Thursday, August 4, 2011


Finally the hot weather has let up.  Well at least at night time it has.  Still being in the high 80's during the day, the ideal time to target the trout is either in the night or early a.m.  Last night it got down to around 60 degrees, with low humidity.  That is key.  The humidity is enough to drive the sanest man crazy.  Lately I've noticed that the creeks themselves have been a little on the warm side.  I don't actually use a thermometer, even though I know this helps when deciding whether or not to hit the streams.  I just go by how cool it feels as I splash it directly into my face, or how quickly it cools off the stinging nettles that make my shins feel as if they're on fire.  So I decided to head for one of those streams where the water just seems to stay a little cooler than the rest.  Yes, you guessed it, a Brook Trout stream.  A tiny Brook Trout stream to be exact.  A really tiny,overgrown, super extra hairy Brook Trout stream.  One thing I new for sure is that there probably wouldn't be any one else out on this obstacle course of a stream.  PErfEct!!!  I new that many a fly would be lost on this trip, but who cares because it is always worth it and luckily I tie my own flies and don't have to spend my precious cash on them.  It was late in the night when the decision was made to head out in the morning, so I decided not to tie up any new flies.  I set the alarm for 4:00 a.m. and closed my eyes with excitement for the morning to come.  Sweet dreams of Brook Trout and what ever else was willing to hit my fly.

Beep, beep, beep, beep.  4:00 oclock rolled around quickly.  Shower, bagel and then gear.  Hopped in my ride and off I went about a half an hour later.  I cruised through town and grabbed a Bacon Egg and Cheese biscuit from McDonalds with an ice water.  I love the BE&C early in the morning, but this time the thing was like a hockey puck.  Seriously!!!! What does it take to get a fresh breakfast sandwich at 5:00 in the morning?? Not to mention the high price of the dang thing.  Well being pretty hungry, I quickly scarfed it down, with a little help from the ice water.  At least they got the water right!  I continued on and cranked up a little Rage Against the Machine to wake up the soul.  I was pumped up to toss some flies.  I only had a small window of time so I was pedal to the medal, watching for deer the whole way.  About ten minutes out of town and I was there.  The sun was coming up and the air was chilly and smelled oh so good.

I threw on my shoes and camera's, grabbed my fly rod and onto the stream I went.  Last time I was here I fished some bombers and had really good luck with them, so I decided to tie one on again.  I went to a hole that I know holds quite a few fish.  Sat for a bit and looked for rises.  I saw one and that was all.  It was still pretty early and the temps were quite cool, so I figured the fish would become more active once the sun was up for just a little.  After tossing the bomber in about 5 times with no action, I decided to change it up and tied on a tiny trailer fly that looked like a mini one of my Castle Rock Killers.  In it went and I let it sink slowly.  Then about 2 seconds later and my line took off the other way.  This was the guy that decided to set his alarm and came out to play.

Although it wasn't the Brookie I was after, it was still a wonderful sight none the less.  I was happy and let it go in the rapids below the hole.  I quickly tossed the fly back into the hole and had an instant strike, but missed it.  Right back in it went, Splash, no wait I didn't see where it hit.  Oh right, there it is, tightly wrapped around the barbwire fence.  Bummer.  It was about a foot away from the two flies I lost to the fence last time I was here.  It was just too deep to wade out to get them, so I went to the box and tied a new fly on.  I continued down stream and continued to lose flies.  By the time I had arrived at the sweet holes, I  had lost all the flies I planned on using.  All of the cows were staring at me wondering what language I was speaking that mostly consisted of every swear word in the book, and then some.  I did find one fly that I actually lost the time before and was able to retrieve it.  This made me think about the other flies tangled in the barbwire at the first hole I fished.  So I headed back upstream and decided to try and get them somehow.  I ended up stretching out as far as I could and wrapped them around the tip of my pole and gave them a tug.  The first set of flies I was able to retrieve were a Ausable Bomber with a tiny gray and pink see through bead head fly.  Then I was able to get the mini C.R.K. too, but ended up dropping it in the grass and it disappeared just as quick as it was saved.  Bummer.  I tied on the Bomber with the bead head trailing about a foot down.  I headed upstream and quickly realized it was even hairier than where I had just come from.  Oh well, I wasn't about to let this stream get the best of me.  Although a lot of the holes were completely blocked off by over hanging weeds, I was able to find a few holes that I was able to squeeze my fly line through.  These holes are the kind of holes where you hit a weed and let it sit there and pray a fish bites it and that it doesn't end up snagging.  Tighter than a new jar of pickles.  The rest of the day I would some how keep the same two flies and the fish would be taken on both flies, with the Bomber taking a few more then the bead head.

