2011 Roughfish.com Root River Roundup

The 2011Roundup was documented by a popular Outdoors television show, Minnesota Bound.  This made for an interesting weekend to be sure.  Our group of hardcore Roughfishers were eager to show this TV crew just how much fun we have catching all of these weird and diverse fish each year.   Lots of new faces attended this year's event, including anglers from Chicago and Pennsylvania.

To view the Minnesota Bound episode filmed during this Roundup, CLICK HERE.

Friday morning dawned very foggy and cold.  Folks fished around camp, and those that would be floating the river at noon ate a hearty breakfast and got their boats together on roof racks.  The MN Bound crew - Bill Sherck(Man About the Woods) and his cameraman decided to join us for the Friday Float in their canoe!  At noon, we all drove in a caravan to the dam in Lanesboro to put-in.

The Root River was running at pretty high volume and was cold.  This meant we were in for a fast, wet ride downstream as more standing waves and stronger rapids would challenge us.  Jackie, Andy and Eric Kol ran this nice rip of rapids just below the dam and got the float trip started with a bang.  Jackie and Andy ended up floating the river four times over the weekend, loving the fun high water.

Soon we found ourselves on a nice island and began fishing.  Brown trout, rainbow trout, white suckers and golden redhorse were caught here, but action was rather slow.  This is usually the case when the cameras are rolling. Avidfly did land one nice golden, which got the camera guy excited. 

 

Paddlers dispersed, and enjoyed a wild ride on the lively rapids of the Root.  As always, a group of anglers congregated at the confluence where an excellent fishing spot exists.  Action was a little better here.  The camera guy, recognizing a true talent, put the camera on DT and DT did not disappoint.  He landed a beautiful golden redhorse and explained his tactics for viewers.  Bill Sherck even caught a nice silver here, and he was impressed with the battle the fish put up.

 

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The float trip down the Root was a huge success!  It was a fun ride and some cool fish were caught.  Upon returning to camp, paddlers were greeted by new arrivals and found out that the fishing was pretty good now that the sun had warmed up.  Lots of golden redhorse were being caught, along with trout, white suckers, and hogsuckers.  Silver redhorse were scarce, however.

 

  The Roughfish.com flags flying proudly at camp.

 

Some Quality fish were caught around camp Friday evening.  Even in the high, cold water the fish could not hide from these skilled Roughfishers.

 

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J Dunfee, a long-time roughfish.com member, traveled to the Roundup all the way from Pennsylvania.  Great to meet you in person Dunfee!  Here he lands a nice silver redhorse...

Early on Saturday morning, I went looking for Eric Kol and found him still encased in his cocoon...

 

Under gray and drizzly skies, we all got prepared for the Species Derby which started at high noon.  The derby lasts for three hours, and the angler who catches the most different species of fish wins.  This year we had a record number of contestants.  With the additional incentive of being on TV if they won the derby, folks pulled out all the stops this year trying to win.  Also, there were some fantastic prizes contributed to the prize table this year!  Some anglers crossed the river in kayaks.  Some drove to other locations on the river.  Others simply staked out their favorite spot right in camp and played the odds. 

 

After the three-hour derby, there was a tie for first place!  Rich and Tyler W each caught six species.  This meant that there would be a sudden death fish-off in which the first angler to catch a fish would become the Champion.  The venue was cleared of all other anglers and the two competitors fished alone on the riverbank.  This was the first ever sudden death fish-off in Roundup history, and onlookers eagerly awaited a conclusive victory.  It began to rain more heavily, which added to the drama.  Ten minutes passed...then twenty...then thirty...it turns out that this was not sudden death, but rather a slow and torturous one.  After each angler lost a fish, Tyler finally caught a shorthead redhorse and thus won the tournament.

 

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You really have to watch the MN Bound video to appreciate the drama of this contest!  Click HERE to see it.

 

 

After the derby, it was time to make our World-famous Sucker Balls!  We feast on these every year.  Thanks to everybody who volunteered to help, and also those who contributed some food to the feast!

After eating, it was time to fish again.  Lots of folks night-fished this evening, and lots of stonecats were caught.  Other species such as white suckers and hogsuckers were landed as well, but this year no sturgeon were caught around camp.  Other folks gathered around a roaring fire and enjoyed some impromptu music performed by Rich, Corey, Frogchaser and Andy.   The highlight of the performance was a blues tune called "The low-down, dirty no good no gar blues".  Here's a LINK TO THE LOW DOWN DIRTY NO GOOD NO GAR BLUES!!!

 

The Minnesota Bound show featuring us aired in Spring 2012.  It turned out GREAT, and really showed how much passion we all have for Roughfishing.  Everybody was great on camera.  This really helped to spread the word about how fun pursuing all those "other fish" can be.  Nothing but positive reviews from everybody who saw it.  Click HERE to watch the episode.

 

That's about all I got for now.  If anybody remembers anything from the 2011 Roundup that they would like to add, just shoot me a message and I will add it.

 

See y'all down on the Root next year!