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5-09-05 - it's more cloudy over Lake Como today.
Another Como Pike...that's officially 24 hours of HOT PIKE ACTION within 10 feet of shore!
Rain is coming today...
On to Oak Creek...in the rain.
Everything is GREEN!
Despite the rain, it's beautiful on Oak Creek today.
Just another nice looking spot on Oak Creek.
By no way a monster, but a very respectable newly-spent hen steelhead, and she's still chrome!

5-09-05 - Hot Pike and Screamin' Steel

Waters Fished: Lake Como, Oak Creek
Fish Caught: 2/8
Outing Date: 5-09-05
Weather: Overcast, Thunderstorms at times
Air Temp: upper 70's for the highs
Water Temp: Como - 60F, Oak - 58F
Water Level: Como - normal, Oak - approx. 10 CFS
Water Color: less than 6" and GREEN, Oak Dirty, visibility 1'
Fish Species: Northern Pike, Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Flying Bunny, Looped Yarn Eggs
Pattern Color: Bunnies Chartreuse/White and Red/White. Yarn in Red, Black, Chartreuse and Purple
Fishing Quality: Excellent

I woke up wondering if the Pike were close to shore and still biting. Rain had come through overnight...part of my mind was on steelhead. However, when good fishing is literally crawling distance, it's worth checking out.

It was probably 10:30 by the time I made my way down to the dock, having tied up some "FLYING YARNS" considering I had lost my Red/White Bunny as well as a couple others. No bunny strips were around, but there was PLENTY of yarn from the salmon and steelhead bag!

Well, it only took 30 minutes to get a strike. The fish came off on the hookset, so I set the fly back down. Again, a swing and a miss...whatever tussled hadn't moved far. So again, I just set the flies back down where I had disconnected and let them sink. As I pulled back on the line, a hard hit followed. Shortly thereafter, another Northern Pike came to shore. That was good enough for me...I had work to do.

Rain swept through again, and I had plans to be in Chicago by Monday night, so I packed it up and headed east. I had a few hours to do with as I pleased. Indeed, the nagging thought of Steelhead returned. Part of me thinks that potential clients genuinely believe that our steelhead runs were done some 3-4 weeks ago. There's only one way to prove them wrong.

I found myself heading north instead of south, and 30 minutes later arrived at Oak Creek. I had the place to myself, so I rigged up and hiked in. I was going on solid information that there were fish in on Saturday, so with any luck they'd either still be in or at the very least, new fish would've come in with the rains.

Well, it didn't look like the rain had done much of anything to Oak Creek, and now looking at the flow charts it pretty much DOUBLED the flows....from 5CFS to 10 ;) The water was indeed LOW but it was SILTY...visibility was only about a foot or so. I continued hiking downstream, looking for movement in the water, when the sky broke and it started raining again. I found some respite under a large tree, and once the rain died down I struck back out in search of steel.

Moving downstream I crossed to fish one of the bankhides. As I fished, movement downstream caught my attention...I whipped around to find a pair of steelhead doin' their thing. I approached cautiously to get within casting distance....the smaller fish left the redd but the BIG, DARK fish stayed in place. I laid out a few off target casts that were enough to spook him upstream into a pocket pool.

Once in deeper water, I was able to adjust my position without causing any undue stress. My first 2 drifts connected with the same dark buck TWICE, each time he reared up, showed his face, shook his head and threw my flies. I rerigged, convinced he was still present. Having hit the chartreuse egg twice, I switched to red and purple. After drifting for arguably 10 minutes and connecting with nothing, I started to head downstream.

Movement in the deeper water stopped me in my tracks...I could barely make out a lighter tan spot against the bottom...it was indeed a steelhead. Thunder rumbled overhead and rain started pouring again. Thankfully I was fishing Ron's Bamboo, so I wasn't waving a graphite lightning rod around!

After several uneventful drifts, I changed BACK to Chartreuse. The first drift was met with a thud as a small chrome fish, possibly a jack or a small hen, erupted from the water and threw my flies. What the heck?

So far, 0/3 is not a good way to go and doesn't prove that the steelies are still around. I sharpened my hooks which I THOUGHT were sharp enough already. The steelhead I had spotted was STILL there...the smaller one had been unseen. So I was still in the right spot. A few drifts with the chartreuse and it made the chewing movement, trying to spit something out. I set the hook and felt her weight all too briefly. It was disturbed and moved upstream 10 feet before settling into the gut of some broken water.

I changed my cast, now somewhat upstream and to the far side of where it lay. On the 3rd drift the steelhead made a hard turn and simply KILLED my chartreuse fly in the shallow water. There was no mistaking that kind of hit..that's what most steelhead anglers are looking for exclusively. I reared back hard on the rod and within a minute had her beached. Snapped a burst of 3 pics and sent her on her way.

I fished a bit longer but honestly, the rain hadn't let up much and pretty well soaked me through. 1/5 on steelies is far from a bad day...let alone the fact that it's now the 2nd week of MAY.

  MP 

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