November 28, 2013

Reading Water


First time on this waterway.

Tell me where the prime lays are?

Map the bottom for me and tell me why you think it lays like that.

You say you can't see the bottom so you don't know?

There are ways of getting around that.

Mother nature made this stream

November 27, 2013


Really Looking Forward To 2014 Trout Season

I hope my back surgery next week relieves some of my back pain and I can hit the streams in 2014 like I am accustom to .

November 26, 2013

Return To Brigadoon Creek

The stream was merely a trickle feeding in to the main stream.  I considered turning back.  The mud was deep and the wading was like aerobic exercise. The old greybeards words kept repeating in my head.  The one thing I most remember was them saying they quit fishing because their arms were tired from catching fish.  I thought I could handle such a problem.

The stream widened and there before me was a really decent hole that had some current and a downed tree on the left side of it.  I visualized a Leviathan under those roots and cast right at him.  My lure was rocked with no hook up.  A smile was plastered on my face and I threw in there until the trout quit hitting.  I landed a good number of trout from this hole. If this was a preview of coming attractions I was going to have the day of my life.

My enthusiasm soon waned due to the lack of decent holes. The holes were far apart.  I caught a couple trout in every little indent and cut along the way.  The streams started to seriously shallow up.  I was bummed and getting a little pessimistic.

 I had not seen a hole that could even hold trout for 80 yards.  The water was crystal clear.  The stream and outdoor temperatures were good .  There was still a little time before the sun got high in the sky and turned off the trout.  I trudged forward.  I had finally found this mythical paradise and I was not going to give up easily.

The water was not even over the top of my wading boots.  I was discouraged until I saw the left side of the waterway about 60 yards upstream.  Decades of spring floods had carved a sheer wall.  The flood line was up the bank a good 30 feet. With raging water of this magnitude,  I knew there certainly was a decent hole coming ahead.

I was hurrying at first because of my drought in the fish department but I soon slowed my approach and became more stealthy when I saw the hole ahead of me.  There it was before me.  The outside wall of "Brigadoon" was there and I liked what I saw.  The water was gin clear and there was obviously a very deep moat at the foot of the wall. I could see huge boulders in the long crystal clear depths of the em-battlement.

 I fought the impulse to throw right in there and paused to assess and make a battle plan.  This seldom fished hole was crystal clear and the residents had to be seriously shy.  Any poorly placed cast might put the trout down and cause the giants I was targeting to hug the bottom or hid behind those huge boulders and never show themselves.  I could not really see the entire lay of the hole from where I was.  There was little current in the hole.  If I waded up any father I might send ripples across the surface and spook any eager trout.

I decided my best guess was going to have to do with my first cast placement.  I let a long cast fly and it landed true.  My retrieve was almost instantly rewarded with a hit and I fought a thrashing small to medium sized brown through the "heart" of the hole.  I didn't like this because the smarter big trout would surely be spooked now.

My second cast was a little shorter and near the submerged boulders.  The hole erupted with trout racing from four directions after my offering.  It literally looked like they ran into each other to be first at my lure.  There was a huge commotion at hook up and the water boiled.  I thought to myself:  "Here is that huge trout I thought lived here!!"  As I got the trout closer to me I saw something truly amazing.  I had a double on a single spinner.  Two small to medium browns were hooked on one panther martin.  I had never had this happen before.  I eased up on my battle.  I wanted to get a photo of this probable once in a lifetime twin hook-up.  Before I could get the two browns to my net, one shook loose.

I fished this hole until I quit getting hits.  I landed 20 trout from this hole and had another dozen hits.  The prospect of finding more holes like this made me giddy.  Off I went to the next hole.

Again the stream skinnied up seriously.  I slowly walked along and thought as I walked past unproductive water.  I questioned the stream and its ability to give me what I wanted.  I wanted big trout and lots of them.  I gave this stream a C+ rating and was about to turn around and then  I saw what looked like a beaver dam in the distance.  Again I was full of hope and my step picked up.  The dam was quite a ways upstream.  The sun was getting pretty straight up in the sky.  I was still positive.

There it was.  A very long medium to shallow beaver dam.  The dam was clogged with weeds and my casts were rewarded with weeds every cast. The sun was directly over head and any smart trout were tucked under the weeds out of the bright sunlight. This beaver dam had serious promise. The promise was unwarranted. I didn't even take a photo of the beaver dam.  I was deflated and upstream I went.

The long walk back to the vehicle had me thinking and decided this was not my Brigadoon Creek due to the lack of large trout in this seldom fished stream.  There was a serious population problem for this stream.  With that many trout in a waterway it was almost impossible for any trout to achieve the giant sizes I had envisioned in this stream.

 I was dejected as I put my gear away and filed the stream in my log book as a C- and a return trip was possibly warranted but not essential.  I never returned to this creek in 2013.

Here it is late November 2013.  Season has been closed since September 30th.  I went over my log books and there it was looking me right in the face.  Brigadoon creek may fish better in Spring when the weeds are not abundant in the huge beaver dam.  Maybe I had attacked the two best holes in the early part of the outing wrong and spooked any possible smart massive trout in those holes. Maybe a cloudy or rainy day was a better choice of battle plan.

Those submerged huge rocks could have held a couple trout of a lifetime.  That root system cast where I was rocked and had no hook up could have been a 20 inch brook trout.

We trout angler are dreamers.  

I am scheduled for back surgery on December 3rd, 2013. Fusion of L4/L5.  I believe 2014 will find a more fit trout angler.

A return to Brigadoon Creek in 2014 is on my calendar.

95 days

November 24, 2013

The Heart Of A Deer Hunter "Rodney Johnson"

Rod and I have have been good friends since I was 14 years old.  His family took me deer hunting many times when I was young.  The whole Johnson Clan is very warmhearted and a generous bunch.

Last year about this time of the year Rod was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer.  The prognosis was not very good.  Rod and his wife Karen stayed positive and Rod started chemo-therapy earlier this year.  There was a benefit for Rod at the Gays Mills Community Center recently.  Rod looked skinny and his color was not very good.  He is a fighter and it was obvious he and his family was doing all they could do to battle his cancer.

The bills were racking up for the cancer treatment so a benefit for Rod and Karen was planned.  There was an overwhelming turn out for the benefit.  Over double the number of people that the family projected for attendance came to support Rod and Karen.

About a month ago Rod had a portion of his colon removed.  They believe they got the cancer in his colon but, the cancer in the liver was still present.  The doctors are going to aggressively attack the cancer in Rod's liver next week.

I ran into Rod last Friday night.  He was at his traditional night before Deer Hunting gathering at the local pub.  Since his surgery he gained back 10 pounds and his color returned to normal.  He seemed like the same old Rodney.  He told me about some type of aggressive chemo wash he was going to get the next week.  He showed me direct line that the doctors had placed in his chest for chemotherapy.  He was very upbeat and announced he was going hunting opening day.

Rod showed me his special permit for hunting.  Wisconsin allows seriously sick hunters to hunt from their vehicles .  Rod was really pumped up about going hunting.  He told me he would be satisfied with even a little doe.  He was just happy that he could deer hunt with his illness.  We sat and talked for 3-4 hours about the old days and hunts past.  When I left I told him that he was going to get a big buck and no small doe.

Rod parked his truck out in the pasture behind the family farm opening day.  Right after first light Rod harvested this massive buck.
Photo by Linda Johnson  Thanks Linda for all you have done for Rod.

Having cancer is very scarey but if you fight it and be positive you can beat it.   Rod you have many more deer hunting years in your future.


97 Days Until Trout Opener