Trip Report: Poppin’

Today I woke up in the mood to fish. I had to remain within cell reception but didn’t feel like going to my usual “on call” spot. I’m headed to the BWCA next week and needed to pick up some supplies. I decided to head to the Mighty Mississip to toss poppers before going to the store.


I arrived at the river around 10am. Within the first 5 casts I landed a little smallie and missed a piggy. I continued up the river casting tight to shore ahead of me. Most fish struck within 2 feet of the bank.


It seemed like any time the clouds came out fish shut down but as soon as the sun reemerged fish continued to strike. Most hits came as the popper dove under. Longer pauses and erratic retrieves worked best. As I continued upstream a huge smallie took the popper. I set the hook hard but the barb didn’t land and my line went limp.


A few hundred feet upstream, this fish was a good consulation. Around 1pm I pulled away, totally satisfied with my brief foray on the big river.

Trip Report: Sneakin’

I did not plan to fish this weekend due to working on call. I have one nearby stream where I still have cell service and can leave in a hurry if necessary.  I dont usually do it but this afternoon I found myself too bored. I laced up the ‘ol fishing shoes, strung up the 3 weight, and headed to the spot! I arrived under clear skies to find clear water and difficult casting conditions (windy). Fish were picky but as I switched flies a bit I narrowed it down to the red brassie and quill bodied mayfly, both in size 18.


After landing a few dinks this guy bent the hell out of the rod. He drove at the bottom, into submerged vegetation, and into the overhanging grass as I worked to steer him to hand. After a quick pic he returned to the drink.


After landing a bunch of browns on the brassie I switched to the dry. A few smaller browns ate the fly on top but action really picked up when I fished the fly sunken with a short, fast twitch retrieve. The brookies responded well.


This brookies coloration reminds me of the brookies I caught out of the sand county streams of central Wisconsin while in college. After an hour or so of fishing I landed at least a dozen with most fish measuring smaller than average. It felt good to do a little fishing as I likely won’t get out again until the end of the month. Stay tuned though, plenty of flies to tie and rods to build!

Trip Report: Been too long

It’s been way to long since I’ve gotten out to fish! I went in to work early in hope of cutting out a little early to fish. After an early afternoon cancellation I headed home to apply finish to a rod, then fish. I arrived on the stream at 330p and fished till 5p. The radar suggested rain but I was mostly able to stay dry under overcast skies. The air was still and the water was clear. I hoped to find a good hatch but only noticed sporadic risers. I had no hoppers with me but hopper season is here! I tried a dry but after a few shorties settled on the San Juan worm. (Not because conditions were right but because in all my tying for others I haven’t replenished my own supply of flies) Still, fish responded well.


My first respectable trout put up a great fight on the 7′ 9″ three weight. He pulled hard toward the undercut bank but couldn’t pull hard enough. I reccomend that anyone looking to improve their fish fighting skills try fishing a shot rod with light tippet, and on a small stream.

Before too long fish started coming to hand with consistency. This stretch is heavily pressured so long, percice casts were a must.


I fished this little run and landed a few little fish. Then I picked apart the very head of each current seam. The closer seam was easy to cast at. Before moving on I hit the seam along the opposite shore (circled). This is a tough piece of water to work but on heavily pressured water these little seams tend to hold good fish.


Sure enough that seam held my biggest fish of the day! Glad I didn’t just walk by like everyone else.

Above average sized trout continued to come to hand on the San Juan worm. Fish seemed fairly spread out and came from tight to the head of runs, in deeper pools, and from clear hiding spots (boulders, undercuts, and submerged vegetation). I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get out again as I have work obligations, family fun, two rods to finish, two fly boxes, and a smaller fly order to finish over the next week or so. Still, stay tuned!