10-04-05 - Early Fall on the Root
Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 1 personally
Outing Date: 10-4-05
Weather: Clear, Sunny
Air Temp: rising into the upper 70's / low 80's
Water Temp: 66F
Water Level: 25 cfs
Water Color: muddy brown, visibility < 6 inches
Fish Species: King Salmon, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Large Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Chartreuse, Red, Orange
6:00 AM - PRIME time for a morning of fishin! I
met up with Mike at Horlick Dam. We got out on the bridge and did
a bit of shining - upstream was pretty spotty but fair numbers of
fish jostled for position in the riffles.
We dropped in shortly after legal fishin' time...fish
moved all around us. By far, probably the most fish I've seen down
here in quite a while...maybe a year or two. As the lights started
coming up the fish started pushing up the river.
Mike and I took turns in various spots, trying
to entice strikes from fish as they rested between jumps upstream.
During our first hour we each had several follows and at least a
strike or two - I definitely had one on for a long time only to
pop it off as I tried to steer it to shore.
By the time the sun really came up and started
burning stark shadows on the water the bit shut off. Meanwhile,
more and more anglers simply poured into the water, each trying
to find an empty spot and a fish. Kinda feeling crowded, and not
terribly happy with the results we were seeing thus far, Mike and
I moved downstream.
Lower Quarry Park wasn't nearly so packed...we
waded downstream to try some traditionally good water. At first,
it seemed that maybe there just wasn't anything around.
My line tugged and I reared back on the rod. Pachew....out
shot a small fish, still attached to my flies. A big fat CHUB. Seriously,
this was a big chub!
A pair of anglers waded up from downstream, and
in doing so spooked a HUGE King holding in the riffles below. This
olive brown monster simply bolted upstream, at least 75% of it's
body exposed to the air. It made it and slid into the tailout, pressing
onwards to the deepest spot in our little pool. Definitely concealed,
I suggested that we'd fish here for a while...one of us had to catch
that monster fish!
30 minutes later, Mike had hooked up briefly but
we hadn't found the monster. Every once in a while a fish would
appear, as if mocking us, egging us on. Mike broke off, and then
something happened. A fish literally just blew past us, up the riffles,
and settled in the tailout upstream.
Not one to just sit and watch, I moved upstream
and found at least our one escapee resting in the tailout. It only
took a few drifts to entice a strike...another head turning lurch
for the flies. SWEET!
This wasn't the BIG MONSTER we had seen so we stayed
put. As the morning progressed we patiently fished. One by one,
fish would come up the riffles in a mad dash and either rest at
the tailout, or make their way to the deep bend we fished. A particularly
nice fish enticed Mike to come downstream and fish for it.
It took MANY repeated presentations but the fish
DID finally take. Obviously tired from her recent ascent, it wasn't
quite the fight we'd hoped for, but at the end it's a BIG KING all
the same. Mike had definitely gotten what he came out for!
We kept fishing a while longer. Mike managed another
FAT Root River Chub. Seriously, these are some BIG chubs...heck
they're double the size of the smolts that get stocked each fall
As the sun continued to rise and beat down on us,
we kinda started getting HOT. Yeah, it was probably 80F in October.
The bite was pretty much gone...Mike had another shot at a big buck
but came up empty. We made our way out, fishing a bit more, finally
ending up in the cars. After a quick stop for hydration, we found
ourselves at the Weir in Lincoln Park.
There was a lot of fish stacked in the tanks...we
found out that not only kings but also browns were starting to show
up in fair numbers. The gates were "down" blocking fish
movement. The DNR staff guy suggested that we try down in Lincoln
Park...that's where they've been getting browns.
Well, we did a lot of walking and looking for fish
- we saw the most beautiful male brown trout I've ever seen - on
a stringer. The flanks were SOLID RED. Amazing looking fish. Kinda
wish that one had been put back....that's the kind of fish you just
gotta share with another angler or two.
Mike and I sweat out the late morning plying water
that was relatively dead. We DID manage to scare up another fish
or two while patiently drifting downstream, but that was about it.
Around noon we were both simply FRIED. Granted,
a four hour team fish had turned into 6 hours. Frankly though, I
really had planned to fish ALL day and Mike was welcome to stay
around. Considering the conditions, and the fact that we're fishin'
at least twice more in the next couple weeks, we both agreed to
call it a day. Afterall, we each managed a fair fish, good large
hens at that. It's a heck of a lot better than getting skunked,
anytime! We're both hopeful that conditions will improve...it's