Sunday, September 17, 2017

Trip Report: Quick Brookies

I had to stay within cell reception but the itch to fish was strong this morning so I headed to one of the only spots where I have cell reception. I didn't travel too far from the road but that didn't seem to matter.
 The first few fish that came to hand were brownies and a few really small brookies. After switching from a black zebra midge to a brassie the brookies took notice.
 I didn't find any huge ones but they're colored up really nicely! I briefly hooked into one really nice brown, around 17 inches, but the hook popped out as I reached out to net him. With half of his body in the net he took one mighty flop and landed back in the drink. In around 2 hours of fishing under bright skies around 2 dozen fish came to hand, about 70/30 browns to brook trout.
Last week I lost my fly box while on a death march through shoulder high weeds. I'm currently sold out of tungsten beaded nymphs so I looked through a collection of reject flies from when I first started tying. All fish today came on those rejects! I'm glad I didn't throw them away. Now to order some tungsten beads...

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Trip Report: Brassies and Brookies

I got out very briefly this morning in search of brookies! I chose a tiny stream in my area that has great numbers of smaller brookies and browns as well as some really nice ones if you get lucky! I arrived around 830am to clear skies and a low clear stretch of water. I rigged up with a size 18 Quill Bodied Mayfly Emerger and landed a few in short order.
 After landing a few dinks I tied on a tungsten beaded orange scud as a point fly and trailed the mayfly emerger behind. That got me into some better fish!
 After landing a few beauties like this one I inched upstream. The river was so clear and low that every step I took sent fish swimming off in every direction. At one point I spooked a brownie that must've been at least 17-18 inches.
This thick brookie marked the last one willing to eat the Emerger. After catching a dozen or so on this fly I tied on a size 18 brassie. I immediately missed a few decent fish on poor hook sets before landing this beautiful trout.
After snapping a few quick pics he was released to the cool environs from which he came.
Click on this picture to see the colors of this trout in more detail! This is one of the most beautiful little trout I've ever seen. Around 1 1/2 dz fish came to hand today with most between 8-12 inches. I noticed the occasional rise but with no constant hatching fish appeared mostly hunkered down on the bottom of slower pools.

Trip Report: Fishin' With Tim

Yesterday I went fishing with my buddy Tim. We decided to hit a piece of water that would require a long hike. We arrived to the access point around 8am. Without a cloud in the sky and with low/clear stream conditions we tried dries, nymphs, and finally streamers. We actually had the most success sight fishing wiht some streamers that Tim ties.
 We both landed trout periodically. Fish ran on the smaller side although we turned a few 15-16 inchers. This guy came out from a boulder to strike the streamer.
This trout wasn't vary long but look at how thick he is! While fighting the beast I expected to see a much larger fish come to hand. At around 11am a decent trico hatch began. We tried dries on and off with very little success. A few caddis, olives, and craneflies flutter around but fish did not rise consistently at any point.
This was my big fish of the day. After hiking and fishing quickly upstream we turned around at 3pm. Plans to cast streamers down and across fell through when Tim and I conceded to exhaustion and opted to just hike out.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Trip Report: Fishin' With Dean

Today I got out fishing with Dean. I met Dean shortly after I moved to MN. We met as I hiked way back in the woods in search of a small tributary stream heard in hushed whispers to contain awesome populations of brown trout. Dean was impressed that I fished as far back in the woods as he fished, hunted, and hiked in his younger days. Dean still hits the water hard though. By 1pm we were lacing up and walking to the stream. We both landed a few fish right off the bat. I landed one of the fattest little brown trout I've ever seen.
This guy took a pink scud. I very quickly realized that with the sun high in the sky it would be difficult to get trout to commit to flies unless a hatch came off. We did not spot consistent risers until as we were leaving but we both landed a few on a quill bodied mayfly and an ant that Dean ties.
I rolled a good number of fish around this size but I wasn't landing my hook sets as efficiently as I like. I was fishing with 2x tippet so that may have made a difference too. Dean caught his best fishes on a zebra midge.
Here he is landing one around 16 inches. He landed one around 14 too!
Dean said that taking a picture of a fish at a 45 degree angle makes it look bigger. I'm not sure about that but still a sweet fish! We landed around a dozen fish apiece before calling it a day. It was nice to catch up with Dean and bs about fly fishing.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Trip Report: Lost Fly Blues

