Saturday, July 14, 2018

Trip Report: Post Storm Trout

This morning I headed out after finishing up some chores around the house and working on a few fly rods. This stream was clear despite receiving around 2 inches of rain over the last two days. I cycled through a few small midge patterns before settling on a San Juan worm. That was the ticket!
This little hog put put up a monumental fight on my 7' 9" three weight. Shortly after landing this fish I decided to head home to continue working on rods and tie a few flies. In around three hours of fishing I landed at least 20 trout. At one point around 11am I tied on a quill bodied mayfly emerger in size 16 and landed six or seven fish within only five minutes! After taking care of business at home my buddy Jesse and I hatched a plan to fish another nearby small stream in the later afternoon. We arrived on stream around 415pm, he with his spinner and me with the trusty San Juan worm.
 The San Juan worm strikes again. I called Jesse over to net this one because I hooked up with it off a heroic cast down stream and the refraction magnified it. I thought I had a beast!
Then I landed this really nice one. The worm was pulling in weight and all with the new rod I built for myself. Every time one rolls off the drying rack I feel a strong urge to break it in:)
 The fish in this stream are always so vibrant. I've landed a few brookies out of here in the past and they tend to be vibrant as well. The heat as you decent from the car through the vegetation and to the stream gets more hot and humid. At one point I fished in a little shaded plunge pool, knowing full well that a good trout lied in wait. After a good cast the fight was on.
This picture does not do this trout justice. Look at that big ol' fan of a tail! He put up a great battle in a tricky little piece of water! Jesse landed a few good ones as the afternoon turned to evening. By around 7pm we called it a day.

Trip Report: Back to Wisconsin

Yesterday I went fishing in Wisconsin with Eric. He talked up some private land, family land, and eased sections of streams and was gracious enough to share them with me. We arrived in our fishy environs before 8am and immediately landed trout on the skittered mayfly emerger. With storms in the forecast and popping up throughout the day I stayed conscious of how far we strayed from the car and at one point we got back a minute or two before lightening and thunder enveloped the area.
We fished some of he most picturesque little streams in Wisconsin! After landing a bunch of fish (nothing large), spot hopping, sweating our asses off, and getting eaten by gnats Eric keyed me in on a sweet little stretch of private water that he'd gained permission to fish.
I had a great time but returned home more exhausted than I've been in a while. Today I planned to hit some streams and work on a few rods. Remember to check out Whitewater Valley Flies for flies and fly rods!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trip Report: New Fly Rod and Some Fishin'

Yesterday I went on a death march with a friend and my brand new rod! I planned to sell this one but I've made good progress over the last few builds I've done and figured I need to represent my rods better on stream (I've been using a nice little 7' 9" three weight but it doesn't have the same attraction). The sun was bright, temperatures warm, and water still pretty cloudy. San Juan worms on the menu.
This brownie gave a great accounting of itself but came to hand after a short battle. We went hard in tough conditions and after a dozen or so smaller trout each we headed home. We probably hiked 5 miles total and were happy to see the car.
Tonight I headed out to test out a few fly patterns. I wasn't out long but managed to turn a few decent fish. I didn't connect on any of the larger fish. One size smaller on the dry fly would have been ideal.
 This was the average size caught today. After an hour or so of fishing and 7 or 8 to hand I headed home, but not before admiring the new rod for a little bit! This blank roll casts like a dream but in a 9' 5 weight it's a little bulkier than I'm used to. This time a year I usually start to tie into some larger fish so hopefully the larger rod will be put to good use.
Stay tuned, I got an order for a 3 weight that I'll be working on over the next week. It's gonna be sweet!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Trip Report: Trout of All Shades

