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6-16-03 - Just after sunset, upstream on Trail Creek.
Look how SICKLY that smolt looks. Granted, my first Indiana fish at NIGHT and he desperately wanted to inhale that relatively HUGE wolleybugger. While technically NOT skunked....um...well...not my idea of Indiana Summer Run Steelhead.

6-16-03 - BACK IN INDIANA AND SKUNKED AS ALWAYS! HA HA HA!

Waters Fished: Trail Creek, Lake Michigan (MC Pier)
Fish Caught: 0
Outing Date: 6-16-03
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: 65F
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Muddy
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: MP's Antron Bug, MP's Coho Killer
Pattern Color: as per the respective patterns
Fishing Quality: Tough

So ya thought maybe you could keep me out of Indiana??? Heck no...I have an annual license and I'm gonna get my money's worth!

Chromeseeker had some luck last week, 1/3, and at work this Monday he emailed that he might head out there either Monday or Tuesday. Hey, it's been over 1 month since I've chased steelies, and more than 3 months since I've been in Indy. I was totally fair game, especially now that it was warm, we could night fish, and I think all of the fishing restrictions are now lifted.

So there's not much to say. Between traffic and such I arrived at 7:45 PM upstream on Trail Creek. Bart was already there, and had "possibly" gone 0/1 on a steelie (honestly he wasn't sure). Water was murky and a relatively warm 65F, so I focused my time in two areas; the slow deeper pools and the holding areas below the riffles. In that time I may have hooked up with something, Bart landed 1 smolt (of fair size by now) but not much was happening. We both had noticed several cars downstream, so maybe we were too far up?

We headed way down; didn't want to get in with all those other anglers (maybe they had the right spot though?). Dusk quickly became night, and with a thin layer of clouds the fullish moon gave little beneficial light. I switched from my earlier smaller offering of MP's Antron to MP's Coho Killer Wolley, about size 6. At first we didn't recognize the area of stream we were in; it looked totally different from winter. Perhaps the water was way up?

As it turns out, the water was probably way DOWN, as Bart had a real easy time of crossing; never got in deeper than his knees. I'm VERY LEARY of wading across a mucky river that I'm not familiar with in PITCH BLACK, so I opted to stay put and simply swing the same run, over and over. Total silence, a dark sky, little bits of stuff floating by on the surface, and the occasional pop at the surface pretty much summed up the atmosphere. Not scary, but not exactly comfortable....

I did manage a hit; without a doubt it was a smaller fish, pretty sure a smolt, but hopefully it may have grown since winter stocking? Nope....I landed what was arguably the most sickly, anemic looking smolt I've ever seen.

Around 10:00 I called CS and suggested we try the pier. He was "down with that" but first wanted to try a couple stretches upstream. No problem, I'll continue swinging. I watched him walk up and settle in for some nice long drifts on the pin. As I'm casting, I hear a branch creaking. Creak...Creak...SPLASH! I scream upriver, "Bart, are you OK?!". No response. Great, Bart is now drowning and I'm going to have to cross this river in the dark and avoid getting sucked into the muck or tripping over a submerged log. "BART!! ARE YOU O K?!"

"Yes", he shouted back. "Just a bit wet. I caught the river". And NOW I know it's OK to laugh my ass off. Bart had apparently been reaching for or holding onto a branch that "wasn't attached" to anything and he took a good duck, all the way in. As he put it, he kinda "laid down" in the river. As he walked back, I got what *might* have been a hit from a larger fish, but nothing materialized on the end of my line.

After a change of shirts into something dry, we headed to the Pier in Michigan City. Bart slammed the gobies there last week, but this week NOTHING was going on. We were there probably until 11:30, really more just taking in the night than fishing.

We know they're here, we KNOW we'll find them...Skaminia Mania is just around the corner, right? Besides, I am still TECHNICALLY SKUNKED in Indiana...smolts don't really count (even though they are FISH). I have a losing streak to break.

  MP 

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