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10-1-06 - Renee captures the start of a long wild battle with a huge hen King!
(Copyright © 2006 Renee)

Mike has one one!
(Copyright © 2006 Renee)

We get a good look as Mike briefly gets his King to the surface.
(Copyright © 2006 Renee)

10-1-06 - Completely Appauled

Waters Fished: Pike River
Fish Caught: 0/1 personally
Outing Date: 10-1-06
Weather: sunny
Air Temp: low 70's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: low, 16 cfs
Water Color: green, visiblity 6"
Fish Species: King Salmon
Pattern Fished: Mostly Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red and Chartruese worked best for me.

I HOPE this isn't a sign of things to come for this year's October crop of Anglers.

The day started off alright, Renee and I headed to the Pike and happened upon good 'ole Mike Otte! I hadn't been expecting to run into him, but hey, why not! We hung out, got rigged up, and he was kind enough to let us join him on the spot he was fishing. So far for the day he'd hooked maybe 7-8 fish, landing one.

After a short while I managed a hookup...a MASSIVE fish that ran me down to my backing (I burned my HANDS on the stuff as it was torn from the reel)...let up pressure and the fish slowly ambled back upstream. In the process, the hook had become loose, and when I reapplied pressure the fish simply popped off. When dealing with a fish that's probably close to the 30lb mark, that's a risk you take...

Mike had his fair share of action, including one solid fish that simply bulldogged him all the way. Had it not been for 8lb. tippet, we would've easily bagged the fish, but instead Mike was forced to gingerly apply pressure to another massive King. As the fish reached a shallow tailout way downstream, I'm sure Mike was seeing backing. I was making my way through the forest to jump out and perform a long distance netjob when Mike and Renee shouted down that it had managed to get away. Snapped off I hear.

Renee's one solid hookup was VIOLENT, one big splash at the surface and a snapped leader. Another MASSIVE fish. At least one thing is sure, the fish we've seen so far this year ARE significantly larger than those we've seen for the last couple - I *think* that the lakewide 25% reduction in King stockings has had an affect already!

1 hookup each, 4 hours of angling, well you can say for sure that's REALLY slow. Had I been guiding I would've probably left the Pike a lot sooner in search of something better. HOWEVER, I DOUBT there was anything better, it could've only gotten worse.

First off I was annoyed with the shear number of anglers out, specifically the number of anglers who HAVEN'T a CLUE what they're out there doing. I know everyone has a right to fish public waters, I'm the first one to thump my chest in defense of my right to be on the water as being equal to the next angler. I sure hope I'm not becoming a fly snob though.

CANE POLES. ARE YOU SERIOUS? You're going to fairly hook and land a 30lb. KING SALMON on a CANE POLE with 10 feet of line tied to the end? What are you hoping to accomplish? ZEBCO's and WORMS? I'd say by far the MOST appauling angler was the father-son duo who "parked it" immediately downstream from where I was fishing and proceeded to cast a 6" long flourescent orange stickbait. If you guys are reading this, let me first say that I in NO WAY hold the SON responsible for anything he did...the kid was probably young enough to not know any better. It's the DAD I'm beyond PO'd at, and it's really hard to interject and cause a scene when it's a father and son. So, if you, "DAD" ever find yourself reading this, please take note of the following.

1. IT IS NOT LEGAL, or ETHICAL, to instruct your son on the fine art of casting upstream of a moving fish, to then reel in and at the correct moment attempt to DRAG the lure into the fish. AKA, this is SNAGGING, and had it not been your SON who likely didn't KNOW any better I would've quietly picked up the phone and called the conservation officers, police, and/or DNR and WAITED there to have you busted.

2. IT's HIGHLY improbable that a moving fish in skinny water at the peak of the day's sun would've struck that lure. SERIOUSLY, didn't you notice how the fish not only did not respond to that offering, but in fact turned away repeatedly and saught cover in deeper water?

3. IT's INCREDIBLY RUDE to instruct your son to cast upstream, crossing my line, in a spot we've been fishing since before you showed up.

So I think you're going to start getting the idea. EVERY good hole in the stretch we fished was "parked" by at least one angler. The guy upstream fishing the sinktip...I um just don't have a CLUE what you thought you were accomplishing....I think you would've figured out after your 20th fouled fish that something wasn't working right, and maybe a sink tip in 16 CFS of water is probably a bit "overkill". OK, we all had a golf clap going in our heads when you FINALLY had a fair fish on. Seriously, lose the sinktip, you didn't need it. In fact, we used the tinyest of shots in the FAST water downstream and that was plenty!

After that "four hours" Renee and I finally gave up on the location we had tried. Driving from access spot to access spot..8 cars...12 cars...6 cars...15 cars. 3 Anglers blatantly ignoring a "no trespassing" sign, walking up a driveway. WTF?! Basically, I'm ashamed to be associated with so many of the anglers on the river. I'm not surprised that the FATMAN who's been out of the country for the last 5 weeks, left the Root early, basically saying "screw this".

I can only wait for the temps to drop 20 degress with some rain and solid breezes...that usually gets the "riff raff" off the water in a hurry. That and the Bears & Packer games....hey, the Bears are 4/0 - don't waste your time on the water!

Thankfully I know of one "out of the way" spot that most people simply overlook, so while there weren't a lot of fish, at least we got to fish in peace and quiet. It was a nice enough way to end the day, although the sting of a skunk during the King run is going to take a while to get over.

Oh, and look at this, as I finish typing up the report this Monday evening, there's Flash Flood warnings in Kenosha County...looks like all the tribs will be totally screwed for the foreseeable future - yup, stay home, do the yardwork, catch some college football on Saturday, Bears on Sunday...yup...


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