Saturday, March 18, 2017

Trip Report: Eagles and Trout

Today I headed northward to fish in Wisconsin with my friend Sean today. I was excited to take the river road in hopes of finding eagles. The river road did not disappoint and by the time I pulled in next to Sean I spotted 130 eagles! Of course I had to stop for a few pics.
 I struck first blood on a few small ones before Sean pulled in this foot long brown. This stream was small and crystal clear making long and accurate casts a must.
 I landed this well figured brownie on a pink scud. Often I'll barely hook 'em with the pink scud but these guys took the fly like the meant it. Sean fished with a number of pink squirrel variations and other small nymphs.
 This stream had a ton of woody debris and a rocky substrate with intermittent areas of sandy muck. It was also prone to flooding. Wisconsin has a generous stream access law which only required us to remain below the high water mark when wading through private property. This made getting around pretty easy.
 All the fish we landed had really nice, light coloration. With Sean feeling under the weather and me itching to get back to the eagles we parted ways around 130pm.We hoped to find fish rising to small mayflies today but we had no such luck.
I took a little different way home and I found a great little brook trout stream by accident! I landed four browns and 7 brookies in a little over a half hour. Most fish came from one, long, deep pool.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Not The Only Ones Fishing!

 I've been seeing tons of bald eagles around the river lately. Lots of spots are opening up and the eagles are congregating in certain areas. The camera rides with me from now on!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Trip Report: Back To The Future

While visiting friends in the Central Sands region of Wisconsin I got out for some fishing on the Sand County trout stream where I cut my teeth in the fly fishing game. The Central Sands region features cold, spring/marsh fed with slightly tannin stained water and mostly sandy/somewhat rocky substrate. I expected to find high and stained water but even with temps in the high fifties the stream stayed clear.
Brown and Brook Trout call these waters home and feed heavily on mayflies, midges, and minnows. I brought the Pink Squirrel of Prey up from the driftless to use on this day but in college I fished parachute adams and pheasant tails with fair success. In college a friend used to drop me off to fish on his way to work at a really good access point but that section is currently closed. Apparently many of the Sand County streams are closed or have only sections that are open.
 This area was much different than the Driftless streams I've become accustom to. This stream in particular was a mix of pocket water boulder fishin' and wide sandy runs. I landed a few smaller browns from pocket water before hooking into a few more respectable ones.
 After I landed this guy I launched a cast to the head of a wide run and turned a solid 16" trout but missed the hook set.
This guy earned the distinction of being the biggest fish of the day. He put up a great fight on the three weight. If I would have though a little harder when packing gear I would have brought a 9ft 4wt for better distance on my casts. The sun shined bright and it took longer casts to avoid spooking 'em.
After landing around 6-7 browns I decided to head to another Central Sands gem to chase brookies. This picture makes it look pretty open but in slower areas the stream was frozen over. I walked around for a bit before going to visit some friends.
 
 I hope I find the chance to fish up here again soon. It was challenging to fish this type of stream, especially on a sunny day!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Trip Report-Where The Bigguns At?

I finally got the opportunity to get out for a day on the streams after a relatively long dry spell! With the forecast calling for temps in the high 20's, cloudy skies, and 10-15 mile per hour breeze I bundled up really well. I arrived on stream around 930 and immediately landed a few small ones on a size 16 Pink Scud trailed behind a Pink Squirrel of Prey.
I've been tying up loads of the Squirrel of Prey but I find that the orange or pink scud are my best producer throughout the winter months. I chose a smaller stream today hoping to run into some bigger fish that came out under the clouds. The water was really clear and low. As soon as the sun decided to show fishing got really tough.
Around a dozen smaller trout came to hand before the sun made an appearance. 
 After the sun popped out I only landed another three including my second biggest fish of the day!
This guy wasn't large by any measure but he put up a great fight on the three weight. After walking back to the car and running a few errands in Winona I headed to another spot which is either on fire, or not. Today it was not. Three more fish came to hand at that spot including this skinny bugger.
I rolled a few nicer fish today but nothing over 14". It was nice to get out and while I didn't land any beasts fish came to hand pretty consistently. Most held in faster runs with some hanging at the bottom of pools. I didn't spot any risers today nor did I notice any midges in the creekside snow.

Monday, January 30, 2017

More Tying Than Fishing!

Like the title says, I've been doing a lot more tying than fishing. I plan to get out fishing this weekend if the weather cooperates...we'll see.
Check out Whitewater Valley Flies to check out lots of new inventory!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Trip Report: Cold and Lazy

I got out fishin' today but felt a little cold and lazy, maybe unmotivated. I hoped temps would be a little warmer but I arrived on stream with temps reading in the high single digits. After zipping through a few quick holes I landed on one with fish stacked and ready to eat.
This skinny guy took an orange scud trailed behind a tungsten beaded pink scud. I expected to find low, clear water but to my surprise visibility was less than a foot. There must have been some cows upstream muddying up the water.
I'm always amazed that fish can find such little flies in such heavily stained water. After landing around 6-7 out of this pool/run I checked my box for a streamer. Damn! I left them in the car. Rather than head back I moved on. 
While I spotted no other human tracks animal tracks abounded. I couldn't identify them all but fox, coyote, skunk, possum, raccoon, and duck prints were everywhere! I followed them back to the car after catching around 1 1/2 dozen trout. The biggest was only around 14 inches today. All fish came on scud patterns with  a pretty even split between orange and pink. If I could do it over I'd definitely have brought some streamers.
Typically when snow melts into to stream water temps decline and the fishes metabolism slows. I hope to get out again next weekend but with temps above freezing the fish may be even more tight lipped.