Done with Salmon Fishing   1 comment

Yesterday’s trip to the Root River in Racine was not a good use of a half day of vacation. Stephen Rose and I took the trip looking for bellicose Steelhead, but instead we found disinterested Salmon.

The river was low and trashy and needs a good flushing. These urban rivers leave something to be desired in terms of scenic opportunities. Put me in the Brule or the Big Spring any day.

The best chance we had at catching something was toward the end of the day on the big bend of the river that flows through Washington Park in Racine. There were fish flopping around doing their thing. One particularly road-weary fish was tucked into a hole about 15 feet away. I had a pink egg pattern on my fly rod leader and I popped that egg inches in front of the fish’s nose over and over and over, in an attempt to annoy it into striking, but it just ignored my efforts.

Seems like the only game in town was snagging fish on treble hooks, which is illegal and not at all sporting. There was a group of three guys playing this game and even they couldn’t get a fish – not that I’m disappointed in the outcome.

We did check out the fish weir in Lincoln Park in Racine. They have a window at the base of the facility arranged so you can see underwater to get a cross-sectional view of the final spillway of the fish ladder. We were able to watch a salmon clear this last spillway on its migration upstream. It was fascinating to watch the salmon make the leap. It sure didn’t look like a big deal for the fish. I can see how they might get up a 6 or 8 foot waterfall.

Root River Fish Weir

Root River Fish Weir

Fishing for salmon in a river is a bear’s job. The fisherman is better off in a lake at this time of year. Fishing the salmon runs is a smelly, frustrating, ugly endeavour that I’ll leave alone for the forseeable future.

I’m going to cool my heels and wait for March, when the spring creek trout season opens. I may return to a big river to chase steelhead during their spawning run.

You’ve got to try something to know whether or not it appeals to you. Well, I’ve got my answer.

Posted November 10, 2010 by troutseeker in Salmon Fishing

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One response to “Done with Salmon Fishing

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  1. Aye! Couldn’t agree more, a ‘bear’s job’ indeed.

    Salmon and steelhead fishing on an urban stream is tempting from your deskchair but leaves much to the imagination in practice.

    I’ll seek steelhead in the wild tributaries of the northwoods or stocked rainbows in our beautiful spring fed troutstreams. You can’t make a great meal with poor ingredients.

    Bring on the snow and sitting by a warm fire tying flies among my loved ones.

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