Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Smallies and walleyes!

Another up north adventure! 
I don't even know where to start.  I went back up to northern wisconsin, originally hoping to get a musky on the fly.  Friday night we got up just before dark and i went down casting a big streamer, probably about 8 inches long!  I had a follow and i even had a fish on, although the one i had on was more likely a small mouth or norther, maybe a small musky though.  The next day we went back and i started off throwing the streamer again.  I had somehting miss the fly, but i didn't know what since i was actually looking the wrong way....  I casted back and got a hit, i saw the side of the fish and it was a musky, not a big one, but probably around 30 inches.  He hit hard, and i set the hook hard, only to have my fly shoot out of the water back at me.  After that fish i didn't see another musky all day.  
I decided i might as well catch some fish that day and I switched to my spinning rod and some night crawlers and creek caught chubs.  I had now put the canoe in and started catch fish!  Started off with a few smallies.  Then a walleye, then a few more smallies, then a really nice walleye, that probably went about 25 inches.  I was fishing by myself at this point so I did the best that i could to take a picture.  I continued to catch smallies and walleyes throughout the day and also caught another big walleye that went 21 inches.  The limit on the water i was fishing is 3 walleye, only one over 14 so i ended up taking home two about 12 inches and the 21 inch also, and they sure did taste great!  Overall i caught about 15 smallies, 7 or 8 walleye and a few rockbass.   Not a bad day if you ask me!!!

average smallie

a colorful one

theres another one

If you look closely you can see a jig coming out of the corner of this one's mouth.  I  was my jug that had broken off from earlier!  I had this fish on twice! He won the first time and i won the second time!
The big walleye,  It's always interesting trying to land big fish without a net.

back to fight another day

talk about a healthy smallie!

they have plenty of food here

some of these fish have really nice markings

a little walleye from later in the day

the 21 incher that came home for the next days breakfast.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Best brown of my season so far! (yeah, it's been a good week)

Once again the title says it all!  On friday afternoon i caught the biggest brown of the season!

I had a dinner to go to so i wasn't going to be able to night fish so i decided that i should fish while i can and I ended up on the stream at about 3pm.  It was sunny and pretty warm and the water was clear.  I started out with streamers and moved a real nice rainbow, probably about the same size as the one i caught earlier in the week, and i also had a real nice brown chase after a small wooly bugger.  The brown seemed very interested so i kept switching flies and casting back to where he was holding.  I didn't see him again until i switched to a foam ant.   I casted above where he came out after my wooly bugger and as it drifted the water boiled underneath the fly, unfortunately no take.  I quickly tied on a grifiths gnat trailer and continued to cast to where i thought the fish was.  The fish was holding in a patch of weeds near the far side of the creek under a bridge.  I made a great cast all the way to the other wall of the bridge and as it drifted I was thinking that if that cast wasn't going to catch him, nothing would.  It drifted past the hole and nothing.   about 4 feet past where i thought the fish somehthing went for my ant,  I set the hook and judging by the take I was a little disappointed since it wasn't the fish i was looking for.   All of a sudden the fish shot upstream taking drag off my 6 wt.   thats when i knew it was the big fish i saw earlier.  I was pretty excited to have tricked him and after a nice fight i got him in the net.  This is my biggest brown in wisconsin waters.  The fish made a tiny splash at the fly almost like a 6inch trout would do, i guess it just shows that you can't tell the size of the fish from the bite.

as big as the net!

he was a colorful one 
starting to get that mean look

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Best trout of my season... so far

Title says it all!  Tonight, well I guess technically yesterday I  landed the biggest trout of my season so far.  I got out to the river at about 6:50pm and the midges were hatching.  To start things off I lost two fish and then (unfortunately) another fisherman shows up and instead of walking to the next hole he decides to fish it as well.  I'm sitting there casting size 20-24 midges at the rising trout and this guy is throwing his spinner practically on top of my flies!  The fish didn't like it too much either and the risers seemed to get spooked.  I still managed to get a few chubs to rise and take my fly.  Right as is was getting dark out the other man left leaving me alone for the night bite.  I started out throwing wooly buggers and clousers with a few hits, but no hook-ups.  Then from out of the depths right in front of me a huge trout appears and basically rubbed it's nose on my wooly bugger, and then sank back down.  I quickly changed colors from black to white and kept bringing it past where the fish was holding.  After changing from streamer to streamer I finally moved the fish again and once again he sank back down after "nosing" my fly.  A while later at about 9:40pm I noticed something moving under the surface in front of me.  I turned on my head lamp and saw the fish again, it looked like it was feeding on something about 6 inches below the surface, so i quickly tied on a san juan worm and an emerger/attractor sort of nymph that I tie,  i've had some pretty good luck on them earlier in the season,  I decided I would cast to the fish if i saw it again and sure enough about two minutes later i saw it.  I casted about 5 feet in front of the fish and let it dead drift.  Nothing.  I start to swing the nymph up preparing for a re-cast and right before my bottom fly hits the surface I get a hit!  The fish started thrashing about on the surface and then took several powerful runs.  Did I mention I was using a 1wt. with 5x tippet?  I thought that there was no way that I was going to get the fish in.  The fish seemed to use most of it's energy on the first two runs and after a couple more short runs I netted the beauty.  I had a little trouble with the net because the fish was just as big as the entire net!  I do wish i could say that my net was 28 inches long, or 25, or even 23. But at 19.5 inches I'm excited to say that this is the biggest trout I've caught this season, and the largest trout I've ever caught in Wisconsin.

that little rod makes the fish look huge!

