August 20, 2011 § Leave a comment
Ben and I took our friend Mike out for his first experience with stream fishing. We took him to Elk Creek just north of highway 29. Mike wanted to learn how to fly fish and he did great for a starter. I remember being far more awkward and frustrated than Mike was. In fact he was more interested in pure technique than catching fish. This was admirable. I guess I’m the opposite. I kept telling him… ‘ok you gotta get it right in this one spot.. it doesn’t matter how you get it in there, just sling it in’ … and he would patiently keep working on his form. I quickly realized I better teach this guy how to fish so I can learn some lessons on discipline and form next summer. Ben helped a lot, just as he did with me two summers ago, and I have to say Ben’s cast was looking pretty great across the oak savannah we were fishing.
About an hour into our morning, we heard a generator sound up ahead and wondered if we were fishing right behind a dnr shock survey team. Our suspicions were right (maybe that’s why we couldn’t get a fish or even a hit). We got to watch them do the shock survey. It was awesome. A 14.5 incher came up – beautiful. Its amazing to realize how many fish are hiding in spots you wouldn’t even suspect, and some spots that are incredibly difficult to fish. We watched for a while and then headed up stream to get in front of them a ways. Within ten minutes I had a nice sized brook – one of my biggest for Wisco. Then Ben got some action on the hopper. Mike gave it some shots, worked on his form, had a couple follow-ups on my woolly bugger, but couldn’t hook ’em. Next time Mikey! Ben and I got a few more fish, mostly brooks with a couple of browns.
Then we headed up to the Albertville Tavern for lunch. Holay. Check it out if your starving – they’ll fill you up.
A couple words from me… Usually a trip to Elk Creek isn’t truly complete without a stop over to the Albertville Tavern. Their beer is cold and their burgers are fresh meat from Sokups Market in Chippewa. They like to keep their customers happy with a relish tray and bread items… I would consider a cold beer after a day of fishing one of life’s great pleasures… And when you add in waking up in the morning to my dog Max and a fresh pot of good coffee, you can’t ask for anything more!
August 16, 2011 § Leave a comment
Sean Carey and I went to the Driftless Area today and decided it was time to go where the Big Brook Trout hang out at. The night before, Sean asked me where I wanted to go fishing, so I told him to let me sleep on it and let the fishing spirit tell me where to go in my dreams. The fishing spirit did us right, so thanks! After a few hours, we trekked back to the car and drove over the Rush River and stopped for a lunch of Spaghetti, Beer and Pickles. My current favorite food right now is Pickles, I have no idea why… oh, and trout.
We got to see lots and lots of bugs today. Grass Hoppers were flinging themselves into the stream and it felt good to feed the fish. I saw a black and white bee. I don’t even know if black and white bees exist…but I know I saw one. I do have a history of seeing odd animals however, one which includes what I call a ‘bunny-squirrel.’ Sean pointed out this red thing flying through the air, like a hummingbird. It was the size of a pretty large Junebug… I’m pretty sure it was the worlds smallest hummingbird.
Sean was the only one on the board at Rush with a nice brown. Oh, we both caught some chubs. Though mine was a Hornday, as my dad calls it.
August 12, 2011 § Leave a comment
Duke and I headed down into the heart of the Driftless area in the Westby/Viroqua area on Thursday, August 11. It’s always one of the best learning experiences fishing with him, not just in terms of fishing techniques, but his knowledge of the Driftless. It’s easy to feel intimidated when he somehow catches twice as many fish in a pool than me, but he’s always insistent on eliminating the competitive ‘fish count.’ Well, sometimes that’s fun, too. A little later in the day I came from behind Duke and he said “Do you want to see if I can catch this big one here in this hole?” Low and behold he did and paid homage by giving it a big fat kiss!
I went up ahead to a small and isolated deep pool and casted my cicada with a pink squirrel dropper… five browns kamikaze-ed my pink squirrel. Even though I had hooked one, and my cicada dangling in the air, the rest of the fish were jumping out of the water at the cicada. It was quite a sight to see, and could’ve been a rare opportunity to hook onto a double catch…
We fished until dinner time on Thursday, and then headed to the Mayfly Lodge ( http://www.mayflylodge.com/Mayfly_Lodge.html ) a cabin up on a hill with a deck overlooking a creek and a large cornfield. We sat on the deck drinking wine, eating cheese and crackers, and watching the sun set. It was a horrible time. After a dinner than consisted of some of the corn you see above, Duke and I retired to the cabin with a glass of scotch and a guitar.
We woke up the next morning to rain, which got me pretty excited for good use of my woolly buggers. After a quick stop for bacon and eggs and one of the most essential vitamins – Vitamin G – we headed over to a creek that Duke informed me you could catch a Grand Slam in. Heyyyy. The rain slightly subsided, and left us with what easily could have been somewhere in North Carolina or East Tennessee. Well, I did end up catching my first Wisconsin Rainbow!
Anyone reading this should stop right now and make your way to the Driftless Area and experience some true World Class fishing right in our own backyard…