Caught this guy after letting the bomber sink down a little.  The sun made it really hard to see my line.

Caught this little fella out of the same hole as the one above.  This surprised me considering how much splashing the other one did.

This was one of those where I landed the fly on the weeds and let the current bring it down into this guy.  Kypee little guy.

At first I thought this was a Monarch but was later informed by my buddy that it is a Viceroy.  A mimic of the Monarch.  Rare and fast.

This one favored the bead head and put up a nice fuss.

The fish were really starting to get active when I caught this last one.  It seems like they always start biting right when I have to leave.

While I was there I saw a DNR truck cruise back in to the deep of it.  I was going to check it out and see what they were up to, but they were gone by the time I got that far up.  I think they might have been taking some fish out to another stream, because the truck had a big metal tank in the back of it.  Maybe they are taking them to my home stream :)  Probably not though.  

Well that's my little report for Wisconsin's Driftless Area so far this month.  The temps should start cooling off even more soon, and then it's sweatshirt time.  I only have two months left until they shut the streams down until March.  I will either start ice fishing, or go crazy waiting for the trout season to start up again.  Maybe I will have to move to Colorado since there trout season is just beginning.  Not to mention the sweet snowboarding out there to boot.  Mountains, snowboarding, fly fishing, does life get any better.  Cutthroats HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!  :)

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


  1. Hey bro! That Monarch is actually a mimic called a Viceroy..a little smaller than a Monarch but just as beautiful and alot more rare,I've only seen one this year,nice shot!Keep chuffin those biscuits and cranking the Rage!oh,did I tell you about that book about cutthroats and CO called "Hook a Fish, Catch a Mountain"..don't worry, its a young adult book haha.I will await the next Catching Chronicles eagerly as always!

  2. Not that your writing isn't great, but your skills as a photographer are outstanding. How about a post about some of your tips and tricks?

  3. Great Post, and nice pics of some outstanding trout taken on a wild stream. What wt.rod and length was you using?

  4. Nice job, fishing the weed-choked outcast that other fishers ignore. It's hard to beat wild brookies in a small stream

    Some of my favorite things to do.

    I just learned of your short trout season over there and my sympathies are yours.

    You could always tour Utah as well. Trout fishing throughout the winter (floating lakes until December!) and the "greatest snow on Earth", so they say. I already have too many expensive habits to play in the snow. ;0)

    Nice report and beautiful fish!

  5. Trout- It's good to know that someone else uses the same method for checking a streams temperature...

    Glad you got into the fish, even with the cursory start (that's what happens when you listen to Rage at 5 in the morning..although I completely understand...ha!)

    You are always welcome to come out and stay with me in CO...would love to have a fishing partner for awhile :-)

  6. TM,
    Wonderful post.
    Fishing early AM now is a good choice, as is bacon egg and cheese.
    The Ausable Bomber.....Brookie 5 pak.

  7. I'm with Cofisher, how about sharing some photography secrets. I'd be interested to see your photographic take in an ice fishing post.

