3-22-03 - Where are the fish?!
Rivers Fished: Root River, Oak Creek, Pike River
& Lake Michigan at the mouth
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 3-22-03
Weather: Sunny around Noon, but cloudy most of the day
Air Temp: upper 40's
Water Temp: Root - 36F, Oak Creek - 37F, Pike - 36F, Lake - 38F
Water Level: Down
Water Color: Clarity is improved in most rivers vs. last week.
Fish Species: none sighted or taken
Pattern Fished: Estaz Eggs, Streamers and Wolley Buggers
Pattern Color: Chartreuse, Pink, and Orange
Fishing Quality: Despite what you may have heard, I WOULDN'T call
it a RUN.
3-22-02 - Hey what a day! Today was the day to
teach a special woman how to fish...my morning was spent outfitting
and renewing licenses! Enjoyable for all!
So we started at the Root around Noon; showed her
the wier and Steelhead Facility (BTW, those crazy ducks that I now
think are RUNNER Ducks were still there). There were people out,
although from the rumors I heard Lincoln Park was a madhouse all
morning, with crowds dissipating around 10:00 am when people realized
the runs had "not yet started".
We worked the lower stretches of Lincoln Park for
a while in the deeper, slower parts, as the the water came out at
36F....I still haven't personally seen the magical 38F on the Root
this year. I spent much of my time coaching and teaching the essential
roll cast as well as some other techniques necessary for tight quarters.
After an hour and 45 minutes, we moved on (ca. 1:45 pm).
30 minutes later we were at Oak Creek, where the
water checked out at 37F. Maybe these Steelhead really aren't as
sensitive to temps as we hear? Well, probably not. We worked the
ENTIRE fishable river from top to bottom, skipping out on the Dam
and Beach. The entire walk took only 1 hour, 15 minutes, focusing
on any hole slow and deep enough that we couldn't visibly confirm
the absence of fish. Other anglers informed me that the river was
flowing at 41F, contradicting my reading of 37F, as well as two
other points of interest. First, in the AM the action at the mouth
was hot on spawn sacs. Secondly, someone had taken a fish upstream
at the Dam on Friday. None of this info can be confirmed, it's all
After a stop for dinner, we arrived at the mouth
of the Pike River at 5:00. I switched up to larger offerings for
the lake, a combination of a White and Red Marabou Streamer and
a Coho Killer Wolley Bugger. Winds were from the southeast, making
casting the lake very difficult. I showed my companion the "infamous"
drift the lake in the outflow while I spent the majority of my time
in the lagoon. Nothing produced here either, although I did catch
a glimpse of some movement in the water, which was encouraging.
The scene at the lake is now vastly different from just a couple
weeks back...all the ice is gone and the mouth is back to it's "shifting"
appearance. While fishing, temp checks revealed the blue lake water
was 38F at the mouth, with the outflow in the lagoon at 36F. I think
as a fish I'd be hesitant to go into that ice-water despite the
At 6:00 we left the Pike mouth and made a quick
run upriver; I figured that maybe, just maybe, some overwintering
Chamber's Creek may still be in the river, and if so perhaps they
might be on the redds. A quick look at A told me there was NOTHING
Things had chilled down considerably by dusk, so
tired, cold, and skunked yet again, we called it a day. Fortunately,
my fishing partner enjoyed her day enough that she'll do it again...just
when the weather is a bit warmer ;)