Growing up in a family of hunters & fishermen has lead Kristen Monroe of OutdoorNews.com to have passion for the outdoors. When she was young she loved waking up at the crack of dawn to go fishing with her older brother and dad. Although she was only allowed to fish for bluegills as a young girl she couldn’t wait until she was old enough to cast for her first bass. Now she and her husband are looking forward to taking their own children fishing and sharing passion for the outdoors with them.
Standing at the edge of a stream on a sunny fall day is breathtaking in Wisconsin. Early October salmon begin staging in the Sheboygan Harbor and the spawning run begins up the river. Mike Wehmeier from Wolf Pack Adventures led our group of anglers to a long stretch of river that was loaded with gigantic spawning salmon. What an ironic sight, watching the lifeless zombie salmon at the end of their life cycle and observing the females spread their eggs. After a Chinook spawns, it usually dies within two weeks. I stepped into the river to test my waders and felt the pressure from the water surround my leg. Oh good, no leaks just a brisk chill from the river. Wading in the stream is fun to begin with. Just add a fly rod to the mix on a beautiful fall day and another awesome outdoor memory is created.
I persistently dangled my line in the same spot over an hour trying to gain interest from an energetic king salmon. There lay a group of seven salmon, surly one of them would bite. To fight a healthy thirty pound king salmon with a fly rod would certainly be exciting. Every once in a while I would catch a glimpse of a brown or a steelhead making its way up the river. I switched between pink spawn sacks and assorted flies putting forth my best effort to entice them. I tried everything, landing the fly so it had enough time to sink into the strike zone and drift down stream perfectly in front of their eyes. I began roll casting like a mad woman trying to engage one of the spunky silver fish to bite while evading the zombie fish. It’s illegal to catch one by a snag and defiantly not something to be proud of.
Since the fish have low appetites this time of year getting the salmon to strike is not easy. The key to success- agitate them. Sight fishing for kings is as frustrating as it is fun. It’s maddening because they are right there, practically close enough to grab. Yet, most would not respond to my taunts. Finally, after many casts over a two day stretch I fought a king right into the Frabill net. It’s important to let monster fish run when they need to. I made the mistake of reeling to fast the day before and saw my line snap. Yes, I was the one who told the story of the thirty pound fish that got away around the dinner table. Lesson learned; always let a big fish run when it wants to, no matter how anxious you are.
for fishing and hunting adventures in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.