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10-04-05 - It's a beautiful morning in upper Quarry Park.

Lots of folks here fishing to what is best described as a "fair" number of fish.

Looking back downstream as the sunshine just starts to break into the quarry stretch.

FAT Root River Creekchubs are hitting!

So are FAT King Salmon! Got my skunk off.

Mike patiently works the head of a riffle.

Fish would come up the sun-lit riffles in a shower of diamonds (splashing water) only to rest right in front of Mike.

WHOO HOO - Mike gets lucky enticing hen into striking.

Mike's gorgeous king goes back to fight again.

What's up with the Creekchubs?!?!

Your updated weir numbers!

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 and spring.

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 still "early".

  MP 

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