10-13-05 - Pay your dues early and you'll get rewarded!
Waters Fished: Milwaukee River
Fish Caught: 13 between the two of us
Outing Date: 10-11-05
Air Temp: upper 40's rising into low 60's
Water Temp: 58F
Water Level: low but up a bit, 85 cfs
Water Color: stained - visibility 1-2 feet
Fish Species: King Salmon, Coho Salmon
Pattern Fished: Small Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Red & Chartreuse as usual!
Back at the Milwaukee at 6:00 AM - it's my third
time out team fishin' with Mike in the past two weeks. I remember
Mike booked all the way back in JUNE and I think his foresight is
about to be rewarded. At the time, I suggested rather than one big
day outing he do a couple smaller morning outings - it increases
the odds of being there on the RIGHT DAY AND gives you more time
to pick up the tactics.
Well, I consider this day our PAYDAY! Having taken
yesterday off from fishing (yes, I actually worked) we were back
on the water not knowing exactly what to expect - afterall I've
seen fish disappear overnight before. NOT THIS TIME!
I think Mike has gotten to the point where he truly
has the hang of this. Yeah, I "got on the board" early
with some fantastic pre-dawn fish (yes, those 30 legal minutes before
sunrise are some of the best on the river). I know Mike had PLENTY
of hookups but his first came to shore as the sun broke the horizon!
Again, not to short change any of you, but for
the most part it was typical bulldogging, head-shaking, short burst
run types of battles with our fish. Pretty much all we had to was
find a group of males that were beating on each other. Then just
toss our flies in the vicinity of the "secondary" males
behind a pair and they'd mob 'em. The pics from the day do far better
than anything I can describe, except for maybe 3 fish we tied into.
The first, well, CHECK THE VIDEO. Yes, a big day
of fish like this is great, but what we're all really hoping for
is that one fish that gets our hearts pounding and our arms shaking
with fatigue. MIKE got that fish today - the fight lasted at least
10 minutes and took him chasing that fish all the way upstream and
down again. The very fact that I had TIME to get some video of the
battle (yeah, there's 10 minutes just of that) will indicate that
this may very well have been the longest, most drawn out battle
I've witnessed this season. Somehow I think we're not going to see
any 45 minute fights this year (the fish are running a bit small)
so Mike, I think this fight will PROBABLY go on the books as the
longest for 2005.
Of course, Mike's very next hookup was a doozy.
The kings weren't cuttin' him ANY slack today. This time around,
a larger Jack (probably a 3 year fish) that hammered him and bolted.
When it ran out of room I saw it do something a FAIR HOOKED king
almost NEVER does - it went airborne. Not only did this fish go
skyward, but it did the most beautiful BACKWARDS, TAIL OVER HEAD
somersault. UNREAL, and all the while I'm wishin' I hadn't gone
back to shooting PICTURES.
Finally, I can't fail to mention that I too had
a memorable fish. There, amongst all the green and black of kings,
I saw a flash of red. I got my flies placed directly upstream in
the seam where I saw it. The line went tight and the fight was on.
Man this fish literally ENDED my day...what came
to shore was a phenomenal male Coho. Probably the largest and most
pristine I've personally landed. Easily a 10 minute fight to get
this guy in as he was FRESH and well, Mike was busy himself ;) Thankfully
we got some GREAT pics.
So for three days of fishing with Mike, I am eternally
grateful. We couldn't have ASKED for a better end to our 3 days