Monday, May 16, 2011

my son's first brown trout

It was an early two-thirty in the morning when my wife woke me up, thank god she was still awake from the night before because my alarms had already been going off for thirty minutes. It was an exciting day to be taking my son fishing. At the young age of five, Lucas is an accomplished angler. He has taken a fifteen pound carp on 4 pound test, a near five pound bass from a pond, and countless panfish through ice and not. All of that is great but he still had never caught a western Wisconsin, spring creek, brown trout before. Despite my headache from only 3 hours of sleep, I grabbed my still sleeping little boy and strapped him into his car seat. Thankfully the car was packed the night before and there wasn’t a need for too much thought about what I may be forgetting. I just cracked open a red bull and pulled out of my neighborhood...

Even though the weather channel predicted rain for the entire day, the radar map showed only spotty storms moving through the area I was wanting to fish. Even though there were some serious storms rolling through, I felt like I was going far enough west to miss the majority of them. Just after sunrise we arrived at our destination creek along with the onset of some heavy rain. I opened the weather channel radar app on my cell phone (a necessary tool for the mobile angler) and saw that we were in the heart of the last major storm cell in a fifty mile radius. I got out of the car just to check the water clarity in the pool right under the bridge. Turned out, the creek was crystal clear looking almost totally unaffected. Instead of suiting up just then in the rain, we drove 8 miles back to town for gas and a quick bathroom break. I figured the extra twenty minutes would allow for most of the rain to pass over us. Turns out, it was a good decision and we made it back to the bridge just after the rain came to an end.

on the creek with Lucas
Lucas was thrilled to have waders on for the very first time and excited about the concept of actually being able to walk into the water. We fished our way up the creek practicing his fly casting along the way. Having never touched a fly rod before this week, I was proud to see him make his first cast (with some extra help). This went great until we accidentally snagged that damn tree over the top of the first pool on a “team“ cast. No choice on this one, if I wanted the rig back I was wading to the middle of the pool to be able to reach the branch. Into the water I went, spooking every fish in there with atomic bomb sized mushroom clouds from all the sand and sediment I kicked up. After all that commotion it was time to let that pool settle and maybe hit it on the way back down.

Under the second bridge (more like a driveway), we did manage to hook a nice brown trout. It was that trout’s lucky day because he managed to come unglued while Lucas was trying to figure out exactly what to do next. “You pull the line in with your hand?” he asked. After the loss of our first trout on the fly, I took over fishing with the intent of handing him back a fly rod with a fish already on it. A few minuets later he was cold and bored so I suggested “Let’s just move on cause its hard to get your cast under this bridge” .

Lucas's first brown trout!
We came to the next minor pool and instead of reaching for the fly rod, I grabbed the four foot telescopic spinning rod paired with a bass pro tiny-light reel. Already attached was a panther-martin #6 spinner yellow with the silver blade that was a solid recommendation made by Damien. On the first cast through that pool we actually rolled a fish that came in hard but missed on the hook up. It took only two more casts and we had my boy’s first brown trout in hand!


another vernon county brown trout
For the rest of the day, we mostly spin fished. I think we caught just over twenty fish and only 3 by way of the fly rod. Just before lunch we decided to call it a day. By that point my son had slipped numerous times trying to learn how to walk through the stream, avoid sharp rocks, and climb over/under the endless amounts of streamside debris. A few of those falls left his jacket and sweatshirt totally drenched and one hand pretty banged up from stopping his fall on a rock (ouch). On the way out, I carried him over my one shoulder with all the gear in my other hand. It’s funny I thought, we may have escaped the rain but Luke still found a way to get completely soaked, dirty, and bruised. Kids are great and this day was filled with many memories I’m sure we will never forget. I’m happy to say, we rolled the dice with the weather and came out on top (this time).

sweet fish son!

18 comments:

  1. Great post, Blake. Sure enjoyed reading it this morning. Your, rightfully, proud of that young angler.

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  2. Awesome. That smile says everything!

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  3. Great post Blake! This is why Dad's were invented!

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  4. Thanks everyone, it was a magical day i will remember forever!

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  5. I feel for you having to get up at 2:30 a.m. At least you got to head out fishing instead of work. Great job on your sons first Brown trout. Memories for sure.

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  6. Price I pay for living so far from the driftless area. Dane county is 2 hours, richland county is 2.5, vernon is about 3.5. I wouldnt trade trout fishing for the world!

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  7. Congratulations Lucas on your first brownie. 30 years from now Lucas will be taking you out fishing to the same area. Great post Blake

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  8. Wow, this is a great post. I love those pictures.

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  9. Great entry into your blog. I think you have a fishing buddy for life now. Its great to see the kids getting into it. Nice job!

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  10. Awesome! that is what it's all about.

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  11. Way to go Lucas! Great post Blake.

    -stephanie

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  12. Lucas says thanks to all!!!

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  13. Hey Blake. Just catching up. How nice it is to be young and semi-functional on 3 hours of sleep. Us old guys are comatose with less than 8. Congratulation Lucas on you first, second, third, and more Browns. Got to love the little waders.

    Mark

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  14. Congrats! It appears that you have a natural on your hands. Got to get the fly rod going?

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  15. Blake
    Fantastic story about a father who had taken the time to teach his son the joys of the outdoors and how to land some great looking trout. This trip brings back memories of me and my son when he was that age and his first tirp with me to a local pond. Enjoy Luke while he is young, because before you know it he will be grown and gone. Really enjoyed this post.

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  16. The stream is full of things to keep little guys busy. Same way I hooked my children and now they are very savvy on the stream and only 12 and 15. Great work

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  17. thats the direction im working, alot better then playing the video games all day

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