. Kids were EVERYWHERE, snagging suckers, running through the creeks, in general just making a mess of the stream. I attribute this to the "Kids Fishing Derby" that was being held directly upstream on the Oak Creek Mill Pond. Jim saw this and said "I've had a great day, I'm done". Who can blame him?!

Meanwhile, I was curious to see what I'd find. Walking downstream to get away from the madness I saw a few fresh redds but for the most part, SUCKERS were everywhere. I did manage a few fair suckers from a deep bend, but for the most part, this wasn't how I wanted to spend my day. I already had steel under my belt, so I wasn't THAT hard up. Why not check on the Root?

Well, while it wasn't quite the zoo it can be, it was rather crowded. Upper Quarry had 30+ anglers desperately trying for steel in mid afternoon...hardly "ideal" conditions. I sat and watched for a half hour and saw no one hook up with anything other than a sucker.

The Root Zoo.. An unnamed angler battles a fish...turns out to be a sucker. Sunset on Lake Como.

As Renee and I sat on the Porch at Lake Como we witnessed a great sunset. Kinda reminded me that after seeing everything I saw today...I should already be IN BED!


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