Monday, May 30, 2011

The Calling of the Brook Trout

 Date:  May 29th         Weather:  Rainy & Humid         Time:  1:30 - 6:30p.m.

Decided to drive to a nice little Brook Trout stream today.  I looked out the window and the skies were grey and the rain was falling lightly.  Whenever I see rain I can't help but get excited.  Now I am not talking about a down pour of rain,  but more of a sprinkling on and off all day.  Told the wifee and kids that I just had to get out there while the weather was so nice.  They told me I am crazy and I agreed.  Oh don't worry I said it is just a little rain.  Crack Booom Bang.... Great that was a really loud thunder.  Ummm don't worry that will pass by, really its nothing.   Ok guys,  love you, be back in a little bit.   The place I am headed is about 25 miles southeast of where I live.  So as I am packing up the car and getting things ready to go, I can't help but think I could be making a mistake.  Hopefully the storms will pass by and only cloud up the water a little.  I get the music playing and head off on another fishing venture.  While I am on the road and about half way there, I look to the direction I am heading and see brighter skies.  In the opposite direction to my left it looks dark and gray.  Then right as I am glancing to my left a huge bolt of lightning spreads across the sky.  The kind of lightning you swear you can feel the static through the air.  YIKES.  I think I may have made a big mistake.  Too late now, to turn back would be a huge waste of gas.   I convince myself that it only makes sense to continue to the stream and onward I go.  I roll into the parking spot and not a soul in sight.  Just the way I like it.  The rain had stopped, the sun was shining and the birds were singing away.  Always a good sign that the weather will be OK for a little bit.  The stream was looking fantastic as far as the water quality was concerned.  As far as the actual casting conditions, lets just say it was a tad bit overgrown.  Not a great thing considering this creek is tiny to begin with.  Most casts are into a 2-3 ft. space with little branches of willow and dead prairie grass hanging over them.  Bad for the fisherman/woman, great for the Brookies and Browns.  This section is great because it is catch and release only, with a healthy population of Brook Trout. 

 As usual the nature was in full bloom and everything was popping out at me.  The color green is everywhere and is intoxicating.  The trees, the flowers, the moss, the grass, it is all part of the experience and goes along perfect with a meandering clear spring creek.  The smell of mint seems to always be in the air.  This smell has and will always remind of being on a spring fed stream. 

I  set out in search of some fish.  I was here particularly for the Brook Trout today.  I know a lot of people love to catch and see this species close up, and I am no different.  I was hoping that maybe I would come across a Tiger Trout today, but no such luck.  That's alright because the Brookies and Browns were more than willing to come out for some photo ops. 

I was surprised to catch so many Browns up in this spot.  Chunker Brown.

Chunker Brown Close Up Shot.

Release of The Chunker Brown.

Young Little Brook Trout full of color.  Thought it was a Tiger Trout at first glance:(

This stream get's tiny in spots and then spills into beautiful little holes like this one.

Chunker Brown 2

Chunker Brown 2 Close Up.  I loved how dark this one was.

The Brookies were alive and feisty.  Looking nice and healthy too.   

I sat down next to the little spring in the pictures from above and decided to just sit and relax for a little bit.  By this time the sun was popping in and out just enough to heat things up.  I figure if I was getting hot and tired maybe the  trout were too.  About an hour later another set of storm clouds moved in and I started to wonder if I should book it back to the vehicle.  I started to look around for something I could get under for cover.  Just in case a wicked storm broke out.  It quickly rolled over and the sky again was blue, then gray, than get the picture.  Either way the fish continued to bite.  I lost a bunch of fish by not setting the hook to hard.  The fish were inhaling the fly today so I didn't feel like hooking them super deep.  Here are a few lucky fish that got a chance to see the barrel of my Nikon lens:)

Another healthy Brown that smashed the fly as soon as it hit the water.

I really like the vibrant colors on the Brook Trout.  The deep red on the fins is beautiful.

Wonder if he is thinking, " Woh, I can see my house from here dude."

This one insisted that I do a Close Up head shot for it's Portfolio.

Little but strong, healthy Browny.

It always amazes me to see the sharp teeth on these guys.

