9-28-06 - Early Morning, Early Season, Feisty Kings
Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 0/several
Outing Date: 9-28-06
Air Temp: rising into the mid 50's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: 70 cfs
Water Color: Muddy, visibility 6"
Fish Species: King Salmon
Pattern Fished: Assorted Egg Patterns and Buggers
Pattern Color: we had many hits, but I can't say what they were on!
It was a 5:45 AM start at the Root - the rain in the forecast never materialized. Scott had asked me to guide him, his father Chris, and their good friend Kent. Originally, this was scheduled as a night fishing trip, but due to the recent reg change, this would be an early morning pre-work run and gun type of affair for me! Before the guys had even shown up, there were already a dozen or more anglers on the water. It looked like everyone was respecting the new law by not fishing...but it was still 30 minutes before legal fishing time and folks had already claimed their spots!
The group had planned two full days on the water. Knowing this, we spent some extra time at the parking lot talking about rigging and fishing techniques. Considering it's early in the season and the first time most everyone had been fly fishing for Kings, and considering they'd have almost 2 days on their own, my focus would be on teaching as much as I could to the three in what little time we had.
There had been 900+ kings passed upstream from the weir in the days prior. Steelhead had also been sent upstream earlier this year and were likely still around. By all accounts, this should be the best spot. Once we were all rigged, we got onto the water and set up shop in a small stretch of river.
There's really not much else to say other than everyone had multiple strikes and battles. We had our share of breakoffs, including the first hookup of the day. Chris got taken for a wild ride as his fish simply BOLTED upstream about 50 yards...he got to see his backing on his very first King! Ultimately, the fish dragged his line through some rocks and left him stuck to the bottom.
We had one fish get REALLY close - after missing several early on in the fights, when Kent had one hooked up close to shore I took the first opportunity to net it. Unfortunately, just as I was about to scoop it up it bolted and threw the hooks...only afterwards did I find that both of Kent's hooks had been bent out - seeing as how BOTH were bent, it's likely this occurred well before Kent hooked up with this King.
At 9:00 we left our spot and I gave the three the "grand tour" of the Root, showing them all the access points that had good fly fishing water and suggesting a couple sections that could be waded from one point to the next - basically giving them some options to start upstream and work down seeing as they had 2 cars to work with. After that I had to bolt for Chicago...I still had a full day of work ahead of me!
These guys haven't even made it back yet so I don't know how their next day and half went, but I did hear from another angler they ran into - I know they had a GOOD TIME on this morning guide. I hope the instruction paid off with several fish!