From “Milwaukee Riverkeeper”: An Initial Victory – Estabrook Dam

Initial Victory – Estabrook Dam | Milwaukee RIVERKEEPER.

Community environmental advocacy group “Milwaukee Riverkeeper” filed a motion against Milwaukee County for it’s failure to maintain the Estabrook Dam on the Milwaukee River, and learned on Thursday, May 24th that their motion was successful.  This begins a 30 day process for Milwaukee County to respond. The full article can be read (including links to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article on the same topic) utilizing the link above.

How do you feel about Estabrook Dam?  Should authorities keep and maintain the dam up to code, or remove it and let the fish and ecosystem move freely?  Leave your comments below.

Follow Up: Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Workshop (and another survey!)

Hey there ChicagoTroutBum’s.  Hope you had a great weekend.

The Lake Michigan Salmon Stocking Workshop took place this past Saturday in Michigan.  A complete video feed of the workshop can be found by CLICKING HERE.
Full links to the agenda, etc. can be found HERE.

And finally, fisheries managers from Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan are asking for your input regarding this issue.  Tell them what you think by filling out this survey HERE.

Do you even care if Lake Michigan is stocked with salmon?  Are you a Steelhead junkie who bemoans the apparent lack of chromers in Wisconsin Tributaries?  What are your environmental concerns?  What do you think?  Tell them in the SURVEY and tell us in the comments section below.

2012 Milwaukee River Spring River Cleanup | From : “Milwaukee RIVERKEEPER”

Alright, Chicago Trout Bums — the first River Clean Up of the season is upon us! Milwaukee Riverkeeper is organizing their 17th Annual Spring River Clean Up!  Details and links are below from the Milwaukee Riverkeeper site.  Please consider volunteering, giving back and being stewards for one of the regional fishing resources we hold dear.

2012 Spring River Cleanup | Milwaukee RIVERKEEPER.

“MILWAUKEE RIVERKEEPER is currently seeking volunteers on Saturday, April 21st, 2012 from 9:00am-Noon, at river parkways throughout the Greater Milwaukee area.

Our Spring River Cleanup is a pretty straight foKK River Cleanuprward volunteer opportunity.

We provide the bags, gloves, and FREE T-SHIRTS and YOU provide the hands and energy to pick up trash, litter, and the bizarre and interesting pieces of garbage that somehow find their way into our beautiful river system.

1.  Interested?

See our LIST OF SITES or our MAP OF SITES to find out where you can get involved.

2.  Register!

Registering for your site is not required, but it helps us plan for how many supplies to distribute.  Register by clicking Register Now at the bottom of this page.

*By registering online you’ll be entered into a drawing for a FREE one-night stay at HOTEL METRO  (Milwaukee’s First Green Certified Hotel) & one of four FREE canoe/kayak rentals at LAACKE & JOYS!

3.  Need More Information?

Please contact Zack Adams at, or at 414-287-0207 x6.”

December Steelheading

The cold weather is on the way and with that in mind, Will and I spent a bit of time on the Milwaukee this weekend. Saturday was wet and cold with rain on and off all day long. We went 1-2 with this bright and rosy male being the only fish brought to hand over the weekend. Sunday water levels were up; Will, David, and Niall had a fair number of active fish that all were well versed in escaping crafty anglers. Hopefully we keep this warm (ish) trend for a while as the fishing is good and should continue to be good for a bit longer.

More Chrome

Aaron had I had some work seminars up in central Wisconsin earlier this week so we stopped at the Milwaukee on the way back south yesterday. I am not too familiar with the Milwaukee, so I was hoping it would be wadeable and figured that there would be some fresh fish in the system. There were a few other fishermen present and I snapped a few photos for a gentleman who landed a nice colorful coho. I was swinging a bright chartreuse and silver marabou spey fly and both of these fish tried to pull the rod out of my hand. These are my first two steelhead with the swinging outfit and I was blown away by how aggressive the takes were. I’ll leave out all the catchy phrases that I have heard over the last 24 hours and just say it was cool, really cool.

