4-15-05 - Looperpalooza - Day 1
Waters Fished: French River, Sucker Creek
Fish Caught: 0/5 Personally
Outing Date: 4-15-05
Weather: Sunny, Windy
Air Temp: 40's
Water Temp: low 40's
Water Level: Low
Water Color: Clear & Stained
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: No specific color was king...
Fishing Quality: Good
FINALLY I've gotten the opportunity to sit down
and write about Looperpalooza, the brainchild of our dear friend
HAT. I will start off by saying that Red Hat is also in the
process of writing up some fantastically detailed reports of our
three shared days together and I HIGHLY recommend you check them
out - as this was a large group outing I especially appreciate the
different point of view, especially since no one can be everywhere
at the same time! So, immediately after reading this report you
should read Red Hat's version on WWPD
online for 4-15-05.
For me this was almost like an extended double
date. It was FATMAN's
anniversary weekend and somehow his wife, Freda, had agreed that
they'd go to LOOPERPALOOZA for their anniversary! Renee and I where
in as well, so the four of us carpooled up to Duluth, Minnesota,
leaving SE WI well after 11:00 PM the night prior. Rich drove through
the night...the following morning we found ourselves at the Holiday
gas station getting wakeup juice and our 2005 full boat nonresident
fishing licenses for MN. After that it was STRAIGHT to the river.
Just like driving to the PA tribs in the fall, where a stop at Trout
Run is a requirement, so too is a stop at the French
River, one of the broodstock rivers for Loopers in MN. After
confirming that indeed, the loopers were in, we moved on. For some
reason I didn't even bother to take pictures this year! RATS!
We had a good idea where we'd find the rest of
the clan - Sucker Creek. Heck, I even knew where they'd likely be
fishing...surprise surprise there was Red Hat, Brennon, Dan, The
General and a couple guys I hadn't yet met!
I'll let RED HAT cover all the details...suffice
it to say the river was quite busy for a Friday AM. There were indeed
loopers moving in, although not nearly in the numbers we saw last
year. So more anglers and less fish. No reason to complain though,
we were here, so we better enjoy it ;)
Things were slow...unlike last year the fish just
didn't seem to have the urge to bite. I was out fishing with a brand
spankin' new 8' 9" 8wt.
Garrison Taper Bamboo Fly Rod that together with Ron
Caimi of Trout Camp Rods we had built up just in time to catch
the tail end of this year's steelhead season. This would be one
of the 2 Bamboo
Salmon & Steelhead Rods I'll be able to offer up with my
guide services. I was on a mission, determined to get a picture
of this rod with a steelie before the runs are done.
Well, 3 hookups later it was already checkin time
at the Island
View Resort. Exhausted from our trip, I think all four of us
took naps. Rich and Freda headed out a bit later to fish the Knife
River, only to return and let Renee and I know about a great little
place to get lunch. Darnit if I can't remember the name right now.
Renee and I whiled away the afternoon in this great little cafe...the
food was superb, complete with a view overlooking the lower section
of the Knife River. I think we spent 2 or 3 hours there!
Finally we returned to gather up Rich and Freda...we
might as well try for the evening bite. Justin and Jason from the
Hawg Trough were out fishin' and seemed to be doing quite well.
Meanwhile I struggled between foul hooks and thrown hooks, only
managing 2 more bites.
Looking back on it now, being out with the new
bamboo rod I realize what was going on. I was treating this stunning
piece of $1000 equipment like it was a fragile piece of fine china.
I was very "gently" setting the hook on these massive
If there's one thing I can tell you this trip taught
me, as you'll read in the next report, the one thing you can't do
with bamboo is be GENTLE on your hookset. I don't consider today
a day of being skunked; had I been fishing my typical gear I would
have landed fish. So chalk this one up to the learning curve of
something new and exciting!
That evening, back at the Island View Resort, we
convened in Red Hat's Cabin for Spaghetti dinner. The beers were
out, fun was had. Regardless of the fishing quality, it was absolutely
great to be back with friends!