10-09-05 - FAT DAYS, 2005!
Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River
Fish Caught: "technically" 1/2 personally
Outing Date: 10-9-05
Weather: Mostly Sunny
Air Temp: rising into the mid 50's
Water Temp: 58F on the Root, 55F on the Pike.
Water Level: 10 cfs
Water Color: stained, kinda blue, visibility < 1.5'
Fish Species: King Salmon, Coho Salmon
Pattern Fished: Small Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red & Chartreuse took ALL fish today
We kicked the day off early - a group of us meeting
around 5:30 AM in Racine at the Root River Steelhead Facility. Today
is the once-a-season "special day"; "FAT DAYS"
where Rich Brown takes some time out to give his River Doctrine,
Fixed-Three and WILFUL presentation to anyone who wants or needs
to hear it!
Well, Rich was nowhere to be found, so the group
headed downstream through Lincoln Park. I came with spotlight in
tow, ready to shine for fish. After a quick walk through Lincoln
Park it became painfully clear - there were FEW fish to be had in
the low water. To be more precise - 10 fish were sighted through
all of the good fly water.
John McLelland and Rich (not Rich Brown) decided
to stay. Meanwhile, Mike Otte, Matt Jennings & his buddy Brian
and myself decided this was really a waste of time, especially considering
that it was now 6:00 AM and there were already MORE CARS than fish
in the river. Time to get out of here!
The four of us hightailed-it to the Pike River
and got in; I was confident that we'd again find a few fish where
we had gotten lucky the day prior. Sure enough, right upstream from
where Renee landed her fish, a group was working at the tailout.
Legal fishing time had already come, so I didn't waste a moment
getting on the water. Not trying to be cocky, I simply said "this
is how it's done". It only took 2 or 3 casts upstream for a
male to peel off and hammer my flies. After a good long fight, I
got 'em in. As I lifted the fish for the picture, it twisted and
fell with a kaploosh. Q@#$@#$%!!!
OK, so I set Mike up on the group. He figured it
out but honestly the fish just weren't all THAT interested. Meanwhile,
I scouted around and what did I find but the buck I had just lost,
comfortably sitting in at the next tailout downstream. It only took
a few more drifts and again he struck!
SWEET. This time I took a bit more care and time
in landing the fish - Mike got the shot! So technically that's 2
fish landed, or if you prefer I landed the 1 fish, twice. Either
way, I'd had my day, for me this year, "FAT DAYS" was
about taking out a former student (both of Flash and IA Trout School)
and showing him the awesome fishing we have right "outside
For at least the next hour Mike patiently worked
the pod. One by one the fish pushed upstream into the large bend
as the light got more and more intense (relatively mind you, it's
still only an hour after dawn and we're in the woods!). Mike missed
most of his strikes. Patience was required.
Eventually it happened. Not quite the blistering
fight I'd wish for every first-time king salmon hookup but I don't
think Mike had ANY complaints. Now, I don't know what angling circles
KISS their fish, but Mike was so inclined. Who am I to neglect documenting
such a feat ;)
Matt and Brian showed up shortly thereafter - they
had been further upstream and found a few fish, but nothing spectacular
to report. We switched locations...here I encountered a FRESH (CHROME!)
Coho and managed to hook up not once, but THREE times! After the
third time the fish just, well, RAN FOR THE HILLS! Darnit. It was
starting to get close to our meeting time back at the Root.
Well, it wasn't quite the turnout we've seen in
seasons past, but another group of anglers did indeed show up to
learn the ins and outs of tributary fly fishing. Even though I've
heard Rich give this talk about 6 times (at least) it STILL helps
- keeps things in your head that sometimes you neglect.
After a lazy late morning just hanging out at the
Root, I decided to call it a day. Fishing was pretty slow WHEREVER
you were..I'd already gotten my "skunk off" and achieved
my goal of getting Mike into his first. So, not a stellar day, but
nothing to complain about either ('cept the fact that we NEED RAIN!)