Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Buzz Clears at the Root

The alarm came and went on the Monday morning, the day after our night of booze.  We got on the water as quick as possible.  We knew that a weekday wouldn't draw the kind of crowd we just put up with the past two days and had a good feeling about the day in general.  The air was brisk with the sun slowly working its way over the treeline.  We worked our way to the same spots we worked the past few days.
It could have been the late start or the fact that we had a little more action than normal, but the morning seemed to go by pretty fast.
ET was the big winner of the morning hooking up and landing three salmon, one being a coho with spawn colors starting to come in.  His fish couldn't resist his pink streamer that resembled a popsicle fly but with a little less material.  It was a gorgeous fish and a great catch.

Tom was real proud of this catch and was the big fish of the weekend so far.  I think it came in at about 15lbs. but that is just a guess.  Another great catch for Tom and it looked like he was going to run away with the total on the weekend.  The Big Easy was not on the board yet with his first of the trip.

Finally, I see some slack in my line and set the hook. I feel weight pulling on the other end of my line.  This was weight that I have never felt on the other end of a fly rod before.  I quickly inform ET to make his way back toward me because I will need some help netting this fish.  The Big Easy gave his net to ET since mine was up on shore. This fish fought hard and long. I brought it close a few times and could see the white bugger clearly in his mouth.  After one more run that had the fish about 40 yards downstream, I was able to gain control of the fish again.  ET goes to put the net on the fish and all of a sudden SNAP!
My heart sank for a moment.  Here was the fish of my lifetime, caught on a fly that I tied myself and the line snaps.  ET lifts the net and there is a huge king salmon in it with the hook still in its mouth attached to the line.  It hits me, the line didn't snap, my fly rod did.  Never mind that right now, the fish of my lifetime is in the net.  We start walking to shore to get a few pictures and weight of the beast.  About four feet from shore, the fish is back in the water.  The fish ripped through the net, but luckily it barely had energy to swim away. 
The 17lb. female that destroyed my fly rod and the Big Easy's net.  The fish measured out at 34.5 inches and was my biggest fish.  After collecting my thoughts and few apologies to the BE, I rigged up my other rod and went back to work.  ET was able to hook up with three for the morning with me ending up with two including the monster.  A much needed rest was in order. 
That midday nap was just what the doctor ordered, and even though the three of us could have laid there all afternoon, our workday was not over.  We beat the after work rush and started with the main pool we have been working.  This is where the numbers get all bundled up so I will not be going into much detail about the next series of fish caught.  Just note that the next 36 hours of fishing was epic for me.  I was able to pick up six more salmon that night and six salmon the next morning to bring my total to 17 fish on the entire weekend.  The three of us were able to bring 31 fish to net (well until my net broke also) or hand. The Big Easy landed both his first king and coho on a fly rod.
The Big Easy getting in the action.
I still can not believe that three guys hooked and landed 31 fish when five guys had a total of three fish the year before.  As for that 17lber I caught that morning, I topped that with this 19lber.
This beast was 19lbs., 37.5 inches, and did not break my pole, although it did rip my net.  All in all this was a fantastic trip with two great friends.  We were missing a few guys from the party, but with numbers like this, we did not miss many fish.  I can only hope for numbers like this again in the future.

Here are a couple of more pictures of fish from the trip.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lost and Found Logo

Check out the logo. My wonderful girlfriend did an amazing job creating this on adobe illustrator. Let me know what you think.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

If the Root Got You Here, Why Change it Up?

