Monday, May 31, 2010

fly fishing trout (dane county, wi)

a crystal clear dane county stream
Summer is in full swing here. The weeds are tall and the bugs are thick. The creek was flowing a steady pace and the water temps have risen some but the trout are still active. I’ve put my time into getting to know the lay of the land here but am starting to realize that summer isn’t always a fly-fisherman’s friend. The recent rain and constant sun have turned the landscape into a jungle of weeds filled with bugs and all sorts of other nasties. Lets just say that navigating my way to some of my new found spots was going to be downright impossible.

I was forced to fish closer to the easements where there was easier access and more trampled paths through the grass. I believe that the fish closest to the easements have seen a lot more flies, lures, and hooks. These are smarter class of fish (or they have been hooked before). They are quicker to turn there noses up at an inadequately presented flies and are wary of shadows. They also don’t take kindly to loud noises or people splashing through their pools. Despite all that, I was still able to catch some fish but its not the same finding those “uneducated” ones.

a small brown trout
another small brown trout
Caught a handful of browns and one rainbow again. One rainbow seems to be a consistant number for me lately. Fish were caught from the inside turns and the slack sections of the pools. Also sighted a trophy size brown (estimated 20 inches) rolling in a deep pool but wasn’t able to hook up.

wow! a rainbow trout

a colorful brown trout
Read More »

Saturday, May 22, 2010

fly fishing trout (rock county, wi)

In my pursuit of trout on the fly I’m finding myself diving head first into the unexplored (at least to me) area of western Wisconsin . Every location and every stream has a certain charm and personality unique to only itself. This Rock county creek is no different.

cool looking rock county creek
The scenery here was wonderful and the water was skinny, fast, and cold. There must have been some deeper water here but I never did find it. I wasn’t able to devote quite as much time to hiking and exploring as I would have liked. Rubber waders and a hot day will kick as tired guys ass. The banks were starting to become overgrown and the flowers were starting to bloom. This place in general seemed to be a little more unaltered. Not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing. I wouldn’t have minded a little more bank improvements and some extra fish holding structures. On the other hand, the untouched look has some merit too.
In the first 15 minutes of casting I was able to wrangle a slob brown which really set my expectations high. It was a healthy fish that really put all my skills to the test. The worst part of the battle was the actual landing of the fish. I was forced to jump from a 3 foot weedy bank into the pool I was fishing just to reach the fish. I tried to net him 3 times and just couldn’t reach him as he was thrashing wildly on the surface. I’m sure I spooked every fish for a quarter mile but I was just playing the hand I was dealt. Either way, I got a picture and released the fish!!

a good brown
With all that excitement when I first arrived, the rest of the day turned out to be a real disappointment. I spent the rest of the time sweating while walking from shallow pool to shallow pool. The sun was beating down on me with absolutely zero protection from the sun. I was able to snipe 2 more small browns from some of the creek bends but I felt much of the water here was way to thin to hold fish. Again, maybe I just didn’t make it far enough in to the wilderness but I do see why they have to stock this creek. As a side note, I caught more ticks then I did trout today…

a small brown trout to end the day
Read More »

Friday, May 14, 2010

fly fishing trout (dane county, wi)

This was the second and final trip on my vacation and I was going to make the best of the time I had. I had already done the recon and found some great stretches of water I knew held fish just four days ago. The problem I faced was a major storm front had pushed through the area since the last time I was here. It had rained heavy in the area just 24 hours prior to me arriving. It was just enough to muddy the water and raise the height of the stream by almost a foot. To make matters worse, the wind was blowing strong today and some of those spots I had fished were really exposed to the wind….

a bridge over the creek
My two hour one way drive flew by with day dreams of spotted trout. I finally arrived and started my morning with a decent hike. This was the spot where I had done the best on my previous trip. Upon arrival I began to notice just how different the conditions really were. The stained water and the gale force winds quickly sent me packing. This was after a series of frustrating tangles and botched drifts over the deep muddy pool. This spot was unfishable and I decided to make my way upstream in search of some clear water and some shelter from the wind.

a nice pool
Two access points up river the water was much cleaner. I quickly claimed a nice turn adjacent to the road and started to fish the tail out where it dropped into a deeper pool. About a dozen drifts later and I was setting the hook on a substantial brown. I played the fish up and down though the current before putting the net to her. This happened to be the nicest of all the fish caught and I quickly snapped a photo and released her. I continued to work the bend and was able to pick off a few more dink trout. The longer I stayed, the more infrequent the bites became. I made my way by foot upriver passing almost a half mile of slack skinny water. Time to move on…..

