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10-15-06 - Eric with his first salmon ever and possibly his first ever fish on a fly rod. Yeah, lately all the reports seem to start off with a picture of a FISH!

10-21-06 - Another day on the tribs!

Waters Fished: Oak Creek, Root River
Fish Caught: Several
Outing Date: 10-21-06
Weather: cloudy
Air Temp: highs in the 50's
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: low, 16 cfs
Water Color: green, visibility 6"
Fish Species: King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Mostly Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red and Chartreuse worked best for me.

ANOTHER WEEKEND OF KING FISHIN! Can't go wrong with that, and anytime a report starts off with a fish picture, you can't go wrong with that either!

The morning was not too shabby...some of the rivers were UP a bit so I asked Don and Eric to meet me at Oak Creek ...things were looking really good. I got there on time, rigged up and wondered where the heck they were? Called Don on his phone...he says he's where he's supposed to meet me....oh wait...I see him down the road, talking on his cell!

Don lands a fat hen to kick off his morning.

Look at the lower canines on Don's buck!

With that confusion out of the way, we got straight down to business whackin' the fish! Eric had only fly fished perhaps once before - Don had made a trip out to Iowa for a fly fishing school. Lack of experience turned out to not be an issue today - the morning bite was great.

Within 30 minutes we had a few fish landed - all nice Kings any first time Salmon fisherman would be ecstatic about! And to top it off we had beautiful weather. Did I mention the Cohos? There were three fully colored bucks swirling at Eric's feet...we tried and tried and tried, but as the light came up, the fish pushed deep and out of sight.

It's a gorgeous autumn morning on Oak Creek.

We stumble across a heron midstream.

Don hooks up again!

Don successfully lands another nice King!

When I was finally convinced that we had gotten what we could from our starting positions, we moved downstream. As we walked, we sighted a Steelhead! SWEET! Eric got a cast or two in before it spooked off into deep water.

The morning progressed with us going downstream to work the pockets and bank hides. This move paid off with several hits and more fish landed. By far the best battle was Eric's big Buck...he totally kicked his ass, but in the end we got him out for a picture! While driving hard in the deep water, it even spooked up ANOTHER chrome steelie! I think this big male really gave Eric the true "King Salmon Season" experience. Right after that, Eric tied into a nearly chrome hen...thankfully I got the net on that one before it had a chance to kick Eric's butt (which, at this point, I think it would've done had we not gotten it straight into the net). Don and Eric now both had 3 Kings each...far from shabby on their first tributary experience! I can tell folks how to do it, but in the end, they gotta detect the strike, set the hook, hold on for the ride and wait until I can end it with a net. Congrats to you both!

After 5 hours, I picked up a rod and huffed it upstream in search of a non-nasty fish...found one in a nice yellow-green king that stood out like a sore thumb. Only took 1 well-placed drift to get him to take the fly...it was a rocket downstream! I think Don got in on the netjob and I know he took the picture!

Eric gets schooled by a strong salmon.

This was a LONG battle.

It ends with a big buck!

Hard to believe, but fresher fish are still around - Eric lands a semi-chrome hen that spewed eggs everywhere!

After 5 hours of a 4 hour guide, I decided to pick up the rod and nail a yellowish buck.
(Copyright © 2006 Don M.)

Eric has another one on, and Don goes for the netjob. I know we landed this fish, but can't find any pictures of it?!

I had some evening obligations, so I couldn't stay out all day long, but I was going to take some time and stop at another river, just to scout things out. The Root was running high and dirty, but regardless of that there should be fish. Don and Eric came along for a bit.

We stopped at the wier...it was definitely representative of a Root River Slam. Tons of Kings, a few HOG Buck Cohos that were easily pushing 10 if not 15 pounds (biggest I've ever seen), not to mention a few browns and steelies in the mix!

This got me fired up - I hit the water. It only took a few casts to the right spot for a fish to hop on my line! In the heavy flows I really had to work the fish to bring it in. Finally, Eric came to bat with the net! Well, there's another King for the day! Eric and Don were now actually probably "late" for their own afternoon obligations, so we called it a day! What else could I say, just another great day on the water with 2 anglers and a bunch of salmon - lots of fun! I'd go for a repeat anytime!

One last thought that really should hit home what I consider a "fact" about the fall runs. Let's crunch the Oak Creek numbers - easily 100 Kings sighted over the course of the day. Probably 3-5 Cohos. 2 Steelhead. The only brown trout we saw were in the Root Weir. Basically, look at the odds of catching a steelie this time of year..you'd have to plow through 50 kings in a day to get one. Fall Steel during October is still very much a "luck" fish! Food for thought...

  MP 

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