The next morning came quickly.  After some great breakfast tacos, the three of us were on our way to the truck.  Knowing how many fish were moving up the river system the day before really kept us motivated.  As we stepped out of the car in the brisk morning air, we could hear fish thrashing and trying to work their way upstream.
Unlike last year, we removed our waders into a heated garage the night before so sliding them on was almost welcoming.  We worked our way down the rocks and slowly walked into the water.  With no sunlight to help guide our way, we made sure to be EXTRA careful.  Nothing like taking a spill in cold water with temperatures in the 40s.  The water was a little higher today than yesterday which could mean fresh fish moving up.  I hoped for excellent conditions and it seemed that today was going to be a great day on the water.
I started my morning drifting a purple esl through some riffles that opened up into a deep eddy.  I was working the top of the riffles while ET worked the bottom along with the eddy itself.  The Big Easy walked downstream to cross the river.  He was working the middle of the pool on the other side of the river.  At about 8:00am I switched to a white wholly bugger that I tied.  I noticed that there was a few smaller fish in the riffles. After a few casts with the bugger, I finally got a legal strike. A quick hookset and decent little fight which contained a few jumps, and this little guy was in the net.
It was a nice way to get on the board early.  I already caught more salmon this trip than last year and was feeling pretty good. It wasn't long until ET was on the board which we were unable to get a picture of. His was a decent little coho that ran him up and down the pool.
For such a promising morning, it was actually pretty slow catching wise.  We took our normal 11:00am break for lunch and for some football before the afternoon action. After a Detroit Lions lose (which was awesome) we were headed back out.  The river had a decent crowd for a Sunday afternoon. We were able to work a little downstream from where we fished that morning. I decided to throw an egg pattern that I tied.  It was probably 30 to 40 minutes before I got my first hookup.  I am not a seasoned vet when it comes to salmon fishing, but this fight was a little different.  As this fish opened its mouth and flared its jaws, I could tell it was different.  I was hoping for a steelhead since I have never caught one before.  The fish did a back flip and my body tensed up.  I thought for sure I was fighting a steelie and I did everything in my power to contain my excitement.  After a great net job of ET, I posed for the picture to send it to our personal fish guru.
I was told later that night it was a coho which was still excellent news since this was my first either way. ET worked his magic that afternoon and hooked this beast.
The Big Easy was skunked again and was starting to turn a little salty.  ET and I were tied at three at the end of the second day.  With the Bears on Sunday night, we decided to make this our "drunk" night.  We'll go back, make baked mosticholli, and drink.  Stopped and got more beer for the night and head back to base.  After team effort on the meal, we feasted, drank beers, and passed out happy men.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

To Move Ahead One Must Start at the Root

This past weekend, two friends (ET and the Big Easy) and I traveled to the land of cheese in pursuit of the migratory fishes of Lake Michigan. Our home base was Racine, WI. Last year we made the same trip and although it was a great time, the lack of catching took its toll on our mindset going into this year.
I have been preparing myself for anything going into this trip. I spent time tying flies, researching online, watching flows, weather, and reports from up and down the Wisconsin lakefront.  I had a good idea of what to expect, at least I thought I did, but nothing could have prepared me for what took place.
Out of the three of us, ET had the most success in previous years catching close to ten total salmon. The Big Easy never caught a salmon before, and I have been lucky enough with only one. We set out leaving the suburbs on Friday night, making a quick stop for groceries, and then off to get settled in before our first morning on the water.
After a 5:45 a.m. wake up and a few breakfast tacos (probably the best pregame breakfast ever) we were on our way to the Root River. With a speedy seven minute drive, quick overview of the situation, we parked and suited up. Before we knew it the three of us were drifting flies through some swift current breaks.
The river at this time was pretty crowded which is what we figured. The water was a little low and clear making us a little nervous, but at least we could see there were fish working upstream. The morning was quiet and after watching about ten fish snagged in the dorsal fin, dragged up to shore, and thrown on the stringer, we decided to check out some other familiar stretches of the river.
The first stretch we came across had the same type of fishing as our first so we walked the river looking to find good water that wasn't being disturbed by the snagging fisherman. With nothing going on and the sun up above the trees, we decided to break for lunch. It seemed that even though we hadn't caught anything yet, the mood in the group was still upbeat since we saw fish in the river system moving upstream.
After a few hours off the water to eat, relax, and collect ourselves, we headed back for the afternoon bite. We were hoping to beat the rush and get closer to the run where most of the fish were being snagged. By this time we all switched to a new fly pattern. ET and I were throwing esls, while the Big Easy was throwing bunny leeches. Unfortunately, there was a guy in a Minnesota Vikings stocking hat that was fishing right in the spot we were hoping to get and a guy and his kid snagging fish in the run we fished in that morning. All of a sudden the Vikings fan got on the phone and headed up the bank toward the cars. ET and I slowly slid down to where he was and started getting our drift on. The Big Easy had gone downstream and was slowly working his way back up toward us by now. The guy across from us and his kid were clearly snagging fish and keeping them. His kid even snagged a fish in the tail and ran through our pool to try to land it. 
Now this was where the first day got exciting.  The Vikings fan came back and I asked if he wanted his spot back. He replied with, "No thanks, I'm done fishing,” to which I responded, "Yea, it's hard to actually fish in an area like this with guys letting snagged fish thrash through your pool then chase after it." The guy looked at me and said, "Don't worry, he'll be gone in thirty seconds." I thought he had called the DNR which I had done earlier in the day on a different stretch of river. All of a sudden another guy appeared and asked the snagger to grab all his gear and fish and head over toward his side of the river. The guy refused until the Vikings fan pulled out his DNR badge and told the guy again. The guy, his kid, and his snagged catch were escorted to the top of the bank by two DNR officers. The spot filled up with fish soon after and it was up to us three to finally get into some fish.
Finally, ET hooked into a fish legally and did a great job fighting it into the shallow slack water for an easy net job. First fish was on the board. 

