Tuesday, November 30, 2010

tough fishing on the root (racine, wi)

I made a solo trip Saturday to the Root River in Racine, Wisconsin looking for some fresh steelhead. The rain from last week showed a tremendous impact in the flows. The Root River was flowing higher and faster then it had been in the last month. It’s sad when 50CFS is considered to be high flows but either way I was extremely optimistic to be fishing moving water. I felt that the mid week rain could have pushed some fresh fish up into the tributaries.

The weather on Saturday was freezing cold with moderate wind and some ice was starting to build over the puddles. As I stepped from my car I could see my breath in the air and feel the sting of the cold in my nose and this is a sure sign that winter is knocking on our door. I put my waders on over my jeans and my wool socks even though I planned on not setting foot in the water. The waders gave me an extra layer of protection from the elements. Cold or not it was time to get to work.

sunrise on the root river
The river was empty and I came across only a handful of others who were out fishing. I spent the entire morning drifting nymphs and egg patterns through pristine looking steelhead water. Not even a bump. I made it to lunch time before deciding to retire for the day and head out. Every condition, in my mind was perfect for a big day on the water but the fish had something else on the agenda for the day. I saw no indications of fish in the river but that doesn’t say much. Steelies are elusive, and you aren’t gonna catch one without a line in the water. To all those other die hard river rats who made it out, my hats off to you.

good flow on the root river
Neal’s reports from the Pike River on Sunday were worse then what I saw Saturday. He found a lot of the pools iced over. Maybe it was thin ice but it was still capped off. I did manage to whip up some new egg patterns on Sunday.


  1. Those are some beautiful flies. Tying is my consolation when I come home empty handed. Fishing is alot like the lotto, you have to be in it to win it. No wet line....no chance at a fish. My hats off to you for giving it a try in such cold conditions.

  2. No doubt after not catching anything all I had left was tying... :)

  3. I admire your efforts bud...days like that ya just never know when a monster may surprise you soon as your guard is wondering what's up....nice work on the flys...I gotta get into fly fishing in 2011...one of them things I've had to put off for one reason or another for too long.

  4. Once I picked up a fly rod its was a whole new world!