Sunday, April 24, 2011

Chasing Rainbows and Flashes of Gold!!!!

Date: April 23rd-2011      Temp: Low 50's     Time: 5:30p.m.-9:00p.m.

I love this hole.  It goes deep under the rock wall and holds trout all over in it.
After lazing around all day and tying a few flies, I decided that I should probably get out and do some fishing.  In Wisconsin it is early trout season right now.  This means that it is all artificial lures/flies and catch and release only on all inland trout streams.  On May 7th regular trout season is set to open.  This means you will see a lot of people out fishing with everything from night crawlers to chub tails.  I personally still prefer to fly fish for my trout.  
  So I decided I would go hit up a stream that I didn't fish last year at all.  Last time I fished this stream I caught some nice, but small Rainbows.  I stopped up to talk to the farmer who owns this particular stretch of stream.  He told me there used to be a 21" 19" and a 17" Brown trout in a couple of the holes.  He also fishes the stream and said that he used to catch these trout and recognized them from the hook marks in there mouth.  He then told me that a neighbor caught and killed all three of them in the same day.  WTF!!!  So much for ever catching one of these trout again.  Some peoples kids!!  I keep a trout every once and a while to eat, but I always make sure they are on the smaller side of the scale.  I know for a fact that the bigger they get the worst they taste.  So I guess I don't quite understand the logic in killing these huge fish.  In most of the streams around here you catch fish between 10-13".  OUt of every 50 fish caught one of them is over 20".  The regulations on the streams are usually you can only keep fish that are over 9"-12".  It almost forces people to keep the bigger ones, even though there are a ton of fish between 8"-10".  It makes no sense to me.  Whatever.  It is all controlled by the DNR.  Although I love catching fish no matter what size they are, it still makes me mad to think that people are killing these huge trout, and that no one else will get to catch these huge beauties.  These are fish helping the natural reproducing population and produce way more eggs than a 10" fish.   I don't understand how people can't comprehend this simple concept.  I am sure some day they will be the same people saying," I cant understand why there aren't any trout in this stream anymore.  I used to catch and keep my limit, but now I can't catch a fish over 10".  DUH. 
Anyways enough about that issue.  I can only think about it so much before steam starts coming out of my ears.  
After talking for a while I finally got out to do some catching.  It looked like it was going to rain all day long, but it never did.  The stretch I fished was the head waters of this creek.  It was running clear and looked pristine.  I approached cautiously and let er fly.  First cast in, bad cast.  Second cast in bookah. Trout on.  Here are the first two volunteers for picture time.
Saw the gold flash, set the hook.

Caught this one between the two rocks in background.

After catching a few browns, I started to wonder if there were still some Rainbows left in this stretch.  The ones I caught a few years back were at tops 8"long.  With every cast I hoped to catch  a bow to see how much bigger they were.  I continued fishing and the clouds loomed above.  I  love it when the clouds role in because it makes it a lot easier to stalk these wild browns.  This stretch doesn't get fished very often so these trout were ready to attack.  The stream had changed a lot from before and it seemed like there was a nice hole at every bend.  Shallow rapids rolling into some nice little pockets.  

I had to cast as close to Barbedwire as possible for this one.

It seemed like every time I tossed a fly in there was an instant bite.  So far the stream was looking quite healthy.  Still no rainbows though.  That's O.K. I like Brown trout just as much.  I continued on to the next couple of holes which also produced some fish.  I could hear some wild geese off in the distance and wondered just what the heck all the commotion was about.  Little did I know they were trying to attract my attention from there precious cargo.  I didn't realize the nest until I was super close to it. 
The came back to guard their nest.

I hope the water level stays as low as it is, for the geese sake and fishing.  Hopefully the eggs will hatch soon.  I will be back to get some pics of goslings when they do.  
Can you guess where the trout are sitting? 