Soon after his fish swam off on his own (his was a male fish since it had a kyped jaw), I got into the action with a fish hooked clearly in the mouth. ET was there for an outstanding net job and I was finally on the board with my first of the trip (second salmon ever).

Unfortunately, the three of us lost more fish than we landed that first day, and the Big Easy did not land his first, but we still had two and a half days of fishing ahead of us.
We headed back with some hope that this trip would be better than the last. With already two fish brought to net and still a lot of time on the water, we were looking forward to the following day. We had a good dinner of burgers and dogs on the grill, a few beers, and decided that we should try to get to that same spot early the next morning. We passed out with a positive outlook of the next day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Quick Report

Just a quick preview of day one.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Been Busy

 This is what I got tied up so far. I'm about 10 flies away from having the total number that I wanted. My goal was to tie 6 of each combination of flies. I have six purple and pink showgirls, pink, chartruese, and purple steelhead hammers. I need to tie up five more black and orange and four white and red show girls and I'll be pretty much set. I have a few miscellaneous flies I'd like to tie up but they aren't important.
This will probably be my last post before the trip up north. Leaving Friday night and staying in Racine, WI to chase kings, chrome, and cohos. A few buddies fishing, smoking cigars, and drinking till Tuesday morning. Hopefully this rain coming will get a fresh push of fish. Wish me luck and hopefully I can tie into a few beasts on my own flies.

Easy Canvas Prints

Just got the above pictured printed to canvas and it looks amazing. By following this link http://www.easycanvasprints.com/photos-to-canvas/ you are just a few clicks away from having any picture of  your choice printed onto canvas. The above picture will be hanging in my man cave right next to all my other fishing pictures. They have a special right now if you like them on Facebook you'll get 50% off your next order along with free shipping. Facebook page can be found here http://www.facebook.com/EasyCanvasPrints. Hurry while this deal lasts and have one of  your favorite memories printed on canvas.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Material Arrived Today

Not pictured: hooks, thread, tinsel, and floss wrap

Material was waiting for me today when I got home from work. Took a little longer then expected, but I'm not complaining. The material I order is primarily going to be used to tie up steelhead hammers and showgirls. With time restraints tonight, I was only able to get a few of these bad boys tied up. I'll probably pick up some more blood quill marabou for the showgirls, but this is what I got tied up so far, let me know what you think.

Annual trip up north to chase chrome, brown, and salmon is just around the corner. Can't wait to try and hook into something on a home tied fly.