 When all was said and done, it seemed to me that I had made the right choice.  As usual I was heading off the stream right before the real good feeding time hit, but you gotta get out there when ever the chance arises.  If that means heading out while it is lightning and thundering, well, that's what I have to do.  Although I do not suggest it to others.  If I would have seen lightning while I was fishing, I would have at least tried to catch a few really quick,stopped and gone home.  Seriously though lightning is some serious business and not worth losing your life over.  The weather cooperated and made for some great conditions for stalking Brookies on a tiny stream in the middle of the day.  Soon I will be heading back to this stream during the evening time in search of a lunker Brookie in some of the deeper holes.  I know there are some good size fish in there, I just have to get them to bite before the smaller ones do.   It is too easy to spook a hole so you only get a couple of chances.  Maybe next time I will catch a Tiger Trout.  Maybe a Leopard Trout.

Ahh to be a piece of grass.

Until Next time ........ Tight Lines to all...


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Frosty Nights and Trout Bites - ??

Date:  May 27th     Temp:  65 High      Time: 9:30a.m.- 12:30a.m.

Strawberries Anybody?????

The forecast for last night was calling for temps in the frost zone.  ?????????????  It is about to be June and we have had temps in the freezing digits for a few nights this week.  I am not quite sure what is up with the weather but you will not hear me complain about it.  No, because I dread 80 degree days here in Wisconsin.  Sometimes it seems as if you are actually breathing water instead of air.  The humidity is killer.  So as long as I don't have to crank up the A.C. you will see a smile on my face.  Now if you were talking about an 80 degree day in Oceanside, CA.  Let's just say goodbye fly rod and hello surf board!:)  I could still fish off a surf board right.  I guess you could call me Shark MaGee maybe.  Hopefully not Sharkbite Magee!:)  For now I will stick with the baby sharks of the spring fed streams here in the Driftless.  Home to the Brook Trout, Rainbow Trout,Tiger Trout, A Cuttbow Species???And Lets not forget some of my favorites when it comes to putting up a fight on a fly rod.

(Salmo trutta)

Most of the streams I fish are made up of about 80% Browns 15% Rainbow and 5% Brook.  Now that is not a scientific fact.  This only my experience with the streams.  I am sure their are more Brook Trout streams around but definitely not as many as there are Brown Trout.  Today the stream I went to is known for some nice Browns.  After waking up my wife and letting her know where I was going just in case she was dying to know, I decided to wait around a little while until the coffee was pressed and ready for sugar.  Ok, that was just what I needed.  Triple check to make sure I have everything and I am out the door.  Noticed frost warming on the strawberry plant's so I decide to stop and take a few pics.  Frost in late May, who da thunk it?

With that documented I decided it was finally time to get my duff to the stream.  By now it is past 9:00 and I probably missed the real good bite about 2 hours ago.  Oh well down the road I go.  Finally I arrive at my destination.  Hmmmm the water is super close to the bridge and it seems to be flowing fast and brown.  Not the best sign.  But I was already there and parked.  I decided to throw on something flashy and set off.
Representing  for TAKE ME Reminding everyone out there about National Fishing and Boating Week. June 4 - 12th 2011.  Take some one out fishing.  

Thanks again for the Boat Subaru Flag!!

After fishing for about 10 minutes in what seemed to be muddy water, I decided I was out.  With limited time available I thought it would be a better idea to head upstream away and hope the water was a little nicer.  I guess the heavy rains are still having an effect.  Ok so now its 10 o clock, whatever, the day is shaping up to look like a beauty and I am just glad to be out there hearing the birds chirping. 

There are two holes I was really excited to fish.  Last time I was here I missed a huge one and couldn't get it to take the fly again.  This time I was headed back and I was sure I would catch at least something out of this hole.  The bad thing about fishing some of these small streams on a sunny day is that once you pull out a fish or two, the big ones buckle down and stay put.  The hole is spooked and to the next one you go.  So when I got to the first hole I got everything set up.  Recently I won a flipcam from  the Take Me Fishing contest via the Outdoor Blogger Network.  I figured it is time for me to start getting some video of my mishaps and adventures and what a perfect way to get it started.  Thanks again!!

Kind of looks like War of the Worlds

Well I ended up catching  fish on the second cast in but unfortunately it was not the biggin I was in search of.  But still a wonderful little Brown none the less.  I did actually get footage of it but am unable to load it to the internet yet due to the fact that I am still stuck with Dial Up.  A 1 minute video clip is about 60 MB because of the HD involved.  At an upload speed of about 1kb a second your talking about a 7.5 hr period before it finally uploads.  Trust me I tried it last night and finally had to stop it so I could use the computer.  Man do I have to get some better internet service.  It is brutal.  Painful.  Exhausting.....   For now I will just have to take the laptop into a service area and download my videos then.  Sooner than later I hope.

