August 16, 2012 § Leave a comment
With Sean returning home from a six week tour, and I, a four week tour we decided to reunite our insatiable urge to be on the stream. My original plan was to fish a stream that flows into the Rush, but I woke up at 5:30 and thought about the “storm spot” of the Rush. I met Sean in Baldwin as I was brewing an Oatmeal Stout over at Twin Lakes Brewing Co. with Andrew the night before. It was thick, dark, and smelled of chocolate malt-o-meal.
Without even knowing what the weather was supposed to be, I proposed we head to the storm spot (keep in mind I have never fished here and it not been pouring rain with thunder and lightning), and off we went! The morning was crisp and overcast and the water was stained from rain the day before.
The watercress are in full this time of year, and along with various mints, and you can keep your mouth fresh and spicy – a nice streamside salad I’d say.
We were fishing along with little action and in comes the thunder and rain. A solid two hours of heavy rain felled upon us and I didn’t even think about bringing a rain coat. Another leak sprung in my waders as well, so I wet to through and through. When the rain started, the obvious choice is to put on a woolly bugger, and we did so. One fish! Two!
They were still rising in the rain to something. We tried to figure it out but to no avail, so I put the woolly bugger back on and casted into a slow riffle and let it drag. A couple ticks on a rock, and the third tick from the strike indicator just looked different for some reason – so I set the hook. Uh oh…. nice fish!
The rain persisted as did the thunder. We decided to call it a day. It was just shy of 10 am, and I happened to have a Cream Ale from the Twin Lakes Brew in my backseat – why not?
August 9, 2012 § Leave a comment
Getting time on tour to be out in the woods and water is usually slim to none. This time, Damian (the drummer) ran into a guy who worked for the Stillwater Fly Fhop and wanted to take us out fishing. We made our way to the headwaters of the Deschutes River inbetween Bend and Sunriver, OR. I’ve never fished with guides before and my impression is the complete opposite of these guys. It felt more like fishing with old friends. It didn’t hurt that one of them, Todd, had ties back to Wisconsin, and shared my sentiment with the Driftless Area.
The water was crystal clear, glacial blue. There’s Damian casting a big 10 foot rod, with one broken hand. His casting looked real nice in fact.
Here’s a nice brookie I caught, basically jigging a golden stone fly.
I’ll be back in Wisconsin in a few days and will be fishing hard while I’m home for a couple of weeks. Cannot wait.
July 29, 2012 § Leave a comment
June 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
My job as a liquor sales rep and a full time Dad doesn’t leave me with a lot of time on the trout stream, and when I do get to get out, it is usually for panfish with the kids on one of the local lakes. But recently I heard about a small lake that is stocked with rainbow trout. I was somewhat skeptical when one of my customers told me about the 20 inch ‘bow that he caught an hour before he was supposed to head off to work, but when he took me in his beer cooler to showed me the fish, I was sold.
I called my friend, Pappy, who is usually up for an adventure, and he met my son Alex and me near where we were to fish. Pappy isn’t a fly fisherman, so he brought a spinning rod, I rigged up Alex with my spinning rod and a bobber, and I sported my Sage 3wt fly rod.
The lake was nestled right in a hardwood forest in what looked like a glacial pothole that was not any larger than 30 or 40 acres.
Right off the get go, Pappy caught about a 4 inch crappie on his Panther Martin. Not the right species, but at least at this point we could rule out getting skunked. It didn’t take long before he was hooked into another fish, this time it was a 6 inch bullhead… hmm I was beginning to think that I had been sent on a wild goose chase. And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw Pappy retrieving his spinner and an 8-9 inch rainbow was chasing right after it right up to the boat! I couldn’t get the words out of my mouth for him to keep the spinner in the water and the fish was gone. Dang.
As we drifted through the middle of the lake, the wind began to kick up a bit. In a moment of distraction, I let my olive wooly bugger sink to the bottom. As I picked up my rod tip, wham, I was hooked. From previous experience, any trout larger than about 10 inches will put the bend in that 3wt, but this fish wasn’t the 20 incher that I was hoping for. I got a glimpse of the fish, and it showed its colors, our first rainbow that was about 8-9 inches! Just as fast as I had seen the fish, my fly popped out and it was gone.
So we continued to fish, shoot the bull and admire our quant little pothole lake. About a half hour passed and we were starting to get a little anxious when Pappy hooked into another fish… Crappie.
We were within the last 10 minutes, mostly due to hunger, when I hooked into another fish. This one, however, was a little more sporting than the rainbow I lost earlier. I knew that this fish wasn’t the 20 incher either, but it certainly had gumption in his fight and he wanted to stay towards the bottom. Not wanting to take losing another trout to chance, I grabbed my net and played the fish out. As luck would have it, I caught my first bullhead on a fly rod.
While the trout fishing gods didn’t exactly smile on us on this fishing trip, it was certainly good to get out with Pappy and Alex on a lake where you could feel, even just for a moment, that you were the first people to explore this beautiful lake. And hey, at least we didn’t get skunked.
May 27, 2012 § Leave a comment
I headed out yesterday just as the big storm was hitting Eau Claire. Fishing before a storm has always been my favorite time to fish because of the energy in the air. The fish, of course, know it’s coming too and they are eager to eat. My brother and I, when we were younger, always made sure to get out on the lake that our grandparents lived on and slay the bass. These days, though, it’s rare that I get out at the perfect time just before a big storm hits.
The nice thing about trout is that they are opportunistic feeders. Rain or shine, if you throw the right thing they will go after it. I started off with a red and green woolly bugger, but that didn’t seem right. And by the time I switched to a brown and black woolly bugger, the rain was at a torrential downpour. The fish were biting well, but an empty stomach and a nasty leak in the right boot of my waders was shortening my patience. I called it a day…
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