10-7-06 - A Red Army from the north is welcomed with open arms!
Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 10 personally, 20 photographed, estimated 60+ between all the anglers in our group today
Outing Date: 10-1-06
Air Temp: 60's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: 275 cfs and falling
Water Color: Stained, visiblity 1-2'
Fish Species: King Salmon
Pattern Fished: Mostly Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red and Chartruese worked best personally
It's that time of year again, when the infamous group of anglers known as the Red Hats make a southeastern journey from the icy north of Minneosta. I had seen the whole crew only a couple weeks ago on the North Shore. Brennon, Neil and Dan, as well as Dave whom I met during lunch, just 2 weeks ago. TIM made it too, in town from Ohio! And then of course, the Fatman had to show up with the boys...it was a regular old reunion on the Milwaukee!
We didn't RUSH to get on the water this morning, as we all had a big long day ahead of us. Renee and I showed up to the Milwaukee and pretty much had the place to ourselves much of the Morning. This also happened to be Alice's first King Salmon trip!
We simply slammed 'em - there were fish everywhere. Brennon and Tim came down early on...I want to say that the other guys stuck around upstream a bit longer. The highlight of the day, at least for me, was Alice learning that she DOES NOT LIKE KINGS. Every time we landed one, it was met with a growling bark and bristled hair on her back. Even more so if the fish landed was a nice toothy buck. Even more so STILL if it was RENEE holding the fish!
Renee's morning wasn't going quite as well...she had a few on but hand't yet sealed the deal. As morning passed, I suggested she try a deep run on the far side of the stream. It was there that her luck changed.
When she hooked up, I ran out with the net and managed to stop the battle early as a massive King turned to bolt downstream. I will remember for a long time the violent spray of water swimming downstream straight towards me...I think I closed my eyes simply out of reflex as I went in for the netjob...thankfully this one made it into the net! The last time I hooked up with a King this size it took 45 minutes to land! When it was all done, Renee had landed a 37.5" King, around 25lbs. Literally TIED my lifetime personal best.
There's really not much else to say...several more 3'+ fish were landed that day, and I heard stories of at least two of the "Red Hats" landing fish over 40". It was simply an exhausting and exhilerating time on the water with a bunch of old friends (old as in long time, not as in actually "OLD AND RUN DOWN) :)
No one walked away without fish today...you couldn't ask for a better time on the water.