Steelheading is fun!

Milwaukee River Coho

I was able to get up to the Milwaukee over the weekend and try out my new switch rod. I had cast switch rods a few times out with Will and David, but this was my first day going solo with the switch outfit (thanks for the loaner reel David). After a bit of confusion and the line wrapped around me several times, I managed to get the hang of it enough to swing up a fish.
The river was low and fairly clear, but there were lots of fish, mainly kings, still in the good holding water. I spoke with a few guys with reports of both steelhead and browns being caught on spey rods and nymphing with egg patterns. Coho salmon on the swing, a Bears victory across the pond, and a back ache from riding roller coasters at Six Flags all day. Hooray for Chicago! (and surrounding areas)

More Trib Reports

While David was on the Root, my friend Niall and I make tracks for the Milwaukee. We were hoping to find less people and more water and that is what transpired. The river was on its way down, still relatively full but clear. Perfect conditions to swing. Niall is much more experienced than I am with the long rod, fishing the Milwaukee quite often and heading to the beautiful West Coast steelhead rivers a couple of times each year.
We parked, hoofed it down to the river and, before I had even rigged up, Niall was into a fish. A short fight later a beautiful, dark male was brought to hand, documented for posterity, and released. A few minutes after that Niall hooked up with another but had him come unbuttoned. And that just about finished up the fish catching for the day. David corroborated the same story: fish in the morning and nothing later in the warm, bright sun. The water was around 40 degrees.

Not yet having the proper lines, heads, and tips to swing with my new switch rod I rigged it up to nymph. I was excited to bomb roll casts and have the extra length to execute long mends. Let’s just say that it didn’t really work out as romantically as I had imagined. The wind was really blowing all day long, and almost killed Niall on the Root but we will get to that later, which certainly didn’t make things any easier. But overall, overhead casting and single hand roll casting with the 11′ 3″ rod was quite a workout especially with a heavy nym
phing rig and indicator. I was able to make it work, but it certainly wasn’t ideal, and I would have preferred to have my 9 or 10 footer. One of the main problems I have overhead casting longer rods is the loss of accuracy. When you are bombing Spey casts to cover water the long rods are the proper tool. They are not when you are trying to tuck cast a nymph rig into a specific current seam. Eventually I was able to finagle some good drifts in a historically productive run and caught 3 big, golden suckers. Or as I prefer to call them, Midwestern Dorado.
We decided to change venues and try to meet up with David and his group on the Root but by the time we got there he had conveniently bailed for the Mars Cheese Castle. We talked to a couple of people and the consensus was that nobody had been catching much of anything. I still wanted to hit a couple of holes so we took a stroll. If it had been windy in Milwaukee, and it had, it was blowing twice as hard in Racine. Without any wind breaks it was borderline unfishable. After fishing for about 20 minutes Niall was watching me fish a run when we heard a loud “CRACK!” and a huge branch smashed into the water no less than 12 inches from where he stood. We looked at each other, reeled up our lines, and walked back to the car. Clearly, it was time to head home.

Matt, Jeremy and Yas Form A Steelhead Posse – Steelhead Photo Report

Hey folks. Here are the pictures I’ve been promising. I’m kicking myself that I wasn’t on the water with these guys this past weekend. Yas and Jeremy met Matt in person for the first time on the river, each of them having read about one another on this site! I think these pictures speak for themselves, I would love for the individuals who took them to weigh in with any comments they might have. They each caught serious numbers of chrome, dime-bright steelhead. Well done gentlemen, well done.

Matt Makes the News…

Hey all. My bud Matt was featured in a local suburban Milwaukee paper. Check out his picture online.

More to come later this evening including a great Steelhead post and three fly-tying pattern recipes. Thanks again to everyone for your contributions. To all other readers, please don’t hesitate to email your favorite fishing pictures and anecdotes.