10-15-05 - The absolute PEAK of the King Salmon
Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 11 between 4 of us
Outing Date: 10-15-05
Air Temp: low 50's rising into 60's
Water Temp: 56F
Water Level: low, 85 CFS
Water Color: stained, visibility 1-2 feet
Fish Species: King Salmon
Pattern Fished: Small Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red & Chartreuse, what else?!?!
Um, does the phrase "HELL YEAH" tip off
what kinda of day this is? WELCOME TO THE PEAK BABY! Granted, it
takes a bit over a week's worth of hindsight to be comfortable in
proclaiming WHEN this year's peak was. Sittin' in a new office chair,
typing away, Yeah, I'm pretty comfortable that 10-15 was the peak
on the Milwaukee for 2005.
Now, I've seen better years, but this was by no
means shabby. Our fish have run a bit smaller this year (hence why
the DNRs from various states have gotten together to discuss the
ongoing management strategies for Lake Michigan, including stocking
cuts). If I had my way, maybe I'd ditch the Kings in SE WI and go
with more Coho and Steelhead.
But that's ALL besides the real point - once again
I met up with Jeff and Tadd, this time a bit late for our 6:00 AM
meeting time but hey, everything was rigged and ready to go from
the night before. It's a Saturday, so I'm shocked to see that we're
still the only two cars in the lot. As both Tadd and Jeff got a
good dose of instruction and experience the evening prior, AND knowing
that the next hour or two is the best time to focus on fishing,
I passed along that unless they needed help, I was just going to
stand back, take pictures, and land fish!
I think the first three fish were landed within
the first 15 minutes of legal fishing time! Early morning haze and
clouds kept things dim a bit longer. Gerry Greene showed up and
in no time was whackin' fish too! Congrats on the 2nd baby Gerry
- I honestly thought you were done fishing for the year!!! Just
like yesterday, as soon as the sun hit the water the fish DID seek
cover BUT otherwise continued to remain active. It was a SLAMFEST
for the first 2 hours.
Like clockwork, the second the sun REALLY started
beating down on the water, the bite slowed. Kings were everywhere.
Pretty much all week, we haven't had to look for a second to find
fish...the river has been overrun with them. Most of the fish on
this day were gold to olive in color...not very many BLACK fish
It was a typical morning...busted knuckles and
all. For the most part, there's nothing out of the ordinary to report
(except that, for the most part, Salmon fishing is ANYTHING BUT
ORDINARY). Tadd struggled, trying to double up on yesterday's success...
Well, we all fall short sometimes, but Tadd did
it IN STYLE. Around 9:00 AM he's drifting to a pair when both fish
move towards us. For about 5 seconds he had both a hen and a BUCK
ON - that's the FIRST TIME I've seen a double of Kings on! Neither
ended up coming in, and I don't think it even REGISTERED in Tadd's
head what was happening. Meanwhile I'm going apeshit. I can't even
THINK about how difficult a feat it is to get two fair takes on
the same drift, let ALONE land it. Hats off to Tadd! Yeah, it's
definitely the peak of the run.
The Jacks are kind of a good indication of that
as well. As the week has progressed, more and more "small"
fish have been showing up. Some people have mistaken these small
fish that are running around the large kings to be steelhead - truth
is we've hit several of them and they're ALL JACKS.
And, what the heck, as the morning turned into
"brunch time" I again got on the water and this time opted
to target the jacks. They tend to be VERY willing biters and a bit
unpredictable. Whereas a big buck will bulldog you and run, a little
jack will go NUTS trying to get off the line. One Jack landed was
enough for me...this is what we wait all year for.
Exhausted, we called it a day just as Birdman's
crew was getting on the water! Yes, we ribbed 'em for a bit, afterall
they were beyond fashionably late. Didn't take long for Jay to get
a fish landed though. It's almost mind boggling that once again,
I pretty much knew everyone upstream and downstream from where we
fished. Must have been a Packer's Game going on or something :)