Today I got out fishing with a spin fishing friend. He switched off between using a rapala and a worm. Now before anybodies panties get in a bundle because somebody fishes with worms. This dude has mad skills and hooked all of the fish he caught in the lip. He says using an "Aberdeen" style hook and constant pressure on the sinker, as well as looking out as much as you can for a visual take, are key to using worms responsibly and still C&R! We arrived on stream by 830am to find clear, cold water and sunny skies. With temps forecast to peak in the 80's today I tied on a Hopper dry and let 'er fly. Things started out a little slow but as temps rose and fish began to key in on hoppers action heated up.
This was my big fish of the day. Probably around 13 inches but it looks even bigger when I hold it out like that:) After a while I noticed a solid hatch of olive colored Mayflies. Quite a few smaller fish came to hand on the olive Mayfly for around an hour, then action slowed for me. While I failed miserably to catch a decent trout rising 50ft ahead of me Jesse let out a cheer. I ran up to him, grabbed the net, and Jesse guided this beast home.
This brute could have eaten most of the fish I caught today. Instead he chose a worm. Congrats to Jesse on his personal best Brownie!!! Jesse had a tape measure with him and this guy measured 20" on the spot. After a few quick pics he was released without incident and we continued on.
Shortly after I took this photo I realized my fly box wasn't in my pocket anymore. I backtracked a good distance but no dice. It only had a few good flies and a ton that were chewed to death so I'm only a little frustrated. Jesse and I continued upstream for a few hours with fair luck before heading back to the cars. Fish were easily spooked today but we managed quite a few despite the sunny, clear conditions. On the fly fish ate Quill Bodied Mayflies, Foam Hoppers, and smaller Deer Hair Hoppers.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Trip Report: Cool Waters

Today a friend and I were granted permission to fish a prime stretch of a creek down by Preston. The drive was beautiful.We arrived on stream by 845. What we found was probably prime hopper water if we had gone later in the day. Unfortunately the shore was full of tall weeds and the deeper channel of the river was mostly carpeted with weeds. I hooked into one nice trout of around 16" but he shook of quickly. The tall weeds on shore were heavy with dew and we got pretty wet. Rather than soldier through it we decided to head to a different, public section of the same creek in hopes for a more clear stream channel.
 We found a couple areas with decent water and started landing some fish. My buddy fished a rapala while I used pink and orange scud with a trailing olive WD40.
A bunch of fish came to hand but none as buttery and nice as this one. Well, the next one was pretty buttery too!
We headed to another creek in the early afternoon and did ok. The sun was high in the sky and the second stream was crystal clear and freezing cold. I landed around a dozen here. We spotted a few solid 18 inchers, more 15-17 inchers, and a ton of smaller fish. Unfortunately they also spotted us.
After a few hours on that stream we hit a third spot on our way home. I fished with the three weight and caught 10 or so on the Quill Bodied Mayfly Emerger including the fish pictured above. He was sitting a foot away from shore in a two foot wide channel between weed mats. The water was only 4-5 inches deep. I landed a perfect cast right on top of him and he sucked the fly down quick. We headed home around 7pm. Solid day of fishin.

Trip Report: Rockin the Stay-cation.

I continued my time off work chasing fish yesterday on a stream 20 miles from home. I planned to fish a decent stretch of stream before mowing the lawn but with cars parked at the access point I opted for a spot I've never fishing downstream of my desired put in.
This stretch of stream had a lot of heavy stream improvement work done with lots of undercuts, solid rock banks, rocks, woody debris, and matted weeds. This type of stream improvement is really good for fish populations but can be difficult to fish. I can't complain though, I saw a ton of fish!
I only landed a dozen or so after fishing for about 2 1/2 hrs. Fish all ate the Pink Squirrel of Prey although a few nipped at a big ol foam hopper. Skies were sunny and waters were clear which made for difficult fishing conditions.