Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Walleye Pattern Continues To Pay Off

 A few weeks ago a good friend of mine Ron came out to my home lake of Candlewick. The walleye pattern has continued to pay off for the last few months. This guy measured in at 16 1/4". Not to shabby for a night on the water.
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Exploring the Kish

Summer has finally rolled in at full force, and brought a heat wave with it. I have been over consumed with the summer activities. Kids baseball and softball games, Deer food plots, fall hunting scouting, fishing, little miss beauty pageant for my daughter, and so on and so on.  I have only fished a handful of times in the past few weeks but have had some success.

I finally made my way back down to the Kishwaukee River in Boone CO. this past week. The river is starving for some rain just like the row crops that lined the rivers edge. I only found an hour of time to explore and try to hook into something. I brought with my 8wt. fly rod to try for pike and a spinning rod with a twister tail attached to try and hook whatever would bite. I ended up empty handed with the fly rod, but  I did however manage to hook into one fish and miss two others with the twister tail. I was hoping it was a smallmouth , but in fact it was the exact opposite, Largemouth. He wasn't monstrous, but it was a hook and land.

This little guy may have been pushing 6 inches if that. It was nice to see a largemouth in the river system though. I still have more to explore, and feel that I will find a good pike sooner than later. It will take some more trekking through the thick brush and fallen over trees, but it should turn out in my favor once I come across a nice deep pool.
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

clinton lake summer bass fishing report

clinton lake largemouth bass
My buddy is an avid local tournament angler from the Clinton Lake area. From time to time he likes to drop me a report on the bite and conditions. Here it is...

I caught this fish on Saturday. What I'm finding out, the water temps are in the high 80s down here. There are an abundance of fish down about 8 feet of water. For the last couple of weeks it seems like that's where they are hiding out. The fish don't seem to have moved far just to the deep end of whatever cover they were on before.  Catching multiples in one area is very realistic right now. When you do find a bass, he was there for a reason so soak that area in search of others.

Thanks Santa, your reports are always appreciated.
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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

fly guy correspondence

On the fishing front, its been a highly uneventful week. On the home front things are quite the opposite though. We have just closed out T-ball season and finished a garage sale. Summer football camp for our oldest is going strong and with summer break in full swing, my wife has been on a steady diet of trips to the pool, beach and Six Flags. My work schedule has been relentless but am greatly looking forward to next week when I will finally be on vacation. It is a long overdue chance to catch up on my honey-do list but I'm looking forward mostly to getting reacquainted with the river.

Though my presence on the water has been limited, its been great keeping up with a few of the guys I've trading emails with. Their success has fueled my fire and continues to push me through till the end of this week.

River levels are reaching some serious lows and with no rain in the 10 day forecast I don't see conditions changing soon. My buddy reports the fish are stacking in serious numbers in the deep water. 20 fish out of a single pool is unreal and a sure sign that if you find one your sure to find the many.

even with the low flow the milwaukee river still gives up some great smallies
Through our email exchanges we are helping each other uncover some of the mysteries held within this 100 miles of bass and pike fishing paradise. The funny thing is, we haven't come across a bad area yet. So, for you wondering where on the Milwaukee is the hottest spot, I would have to say anywhere in the water. If anyone else is interested in exchanging some info or sharing some photos and reports on the Milwaukee, drop me a line.

ahh yes, fish with teeth

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

endurance- the plight of the wade fisherman

Have you ever just looked at a spot and knew you had to fish it?

It could have been a quick glance over a shoulder driving 70 down a country road. Even sitting on your computer scouring over Google satellite images, some places you just know there are fish. More often then not, these places may not be easy for the wade fisherman to reach. A lot of the best pools in a river don’t reside in public parks or within walking distance from bridge easements. The harder it is to reach, the more I just have to fish it.

But how you might say?

Some spots are just impossible to reach, others are highly unlikely, and some just take a tad bit of finesse. Now by no means would I ever suggest anyone should trespass for a fish, I gave up sneaking into private lakes and ponds in my youth. But, answer honestly and I bet a good number of you have done it before. I focus mostly on the spots that take some "finesse" cause impossible and unlikely usually come with some sort of fines.

Rapids dropping into some nice dark water always looks so appealing. Just below that a few nice turns with some more dark water on the outside bend, even better. This stretch of the Milwaukee River was just calling my name. Unfortunately, it sat sandwiched in between an upscale residential area on one side and private agriculture area on the other. The populated side was well spread out private homes in a pretty well to do neighborhood. No street side parking here and even worse the homes back up to some thick forest before reaching the river. The agriculture side was the back of a huge farm field and the closest road wasn’t close at all. You most likely could enter from the main road but parking is non-existent with no shoulder and steep embankments on both sides.  In the more rural setting, public places don’t grow on trees. Even if you do find parking, the wade upstream is far and on private property in Wisconsin you must keep your feet wet.

The real question would be, how far are you willing to walk to get there?

I don’t know about you, because distance isn’t relative but the perception of distance is. Its all risk vs. reward, pain vs. gain, but you'll know you've bought in when the benefit outweighs cost. People all get there at different points. I’m pretty sure its not all that important how far I actually walked, or the amount of time it took. So what, I crawled through the foulest smelling waist high backwater muck in just a swimsuit. Leeches and ticks, who cares.

What does matter is that I made it!

A lot of people ask why I drive so far or go through so much effort to catch fish? Can’t you catch em' right down the road? I don’t think they understand me. Getting there has always and forever will be half the fun.