Onto the next hole.  I love this hole and remember having some good luck here last time.  I started at the bottom of the hole and worked my way up.  First cast in and there went the flash of gold.  Missed it.  No big deal.  Second cast in same spot. Bickety Bang! Gotch ya.
Not really used to being caught it made quite a commotion. Thought I spooked hole for sure.
 After releasing above fish back into the hole behind me, I decided to scoot up a few feet and try my luck.  First cast in, Gold flash. Damn missed it.  Second cast in,  right over top of an old dead weed.  Crap.  Instead of pulling and hooking the weed I decided to give it a little tug for movement.  Bookah fish on!  I can't believe that worked.  Thanks for helping me prevent a snag.
Still can't believe he fell for that. Heehee. Sucker
 While I was taking out the fly on the fish I notice this curious bystander out of the corner of my eye.  Just what are you staring at Pal.  I love nature.
Next years jerky?  :)

 I released the fish then moved up towards the rapids and cast into them tight to the wall.  After a third cast in between two rocks this beauty nailed it and put up a decent little fight.  I really like the face on this one. 
This brown had a really blunt nose and quite healthy.

After releasing this one I decided to cast into same small spot to see if I could coax one more out.  A tiny tug on the line I set the hook.  Yes, finally the elusive rainbow.  I knew they were in here.  Better yet it looked like they had grown quite a bit.  Some in length but quite a bit heavier and thicker. SWeet!
You can swim but you can't hide from Trout MaGee and my blog post.

 I released it after a pic and decided to drift a fly down into the hole.  Usually after I have fished a hole and had some luck in it, I always drift one down in it and pull my line up stream kind of on the surface.  It was easier today do to the cloud coverage.  Creep low and let it drift.  After my second drift in sure enough a fish struck it on the surface.  Another Bow.
Smaller length but chunky and thick.

It was starting to get dark but the fish were just starting to get rowdy.  It was going to be a long walk back to the Subaru in the dark, but that wasn't gonna keep me from pressing on.  I wasn't seeing a whole lot of fish rising to eat what was on the surface.  I guess it was up to me to tempt them with some tasty feathery furry treats.  Onward.  I came up on a good sized hole and cast across the rapids and quickly stripped the fly so that it was semi on the surface.  Up came the trout to see what was going on.  Picture Time with a free dinner, they just couldn't resist:)  

Late night dinner.  Don't want to go to bed on an empty stomach. Sorry for teasing you troutster.

After catching a few more using the same method I moved upstream.  What would the next hole look like.  The curiosity kept me craving more stream.  Here are a couple of fish I caught drifting down into some small holes.
Healthy little fella
Caught drifting down in.  No bites at first, then realized my flies were hella tangled.  Retied and first cast in.
It was getting later and now I could hear the coyotes screeching across the valley at each other.  I always take the sounds of coyotes as a good sign.  Its like they are telling me.  KEep fishing, keep hiking.  OK I will.  Next I rolled up on another beauty hole and managed to pull quite a few nice ones out of it.  Casting in and dragging across the rapids.  Fish started to rise again.  These next few fish all came out of this hole.

It had a sandbar to the left of the rapids so I knew all the fish would be towards the right side of it.

Some more pics of some beauties.
I really loved the colors on this rainbow, and the spots.

Another rainbow was on and I was happy to see it.

After catching a couple more browns out of the hole, the bites slowed.  I decided to move up above the hole and drifted down into the hole.  I turned around for a split second to see what was next for holes to fish and turned around in time to see a nice fish leap completely out of the water to strike my fly.  To late, I missed it.  I quickly recast in to same exact spot and about a second into the retrieval and Bang.  Got Him!  He pulled me down to the bottom of the hole and was quite frisky indeed.
Say Cheese.  Thanks for giving me a second chance!
Since the fish were still biting who was I to deny the rest of them a chance at some late night action.  Onward and upward I go.  I cast a few more times into the next hole and didn't get a single bite.  Wait a minute where are my flies?  Crap, I was having a lot of luck with that set up. Bummer.  Retied and drifted down into the hole and seen one surface to eat my fly.  To late.  Recast about a foot below that one and caught this one instead.  I'll take it.