my best brown this year!!
A short drive and a nice hike through a more heavily wooded area brought me to the last spot I fished today. As soon as I saw it I knew it held promise. This turn was so sharp and deep, there had to be fish there. I crept into position wading out to the point and started to cast upstream. I was casting into the shallow riffles upstream and letting the fly swing all the way around the deeper bend in a “u” shape. On my second cast the indicator disappeared and I set the hook. Fish on!! This time I managed a small rainbow!!!

the rare rainbow trout here
another brown
Cast after cast I hooked up with fish after fish. Some were landed and some were lost. I broke off on a fish that must have had the shoulders of a linebacker. Gotta remember to check my line. I must have caught almost 10 fish from this last pool. Overall the day was a huge success, I made the adjustments based upon the conditions that unfolded. I was now ready to go back to work…..
a small brown
Read More »

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

fly fishing trout (dane county, wi)

This was the first day of vacation for me so I was out fishing while everyone I knew was hard at work. Since I had some extra time I decided to drive out a little further then I normally would. It was a 2 hours ride, but I told myself it would all be worth it if I could just catch some trout. I’ve had that itch to do some fly-fishing since the last time we were fishing the spring steelie run. A month without a fly rod in a guys hand will do funny things to him.
looks nice doesn't it?
I rolled into the city around 8:00am. I took the next 30 minutes to drive all the way up and down the highway checking out the easements and access points. Access is easy here, with all types of water available. The stream starts as a slow trickle and really widens as you get further downstream. The rolling hills and bright green trees made a perfect backdrop for some great trout fishing.

By 8:30am I was out walking the banks. I worked the first series of pools I came to for a good hour before giving up on it. I continued upriver and took a look around. Didn’t find a lot of water that I would call great but did find the entrance to one of the feeder creeks…. Maybe for another day. Got back in the car and drove to the next easement.

a deep pool
My second stop was just one road up river. From the second I pulled in I just knew that this was some better water. The runs and pools were just a little deeper. I made my way downstream. When I would come to a good looking pool I would walk clear around it out away from the stream. This was so I didn’t spook any fish and it allowed me to fish in front of me. The second pool I stopped was a nice fast run bottoming out in a deep pool that had a couple large boulders in it. Looked perfect. My second drift that made it perfectly in between those boulders was rewarded with a strike. One minute later I was netting a beautiful rainbow. Worked this pool for another 35 minutes and moved on.

a small rainbow trout
decent brown trout
The next pool I stopped and fished turned out to be the best spot of the day (go figure, it was the farthest walk from the road). It was the end of the line, right before the border of private land. It was the deepest pool I had seen yet, and I swear it would have been a foot over my head if I were standing in the water. Fast water was just rushing into the head of the pool. I spent close to two hours fishing here, getting to know every drop, turn, crease, and bend. I went 8/12 on hook ups. The only reason I lost those other four was from trying to fight the fish by hand instead of getting the line back on the reel.

one of the better brown trout
The only reason I left this pool was because I was running out of time. I wanted to see some more of the creek but family calls. Up the road I went to my last stop of the day. I had just enough time to pick off a few more trout.. and that’s what I did. In total I caught 11 fish, and released all 11. It was time to go and I had to get back on the road for another 2 hour drive. I spent as much time driving as I did fishing today. Was it worth it…..?
Read More »

Sunday, May 2, 2010

fly fishing trout (walworth county, wi)

I arrived at 8:00am on a bright and beautiful spring day. I made the trip for the sole purpose of doing some recon and hopefully catching some fish. The access from the highway was painless getting down to the stream. Once you make it down to the stream there is a nice pool right under the highway easement.

the first pool under the highway access point
I spent 20 minutes just messing around in that first pool with no bites. I decided it was time to explore what this creek had to offer. I started to walk/fish my way down the entire length of the creek. The spring fed creek had crystal clear water. I made way along the bank passing some ultra skinny water stopping to fish some of the deeper bends. No bites

The upper section appeared to have less fish holding structure and the few fish I did sight were pressed deep into the undercut banks. As I made my way downstream I came across many obstacles. Hazards are everywhere. I climbed a mountain of brush, passed through tall thick reeds, and got a wadding boot stuck in the marshy muck that took a couple minutes to free. Forget about wading here because the muck bottom (found in most areas) will swallow you whole. This was hard work!

Once reaching the lower section the obstacles seemed to thin out. The last stretches of seemed to hold the most fish attracting structures. There were man made runs, fish bunkers, and strategically place logs all over the place. I really worked those areas hard and managed to catch a handful of creek chubs for the entire day.

I did spot some trout throughout the day. They were extremely skittish and need to be approached with stealth. I would suggest bringing a fishing buddy if you ever plan to visit here. There were many times throughout my solo fishing trip that I really could have used the assistance of a wing man. Be careful….
Read More »