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10-13-05 - A chrome hen gets thing's started - EXCELLENT.

A quick follow-up BUCK!

Mike, tied up again!

I love the distance the fish are giving Mike this morning!

Mike's skunk is once again GONE!

Another buck for me

Again, if anyone thinks we're "flossing fish on the redds"...

10-13-05 - Pay your dues early and you'll get rewarded!

Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 13 between the two of us
Outing Date: 10-11-05
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: upper 40's rising into low 60's
Water Temp: 58F
Water Level: low but up a bit, 85 cfs
Water Color: stained - visibility 1-2 feet
Fish Species: King Salmon, Coho Salmon
Pattern Fished: Small Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red & Chartreuse as usual!

Back at the Milwaukee at 6:00 AM - it's my third time out team fishin' with Mike in the past two weeks. I remember Mike booked all the way back in JUNE and I think his foresight is about to be rewarded. At the time, I suggested rather than one big day outing he do a couple smaller morning outings - it increases the odds of being there on the RIGHT DAY AND gives you more time to pick up the tactics.

Well, I consider this day our PAYDAY! Having taken yesterday off from fishing (yes, I actually worked) we were back on the water not knowing exactly what to expect - afterall I've seen fish disappear overnight before. NOT THIS TIME!

I think Mike has gotten to the point where he truly has the hang of this. Yeah, I "got on the board" early with some fantastic pre-dawn fish (yes, those 30 legal minutes before sunrise are some of the best on the river). I know Mike had PLENTY of hookups but his first came to shore as the sun broke the horizon!

Again, not to short change any of you, but for the most part it was typical bulldogging, head-shaking, short burst run types of battles with our fish. Pretty much all we had to was find a group of males that were beating on each other. Then just toss our flies in the vicinity of the "secondary" males behind a pair and they'd mob 'em. The pics from the day do far better than anything I can describe, except for maybe 3 fish we tied into.

The first, well, CHECK THE VIDEO. Yes, a big day of fish like this is great, but what we're all really hoping for is that one fish that gets our hearts pounding and our arms shaking with fatigue. MIKE got that fish today - the fight lasted at least 10 minutes and took him chasing that fish all the way upstream and down again. The very fact that I had TIME to get some video of the battle (yeah, there's 10 minutes just of that) will indicate that this may very well have been the longest, most drawn out battle I've witnessed this season. Somehow I think we're not going to see any 45 minute fights this year (the fish are running a bit small) so Mike, I think this fight will PROBABLY go on the books as the longest for 2005.

Of course, Mike's very next hookup was a doozy. The kings weren't cuttin' him ANY slack today. This time around, a larger Jack (probably a 3 year fish) that hammered him and bolted. When it ran out of room I saw it do something a FAIR HOOKED king almost NEVER does - it went airborne. Not only did this fish go skyward, but it did the most beautiful BACKWARDS, TAIL OVER HEAD somersault. UNREAL, and all the while I'm wishin' I hadn't gone back to shooting PICTURES.

Finally, I can't fail to mention that I too had a memorable fish. There, amongst all the green and black of kings, I saw a flash of red. I got my flies placed directly upstream in the seam where I saw it. The line went tight and the fight was on.

Man this fish literally ENDED my day...what came to shore was a phenomenal male Coho. Probably the largest and most pristine I've personally landed. Easily a 10 minute fight to get this guy in as he was FRESH and well, Mike was busy himself ;) Thankfully we got some GREAT pics.

So for three days of fishing with Mike, I am eternally grateful. We couldn't have ASKED for a better end to our 3 days together.

YES - look at that GOLDEN Buck. I love 'em when the come like this.

It's like "every time" I look at Mike his rod is bent!

Another, yes, another buck.

Look at that beast - nice Buck Mike!

Yup, pods of males everywhere behind the hens.

I think Mike needs to pick up the pace here....

MORE pressure on that fish Mike!

That's what I'm talkin' about!

Back at it again - I think that's #5 for me.

YEAH, another "fresher" Jack for Mike!

Look downstream from Mike - those are the kind of fish we're targeting!

There we go - another secondary buck gets PO'd - this time it's MIKE's rod shot!


I put the rod down after this one - you just can't top a fish like this!
(Copyright © 2005 Mike Levanti)

Flash Video - 22 MB - I shot around 10 minutes of video during this battle (yeah, it was great!).

Flash Video - 18 MB - Part 2 - things get kicked up a notch when Mike's fish bolts downriver!

FREAKIN' AWESOME BUCK! OK, that's a KING of King salmon!

Another buck has turned on Mike's flies.



It just keeps on like this...what a SWEET DAY on the Milwaukee River.




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