11-26-05 - The Hunt for Open Water
Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River, Kenosha
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 11-26-05
Air Temp: 20's, rising into 40's
Water Temp: 32F, rising to 36 F on the Root. Pike - 32F. Kenosha
Habor - N/A
Water Level: low. Flow Gauges are no longer "reliable"
but currently read 21 CFS (Root) and 7 CFS (Pike)
Water Color: Root was stained - visibility 1-2'. Pike River Green/Gray,
cloudy, visibility approx 1-2'. Kenosha Harbor Green, visibility
Fish Species: Brown Trout, Steelhead
Pattern Fished: No Fly Fishin' Today! Spawn and Waxies + Stickbaits
at the harbor
Pattern Color: Stickbait in Silver/Blue
We hit the Root around 8:00 AM with Tim, all the
way back to home from OH! Was hoping to find open water down low...hoping
but not optimistic. Everything from Lincoln on down through Island
and below was ICE.
The search for open water lead us to Lower Quarry
- got there and found out that we were the ONLY 2 people there ;)
While rigging up, 2 more gentlemen showed up. Not wanting to lose
out on our first spot, I left Tim, still rigging in the parking
lot, and hit the water. On my fifth cast (and first truly decent
drift) my float dunked under. I set softly, assuming I'd hit a rock.
The "rock" came towards me, like I had perhaps
tied into a branch or a huge CLUMP of leaves. It took a few seconds
before the "clump of leaves" realized that, in fact, it was a steelhead.
Tim has a strange superstition that if you bring a net down to the
Root River, you'll get skunked, so I'd left mine up at the car.
So...here I am, trying to keep a chromer from diving under the ice
and slicing the line off, shouting to Tim up the hill to get himself
DOWN to the River, NOW! Hardly an "epic battle", this was really
more of a "bit of fun" when we didn't expect any. A quick examination
of the fish showed Right Maxillary and Right Ventral Clips - checking
the stocking records on the WDNR website - a Skamania stocked as
a smolt in 2003.
And that's what we got the rest of the day. All
the country club water was covered on down to the middle of Colonial
Park; all the good holes were locked up. By the mid-section of Colonial,
pretty much the entire RIVER was frozen, I'm assuming all the way
down through Lincoln and below as we saw earlier. We saw only one
other hookup the entire morning - a crust brown that was likely
hiding under the ice. By the time we left, the water temps had crept
up, surprisingly, to 36F.
On to the Pike. Well, wait, scratch that. You thought
the Root was locked up? No, I think the Pike was the DEFINITION
of Locked UP! Plan C?
Kenosha Harbor. Well, lots of folks had the same
idea I guess...there was a number of anglers out. Here too there
weren't many hookups - we saw a fouled brown (that was very ethically
released by hooking the plug with the net...nice). Also, a steelie
on the sidewalk. A couple crusted up browns milling about by the
wall. REALLY NOTHING ELSE to talk about here!
Other than a sweet "group skunk" breaking
steelie 5 casts in, I'd say the highlight of the trip was simply
to get a day in on the water with Tim - now that he's over in OH
we don't get to see each other very often.
Then again...I think I'll be seeing him Thursday...