Friday, October 5, 2012

I Don't Know How Much Longer I Can Hold This

All this time we've lived in our new apartment, I would always go upstream to fish the more natural stretches of the Menomonee River.  Keep in mind, "more natural" is a relative term, meaning, much less concrete and spray paint.

I had errands to run, which brought me near a park along the Menomonee about two miles farther downstream from where I usually fish.  I parked my car, got my gear,  jumped the wall, and saw fish everywhere.  Suckers, salmon and pike all over among the piles of "evidence" of so many unsolved, possibly unreported crimes.  Fish finding cover amongst skateboards, refrigerators, a stop sign, construction barrels, bicycles, chef's knives, chef's knives?  CHEF'S KNIVES!  I start casting, but it's a tough crowd.  The pike are amongst the suckers, why would they chase a swimbait?  I walked a ways up and down stream, amazed by the size of the fish I saw, but time was short, and after this, I knew where to find fish.  This kind of water is all new to me!  It reminds me of the motorcycle chase scene from Terminator 2.  The lower urban stretch is still within walking distance, I've always just been walking the wrong way, a return trip would be necessary.

A pair of northern pike.

Click to enlarge.
The weekend found me in the concrete canyon of the lower stretch of the Menomonee River an awful lot.  I had never seen another person down there, but apparently the word is out that the autumn salmon run has begun, despite the catastrophically low water levels.  Instinct can overcome low water, log jams, even miles of concrete and mounds of forensic evidence.  I wasn't ready to fish, I was just there to observe, as were many others.  I only saw one guy catch a fish, a beautiful female.  Saturday evening while walking with my baby in the carrier, we found a sweet fossil.  Weekends are always crazy for salmon fishing, I waited to wet my line until monday.

This guy caught her on a spawn sack.

Pretty awesome trilobite fossil.

Catching a salmon on a fly was something I've always wanted to do, so I tied some egg sucking leeches over the weekend.  I waited until mid morning to hit the stream with my gear, there were salmon everywhere -- and I had the stream to myself.  It wasn't long before I was hooked up with a big female.  She was tired, but still had some spirit!  I landed her and released her above the rapids she was struggling to get over.  A male followed, also released above the rapids.  The third fish fought the hardest; a nice male that ran downstream, forcing me into a thousand yard chase; the concrete bank makes for a great sidewalk.  The fish eventually tired and came in.

One of my hand tied #6 egg sucking leeches.

Fish on!

Nice female

Not as pretty as the female.

Action shot, I was just along for the
ride with this guy.

I love the color of
a spawning male

Resusitating the fish.

Such a beautiful sight, seeing
him swim away,

Three fish landed on the fly, three fish released.  What a great way to start the week.  I followed it up by catching and releasing three more Tuesday on spinning tackle with my baby girl, landing two of them by hand.  All of them were caught on Thundersticks.  One had a gold Little Cleo stuck in its tail that I took out.  Wednesday, I caught and kept a 34" female.  Seven fish in three days, those accomplishments are coming along pretty nicely.

34" salmon 

Achievements unlocked
  1. (*) Gold Hook (Catch a game fish over the minimum length requirement)
  2. (*) Baby Bear (Catch a member of the family: Salmonidae)
  3. (*) Mama Bear (Catch a member of the family: Salmonidae that measures over 30")
ITEM Pickups

Monday, October 1, 2012


Last week I got to spend an evening with my beautiful little girl.  She loves being outside, and I had not taken her fishing yet, so I decided we needed to find out if the salmon were running in the Menomonee River yet; maybe I could unlock some of those remaining achievements.  She's just six months old, so I wasn't planning on doing any really serious fishing.
After her nap, we made the two and a half mile trip to the more natural stretch of the river, and she was already being fussy and crabby.  I put her in the carrier on my chest, grabbed my gear out of the trunk and walked to the river.
This picture was taken at an earlier date,
the water is even lower now.
The water is terribly low still, but there is a pool where the water cascades over rock, if there are salmon this far up, they will be bottlenecked up in the pool for sure.  My little angel had a good time when we got to the bank, she loves the water, and there were some ducks and frogs for her to see.
I didn't anticipate how much wearing a baby on my chest would effect my cast, but I still managed to get my lure where I wanted it.  I think my girl's favorite part of fishing was watching the reel spin as I retrieved my line.
I managed to fish for ten or fifteen minutes before baby turned into crabby pants and we stopped fishing without so much as seeing a single fish.  We started walking, and she calmed right down, so I dropped the gear back in the trunk and hit the nature trails.  My sweetie fell asleep instantly, I continued to explore the beautiful Jacobus park as she napped.
Tiny stream.

Very nice trails in the park.

She wakes up! 

Baby had a fun time

She eventually woke up and was a happy, cute little angel.  Even though I got skunked, that was the best fishing yet this season.