Yesterday I caught trout of all shades. After finding my first option muddied I assumed my other ideas may be blown out. I headed to a nearby small stream expecting a little stain but found conditions clear. With bright skies my 945am arrival was not ideal. I tied on two feet of 4x tippet and one and a half feet of 5x on the end of my 7.5 foot leader. Using a very small Lightening Strike brand indicator I dragged various small tungsten beaded midge patterns around two and a half to three feet deep. Fish responded well.
Great trout came from thin, often overlooked water. This guy took a size 18 red brassie tied with a black nickle tungsten bead. I fished my way up a little before camping at a ways upstream on a good chunk of water. Fishing has been lights out for me since focusing more on my midge game. My 7' 9" three weight worked ok but with the taller grass I'm finding a 9" three or four weight would be ideal.
This beautiful brookie and brownie took a size 18 gray zebra midge tied with a tungsten bead. As the sun grew higher and higher I had to make more and more impossibly long casts but with each well presented fly it seemed like a fish came to hand.
I wish we had more good brookie streams around here. Out in Montana I had a few spots that were packed with 10-14 inch brookies. This stream is actually pretty similar to that one in a lot of ways, although smaller.
I'm working on my left hand trout photography! This one turned out pretty good. I tied into almost an equal number of browns and brookies, although I did hook more brown trout. At a few points I rolled some really nice fish in the 15-17 inch range including one that looked like a brookie.
 After landing around 40 trout by 2pm I headed back to the car. Before calling it a day I leaned over the bridge though and hooked an aggressive little tiger trout!
This handsome little tiger shot up from the bottom to snatch a gray zebra midge as I pulled it out of the water! Always happy to sight a tiger. Today I'm on call so I'll be tying up a storm and finishing off a 9' four weight. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Trip Report: Storm Dodgin'

I wasn't planning to fish today after storms moved through the area all day. By the time I got off work though I had to scratch the itch! It was cloudy, streams got a fresh injection of cold water which usually triggers a good bite in summer, and I hoped the stream would have a little stain.
The stream had no stain but fish were eatin'. At first I fished the red brassie again. That worked well and as soon as they got used to that fly I switched to a gray zebra midge, both size 18 with a tungsten bead.
 I only landed a few little brookies on the red brassie but a bunch of decent little brownies readily took the pattern. After around a dozen came to hand I switched to the gray zebra midge and, oddly enough, landed three decent brookies in a row out of the same stretch of water!
I'm always happy to see brookies! After landing another ten or so more I tied on a dry and moved upstream a little. At first I fished the quill bodied mayfly but after losing the only one in my box I switched over to the size 18 ehc.
 What a blast! I noticed a few spare mayflies and midges fluttering around but fish rose consistently near the bubble line. These fish both put up a great fight on the 7' 9" three weight. I've been using the three weight a lot lately but fishing around high grass was made difficult by the shortness of the rod. I'll have to line up the 9 footer coming up!
He just barely nipped the caddis out of the scum line. I'm not sure I'll be able to get out over the next week or so but I plan on doing a deep woods hike later next week if the weather cooperates. Stay tuned!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Trip Report: Red Brassie Trout

Today saw clear skies, temps in the low 80's, and moderate breeze. Conditions weren't perfect but some elements were on my side. Clouds pushed in later in the evening and the stream had a decent little stain to it. Fish rose sporadically to dries and I noticed caddis, a few spare mayflies, midges, and various little beetles fluttering about.
After landing a few on size 20 Matt's midge and size 16 quill bodied mayfly dries I switched over to test out a red brassie that I started tying. Fish responded well! Around 30 trout, mostly between 8-12 inches, came to hand in a little over three hours.
This time of year they start to get really buttery brown! I rolled two really nice fish but the size 18 brassie didn't stick on either of the bigger fish. If the weather holds I may try to get out fishin' tomorrow evening but it will depend on how much precipitation we see over the next 18 hours.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Trip Report: Some Gillies

After a week of being on call I couldn't take it anymore, I had to go fishing! With spotty reception on most of the area's trout water I headed to Winona to chase Bull Gillies. I arrived at the lake around 1pm, tied on a size 18 ehc and had at 'em.
 This was the money fish! They were slurping bugs off the surface and I had consistent action from 1pm to around 230pm when I decided to call it a day. I did try a san juan worm which also worked well. I'd guess around 50 came to hand with a large handful of fish between 7-9 inches.
I have been tying up a storm over the last week and have a sweet 9ft 4weight that's just about ready for sale. Problem is I ran out of black thread and have to wait for a resupply in the mail:( Stay tuned!