August 28, 2015

The New/Old 2016 Trout Season


The new rules make the opener the first Saturday of January yearly only where the  the early catch and release season already exists.. The fall season extends from the current Sept. 30 to Oct. 15. Opening day of 2016 Small Stream Catch and Release Season will be the January 2nd.  It will always open the first Saturday in January no matter the year.

I took the wording directly off the WDNR website and had to modify it to take away confusion.

  If it is still unclear here it is.  Small Stream Trout in Wisconsin opens yearly on the first Saturday of January.   The season does not open any new water that was not already open during the catch and release seasons from recent years past.  The week buffer between catch and release season and regular season no longer exists  Regular season opens the first Saturday in May.  The catch and release and artificial only season closes the day before. Read the new regulation closely because many things have changed and the regulation are very long and cumbersome.
I am old enough to remember the old January season where you could use any method and harvest trout.  One thing burns brightly in my memory.  The large trout were easier to catch due to them schooling up in deep holes.  Many large trout were harvested during this era.  I believe this is why the season was abolished.  The catch and release crowd did not like the harvest of large trout.
 Flash to the future on 2016 opener.  Worms can not be used and no harvest is allowed during early season.  Anglers are looking through rose colored glasses if they think no big trout will die during catch and release season.  The harsh Wisconsin winter can cause mortality on those big trout while they are being unhooked.  I guess it goes with the territory.  You are using a sharp hook to catch them with from the beginning. 
 The new Gulp night crawlers have not been deemed illegal for early season if the worm anglers need to scratch their itch.  Big lures and flies are a must during frigid fishing. The trout will not move for a small tidbit during cold conditions.  Leave the entrees at home and throw the main course at them.  It is a calorie intake versus calories expended to catch and eat thing. 
 January trout fishing is a whole new experience.  The waters are typical gin clear. The leaves are off the trees and the stream bed has fewer weeds in them.  Trout feel exposed and search for deeper slower holes to winter in.  Shadowed areas take longer to warm up.  They should be saved for later in the day.
The anglers must be extra stealthy when fishing in snowy conditions.  Their outlines are much easier to see against the snow.  A low profile is a must. Felt wading boots are WRONG during these days.  They will ice up and turn in to glorified skis. 
 I remember driving around streams in the weeks before winter season opened.  I was timing the time of day the shelf ice went off the water.  Going early in January season is foolhardy.  Many times during my driving and scouting I discovered areas that never froze over.  These were the optimal spots to fish.  That meant there must be a spring emptying in nearby and the trout were attracted to these areas like magnets.
 I have read many old sages preaching the 40 degree water temperature threshold for optimal fishing success. This data can be thrown out the window in early season.  If you wait for the water to be near 40 degrees in January and February you will be not fishing at all.  I have personally caught trout in temperatures under 20 degrees.
Be prepared for this new/old season.  Have a second set of clothing for the stumble and fall in the water.  Wet clothing can be fatal during early season.  That wading belt is extra important then.  It keeps the water from even a small fall in shallow water from getting way down in your waders. Hand warmers are a must also. Warm hats are essential due to losing most of your body heat through your head. 
  If you are over dressed it can make for a short outing.  You will sweat and then stop to fish and ice up.  You can always take off layer but never can add them if you didn't bring them with.
Keep the trout in the water as much as possible in frigid temperatures. Nets are a must during these periods.  The deeper net the better. Their eyes and gills can be severely injured when being exposed too long.  If a glory shot is required do it as quickly as possible and limit the photos. Avoid laying trout on the ground or net for a photo.  The digital cameras lose their charges quickly during ultra cold weather.  Keep the camera in an inside pocket.
 Look for springs and swamps in your fishing area.  These are thermals and will warm your main branch. These will be keys to catching decent trout.  Fish those holes and fish them slowly and deep.  Size up your presentations.  Trout fight much less during cold water conditions.  Get them unhooked and back in.  Stay WARM!

 I discovered this tiny ice free stream in late January.  It had no deep holding areas but where it fed in to the large stream did and I hammered the big trout back in the old January season.

Simply Creekside Vacation Rental

Excellent vacation rental for trout fishing, turkey hunting, and deer hunting.

In the heart of the Wisconsin driftless area in rural Crawford County.

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Simply Creekside

August 25, 2015

what shall I eat first

decisions...decisions...what shall I eat first on vacation?


August 24, 2015

Leave On Saturday


I made a check list of things to take with me on vacation. I have already packed my bag two times to make sure everything fits properly. One thing that is NOT going with me on vacation is the internet. I will take loads of photos while we are there but I don't want to spoil our vacation with one of us being on the internet and missing a special moment that we could remember for a lifetime. I will share photos when we return. We leave this Saturday and will return 2 weeks later.  Daughter staying home. She will have two college friends staying with her while we are gone.


Three Keys To Catching A Tiger Trout

Looked through my log books and there were three keys to catching a tiger trout.

Two were obvious. Need to have brooks and browns in waterway.

 The third key was ALL tigers I have caught or I have seen being caught have been within 30 yards or closer of a spring feeding in upstream.