Milwaukee Salmon (but not Steelhead)   5 comments

I fished in Milwaukee on Saturday with dozens of my closest friends. There are a lot of guys out there after salmon. I haven’t got the strategy figured out yet for catching migrating salmon legally. I’m suspicious that every salmon caught in the Milwaukee River is caught via a snag. I know this debate rages on forums like with some saying they are catching them in the mouth while others go on and on about witnessing fish harvested with treble hooks in the dorsal fin. It sure looked to me like the few hooks that found salmon were stuck in places well back from the mouth.

I’m hoping in the next several weeks the salmon have run their course, the weather gets nasty, and the Steelhead are all that’s left of the lake-run fish. I’ll be out there, with a lot fewer friends, swinging streamers for Steelhead.

Speaking of swinging, I got the hang of the Skagit cast to the degree that I made every fourth or fifth cast very adeptly. I have work to do to get power into my cast so I can get them to reach a little further. Right now I’m basically able to cast the shooting head and about ten feet of running line. I need to slow things down a bit on the forward cast I guess.



Salmon Fisherman on the Milwaukee River

Salmon Fisherman on the Milwaukee River



5 responses to “Milwaukee Salmon (but not Steelhead)

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  1. You sure that isn’t the early Xmas sale at the mall?

    That’s too many standing in line in front of me for my patience. I’d prefer bluegills in my local pond.

    This LOOKS like an act of desperation to my eyes.

    Fishing and rat race are not meant to be synonyms in my dictionary.

    I recognize that this is hindsight coming from an armchair but proximity is something I can see plainly in the photo. Too many anglers in too small a place. How does anybody enjoy themselves under those conditions?

    Half those guys, at least , should stand on the sidelines and simply watch, or go somewhere else. Everyone would have a better time.

    I’m starting to see the real value in utilizing different techniques so you can broaden the area in which you could go about this activity. The switch rod seems an idea worth pursuing.

    Good for you for being so optimistic Tom. I still need the poetry of semi-solitude to draw me out of my hidey hole.

    I think, this moment calls me to pursue different species, away from other anglers, possibly something more obscure.

    Hopefully you don’t get a treble hook stuck in your face during one of these excursions.

    Let’s go draw some carp from the shallows of a turgid backwater somewhere until most of these laddies have moved off those glorious salmon living through such an I dignified moment, don’t you think?

    Thanks for the post. There are lots more colors in the rainbow than just ROYGBIV.


    • Stephen,

      I agree with your ideal scenario of being alone or perhaps next to a few close friends on the water. What isn’t revealed in the photograph is that the guy in the green hat is probably forty yards upstream from me, and the next person downstream was two hundred yards away. I was fishing a beautiful deep pool and tailout while those fishing above and below me were in one to two feet of water fishing areas where salmon were easily seen and targeted. It’s hard to thread a hook into a salmon’s mouth when they’re submerged. But when you can look one right in the eye your chances improve.

      What you say about ROYGBIV is true. Those dudes standing in the shallows in their black leather jackets and knee-high boots smoking ciggies and drifting their hooks into the mouths of salmon are the the primary colors of the spectrum.

      Perhaps I should be promoting the Milwaukee River in the way you describe it (or have perceived it based on an internet blog post). It’s a dirty urban river with unsporting blokes and smelly rotting salmon. Don’t bother fishing there.

      That way, when the Steelhead are in the river and the Salmon are gone I’ll have this beautiful place all to myself!

  2. i made the mistake of fishing the root river in 2009. never again…

    paul worsterberg of the deplacements
    • Paul,

      I think my mistake was that of fishing in Milwaukee during the fall salmon run. In a few weeks the weather will be cold, the salmon will be gone, the Steelhead will be coming upstream, and all will be good again.

      The salmon run seems to bring out the crazies.


      • i hooked a king (in the mouth–whoa!) and thought i was going to get knifed for it. i’ll try swinging in the mil later this years. tried once last year and skunked. always tough trying to get the right day (especially if can get up there only saturday or sunday) after a rain. plus, that is a pretty long river. always tough to drop in to a new, bigger river and be comfortable or confident. luckily i found a huge beer garden in the park along the river! that was awesome. i still have the half-liter beer glass.

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