  8. Those brook trout are just so-o-o-o beautiful!

    Regular Rod

  9. Ive had to retrieve some flys i snagged on a previous trip as well. those flies are blessed for some reason, i just couldnt keep the fish off em'

  10. I might need to move to Wisconsin.

  11. Hey Trout Magee,

    Was thinking of making the drive up to some southewest streams. Just wondering how the gnat situation is?

  12. Aaron,
    Hey what's up mandoo. Thanks for the butterfly info. I gotta have the biscuits. So good. I just asked Bird to get me that book. Look forward to checking it out. Tight Lines bro.

  13. Cofisher,
    Thanks a lot for the compliment. I definitely will have to do a post on taking streamside photos. I'm no professional but hope I can help. Tight Lines.

  14. Bill Trussel,
    Hey thanks a lot. Thanks for following along too. I was using my St.Croix 7' 3wt. Avid fly rod. Nice and touchy so I can feel the fish before I see them. Someday I hope to get a 6'for around these small streams. Tight Lines.

  15. Loah,
    Hey thanks a lot man. Small streams are fun and challenging. Yeah the trout season is short and I dream of fishing winter snowy streams. Utah sounds like the place to be, the Brookies out there are giants. Plus all those cutties and bows. The lake floating until December sounds superb. I heard that the snowboarding out there is awesome too. Tight Lines.

  16. Sanders,
    Nothing feels better than the ice cold water on a boiling hot day. Probably should have listen to some Native American flute music that early in the a.m. :) Thanks for the kind offer. Those cutthroats are calling my name :) If I head out that way, I will be knocking on your door at 5:00 a.m. and we can crank out some Rage, or Jimmy, on the way to the Poudre ;) Tight Lines man.

  17. BrkTrt,
    Thank you very much. Biscuits and early morning go together like Maine and Lobster :) The Bomber just don't quit. Tight Lines.

  18. John,
    I'll try to do a post on what things help me take photos. I haven't had the blog going while ice fishing season was upon us, so hopefully the pics are still up to par. I can just picture some tasty crappie popping up out of the hole. Tight Lines.

  19. RegularRod,
    Thanks a lot. Each one seems like a unique piece of stream art. Each one different in it's own way. Tight Lines.

  20. Blake,
    I love it when you find flies or lures in trees. Sometimes they're mine sometimes some other unfortunate fishermans. It is weird how they work so well too. Tight Lines.

  21. Kev,
    There is definitely an abundance of trout streams where I live. Now jobs on the other hand are the exact opposite :) Slim pickins. Tight Lines.

  22. Anthony Rosati,
    The streams that I frequent seem to be pretty gnat free so far. The mosquitoes are still present, but can be controlled with some spray. The new pain in the butt that seems to be out in full effect are the Deer Flies and Horse Flies. As long is they don't bite you and you can deal with them buzzing around your head, you should be good. If you know of some fishing where the streams are pastured that would be your best bet. The weeds are out of control and over my head. Always worth it though :) Tight Lines.

  23. Ok, that's it. I'm going to give the carp a break and head to a mountain stream next week. This post has me jonesin' for some trout. You caught some beauties. Well done.

  24. Ty,
    Thanks much. The carp are fun I'm sure, but the Brookies can't be denied. Good luck and I look forward to hear about the adventure. Tight Lines.

  25. Great recap of the adventure! Good to know I'm not the only one who does crazy things to retrieve flies. It might be embarassing if anyone ever got a pic of it. lol Good to see you got into some fish and some beauties at that.

    I don't know what I'd do if I had to wait so long to fish again. Here in PA there are opportunities to fish year round. Kind of surprising to read that.

    Great post! Enjoyed it and the pics!

  26. Bill,
    Thanks much. Sometimes we gotta do what we gotta do, to ensure our fly box isn't empty :) I still don't quite understand why trout season is closed for so long. They could at least just make it catch n release during their spawning times. I go crazy in the winter. Ice fishing starts looking really appealing. Plus the ice cold fish are delicious. Tight Lines.


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