Christmas came a few days late for me this year, but it rewarded me with a big present in disguise. I went out on a limb this past week and sent Blake an email, stating I was interested in becoming a contributor for his Blog. I had watched the Illinois Wisconsin Fishing Blog grow over the past year, and liked what I had seen. I also realized that Blake and myself had a lot in common when it came to fishing. We both like to share our passion with others, and what works and doesn't work for us when on the water chasing fins in hopes that other anglers in our area may have better success the next time they go out.
I hit the send button after composing a list and an explanation of things and ways I thought I could help the Illinois Wisconsin Fishing Blog grow. I contemplated all day if I had written enough info about myself, or if the blog would even respond back. Constantly hitting refresh on my email box all day, I got a response. Blake had responded! He was questionable on the thought, but also said the thought had crossed his mind on getting some more contributors to his blog. We spoke back and forth via email, and came to the conclusion that it was worth a shot.
My passion for the outdoors started at a very young age. The lucky age of 7 to be exact. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It was a cold and wintry Sunday spent on the ice with my father. I had never been Ice Fishing before and this was going to be a new adventure for me. We set up on a favorite hole of my dads as he grew up as a kid. We had been out for an hour or so and there wasn't much action until right before sunset. It happened! I hooked in to the start of my addiction for life! A slab 19 inch Crappie. From here on out, It was an addiction that would continue for the rest of my life. As a kid growing up I would try to fish and catch anything that swims. Soon after graduating from High School, I started to get into the techniques and different styles of fishing. This led me to my newest and more profound addiction in the fishing category, Fly Fishing. Fly fishing has been put in a class of its own for me. As the ups and downs are far from different of those that I have experienced prior to giving it a try. Over my entire fishing career there is one thing that I have defiantly learned, and that is you never stop learning.
Over the past year I have been getting more and more involved with outdoor writing, videography, photography, and a few youth outdoors programs. I try to spread the great word of the great outdoors in any way, shape, or form that I can. I like the thought of my childrens kids being able to enjoy our wonderful but fragile outdoor natural resources, as I did growing up. Illionois Wisonsin Fishing Blog is another step in the right direction for me, I feel. With Video Games and surfing the web on the rise, and outdoor activities on the decline among youth, the next time the opportunity presents itself, take a kid fishing.
A Head Start On The New Year:
This past Saturday(New Years Eve) I headed to the Root River in Racine,WI to meet Blake for the first time. We figured that spending a day on the water was one of the best ways to get acquainted with each other. I met Blake a little after 7:30 A.M. that morning after I had got my gear on and he finished up photographing a local mink. We said hello and immediately went to discussing where we were going to start the day off. I had fished this certain stretch of river the week before, so we headed to the spot where a friend of mine hooked his first ever root river trout(another story on this is coming). There was a small set of riffles upstream, with the far bank being cut deep leading up to a bridge where the fish where hiding behind the bridge piers. I waded slowly in working my way to the bridge piers. A few casts in followed by a few 3 inch strips of my egg sucking leech and BAM! Fish ON! It made a run trying to wrap my line around the bridge pier, but he turned back my way followed by a breech out of the water, and running upstream ten yards. WooooHooo! I shouted, as the start of the day was starting with some action. After working him for a few minutes he soon tired him self down and ended his battle in my net. There where high fives and pictures taken, and then a quick release back into the river. I simply looked at Blake and said "It's your turn."
We went back to fishing and no more than a half hour later I saw Blake's rod twitching. He hooked into a nice Driftless Trout as he called it. It was about 10-12 inches in length, but needless to say it was still a fish. I grabbed my camera as he unhooked his first fish of the day, and snapped a few pictures before he released his fish. Once again high fives were given and I simply said to Blake we didn't get skunked and smiled.
We continued fishing are little honey hole and once again Blake connected. This time it was something bigger. I quickly turned on my video camera because I knew this was going to be something good. He fought it for several minutes, and the film was rolling. He landed a nice Brown Trout that went a good 24+ Inches. We snapped some quick photos and videoed the release. I asked Blake what fly he was using, and it was the Black Prince that he had recently tied and posted up a few days prior. He said to me he was putting it to the test and making sure it worked. If you ask me it worked out great!
Now the bar was raised for me, and I did not want to disappoint. Blake had 2 and I had 1. It was time to even the score, so to speak. I continued tossing my egg sucking leech and stripping it through the deeper pools. All of the sudden I thought I had a snag, but the snag started fighting back. Fish On! This one felt bigger than my last. Sure enough it was. It was a big sagging bellied Female Brown. It was roughly the same in length as my first but the belly is what did this fish justice. I was ecstatic that I not only landed one, but two Root River monsters.
This pretty much concluded our day on the water. It not only was nice to be on the water, but share it with someone who has a passion for chasing fish. We headed back to our vehicles and moved on to another spot, but ended up empty handed mostly due to shallow water. We discussed a few things about the things to come throughout the year, and how pumped we were at the possibilities at hand. We said our goodbyes and headed for home for the evenings festivities. On my hour and a half drive home I couldn't help but think about the days events and the opportunity that had been given to me as a contributor. The ideas for things to come are endless. It's the effort we put in that will give us something out of it in the long run,and this was my final conclusion. This related to my day of fishing. It was that extra effort that I gave to catch that second fish of the day that made it that much more rewarding for me. It got me thinking of all those times I had been out fishing in my life where there was little to no action at all, but right towards the end of the trip out I always managed something by that little extra effort. So keep an eye on the Illinois Wisconsin Fishing Blog for 2012 because we go forth with that extra effort! Tight Lines and Happy Fishing!
Root River Fishing Report:
Brown Trout are schooling up in deeper pools with slower moving water.
Flies of choice: Egg Sucking Leech, Black Prince, And Egg Patterns
Wind:5-10 mph out of the North