Thanks for the info, you got me out there, well outfitted for the inital assault on the famous warm water discharge. Slogged my way over the path from the parking lot to the bridge right over the dam and headed down the hill to the pool below. It was frozen over with fresh tracks (human) across it.
Right at the downstream end of the pool, the water speeds up as the creek narrows and the water flows ice-free. It's really shallow there w/ a sandy bottom. Didn't see much there. Kept walking (on the grass alongside the trail, the mud is slippery as grease) along the open water to the discharge. About four fishermen working the discharge arm before the confluence, no one doing much good.
Went over the discharge and down the other side, then about 100 feet from the grate. At 2:50 pm I made my first cast with 4# Fireline (1 lb. dia.), #6 red Gamatsu and a large fathead. Let it sit for a few seconds, then began a twich and wait retrieve. Whamo! Two twitches and I was in to fish! What a website! Put me into fish on the first cast!! Thank you CLF
Ok, ok, ease up a bit... with consummate skill I played the fish. Working it ever closer to the shore, wow! Ok, ok, so it was only about twenty seconds to land the six inch greenie dink, but hey, first fish of 2003 on the first cast? Gonna be a great year.
Didn't even lose the fathead. Flipped it back into the middle of the stream, just onto the sandbar there and let it float as before. Bam, Pow! Another fish on
Again, a quick but vicious battle and I land the twin sister of the first one.
You can't believe the disappointment I felt when the next cast yielded nothing, zip, zilch, nada, squat. A perfect year ruined by reluctant bass (no doubt because of sore mouths, thanks Anna).
Got a hit on the next cast but no hook-up and then (he said melodramatically) the bite shut down.
Began to move towards the confluence, found no action. At the confluence there is another sandbar. I cast to the tail end of that, where it drops off into a little deeper water and had some follows, but again by dink LM.
Figuring the big fish must be in the deeper holes, I trudged downstream, stopping to work any cover I could see and look for holes. I noticed that the near water was fairly slack and the fast water was against the opposite shore. The large fathead allowed me to reach that shore with the ultra-light rig and I cast my heart out, letting it drift with the current, twitch, retrieve, drift, twitch retrieve, into the slight eddy at the slack water interface. Again, some very soft taps that could have been the minnow or the bottom, but no fish to be had.
Went back to the scene of my first success and watched little bass gang up on the minnow as I twitched it to shore but they were barely bigger that it was and they did not make any progress in their pursuit of food.
All in all, I was pleased with the trip. Got acquainted with this area, caught fish on my first two casts, saw some ducks explode from the shoreline cover as I got too close and learned from it all.
Good thing we all used this window for open water, guys (and Anna) 'cause the forcast is definately in favor of the long-suffering hard water types for the rest of the week, month?