Monday, October 10, 2011

milwaukee river king salmon fishing

We’ve had only one good soaking of rain so far during this fall tributary fishing season and all the water has quickly run out from the smaller rivers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled we even got some rain this year after looking back at last years dry fall. But, I’m eagerly anticipating the next dose of heavy rain, maybe it can push some of these cohos that are currently staged in the harbors up into the river systems. Not every day of king fishing goes like this but we hit the timing just right. Some fish are spawned out and half zombie already but there are plenty of fresher fish that can still be convinced into eating.

Its not to often I fish with a large group of guys but this past Saturday I hit the water with four other guys. Blake(2) and his father Pete, Neal, and Paul all met me early for some king salmon action on the fly. It was an early morning and it looked that plenty of people all had similar intentions cause cars were lined along the local “hotspots”. We walked a good distance downstream to get away from the congregation of people. As we climbed down the steep bank the sun was barely over the horizon but it was evident that a good number of fish were present by the amount of swirls and splashes close to shore.

After the sun really stared to give off some good light, it became evident truly how many fish were in the river. Blake(2) was the first one to fair hook a fish on a hot glue egg pattern trailing a natural colored streamer and everyone was quick to follow suit. Being such a large group, it seemed like every 5 minutes someone was hooked up.

Of the five fish I hooked clean, here are the two I actually landed-

a spawned out milwaukee river salmon
my second milwaukee river salmon gave me the best fight of the year!
Paul got his very first king salmon on the fly! And then his second…

congrats paul on your first of many
You always hear about the steelies and browns coming up the river after the kings just to snack on the protein rich eggs. These smaller trout should be found hanging right in back of the salmon gorging themselves on their eggs. They should only stop to avoid a pissed off king that came racing back to chase them off their reds. A few short moments later that trout should be right back in the feeding position. We saw this play out right in front of our eyes over and over. This fish was the result from drifting a power egg across the back half of the spawning gravel.

a small milwaukee river steelhead with some awesome colors
I really loved just sitting on the bank under a shady tree hanging with a few guys talking fly fishing. Today wasn't all about the good fishing, but it sure helped. I don't think anyone left without a sore shoulder or feeling pretty beat up from chasing fish down the river but everyone made some new friends.

I’m looking forward to seeing what photos Blake(2) has on his camera and I will throw the link up as soon as he puts his post up.You can also find everyone of these guys over on the forums so be sure to stop over and drop em' a line.


  1. The kings and cohos are great fun on the fly, but a surprise steelie like Neil's would be the icing on the cake!

  2. It seems like an a get trip. I still find it incredible that those big fish come into the rivers from the lakes. It must have been one heck of a sight to see those logs swimming in the river.

  3. Wow...what a day! Friends and some good fish, it doesn't get much better.


  4. Blake
    An outing like that is one you never forget. Good thing you got this adventure on the blog. Great Post

  5. I had a great time! thanks for showing us the ropes. Can't wait to get back out there

  6. Wow, those fish just look like the fight of a year even when they aren't fighting.

  7. Nice report buddy, glad to see you are hooking into some tuna.

  8. All I can say is awesome. Great looking fish and great company. What size fly rod do you usually use??? Tight lines.