February 08, 2014

Late March Opener

Zero chances of me being out with crutches.  The microfracture surgery makes me feel like I could freeze out there if I fall with crutches.

I am hard core not stupid.

February 07, 2014

Pandora's Box


Slot limits for inland trout.

Extending season for c/r a/o folks only.

Regs will be more complicated.

VOTE NO on all six proposals  that are trout related at Spring meetings.

February 06, 2014

John "Hornberg" Armstrong

The best fly angler I have ever fished with is hands down bar none John Armstrong.  He use to live in Madison and now lives in a suburb of Atlanta.  WE use to fish 3 times a week when he worked locally.  We fish once or twice a year these days.

I will set the stage for the story.  John has been out fishing with his buddy Todd during the day.  John is all pumped up about an incident that happened when Todd was battling a medium sized trout.  John told me that an extra large sized brown attacked Todd's fish while he was battling it.  He wanted to go right out after it with me.  I told John to give the trout a rest for a couple days and I would be his net man.

The next night John is on the phone and he wants to go out at about 7am the next morning.  John is so fired up he has already tied a fly on to try to catch the aggressive monster in the hole.

John had a size 6 hornberg on.  He told he he had a small split shot back about 12 inches and he had a big glob of biostrike about 5 feet back.  He guessed the hole to be 4 feet deep.  His plan was to dredge the crease he saw the trout retreat into after it attacked the other trout. He had it on his lucky Fenwick rod with a 9 foot new 2X leader.

We met up at 6:30am in Gays Mills and we were off after that aggressive male brown.

He had discovered the fish so it was his to catch.  I stayed back 80 yards so my movements would not spook John's trout.

The second cast in to the hole John had a large trout on and was shouting for me to come net it.  This fish hunkered down on the bottom for quite a while before coming to the surface and me netting it.

John was happy with his brown and fished some more and I went home and he was off to Madison.

That night the phone rang.  John was on the line and he said the fish he caught that day was not the trout he had seen chasing and biting that other brown.  He was certain it was a different fish he caught.  I dismissed the notion in my mind of two extra large trout in the same small hole.  John was certain and wanted to go out again.  He didn't have time until the weekend.

 He called me on Friday night and said he was coming in the morning with a father and son in tow.  He had promised the father to help teach his son how to fly fish.  We all bailed out of the vehicles at the same parking area from earlier that week.  John wanted to see if he was right and there was another big different trout in the hole.  John had already tied on the hornberg and he was biting at the bit to go try.

I let John and the father go ahead of me and the son.  The son picked up on the fly rod quickly and caught a really nice brookie right away.  Then I heard the familiar cry by John of "LEN!!"

We both ran to John and he was still battling another different bigger trout in that same hole.  The father and son watched as John battled the trout.  The father waded in and tried to net John's trout but his net was not big enough.  I tossed him my big net.

If you don't have a couple hornbergs in your fly box, you should have.

This stretch had the rights sold to the WDNR 2 years later and the wonderful hole was destroyed with the Habitat Improvement nonsense.

Hate This Weather!!

Tomorrow Having Knee Surgery

First off I will have some torn meniscus trimmed and then will have bone spurs and floating cartilage removed and then I will have microfracture surgery. They may go in and decide my knee is not able to be repaired and schedule full knee replacement.  I didn't know what microfracture surgery was so I thought some of you might not know either and I decided to share what it was.

 Knee microfracture surgery

Knee microfracture surgery is a common procedure used to repair damaged knee cartilage. Cartilage helps cushion and cover the area where bones meet in the joints.


The surgeon will make a 1/4-inch surgical cut (incision) on your knee.
  • A long, thin tube with a camera on the end is placed through this cut. This is called an arthroscope. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room. This tool lets the surgeon to look inside your knee area and work on the joint.
  • The surgeon makes another surgical cut and passes tools through this opening. A small pointed tool called an awl is used to make very small holes in the bone near the damaged cartilage. These are called microfractures.
These holes release cells in your bones that build new cartilage that replaces the damaged tissue. This can only be done on small area of damaged cartilage (not widespread knee arthritis)

Why the Procedure is Performed

You may need this procedure if you have damage to the cartilage in the knee joint and under the kneecap.
The goal of this surgery is to prevent or slow further damage to the cartilage. This will help prevent knee arthritis. It can help you avoid the need for a partial or total knee replacement.
This procedure is also used to treat knee pain due to cartilage injuries.

It will require me to be on crutches for 6 weeks and after that I will wear a custom made brace for a while.

February 04, 2014

Coach Bobby Knight Loves The Driftless

LDH Nets "Beautiful Handmade Nets"


You say brookies don't need to be netted.  Think again!
My birdseye maple steelhead net was needed for this pose.

This walnut burl net with an extra deep bag cradles this butter brown for a photo before release.

 The net handle fits perfectly between your legs and the deep bag keeps the trout in the water while your photographer focuses the camera for your "Glory Shot"

 Use the right tool for the job.

 This huge small stream male brown was diving for a submerged tree when I swooped in with the extra large opening in this sweet net to thwart his escape.

 If you have ever had a big trout straighten itself out in a shallow net and complicate the landing you will appreciate the very deep non-tapered bag in this wonderful net.

 A good net is a must for the real "Trout Hunters" out there!!!

 The net fits perfectly between your shoulders secured with a Rose Creek net release.


February 03, 2014

Made him in to a believer in a NET!

 The tug is the drug!!

Octopus And Pasta

6 small octopus cut up
Boil for one hour in 4 cups of water to tenderize the octopus.
190 for one hour.

Check octopus to see if tender after an hour.

Pour liquid contents in pan and save for later.

Cut octopus in bite sized pieces.

Put 2 cups of saved liquid in pan along with a dozen pitted black olives halved.  One dozen capers.  One large yellow onion diced.  Two teaspoons hot paprika.  One large can diced tomatoes. One stalk celery chopped.  Three ounces chopped parsley. One cup red wine. One tablespoon diced garlic. One teaspoon crushed bay leaf. One cup water.  Bring to boil for 20 minutes.  Stir often.
 Add octopus bites.  Let simmer on low for 10 minutes.

Add half a bag of Number 20 Mezzi Rigatoni Pasta and stir in.

Let simmer on low five minutes.  Turn off heat and leave cover on for 20 minutes and serve.

Not Same Fish

These 2 fish were caught near to one another. They were caught 2 years apart.  I was always wondering if they were one and the same.

Was 24 inches in the first photo on the left and 2 years later the one on the right was caught and it was 27 inches.

Four Weeks From Today

I will have fished opening weekend.  My knees and back will be killing me.

Monday will be a day of rest and tuesday I will be back at it.

 Any questions?

February 02, 2014


 The little bush on the middle top I walked by the first time I fished this stretch.  As I walked by there were fish screaming every direction.

The next time I fished this I caught over a dozen fish under that bush.  The current dug out a bath tub sized hole and there were many eager brook trout under there.