Friday, May 15, 2009

The End of the Spring Run

Well the Chambers Creek and Arlees ought to be about done now.  There were very few left in the creek on wednesday.  With the creek under 20 cubic feet / second there were still a few stragglers left holding in the faster currents.

After that spike up 15 times more water rushed down Oak Creek yesterday and likely flushed everything else out.  The water temperature of the creek has risen enough that it likely won't entice any more Steelhead to enter.  So now the wait is on for the fall.  Although the Skamania strain has unpredictable small runs in the spring, early November will mark a new push ofSteelhead couples looking to build Redds and spawn in the gravel.  I will have the chance to refine my form on the river starting late September in the Pike and Root Rivers.

Next week I'll have the chance to bring the fly rods (and the spinning gear) to my stomping grounds in St. Croix County.  I'll be fishing Will River, the Kinnikinnick, the Rush, and maybe the Eau Galle or Apple if I get adventurous. 

Additionally I'll be fishing some Northern Minnesotan Lakes around Memorial day targeting Bass, Walleye, and Northern Pike.  I've tied some interesting Larger Pike streamers and some Crawfish immitations for bass.  It will be good to have some time to practice stripping steamers in a larger body of water.

Photos and reports will be up upon my return in early June.  Untill then, I'll see you on the water.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

45 Minute Steelhead Outing

On the way up to Milwaukee today I had under an hour to shoot at a stream.  I chose Oak Creek.  I ran through the woods with my gear to a spot I thought might be holding fish.  I hooked up on the first drift with a smaller female.  She spit the hook at me after half a minute or so.  I hiked east toward the lake for a while and was only able to spook a handfull of fish.  I hiked back upstream above where I started and located a quiet male holding in some deeper current.  After a few drifts I hooked up with him on a peach yarn fly. 

 25" and very beat up but not to shabby for such a short time on the water.

Suckers were in big groups cruising the shallows, hooked up with this fella on one of my drifts targeting steelhead.  Not the fish of choice but it is still fun to get a little fight for a second.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring Steelhead from Oak Creek

I made the treck north this week to Oak Creek as it was running low and fairly clear (around 25 cfs). I made a pit stop to drift some yarn flies at the Root on my way up.  Visibility was 10-12" and it was still running hard,  wading in just hip boots was tough in some spots so I hiked back to the car and got on the road.  For some reason I never made the connection that Oak Creek and Racine are only 15 minutes from one another, you just don't make the 10 minute trip out to the highway and they are right next to one another.

My first landed fish of the morning was a 22" male, had a quite a few battle scars.  After him I hooked up a few times, one larger male took me fifty feet or so up river before screaming drag downriver.  If I had a net I would have landed it but as I leaned down to grab him he flopped off.

The second landed fish was a beautiful two foot long female, she was spawning whenever I held her vertical.  I tried to keep her in the water and on the horizontal while getting her on the stringer.  I am out of spawn and even though she was letting her roe go there was still enough to tie up two dozen nice spawn sacs when I got home.  One for each inch of her.  Would have been enough for 80-100 if she hadn't spawned on the river.

I then packed up the fish and gear and got them in the cooler and trunk respectivly.  I met a friend to hike to and walk "the secret beach".  After that outing I returned to the river to kill a little time before the drive home so I could miss Chicago rush hour.  I hooked up a handfull of times but fishing the swift water that I was, I had breakoffs and popped flies.  I'm getting a hang of fly fishing slowly, but I still have plenty to learn.

These may be my last great lakes salmaon/trout until the fall.  If so, it was a great last spring trip, I'll be looking foreward to those beautiful spawning browns and monsterous Chinooks.