  I actually lost the Flipcam today and had to retrace my tracks through super long grass.  After searching and searching I finally found it and the feeling of being sick slowly subsided.  While scrunched low to the ground I noticed a lot of activity on the flowers in the pasture.  The bees are definitely busy this time of year.  All thanks to our great friend pollen.  Having to wear contacts during this time of the year can be tough sometimes.  I am surprised any of my pictures turn out to be focused.   At least the bees don't have allergies.  

 When I finally found the flipcam,  I was left with about an hour to fish.  Today I had most of my luck with casting from the bottom of the hole up into the rapids.  Instead of stripping the flies,  I would let them sink and form a sort of rainbow in my line.  Letting it sit for about 10 seconds at a time.  Then when you are just about to give up and recast,  BAM, there goes the line.  Over the years of fishing I have realized there is one important thing you must have to be a successful fisherman/women.  Simple as pie.  PATIENCE.  Without this you will just be out there whipping a froth up on the top of the water.  This isn't a competition between two people.  It is merely a competition with yourself.  So instead of getting flustered and rammy about the fish not biting.  Just stop for a minute, take a deep breath,  think " What can I change about my technique to get these fish to bite."  Chances are exercising a little patience will be the key to your success.  Stop and enjoy the scenery.  The fish aren't going anywhere.  Unless you spook them of course:)

Here is a spot that I came across where the sun was shining through into the stream.  It was really peaceful looking and I wished I could shrink down and go swimming in the sun lit water.  


This is a natural spring coming from the top of the bluff.  I don't quite understand how but it is.

Well I caught a few fish, took some new pics and was able to find my flip cam.   That's one for fisherman and zero for the cruel mistress of stream thievery.  Now if I could just find all of the different pair of sunglasses I have lost.!  Maybe next time.   Probably not.  I have lost 2 pair of Arnettes, 1 Pair of Anarchy Eyewear, and 1 Pair of Hobie Sunglasses.   Better get off the stream while I still have all of my possessions.  Or do I????  

And I'm Out, Like a Trout

Just wanted to say thanks to Dustin over at Dustins Fly Box for the blog shout out.   Check out his tips and recipes for tying some great flies.   

Until Next Time........Tight Lines to all...!!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Brand New Speed Boat!!!! - Hail Storm!!!

Elephant Trunk Rock - Southwest Wisconsin

This weekend was my son Oceans 10th Birthday.  Best son a man could ask for!  YOu Rock!! Rocky Rococo's that is!!!:)

On Sunday we decided to go down to the stream and try out one of his new toys.  A rip roarin speed boat with twin engines...don't put fingers near propellers.  When we arrived at the spot where we decided to test the boat, the water looked like glass.  Here is sort of a picture story of what went down the rest of the day.  
Ready to Rock

Water is still looking smooth.

And it's outta here.  Roost anybody.

Finally something to do when Dad won't stop fishing ;)

Uh oh!  Let's hope this thing can bust some waves!!!  Getting choppy out there.

Decided to call it a day due to the creepy sky above.  Better safe than sorry!!

Thank goodness his new speedboat didn't get hit by this bad boy. 

Down came the hail and washed the spider out... NO DOUBT!!

Like it always does in Wisconsin the weather changed yet again.  Sunny skies and misty roads.

As the sun began to set I looked out my window and saw dense fog begging to form.  Had to go check it out.

Just couldn't help but grab the trusty St.Croix.... just in case I see a fish rise..just in case.

Got a little creeped out on the bank when I heard some crazy noise I have never heard before.  Like a cougar choking on a bone..

Flowers at night time...I think I will have to do these more often.  Beautiful even in the dark.

After all it is called the Catching Chronicles...right. :)

Almost got hit by lightning.  Just missed me..phewwwww!!  No seriously just a car passing by in the dark  :)

What a crazy day it was.  I still can't believe that my little boy will be able to drive a car in 6 years.  Better start looking for a mustang now.  He really likes the mustangs..  Although he likes the Subaru's almost as much as I do.  I guess I will worry about that bridge when I cross it.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY OCEAN!! 

Until next time Tight Lines to all..........

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Who Is Trout MaGee

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Driftless Area, SW Wisconsin, United States
I am an easygoing person who likes to fish and just enjoy life. I have a family, a beautiful wife and two(soon to be three), awesome children that make my world go round. I enjoy fishing,photography and being out in nature.

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