The pictures don't do the fish justice as far as colors go.

swam away to fight another day!
The fly that made it happen.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest appearance!

By Blake Hamilton of Illinois Wisconsin Fishing.
We ended up meeting at salmo pond in Cross Plains, Wisconsin to start the day at 6am and continued west in search of trout.  We ended up fishing two streams and at the first Blake H. caught a nice brown on one of the first casts of the day, before we even made it to a good hole.  Unfortunately the early success wasn't indicative of how the day would go.  We still caught some fish, maybe 10 each? but we didn't do all that well for the streams that we fished.   We didn't catch anything too big, the biggest being probably around 11-12 inches, but we did have a few nice fish on, Including the biggest brook trout I've ever personally seen.  I was pulling a wooly bugger in and right in front of my I saw the fish hit and I set the hook with my 1 wt.  The fish turned and thats when I knew that I had a big fish on, I got a pretty good look at it in the short time i had it on and i believe it was a 16-17 inch brookie.   The fish spit the hook and sank back down into the depths and I was pretty disappointed, but it happens, and maybe i'll get him next time!  All in all it was nice to gain a new fishing buddy and maybe next time we'll have a little better luck!

Blake H. with the first brown of the day

a nice brown, about 10 inches (the cork/reel seat on my 1wt. in exactly 9in.)

A decent brown caught out of a fast run (Blake H. didn't think I was serious when I said there was usually a fish to be caught because the water was so fast)

I have also been getting out night fishing on 8/13 and 8/15 and ended up with 1 brown on the 13th and two on the 15th  I lost several more fish and actually saw a large brown pushing 20inches cruising in front of me last night.  Lately the fishing at night has been very good, and the bugs have been pretty bad, My ankles look a little bit like ground beef, but it's worth it.  I really like night fishing and advise everyone to try it out, it's pretty cool to catch a fish in complete darkness and i find it amazing the the fish can feed in the dark as well.  Hopefully i'll be getting out again very soon.
Until next time -Tight lines

11 inches, a small fish for the night bite

a 13 incher that was rising right at dusk, I fooled him!

another brown just over 13 inches
For reference: the cork and reelseat on this rod is about 11.5inches

Friday, August 12, 2011

Playing catch up!

Well I've been slacking in the posting department,  not too much in the fishing department though!

Long story short- Night fishing, Wooly Buggers, HOPPERS, and a couple nice nights of midge hatches!

15 inch brown at night

16 1/4 inch brown at night

the first brook trout i had ever caught out of that stream

Old Mill in Hyde, Wi

A fun one for a one weight!


This guy wiggled out of my hands before i could snag a picture!  Caught this guy the cast before the one above.
On a beetle, he was about 13 inches.

Another hopper fish!

Terrestrials are workin!

A nice 14 inch that took several HUGE jumps! alot of fun on the 1wt.

another pic of the fish above

A 16.5inch brown, the biggest out of this stream so far, caught just casts after the brown above

Same 16.5 inch,  I had to run down stream to land this guy with the 1wt!

He was starting to get some good colors

A beautiful brown

There has been some great fishing going on recently, hope everyone is making some time to get out there!  Right now I'm really looking forward to the trout and salmon in the tribs, this will be my first year targeting them and I couldn't be more excited!!!

Also has anyone fished Mill Creek over in Hyde?  It seems like a nice "big" river, but in the half hour I had to fish i didn't even see one..

Monday, August 1, 2011

Smallmouth, walleye, and more!

a nice tailwater smallie!
Last weekend my family made the trip up to northern wisconsin to our cabin.  It's up near Boulder junction and surrounded by great fishing.   We arrived late friday night and planned on fishing on saturday and maybe a bit on sunday.  Well when we woke up the next morning it was a complete downpour... so much for the 10% chance of rain...  After the rain stopped we ended up getting out for about an hour before we had to go out for dinner with some friends.   I was throwing a mepps spinner and ended up catching 2 walleye, and a nice northern.   I was fishing below a dam and the water was very clear and i could actually see some nice smallies and i even saw two nice musky's.   Of course i would cast to the musky, but no bite.  The second musky came up into the shallow water where there was  pretty strong current, but only about 2 feet deep.   At that time i was using the 8ft 4wt that i built for my mom with a small, maybe 1 inch long, crayfish fly that i drift for trout.  I figured i might catch a nice smallie.  So of course i casted to the musky, that was about 40inches,  and i drifted the crayfish right past him, recast, drift, recast then i noticed my line stopped.  I assumed that the splitshot had just got caught in the rocks, but when i picked up the line, the musky started to shake his head with his mouth wide open.  I was shocked that i had just hooked a 40 inch musky on a 1inch crayfish.  I got really luck when the musky decided to run up river and away from the logs that were just downstream.  I fought the beast as best i could with a light 4wt and 4x tippet.  After about two minutes he took a run downstream into the stump field. He avoided the stumps but ended up biting thru the line.   Fun fight, but i do wish i would have landed him!

The next day we ended up on the water at about 1pm, and within two hours we had caught our limit of walleye, and had two release 4 more.   We also caught about 20 smallies and 5 northern.  Great weekend of fishing!

first and largest northern

one of 5 northern caught while tossing a bucktail for musky

was hoping this nice smallie was a musky when it hit my bucktail

another shot of that hungry smallie

the old man gets a nice one!

sitting in the shallow water

another nice sized smallie

a decent northern

I caught this northern on the cast after the one above... they sure were hungry!

thats a limit! 3 fish each, only 1 of which can be over 14.