November 12, 2012 § Leave a comment
Man, I wish Wisconsin just went to a catch and release season in the fall. It’s so hard cutting off at the end of september, especially when there are days in October that you step outside and just know the trout are just going nuts on your favorite stream nearby. I suppose just like the seasons, fishing seasons make us realize what we have and where we live, and be grateful for each morning our backs heat up with the rising sun, or recall the dog days of summer when we’re scrambling our way back to the car in the dark because we just kept fishing until we couldn’t see. And we look back and remember those absolutely perfect days we had on the stream. Sometimes its those days where you can do no wrong and the fish are into it. Those are memorable. But I’ve realized for me, I get even more nostalgic for those days that I’m just really clear headed, I’m exploring, I’m present in all ways, and then a few nice fish come fall for my presentation. There was the day 2 or 3 years ago (can’t remember)… on my local creek, it was lightly raining, it was soooo green, and all was connected. What I can remember is the way the rain was hitting the water, the way I felt completely a part of my landscape, and the greater W. Wisconsin that I live in. The first day I got out in 2012 was one of those days. Every hole I delicately and accurately casted in provided a fish. It was so exciting and satisfying. Also, had a day in late summer that I did some exploring on a new creek. Its one of those spots you drive by all the time and say, hey , that looks cool up there, but you never stop to fish. The first hour was uneventful fishing, but it was some of the most gorgeous scenery I’d ever seen on the stream. I knew there would be fish and sure enough the holes started to get deeper and the fishing picked up. I didn’t catch a bunch or really a lunker, but a few decent fish, beautiful-new territory and I was in contentment. I caught my biggest and fattest Wisconsin trout this spring, and Ben and I hit some caddis fishing in the driftless by Viroqua in May.
It was hard to say goodbye to the season this year. Maybe it was me being gone for most of the summer. I’ve been scouring the internet for blogs, forums, etc – just learning what other people think, other spots to try out. Already getting ready for next spring (and definitely planning a trip to Iowa / Mn this winter) ((hopefully)).
May 24, 2012 § Leave a comment
The week before I left town I had the chance to take Colin out for his first outing with his new rig. He’s a pretty natural caster, he sure as hell is better than me when I started. It’s nice to look back to when we started fly fishing and think of how awkward it can be. With spin fishing you have maybe 3 or 4 things to think about; in fly fishing there’s about 12, if not more. We hit up Elk and Duncan Creek, with very minimal luck. It was hot last week and we were just getting out a bit too late in the morning I think. Now, Dubs (Colin) has got his own set up and he can go find his own secret spots, practice casting in the park, tying his own flies maybe – let the obsession begin.
I also had the opportunity to do a little fishing on the Namekagon. My gosh, was it beautiful. I had to pinch myself to remind me that I was still in Wisconsin. There were tons of flies out too… unfortunately various kinds of chubs and large minnows were really into my caddis presentation. Oh well. I caught a couple small browns, but I didn’t get the big ones lurking in those deep runs. Next time.
May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
April 30, 2012 § 1 Comment
As of late, the cold nights was making it tough to catch non active fish throughout April. But on this last day, Sean and I headed out on a cloudy cool afternoon. Judging by the cloud cover and the water clarity, the woolly bugger was a clear choice. However, a few caddis were skidding across the water, but the trout were not rising them. Destined to figure out what they were rising to, we spent a good chunk of time and about 20 flies later, cast after cast, to no avail. I went back to the trusty pink squirrel because I know how well it coaxes them to strike. And, I wanted to catch some brookies.
Sean went back to a reddish-brown woolly bugger. Arriving at a deep pool, I still wasn’t getting deep enough with my squirrel and Sean made the proper adjustments. I cast my line out to the edge of the deep, and a nice fish slammed my fly, but I missed it! Sean and I looked at each other and the obligitory, ‘ohhhhhhhhhhhfghfgfg’ came out of our mouths. Sean casted out and something big slammed his bugger. Big. I thought it was original a sucker or even a northern because it did not leave the bottom and it had some sizable head shakes. Low and behold:
What a fatty!
In between getting caught on snags of branches in the water it ended up being a good day.
Happy fishing everyone,
April 26, 2012 § 2 Comments
Sean went out with his younger brother, Colin.
Colin with a nice brookie from a Chippewa County crik [sic]. We had a nice day under sprinkles of rain and caught some brookies. Colin did some casting on the fly rod, which is ultra-different from his ultra-ultralight spinning rig. We caught up and had a good day.
After zero action for over an hour I finally found a hole on a creek southwest of town and landed this beautiful Brown trout. I was pumped. It was a beautiful spring evening. Man, the weather at the end of March was insane.
This photo captures budding trees and sun, that’s the spring weather I saw most. I missed most of the crap while I was out of town. Lucky for sure.
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 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.