Oh yeah, as for that pool, it kicked some serious ass!

the pool in question, sexy right?

plenty of fish to share, but sadly i had to catch them all myself

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

peak rotary vise- review

1st fly on my new Peak Rotary Vise
Expensive rods, reels, and lures don't make a better fisherman. In tying, a more expensive vise or materials won't teach you the technical skills to become a better craftsman. Lets be honest, these are just tools to make the job easier. Last night the kids and wife surprised me with an early fathers day present.  The Peak Rotary Vise is an entry level vise at a more then reasonable price. Made in Loveland Colorado, its also nice to know that your supporting families inside the U.S.

A few of the other online reviews gave this unit high marks with the only negative they had to say was the plastic knobs that tighten the tension on the rotary arm. In my opinion this is a non issue, and I'm sure this is a intentional design idea to keep from metal on metal contact in the turning mechanism. Set up was super simple and the unit was nearly ready to go right out of the box. I did choose to not mount the bobbin cradle cause I found it to get more in my way then actually serving a purpose. The rotary arm functions great and turns as smooth as a well oiled piece of hydraulics. 

Keep in mind I'm only a few flies in on this vice but I do have to say that its a serious upgrade from the ten dollar clamp on I was tying on before. I'll be sure to add some updates to this post as I progress with this vise.

You can reach Peak at 

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

wisconsin river smallmouth bass

It started with steelhead and salmon and progressed to stream trout. Then the local pond bluegills began to fall victim to dries and now it’s the bass that are chasing down the feather and fur. It really has been a transformation ever since I first picked up a fly rod and now the pinnacle of every species is taking a respectable specimen with a self tied imitation.

flyfishing the upper wisconsin river
 Just starting to jump into the warm water fly fishing, the upper Wisconsin River could possibly be one of the best venues in the entire state. Known for the smallmouth and musky fishing, the river here is teaming with an abundance of some of the most desirable game fish in the entire state of Wisconsin. There are plenty of resident fish to keep you busy year round as well as migratory runs from the connecting flowages and lakes that will seasonally pack the river with fish. In one single morning here we caught smallmouth, largemouth, red horse, crappie, rock bass, walleye, pike, and lost a musky on the rocks. If that doesn't speak for the diversity of this fishery then I don’t know what would.

wisconsin river smallmouth bass
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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Father & Son Outings

  As far back as I can remember, my greatest memories are spending time fishing with my Dad. Ever since I was 6 I believe, I have been fishing with one of my greatest mentors of the sport, my Dad. As I progressively get older I am starting to make those memories and teach my son the ways of fisherman and outdoorsman alike. In the past few weeks I have spent time on the water with both my son and my Dad, continuing the family tradition of fishing. Outstanding results have come from the waters. Walleyes,Bluegills, Crappies, Large and Small mouth, and even a handful of perch have been brought in on our lines.

  The first outing I wanted to share is the catch my son landed this past Saturday night. He has been extremely proud of it, but not as proud as I. He set the hook, reeled, and landed his second Walleye ever. This 16" googly eyed fish took him for a ride on his old zebco rod and reel combo. Because we where fishing at night I couldn't get a good pic to come out so we got a cool head shot back at home.

  My son has never been the bragging type, but I would have to say that every day since landing his biggest and second walleye ever, he has bragged non stop to everyone.

  The second outing I wanted to share took place on this past Sunday. After a hearty walleye/crappie fish fry, my dad and I headed out on the old Sylvan in search of some Bass. The old man used to fish Bass tourneys back in the day, and ever since his passion has been mostly focused on these finned monsters. I may have caught more fish number wise, but the old guy has still got it in him when it comes to finding quality fish. Most of all though it was just nice to shoot the shit, and get a line wet with dad. Quality times that are irreplaceable, and mean the world to me.

  Dad started off and finished off with one of his favorites, the Black Buzzbait. With temps rising here in the Midwest and Summer starting to get into full swing, the top water bite has kicked off with a bang. Lures also successful for the day was the twister tail and a stand-up jig with a green fluke worm. Here was a quality largemouth caught by dad.

  As for myself, I have caught so many fish as of recently I have lost count. On a better note though my walleye patterning has become a definite pattern, so stay tuned for more to come on that. One of my better fish that I have caught recently was this almost 11" Crappie.

  Father and sons or fathers and daughters, either way this is one of the best ways to get our youth involved in the great outdoors. Educating our youth to preserve our resources for generations to come is one of the most important things to me. Brad Bohen of Musky Country Outfitters put it best in the zero to hero flick.

 " The whole idea of Musky Country would be mute if it was only about the glory of the fish, or how good we are doing, or any of that, but it's really about the celebration of what we have here as a resource. Everybody owns a piece of this and it is special. It is a very very unique and special place. All the drama and romance that goes along with getting one is great, but it would be perverted as hell if that's all it was about, and if that was the only reason we where here. But when it really happens, there aint nothin like it."
                                                                                   -Brad Bohen

  I think this stands true when it comes to anything outdoors. The best way I have found to keep this true to myself is to teach the youth about what we have at our fingertips.
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

big strides

He's getting dangerous... Casting, burning some cranks and hooking fish all on his own now, we have come a long way since the end of last year.

the first pond we saw after picking up his new rod
I'm getting far more enjoyment from teaching him to fish then any time I've ever held a fishing rod in my own hand. He's soaking the info in and asking for more. An hour after getting home he was already asking to go back out again today. I'm gonna start to break him in on a constant supply of pond bass this summer. Wish us luck!

neighborhood retention pond fish at its best

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