I briefly pondered calling this report “Salmon are Dicks” instead, but I figured that discretion was the better part of valor. Well, at least it is for a title.
After some rain last week, the salmon run was in full effect on the Milwaukee River over the weekend. In a rare stroke of luck, I was a bachelor for the weekend, as the wife and kids were off to visit my in-laws. It was truly a man’s weekend including beer, video games, kung fu movies, power tools, and best of all, a day full of fishing. The only thing that would have been better was if I hadn’t remained 0-for-forever on lake-run salmonids.
Now that I’ve completely discredited my standing as a fly fisher with any sort of experience, let me explain a little. Despite my few years in Milwaukee, I only have a handfull of trips to try for salmon, steelhead, or lake-run browns. Granted, perhaps that should have given me enough opportunities to actually catch one by now, but, alas, I hadn’t.
I won’t bore you with all the details (because most of the details are boring given that I hooked up with nothing). Though it is awesome to see monstrous fish jumping around you, it is equally frustrating to know that you’re in the right spot and to be unable to get them to strike. See… Dicks. They’re such aholes, in fact, that even though they were jumping around me like clock work, as soon as I hauled out my camera, they stopped. Seriously. So, you get one semi-neat pic that has no fish in it at all. At least the river is there.
There was one event of some interest, though. As I was drifting a streamer through the current, some movement in the water at my feet caught my eye. I saw some white fly-line drifting through the current. I reached down, grabbed the line, and turned just in time to see a big fish swirl about 10 ft upstream from me. As I rolled in the line, I got to the end and found nothing but a snapped leader. A couple of minutes later, two fly fishermen who had been further upstream by a few hundred yards waded down to me.
“You got some fly line there?” one asked.
Apparently, he had hooked a large king who took off downstream, taking the young guy to his backing. Apparently, the guy’s nail knot wasn’t the best, and the line detached from the backing, losing his big fish with it. I think that when I initially grabbed the line, I pulled it just tight enough to get the king (still attached to the line at the time) to swirl and break off the fly. Would have been a lot better story had it still been attached and I would have reeled him in by hand.