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 zack@milwaukeeriverkeeper.org, or at 414-287-0207 x6.”

Late January Chrome

Our good friend Brian was able to spend a bit of time on the Root today and was rewarded with this mid winter buck. As you can see by the bugger in his mouth, Brian was drifting a 2 fly rig with an egg on top and a bugger as the trailer. While nymphing is usually the way to go mid winter, fish will still take a fly on the swing. He was letting his indicator rig swing at the end of each drift, a great way to cover water, and got the take on a tight line. Very nice work!

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!

Wisconsin Tributaries

Aaron and I were able to take advantage of the rains earlier in the week and head up to check on the Wisconsin tributaries. I saw a handful of browns and overall we went 2 for 3 on the day. A rather large steelhead gave me a nice fight then decided he was sick of it and broke me off (grrrrrrrr.) The Root and the Milwaukee are both up and more browns are present in all of the systems on the Wisconsin side. Will and Niall are headed to Michigan this weekend so hopefully they return with good reports from the other side of the big lake. Good luck men!

What a monster!

The browns have arrived.

Steelhead Scouting

A quick trip up to the Pike is never a bad idea whether it be because someone told you that the fish are in, or just a for a quick scouting trip. Today was the latter, none the less well worth the drive. The mouth of the Pike can be a very interesting and rewarding place to fish. It seems nine out of ten times I visit the mouth the skunk wins the battle and I go home having spent a few nice hours on the beach. Today’s story was no different, a few reports of fish being caught earlier in the moring and some second hand stories of success on the Root. Someone must have scared them all away for the day.

Andrew looking north
Eric down south (he’s really far)
The river decided to do some strange beachscaping. Last time I saw the river do this was a few years ago and the fishing was epic:

No fish to show for the trip over the border this time but it was good to get out and at least make some casts. The run has not begun, but it is on its way!

That’s All Folks… Spring Steelhead Run Wrapping Up

With longer days, higher temperatures and summer approaching, the spring steelhead run is just about over. Anglers fishing the Southeastern Wisconsin tributaries have reported seeing far fewer fish on gravel than last week. It would seem that the fish spawned and turned tail while the rivers were inundated with high water. There are still fish here and there, but spawned out fish, called drop-backs, don’t provide the greatest sport and should be handled with care. Any visible fish should be left alone as these animals are fragile from the rigors of spawning. If you’re taking one home that’s one thing, but consider letting these guys head back to the Big Lake to come back bigger and meaner next year.

I’ll be getting one last day of steelheading in on Friday but who knows what I’ll encounter by then. I’ll probably hit the Milwaukee in the hopes that some of the deeper runs there still harbor a fish willing to slam one of my swung flies. Tom Harris over at Great-Lakes-Angler.com sent me the photo of this little chromer, a fish he caught this past weekend on one of our local waters. He reported that the fishing was extremely tough but that after some river hopping he managed to find a deep run with a willing fish in it.

My attention will be turning to inland trout for the next few months. Our site will be providing limited coverage of the summer run fish as well, but that won’t be until late July or so. In the meanwhile, we will be providing timely reports on the Driftless Area of Wisconsin and the virtually unlimited opportunities that exist there for spring creek novices and aficionados alike.

Easter Weekend Fishing

My friend Niall and I spent the Easter Weekend in Wisconsin, from Brule to Boscobel. We fished some known water and explored some new streams and rivers. Niall took most of these pictures and I hope you enjoy them.

The steelhead was caught on the swing. A beautiful spawned out doe who was looking for a meal.

I will have another post in the near future on this wild, naturally reproducing steelhead fishery regarding its regulations and the various fishing tactics observed while on it.

Some Recent Tributary Fish

My fishing buddy and shop colleague Lee Robinson stopped by the river on Monday. He quickly picked up some steel on his nine footer. I had just strung up my Helios switch rod with a skagit line set-up and offered it up him for a quick spey lesson. Three casts later he hooked this giant hen brown trout. I think Lee might swing flies more often! It just goes to show that there are many ways to catch a fish! Great job Lee.