Just another drifter.Rainbow

It was close to 8:30 by now and I was expecting the bite to slow soon.  Again I just couldn't stop myself from heading farther upstream.  Were there more holes?  Were the fish still gonna bite?  I asked myself this to justify going any further.  So I tried another hole.  First cast in I land my fly line on a sandbar, but my leader and flies landed in the hole.  1..2..3... fish on. What the heck is going on around here.  This stream was alive and swimming!
Late night brown.
Same hole, same sandbar technique.
 Ok I will go a couple of more holes and thats it.  Just a couple more.  This is the last 
fish of the night.  This guy looks to young to be up so late.  Call me the trout police and I caught you up past curfew.
Last but not least.

Tie  by day, Fly by night.

By now it was completely dark out and I decided to head back home.  After walking the stream back for a couple of minutes I realized if I walked it all the way back I might be tempted to fish some of the holes from earlier that were no longer spooked.  I decided to B-Line it for the road so I could get back before it was way to late.
Ahhh the sweet sight of the Subaru never looked so good.
 Well there you have it.  Hopefully I didn't bore anybody too much.  Just thought I would take you on my fishing journey so just in case you didn't get a chance to get out and fish, maybe this will help it seem like you did.  Until Next time.....................

Tight Lines to all.......


  1. I guess you can't complain about that fishing day. I counted 18 fish and one nosy deer shot. Oh yeh, and some noisy geese. Way to go.


  2. Shoreman,
    Nope no complaints here. Another fine day out on the water. The best part of day was hearing the rushing water as I sat along the stream and relaxed. Thanks. Happy Easter!

  3. Nice photos. What I wouldn't do for a day like that. Good job TM.

  4. Where do I start??? What a day! Great looking fish, good looking jerky, and awesome looking WI water...can't beat it!

  5. Nice report, awesome photos.
    And healthy looking fish.

  6. That looks like the field of dreams of trout fishing. Damn man, great stuff.

  7. I think all of the guys who have commented before me pretty well said it right. Wow, what an evening of fishing fun and memories to last for some time. Thanks for taking me along "Fishing In The Dark".

  8. That's a ton of fish for one day, very nicely done !

  9. trout fest 2011, awesome report Trout Magee

  10. Cofisher,
    I am sure a day like that is just up around the next river bend:) Better weather is on the way! I hope. Thanks

  11. Sanders,
    You just can't get that Jerky off the mind:) THe only thing missing for this trip was a Brewsky. Maybe a 20"+ fish. Thanks!

  12. BrkTRt,
    Thanks. I love taking pics while I am out on the water. I think the trout like getting their pic taken as well. Gotta make sure they are staying healthy:)

  13. troutrageous1,
    Thanks a lot. It is always nice to fish water that doesn't get a lot of pressure. It makes catching them a little easier. The farmer keeps his stretch of stream well kept.

  14. Mel,
    I always get carried away when I am out there. Between the sound of the stream, and all the beauty surrounding me it seems like I am always walking back in the dark. Good times:)Thanks

  15. Mark,
    Thanks man. I am just glad the fish were cooperating on this particular day. Healthy Stream.

  16. Blake,
    Thats great"Troutfest 2011". I am just glad the trout decided to show up for the event. It only cost me a few flys:) Thanks

  17. Nice post, love the pics, congrats on winning last weeks OBN gear review drawing (where I clicked over from). I addressed the same issues on catch and release in my "On Letting Go" post. If you want to eat trout, eat the small ones not those big adult fish. Looks like I'll be checking your blog out some more, good stuff.

  18. Fontinalis Rising,
    Hey thanks a lot. I will be going to check out "on letting go "post. It seems like such a simple concept but yet so many people are unable to grasp it. I appreciate the feedback. Tight Lines....

  19. Nice outing. Definitely put me in the mood.... till I looked out the window here and saw the sleet coming down. Yuk.

  20. Some days it is hard to pull yourself off the river - this looks like one of those days. Thanks for taking me along.

    You are now officially added to my blog roll. Came this way via Sanders over at Up the Poudre. He said you were a good read - I must agree.

    Keep living the dream, and you are right, big fish don't taste good!


  21. Troutbirder,
    Thanks. I couldn't help but think " I bet Troutbirder will appreciate these wild geese shots" as I snapped some shots:) Don't worry nice weather is just around the bend. And the MORELS!!!!!!

  22. S&D,
    Thanks for following. Glad to hear you enjoyed the adventure. Hopefully soon there will be some BASS adventures to add......


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