10-22-06 - Water Water Everywhere
Waters Fished: Oak Creek, Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: Many
Outing Date: 10-22-06
Weather: mostly cloudy
Air Temp: topping out around 50F
Water Temp: N/A
Water Level: Oak 100 CFS and falling, Milwaukee approximately 500 cfs and falling
Water Color: Oak Brown, visiblity < 6", Milwaukee Stained, Visibility 1-1.5'
Fish Species: King Salmon, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Mostly Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red and Chartruese was best again - notice a pattern developing?
Overnight rains always get me worried..it was lookin' good when I went to bed, but when I got up things had obviously changed. It seemed everything was going up, and fast!
Dave and Fred knew this coming on over from North Dakota and the Duluth area...I took a little extra time in the morning to calculate exactly how high the rivers should get following the rain. Most everything seemed hopeless for good fishing in the morning, if not the entire day. Ultimately, knowing this father-son duo had Monday to fish as well, there was some hope for the trip. My main goal ended up not being "put them on fish" so much as "show them where and how to fish for tomorrow". We're heading to OAK CREEK!
We got there and not surprisingly found the river to be high and dirty. Dave is a more experienced fly fisherman, so I sent him upstream a bit to fish a deep narrow run that concentrates the fish. Fred and I focused on a bend where we could work on his roll cast and strike detection.
There were obviously fish around...Kings were all we could see. Our excitement for the morning came when I shouted "SET" and Fred reared back...a smaller sized brown (probably a 2 year fish) rocketed from the water, head shaking, and threw the hook. Not too bad for Fred's first hookup.
I went downstream a bit to scout...while down there Dave managed his first fish of the day, a King. We fished and fished until probably 9:00 AM, at which point most all strikes had ceased. Time to move on down.
Not much happening on Oak Creek considering it was cresting, or had just crested, while we were there. Downstream we almost stepped on a King...Fred got a chance at it. Fish-On, Fish-Off...that's how things go sometimes. We worked all the promising spots, many of the same spots that had produced only yesterday, but basically came up emtpy handed.
So we'd pretty much covered Oak Creek...the guys got a bend and boulder tour of all the water. Time for a break and lunch! I figured we'd probably have to repeat the whole process in the afternoon, but put in a call to Renee and asked her to check the flows. To my surprise, the Milwaukee was nowhere NEAR as high as I thought it should have been with the rain it got. Knowing Dave and Fred were eager to hit larger water, we gambled with the info we had.
IT PAID OFF! What followed wasn't quite the fish catching melee of the last few weeks, but it was pretty darn good all the same. We saw NOTHING but Kings! The kick in the pants was that my Camera decided to stop working for most of the afternoon - thankfully Dave had his camera with as well, so we still got pics of many good fish!
I'm sure the guys were tired after their first few, but they pushed through it and kept fishing! Dave's rod broke following a hit from splitshot. 1 down. Fred hooked into a fish, set the hook, and the butt section on my St. Croix Avid gave way...never seen that happen before (although the tip on this rod has been replaced 4 times...I guess the butt had to go sooner or later!) 2 down...not enough rods to go around, time to call it a day.
Yup, you KNOW it's a good day of King Fishin' when the day ends with chilled, tired anglers and a coulpe 'a busted rods! Dave, Fred, it was a pleasure to share a day with you on the water!