It ain’t fishin’

Well I’ve been workin’ too much and fishin’ too little as of late. This year I haven’t felt the same passion for fishing the State Parks and in- town sections of stream that are open year round but I’ve gotten out a few times. I always take the week of Thanksgiving off for hunting. The old man and I hunt his property in central Wisconsin. We met up Friday pm for a bite to eat and got some sleep. I was exhausted after a sleepless night of back pain, eagerness, and listening to the people in the next room fight (literally all night, like, till 430am).

We arrived at The Lost Acre under darkness. Within 15 minutes, still prior to shooting hours, I could hear deer moving around! Around 930a I heard a blast. When dad and I connected a little bit later we were on the track. The man is a tracking master. We lost the trail at one point and he was able to track down the little 7 pointer while I walked in circles and got myself lost. The drag out was brutal but we got ‘er done.

It was his first deer from the property and will make fine table fair. We had lunch in the woods and headed back into the stands. After an hour or so of light breeze the woods again went quiet. Within a half hour I heard the characteristic “tshh, tshh, tshh” of a deer dragging its feet through the dry grass and leaves. When he popped out I saw the smaller 8 pointer from the trailcam. He did an end around and I had to shoot right handed. I took a 60 yard shot but realized pretty quick that I’d aimed too high and missed. I checked around for blood anyway but found none. When the old man and I connected at the end of the sit he had seen the same deer walking on the other side of the property. We checked for blood there too just to be sure but nothin’. I was relieved and disappointed. This morning we got out around the same time and I again heard movement before sun up. The woods was quiet and very few shots rang out in the vicinity. Around 10am I heard a very tentative “tshh, tshh…tshh” coming from behind me. Again I switched to a right handed aim. Another good buck showed himself within 15 yards of my stand. He was slightly quartering away from me. This time I aimed true and let ‘er fly. I could see the wound as the deer took off. I texted the old man and looked for blood. It wasn’t hard to find. We gave him some time and followed a heavily stained trail to him.

This old buck was a bruiser! He had damage under his eye, worn down brow tines, and two tines broken off. I spent a moment in reverence of him and gave thanks before ushering him out of the woods. What an experience!

Trip Report: A farewell to feeling in my hands

After a few cancellations this afternoon I decided to take off work to chase some trout. I figure this was my last opportunity to fish with feeling in my fingers until next spring. I arrived at an in-town section of stream around 1pm under cloudy, rainy skies, windy conditions, and 68 degree air. I fished a faster action 9’ five weight graphite fly rod but still struggled to launch good casts into the gusting wind.

As soon as I got out of the car I realized my flies and tippet were in my waders, hanging on a wall at home. I scrounged around the car and was able to cobble together a what I needed.

This pink squirrel inspired soft hackle did the trick! I fished it down stream and saw best results when it swung in front of fish that were surfacing. There are tons of young trout out everywhere right now that seem to have just reached catchable size. I hooked into two decent fish. One was around 12 inches and the one pictured below.

This is one of the skinniest trout I’ve caught. No wonder he ate the fly! I fished from shore today but if you choose to wade be mindful of reds (trout nests). The spawn is in full swing.