3-03-05 - SE WI - steelhead on ice!
Waters Fished: Root River, Pike River
Fish Caught: 1/1
Outing Date: 3-03-05
Air Temp: 30's
Water Temp: 32F in both
Water Level: Root around 80 cfs? Pike around 40 cfs
Water Color: brown, visibility around 1.5 feet
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Coho Spawn
Pattern Color: Chartreuse Mesh
Fishing Quality: Tough
You know that sometimes the stream just calls your
name - on this first day of good weather in March I headed straight
for the stream and didn't look back.
I started out the afternooon scouting the Root
in the Lincoln Park area. As others had posted earlier in the week,
the stoplogs were in place at the wier. It's a sure sign that the
DNR is going to start processing steelhead in a week or two, if
I spent a lot of time at "FAT BEND",
one of Rich's favorite spots, with absolutely no luck. Most of my
time was spent breaking ice. While attempting to drift without getting
hung up on the shelf ice, a black SUV pulled up and out stepped
a CO. It turned out to be Jason, who I had recently been emailing
After shootin' the shit for a bit, Jason headed
off and I headed downstream to Island Park. Much of the lower park
was frozen over, one of the larger bends was collecting all the
slush ice that was floating downstream.
Hard work finally paid off with a fish from the
gut of a bend - not necessarily where I was expecting fish to be
holding, but then again, the water was 32F. A quick slide down the
bank, a couple of photos, and another dink steelhead was put back
for you guys to catch!
That was it for action on the root, well except
for the Mink (or something else?) that decided to make an appearance
on the opposite shore for a bit. It totally ignored me and just
went about his business playing and rolling around in the snow.
Towards 2:00 PM I knew the bite would be slowing
down, yes, slower than it already was. What the heck, I'll go check
out the Pike! A quick call to Chromeseeker got me pointed towards
the spot he had faired well in last weekend.
Well this time, no luck. Everything was iced over
from the lake on up quite a ways. Across the road some construction
was going on; using a huge crane they were pounding something deeply
into the ground. Assuredly, this racket would put off any fish that
otherwise might have been willing biters.
Further upstream, I worked the area around A &
13th. Again, nothing sighted, and talk about TOUGH fishing with
a 13' rod! I probed every logjam, undercut and bend without success.
Finally, while working one of the bends, I absent
mindedly let my float continue on downstream. Out of nowhere, a
small steelhead broke the surface and attacked my FLOAT! My heart
skipped a beat - after regaining my composure I drifted the lie
repeatedly, hoping that maybe this little steelhead was a bit hungry?
No such luck!