3-26-04 - Lockjaw!
Waters Fished: Root River
Fish Caught: 0/1 fair, + 2 foul
Outing Date: 3-26-04
Air Temp: 50's
Water Temp: 56F
Water Level: 150cfs
Water Color: stained, visibility about 6-12"
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Assorted Wolley Buggers, Speys and BIG eggs
Pattern Color: Again back to PINK!
Fishing Quality: Water water everywhere and not a drop to drink
(i.e. it sucked but not for lack of fish!)
Another Early Morning Trip :) This time, a bunch
of us were going to meet up and fish the Root. FAT had the distinct
pleasure of meeting his clients at 3:30 AM to show them how he finds
the fish. No joke, he starts that early when it's uncertain where
the fish will be!
Well, I got the call from Glen to get my ass up
out of bed; after 45 minutes of packing for Missouri and showering,
I finally got out the door and made my way to the Root, late as
I often am, around 5:30 AM. I found Jay downstream in Lincoln Park
along with 20 other anglers, one of them hooked up and had his fish
run downstream, tangling in a stringer, but I think they still managed
to free the line and land the fish.
Meanwhile the hot tip was that the majority of
fish were up at the dam, and no joke, when I got into the water
after 6:00 it was relatively easy to tell they were all over the
place. I made my way down to the first pool; a fish porpoised right
in front of me and I knew I was in the right spot.
My buddies were scattered all over the place; Gerry
was hooking up (lost 3) under the bridge while Kevin was giving
it the college try; downstream in a fast run I found Dave, and Glenn
came to find me. Chris and FAT were workin' all of the river that
day, and came up later in the morning to say hi.
All the while I'm watching fish swirl, run, chase,
surface, and everyone else is fishin' other spots. I was thinking
I had it made. Well, on a peach egg I nailed what looked to be a
large hen....she came up, shook her head at the surface and my line
flew back towards me...fish off.
The next 2 came foul...one while I wasn't even
paying attention, but was talking to Glenn. I turned around to see
my line racing up the pool, so without hesitation I brought the
heat. Well, I learned quickly that this fish was ass-hooked, so
down went the rod tip as I tried to snap him off. Let me tell you
8 lb. Pline is strong stuff....the fish had to make his way into
the fast water at the small "falls" before it finally
snapped. Trust me, I was trying, but all I ended up doing was dragging
this buck in closer. Pline is some serious strong line!
Despite watching fish literally swim up to my feet,
then realize I was there and high-tail it downstream, the bite just
wasn't really happening. I did see one guy walk out with a stringer
of three....can't say I saw him land them or anything. As I made
my way out after trying way too hard for too long, I found that
Jay had come up and was fishing with Doug (I think, water was loud,
not sure I got your name right). They were running mono rigs drifting
moderately sized eggs, and as I passed Doug hooked up. Brought in
a nice chrome hen and let me put their picture up here for ya. All
the while, we still pretty much had the Horlick area to ourselves.
It's just frustrating when you know the fish are
there, you throw the entire box, every technique you have, every
rigging change you can think of, and they just aren't willing biters.
After sitting on that pool all by myself for three hours with Glenn
watching, I pretty much concluded that what we were seeing was a
couple males chasing each other around. Pretty much anytime I've
seen that on a trout stream there is 0 chance of getting one of
those trout to strike a fly; they are too interested in beating
the crap out of each other. Now, I'm only guessing that's what was
going on here, the water was far too murky to see, but I can say
that it seems that the same couple bucks were surfacing, rolling,
and dashing around the pool. Overall, it seems that Friday ended
up being one of those days where the fish just had lockjaw for everyone.
Perhaps the rising water levels and temperatures played a role in
You guys were tired of me catchin' steelhead every
morning anyway, right?