March 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
While Sean was out touring Australia, I was home out on the stream and keeping him updated on what was happening. Even though he had it made in the shade down under, I know his passion for fishing was simmering heavily, waiting for his first outing of the year. Just before he got home, I made my way towards Austin to do a few shows, thinking that we weren’t going to fish together until close to May. Well, it just so happened that the band I was playing with got back to WI early with 2 days until our next show in Chicago. After driving 24 hours I drove another 4, from Milwaukee, back to Eau Claire and immediately strapped on my waders. Sean got back from Australia (also traveling about 24 hours) the night before and had already been out once. Catching this dandy:
The next morning we met up with the renown Duke Welter and headed north. The night’s thunderstorm left the stream depth high, but with good clarity. I tied on a red and chartreuse woolly bugger with a gold bead that my brother so graciously tied up for me and it was apparent that the fish were hungry. A farm nearby filled our ears with cows and sheep, geese honking from above, and even a couple pheasants. It was a little after noon and we figured on going to another stream.
Well, if you are any sort of fisherman at all, you’ll know that you can’t go to Duncan Creek without making a pit stop at either Main St. or Bohemian Ovens… We made our way toward the latter for coffee and pie, and Sean picked up a few celebratory Spotted Cows for the days end.
Stone flies were out and the trout were rising for them. One cast into a riffle with a caddis fly had this almost purple brookie jumping out of the water even before my fly touched the water…
While one of us fished a hole, the other two stood back commenting on the size of fish, harsh criticism, and cracking jokes. Of course Duke shared with us his in-depth knowledge of streams and their history of restoration. After the fish lost interest in stone flies we switched over to nymphs and streamers, and the fish catching resumed, only adding to the good time.
Beer thirty arrived and we toasted to a good day.
March 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
Wednesday, March 14 – Went over to the most recent stream project on Elk Creek, just above Hwy 29; arrived about noon and I was the only one in the parking lot; fished upstream about 300 yards without a strike; water temp 45 degrees and water cloudy; many stoneflies in the air and making themselves available to trout on the water but no rises? I left Elk and drove to Gilbert Creek in Dunn County; 70+ degrees by now and the water temp there was 50 degrees; many stoneflies at Gilbert as well but same story, no rises to them; thinking that maybe the trout were saving energy by picking off nymphs and/or emergers, I put on a small whiskyfly and started fishing at the most downstream parking lot; caught 9 trout between parking lot and Hwy 29…8 brookies, all but one 9”+, and 1 brown; I had a 10.75” brookie and another brookie and the brown went 11.5’; nice healthy fish although the Gilbert Creek brookies seem to be the long narrow body type rather than stocky like other Elk and other creeks; this section of habitat work is turning into the section which should give up nicer sized trout as we had hoped; went upstream and caught one fish in the North Branch and lost three without catching one in the Middle Branch.
Thursday, March 15 – In the morning, I traveled to south of Durand and met with Jeff and Greg Bechel who have a lease on a quarry where sand will be mined after the upper 70-90’ of limestone is removed; we met John Sours and Nate Anderson there to discuss the possibility of the Bechels donating rock for our stream projects; the Plum City brothers were well aware of the trout stream projects that have been completed in recent years in the area, including Plum City, Pine Creek, Arkansaw Creek, and Bear Creek, and they are more than willing to become partners with our stream projects; I fished in Bear Creek east of Durand on the way home and caught the 15” brown in the picture and a few othes that were smaller; another day of plentiful stoneflies but no risers!
March 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
I headed towards middle Elk Creek when Duke Welter gave me a shout. So I fished a little bit on the stretch I was on, and we met up at the Albertville Tavern (unfortunately not open for breakfast) and decided to head upstream.
The snow flies were out and about and Duke and I spotted a couple of rises on the water… though we couldn’t get them to bite.
A few fish – and a lot of sun.
March 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Happy Opening Day of Trout Season. This morning was in the high 20’s, with flurries and the sun poking out every so often just enough to warm my face and light up the snow against the clouds. I made my way towards Elk Creek down in a coulee with a fresh coating of snow on the ground, hoping I was first to the creek.
In the past, I have often treated the early trout season as way to work the rust off the cast and fishing skills, and just easing into the season. This year, I decided that that mindset was no longer welcome. So I set out, feeling like it hadn’t been that long since last being on the stream. I put on a nymph with a sinker about 12 inches up, and my first few casts something didn’t seem quite right about the way it was drifting, so I took off the weight. A few more casts…still not right. I put on a new sinker at 9 inches up, and my indicator at about 4 feet up. First cast…fish on! I caught a few more, and was pretty ecstatic on how the morning was going. When I stopped catching fish is when I realized my sinker had slipped down anywhere below 9 inches. So, I fixed it and instantly was catching fish again.
I caught a couple of real nice browns, but the camera ran out of batteries. I think my fingers were too cold to finagle with it anyhow…
It felt good to be back home in the creek.