Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Fishing at "Skunk" River

On Memorial Day, I spent about two hours fishing at what I'll call "Skunk" river. It's not really called Skunk river, but the skunkout ratio is pretty darn high, hence the name I've given it. This is another river very dear to me so I won't name it as I just had an incident where I had to call the DNR warden on a large group of people trying to worm out 6 inch brown trout. Really??? 6 inch trout??? I wasn't too happy because this is one of the few southeast WI streams that naturally reproduce brown trout.

Here are some pictures of the stream. It's so beautiful there and I always feel a level of peace and intimacy with nature that I don't get elsewhere.

As mentioned earlier, my skunk out ratio on this stream is pretty high, probably most likely due to me being a noob, but Memorial Day was my lucky day! My first and the largest fish I've caught on this stream was this beauty! I'm disappointed that I didn't take clearer pictures! It came out of an undercut bank and took my dropper scud pattern. It was pretty feisty and gave a really good fight. I almost lost it due to a pile of logs that it darted towards.

This one I caught on a Caddis fly. I'm falling deeply in love with dry fly action! That feeling that you get when the fly drifts perfectly and you are just 100% confident that the fish will rise. It's hard to beat that feeling!

I had a blast on this river and hopefully will get back soon again. This weekend, I'll be heading out with a friend to Viroqua for some fly fishing in the Driftless. It'll be my first time there, so I'm pretty pumped!! Stay tuned for updates.

Last but not least, thank you to all the men and women who have served our country. Your service will never be forgotten.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Death Dog

Aside from wild trout, I've been thinking about larger predator fish. Pike and Bass to be more specific. I've been tying some flies for those species.

Here are two Death Dog flies I've tied. These ones are a bit over 4 inches for the big boyz! It's been a proven effective fly for large brown trout. I tied these just a bit larger for Pike and Bass. Stay tuned for what they hook up into!

Brooktrout fishing 2 weeks ago 4/26/14

Two weeks ago, I went fishing at a stream in Waukesha that has a healthy population of wild brooktrout. Usually I am not shy with fly fishing locations, but this creek is very dear to me and I feel obligated to do whatever I can to ensure that these trout remain protected.

The stream is gem clear and so beautiful. It is no more than 15ft wide, while most of the stream is about 7ft wide. Upon arrival, like usual, I was the only fisherman there. Selfishly, I'd prefer to keep it that way :P, with the exception of the few individuals I trust will protect these fish.

Thankfully, the grass is still low. In the summer, the grass will grow over 6ft which makes fishing quite difficult.

Here are some pictures of this beautiful stream. I didn't get as good of pictures as I'd have liked.

Fishing on this stream is very difficult because there is barely any room to cast. Although the water is gem clear, trout are usually nowhere to be seen. This stream has a lot of undercut banks which is where the fish seem to be most comfortable. I first started out nymphing, but the fish did not seem interested in nymphs at all so I switched over to dead drifting a size 10 black woolly bugger a few inches from the undercut banks. That was a clear winner. Out of undercut banks, brooktrout started darting out for my woolly bugger. Further upstream, I must have missed about 5 fish because they are a bit smaller and kept seeming to miss the fly. After about and hour or so on the upstream stretch, I decided to make my way downstream to a spot I've caught fish before. On my first drift, a brook trout darted out and aggressively took my fly. I took a few snapshots and released the beauty quickly.

After releasing the previous fish, I thought, why not drift the fly one more time in the same spot? Well...immediately, another gorgeous brookie darted out and took the fly! Boy did that make my day!

My time on the stream was running low, so I ended up leaving shortly after this. I will be back soon before the grass gets overgrown.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Wisconsin Counties to Explore

Lately I've been thinking about all the counties with Class 1 trout streams that I'd like to explore. I did some research on the Wisconsin DNR website and mapped out the different counties I'd like to visit. Stay tuned for updates :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

A favorite spot on the Manitowoc River

This past Sunday, I stopped by a personal favorite spot on the Manitowoc River. It's a spot that I fished with conventional gear when I was younger. My brother and I call it "The Secret Spot". Not that it's really much of a secret because I see people there once in a great while, but it's a bit of a hike to get to so I think people usually avoid it. I really enjoy this spot because of the amount of structure it has there and there is also a giant back eddy that usually holds pike or decent size bass in there.

So here, I begin my hike through the forest to get to the river.

And through some overhanging branches. Kind of creepy looking in my opinion...

After a 10 minute hike, I finally reach the river. I love the sound of the river! Unfortunately, it is still flooded from too much rain. It's about 3 ft higher than normal. Usually I can wade this river in the summer, but the flows are looking pretty deadly...

Here is my good friend Helios. We've shared many good times :)

So, with the river so high, I spent more time casting in the giant back eddy as it seemed a bit unproductive to swing a fly in the high current. I was using a large black rabbit zonker fly and had to wait about 10 seconds for the fly to drop low enough before I started stripping the fly. I thought I snagged some weeds, but it turns out this little guy grabbed my fly.

Feeling a bit discouraged, I thought I'd try one spot before heading out. I went slightly down from the backeddy, where the flow was a bit slower and water a bit more shallow. Made a few casts...probably on my 5 casts, I dead drifted my fly to let it sink, and then stripped my fly a few times and bammm! This nice smallie grabbed the fly. It's not too big, but sure gave me a good fight.

I made a few more casts in that same area, but didn't get any takes. Ran out of time so I ended up leaving. At least I didn't get skunked this time like I usually do! I'll definitely be returning here when the river is lower.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

A few catches from 2012 & 2013

Since I'm a bit new to this blogging stuff, I suppose I ought to post pictures of some fish I've caught since I've started fly fishing in May 2012.

Here is my first Steelhead on a fly in Dec 2012. It took a size 8 good ol trusty black woolly bugger. I was fishing a nice little creek up in the Two Rivers/Manitowoc area and was catching a lot of coho salmon. There a good amount of rain that pushed some fish up stream and I happened to get lucky with this beauty.

My first wild brown trout fishing a small creek in Sheboygan.

First carp on a fly, again with the good ol trusty black woolly bugger!

Brook trout from a Waukesha stream

Catch of the year!

A very very lucky catch while practicing spey casts! I was working on my spey casts on August 8 of 2013 and expecting maybe a bass or two to take my fly, but definitely not this fish. As my fly swung through a rock pile, it just stopped suddenly. When I set the hook, the fish felt heavy, so I thought... hmmm.. Carp??? That was until it took off like a torpedo downstream! This skamania steelhead really got my heard pumpin' hard!

Hopefully my 2014 adventures are just as exciting!