Trip Report: Return of the skitter

I cut out of work a little early yesterday since conditions were perfect! I planned to continue my streamer based assault on the local brown trout population but upon arrival found fish looking up. I noticed two mayfly species, a few caddis, and various beetles streamside. I tied on a deer hair mayfly and launched ‘er in.

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This was the largest of a couple dozen fish that took the fly dead drifted, skittered, and on the swing.

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This stream was very clear. I headed to the next access downstream and found conditions about the same. I landed a few more before heading to dinner with some friends. I won’t be fishing much over the next week due to work but stay tuned as I hope to tie up a bunch of flies.

Trip Report: A hike and some rain

Yesterday I got out fishing with a buddy before (and during) the rain and storms. We hiked in a decent distance and despite encountering some challenging terrain, found ourselves streamside by around 7am.

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The larger stream we chose had a brownish green stain that was just beginning to take on a good “streamer stain”. We hoped to fish dries but started with streamers.

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I chose the 5 weight over the 6 weight in anticipation of some good dry fly fishing but it never took off. Streamers fished well though.

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This was my big fish of the day, although a few larger specimens swung and missed. We fished fast to cover a lot of water. Hiking was tricky in places but we managed to tromp through deep water, tall grass, and treacherous snags with the ease of a mountain goat.

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Fish were sitting on the soft water but tight to current seams and behind rocks where they enthusiastically struck at our flies as they swung and/or twitched through.

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We pushed up and onward. I sported a water resistant jacket to protect myself from the bugs. We wore a vanilla spritz which kept us clear of gnats, deep woods off for skeeters, and sprayed our clothes down with permethrin for ticks. All worked well!

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This fish is a good representation of the average brown trout we landed on this day. At least three mayfly species came off including bwo, sulphur, and what looked like a dark hendrickson.  We noticed a few craneflies and beetles fluttering about as well. Very few fish were spotted rising but my buddy did manage to haul in a few on a big stimulator dry. If anyone knows what species of mayfly this is please let me know in the comment section!

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Eventually the rain and lightening came on and we had to book it. Overall, good company, good fishing, good scenery, and good times.

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Fly Rod

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Just shipped out this little 7′ 6″ four piece 3-4 weight. I wish the new owner many fishes!!!

If you find yourself thinking about a new rod purchase consider contacting me about custom build options.

Trip Report: Fishin’ with Kentucky George

I took off work for the day since my buddy George was up from Kentucky.  We planned to kayak and fish a larger body of water, but after a night of rain we opted for a safer option. We hit a medium sized stream that was heavily stained. Streamers were the name of the game.

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We found fish holding on the slower side of current seams. The readily chased the fly but proved difficult to hook! We fished till around 130pm and landed a dozen or so between the two of us. I stopped by another spot briefly and landed a few fish but got chased out by cows.

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This guy hit right when the fly hit. As the cows began to mobilize I hit one more run.

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And I got a brookie! The larger stream that George and I fished had around 6-10 inches of visibility. This last spot was clear so if you’re planning to fish this weekend I’d assume even larger water will be fishable! We spotted only 2 or 3 risers today but noticed dark hendrickson, sulphers, and caddis coming off sporadically. I used deep woods off and had no issue with gnats or skeeters. I plan to fish all weekend so stay tuned.

Trip Report: An extended weekend

A couple months ago my bro in law and I hatched a plan to head up north to fish out of the kayak. We rigged up some spinning gear, adorned the yaks with all the extras, filled the cooler with beer and brats and a bottle of Jack, and fished hard from Thursday through Sunday morning. We turned a few big ol musky on heavy gear which was cool and a little scary, but none came to the net.

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We fished a couple bigger lakes as well as sweet little carry in only spots. Some of the more popular lakes were busy but we managed to find some solitude. One afternoon we landed a ton of bluegill and kept a dozen 7.5+ inchers for dinner. Mmmmm.

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Mike’s second pike came from a lake that came to us by suggestion from a friend.

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Mike had me feeling jealous after he pulled in the first and second pike of the trip, but it wasn’t long before I got in on the fun!

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This guy took a mister twister jig fished without a leader. At one point Mike told me to cast toward an area where he spotted a good fish. Fish on!!!

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Mike’s camera work was on point, as was his net work.

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This smally just touched 19″ on the tape. I love fishing smallmouth so I didn’t think it could get any better.

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This pike measured 31 inches. He put up a great battle made extra challenging by the nature of yak fishing. He dived and darted for all kinds of weeds, sticks, and logs but proved no match for Mike’s net skills. We caught large and smallmouth bass, pike, bluegill, and crappie. The musky and walleye were elusive. We barely fished for walleye but devoted a fair bit of time toward chasing musky with heavy gear. My arm and shoulder is still sore! Can’t wait to do it again!

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Trip Report: Streamer strippin’

I continue to hone my streamer skills as conditions dictate. Initially I headed to a larger stream but after hiking in a ways found that conditions were less than ideal. I booked it out for more hospitable horizons. I’ve heard plenty of small stream options were available this weekend but after driving home from Milwaukee, mowing the lawn, and working on a rod I had only a short time to fish. I headed to a medium sized stream close by and headed down stream, pounding the banks and stripping the fly quickly.

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I missed a few short strikes before this little tyke took hold. As you can see skies were mostly clear and conditions were ideal for streamer fishing. I moved at a quick pace but would’ve likely done well with larger nymphs or the San Juan worm.

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Look at the paddles on this puppy! I missed a number of bigger than average fish before this guy came to hand. Called it a day after that. I noticed a few spare caddis around but nothing else on top. As long as the weather stays dry and kinda mild streams should clear up and trout’ll be eating. I’m headed to northern Wisconsin in a few days to slay freshwater fish on conventional gear so wish me luck!