10-20-02 - The Pike, Root, and Pike again!
Rivers Fished: Pike & Root Rivers
Fish Caught: 1
Outing Date: 10-20-02
Air Temp: 50's
Water Temp: COLD, like I'd like my beer to stay that cold!
Water Level: Low
Water Color: Pretty Clear
Fish Species: Sighted Chinook, Browns, Steelhead, and Coho
Pattern Fished: egg-sucking leaches
Pattern Color: various colors
Fishing Quality: FUN!
Another "rambling" report from the "newbie"!
Ha! This weekend I had to cut my fishing sort, just Saturday, as
I have to work Sunday! ARG.
Another day starting at the Pike. After last week's
experience I felt it was worth a shot. Arrived at my usual late
hour (about 1:00 pm), the river is now VERY low - the Friday rains
again have not raised it! Water is very clear at this point...you
can sight fish easily.
Between lower water levels, lighter fish densities,
and colder weather, the Pike was relatively abandoned :) I started
out at the usual "Bridge at A", working my way to the
riffles below the bridge, then to my favorite little sandbar by
the tree. What looked to be a female Chinook sat in the deep water
for a long time, but took no interest in my offerings. It's really
fun on the river now...the fish are spooky and holding in select
pockets...you have to walk to find the fish now folks!
In the riffles above A but below 13 I found a few
steelhead, and in no time had a hit on a black bodied, chartruese-headed
egg sucking leach. After about a minute the fish shook loose.
For most of the afternoon I found myself walking
between the riffles just mentioned and the split in the river downstream
of the bridge. I sighted 1 Male Coho (nice pink color, not full
blown red yet), a couple browns (they're unmistakable in this low,
clear water), several steelhead (I'd best describe them as looking
more slender and blue), and a few Chinook (what the heck is a fish
that size doing in a river so low). I must say the entertainment
factor is spectacular when you watch a fish that's 12" high
plow its way upstream in 6" of water! I did have a male chinook
pull such a move while I was fishing a steelhead...he got dorsal
snagged but eventually broke free.
Things were nice and quite on the Pike for a few
hours until another angler came sloshing from upstream. I watched
all four steelhead I was fishing BOLT as he walked past, to stop
in the middle of the river in front of me and ask if I had seen
any "Steelhead" or "Red Coho". I kinda smiled
and pointed to his feet and let him know that at least a couple
had swam past him while he walked up to me. Granted I was really
ticked off but at the same time I felt a bit of ironic pitty for
the guy, so I packed up and came back, let him know that he didn't
need to be walking in the river as it's sooooo low and all he was
doing was scaring away the fish he wanted to catch. I showed him
where to go, so hopefully he had a better time and at least go to
see some fish.
Well, since I knew there wasn't going to be any
action in that part of the river for a while, I went up to the Root
in Lincoln Park at about 4:00, just to see what was going on. Well
folks, there certainly are still a lot of fish, tons of Chinook.
Pressure was again less than the weekend prior. I only saw one fish
landed fairly (see photos below). I did see ONE steelhead tooling
about, as well as a couple Coho that gave my offering "a look"
but then turned away. I tossed briefly, switching over to a purple/red
egg sucking leach. The Root just wasn't fun this week; most of the
fish are on death's door right now. What the river needs is some
good rain to bring in the next wave of fresh fish. The wier was
closed and the gates on the dam were down, but the water flow was
so reduced that just a trickle came over it.
I met up with a couple guys who are apparently
frequent visitors here, and after chatting briefly I decided to
head back to the Pike, again at A. They thought that might not be
such a bad idea either.
Back at the Pike, but this time it's a dream, NO
one's there. Well, I did see 3 cars but they apparently were above
the bridge on 13. This evening was DEFINITELY a "5" for
any true fly fisherman...sightfishing wary salmon and trout without
anyone around! No snaggers 'cause there wasn't much to snag; you
had to work for your fish on the Pike today but the challenge made
it well worth it!
I went back to my favorite riffles and SHAZAM,
FINALLY got my first legal fish LANDED of the year, taken on a purple/red
egg-sucking leech. Here's the strange part, I CAN'T figure out if
it's a FEMALE COHO or FEMALE STEELHEAD?!?!? Check out the pictures
linked below and tell me what you think!
This fish put up quite a fight, running downstream
to my backing, and then charging back upstream leaving me in a mad
dash to bring in the slack so as NOT to loose the tension on the
line. Now, the downside to being a NON-WADING fly fisherman is that
it takes longer to bring the fish in. Finally got her to shore after
a 10 minute fight, got some pictures, and went to task at releasing
her. After about 15 minutes the fish still had not moved, so I left
her sitting by my feet and continued to fish.
About another 30 minutes passed, the fish is still
at my feet, breathing but not moving. I noticed by buddies from
the Root walking along 13...gave them a shout and we met up at the
pool below 13, where one of the guys shot the pic of me and the
fish (sorry, I'm horrible with names, I can't remember!). I decided
to keep this fish and make good use of it since it obviously wasn't
going to come back after the fight. So I abdicated the river to
my buddies, drove home and cleaned the fish which had nice PINK