8-23-04 - I swear I didn't play hooky from class...!
Waters Fished: Kenosha Harbor
Fish Caught: 1/3
Outing Date: 8-23-04
Weather: nice, cool, kinda breezy at times, winds from the west
(wasn't supposed to be that way!). Felt like fall.
Air Temp: low 60's
Water Temp: Didn't take it - still warm
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: reduce visibility - 1-2 feet.
Fish Species: Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Kastmasters, Cleos, Krocodiles etc..
Pattern Color: Silver and Blue was once again the color of choice
Fishing Quality: pleasant (like 3 stars out of 5)
So for those of you who don't know, among all the other things
I do I often teach Macromedia
Flash over at the College
of Lake County. The last few semesters I've been getting a lot
of Thursday bookings which conflict with Bass Pro's Fly Tying "classes"
and such. Well I was asked what my day preference was this year,
and I got it...Monday nights!
So what does this have to do with fishing? Well, today I taught
my first class of the semester...it runs from 7:00 to 9:45 PM. On
days when everyone leaves at 9:45, that means I DO TOO! I'm already
MOST of the way to Kenosha (CLC is located in Grayslake) and normally
I head to my folk's house over in LC vs. going back to Chicago (and
driving around for 2 hours to find parking)! No one ever said I
had to go straight home after I get out of work though!
Bottom line, by 10:30 PM or so I was at the harbor and my line
was wet! There were a few people over by the pipe but otherwise
the rocks were deserted save one other guy who was casting. He seemed
kinda nervous / intrigued by the "American Style" (modified
"Polish Style") retrieve I was using. I like to call it
the cast-sink-jig-twitch-flutter retreive...or "American Style"
for short. Whatever I call it, folks see it and think we're dredging
the bottom and ripping for fish. I'll just keep posting photos of
all the fair fish until you guys get the hint that this technique
isn't snagging...it's effective for solid fair hits. I can recount
MANY days when we were catching fish and no one else was. No doubt
I'm SURE folks thought we were out snagging. All I can say is before
you snap to judgement maybe ask us what we're doing and why it's
working! Face it, Harbor fishing is a social event....you might
as well mingle.
45 minutes and 4 spoon changes later I got my hits on a Kroc....on
the third hit I connected and thought the fish was foul. My rod
throbbed erratically and sharply. At the same time I was having
an easy time of bringing the fish to shore. I figured I had fouled
a small fish.
Ah, but when I got it to the surface I saw it wasn't small...and
more importantly it wasn't foul! I'm kinda starting to like NOT
bringing out a net because I get to meet all sorts of nice folk....the
guy next to me (who I now know as Glen) was all to happy to come
over and net my brown. We got it up, got the hook out and took some
pics. At first Glen gave me that quizzical look that seemed to say
"you're not putting it back?" but lately any fish we released
is floating to the surface, tailing as if to swim down but not making
it. In other words, all my harbor browns are getting creeled and
eaten until the water cools down. By the same token, I had my ONE
FISH so I was done fishing for the evening...no skunk and that's
what I was lookin' for.
Glen and I talked for a long time about all sorts of stuff...heck
I probably chatted with Glen longer than I actually fished. Towards
"departure time" Glen hooked up while we were chatting
and lost the fish. Man did I feel bad...I knew our conversation
was why he was distracted and missed the hit.
Well, shortly thereafter he put the HURT on one massive brown.
The least I could do was return the favor, so I grabbed his net
and scurried down the rocks to get into landing position. Just as
he was bringing the fish to net I slipped...my foot went into the
lake and I feel backwards.
Miraculously I didn't hurt myself OR the camera....my ASS was soaked
but otherwise I was OK...oh and I NAILED THAT BROWN TOO. So here
I am, splayed out on my back, kinda like I'm crabwalking but lying
down because my butt is enjoying a bath in the harbor water while
I'm holding the end of the net handle as hard as I can with a 14
lb. brown in the net. Man I WISH I had a picture of that moment
'cause even I'd laugh at myself.
Glen got down and got the net...we got it free and he paused for
one real quick picture before going down to revive the brown. I
gotta say it didn't look good...doing the typical tailing thing
and such. Glen had offered the fish to me but really wanted to C&R
which I wholeheartedly understand and encourage. When things didn't
look good Glen got over to get the net and retrieve the exhausted
brown...somehow it got underway and pushed back to the deep.
Finally, after a memorable day at the harbor, now soaked foot and
soaked ass, it was time to head home...1:00 AM is a bit much for
a worknight even for the ole' king of the Night Owls.