February 20, 2015

Frank From Cleveland

A dozen or so years ago Frank and Erik drove all the way up here from Cleveland Ohio to fish the driftless with me.  This was back when I guided.  They came back a couple times more and I guided them then too.  When I stopped guiding about 8 years ago they were disappointed.  I just picked up a rod and went with them fishing.  I really hated guiding anyway.  It was like going to a gold mine without a shovel.  Frank has been a regular here yearly.  Erik came about every other year.

The phone rang last September and it was Frank.  He and three friends were making a pilgrimage to the heart of the driftless and it was happening soon.  Erik was flying in later and the wayward "buckeyes" were going to pick him up at the airport.

I didn't hear from him for a couple days.  It was noon and there was a knock on the door.  Three anglers clad in waders all shuffled into my house.  They were trying their dangdest to get me out fishing.  My knee had not rehabbed completely and I declined.  Before they left I marked a few places on their gazetteer to try.

Two days later I called them and stopped by at their campsite.  They were all tired and a little downtrodden.  They were catching lots of trout but no big ones like they were accustom to from prior trips.  Frank was admiring my hat pine and I thought what the heck and gave it to him for luck.  I fine tuned a couple areas on the gazetteer and Frank and his crew were off on their crusade.  Frank was sporting a new hat pin and a renewed charge in his battery.
The next morning my phone was ringing at 7am.  It was Frank on the caller id.  He was blathering on the phone.  He went in exactly where I told him to go.  He was throwing a giant black articulated leech.  He told me to check my email for photos.  He thanked me profusely for the good luck hat pin. At the end of the conversation he asked me for my net makers name.  Frank said his net was woefully inadequate.

I went back to bed and rolled out about 9am.  I went to my emails.

I am pretty sure Frank and his crew will be back in 2015.

February 19, 2015

February 18, 2015

Brookie Of A Lifetime

It was 14 years ago.  I remember it just like it happened yesterday.  I was fishing in Wisconsin's early catch and release season.  I was fishing a public stretch that seldom gets fished due to the vegetation.  I almost always fish upstream.  I saw a deep hole in front of me and started to get excited.  The Spring floods had cut a deep swath through the normal channel.  I guessed it at about 7-8 feet deep.  There was a huge downed tree flanking the hole in the water.

It looked like XL brown trout water.  I looked at the lay of the hole and decided where the biggest trout in the hole would lay..I cast just above the deep step drop and ran my presentation through the monster's lair.  There was a medium sized swirl and no takers.  I fired right back in there.

The resident of the hole freight trained my lure.  It didn't feel huge so I was kinda nonchalant fighting it.  Then I got a glimpse of red and white fins and they were huge.  I eased up on the pressure and decided to battle this obvious huge brookie properly.  I got it near the surface once and saw it was barely hooked.  I slowed the fight to a crawl.  I wanted to get a photo of this monster.  I finally get it to shore after a long extended battle and glance at its gills and they are loaded with gill lice.

I hurried to unhook it so I can release it.  It floundered and rolled on its side.  I  got that sick feeling in the pit of your stomach. I asked myself if I battled this giant too long?  Had its ability to breath properly been compromised by the parasites attached to its gills.

I tried for 45 minutes to revive it.  I let it go finally thinking this giant small stream brookie is going to make it.  A couple swishes of it tail and then it goes up on its side.  I left it there because it is out in the middle of the deep pool because there was nothing more I do for it and it was C/R only season.

I went home wishing the best for the giant brookie I released.  My curiosity got the best of me and I went back to the hole the next day.  Its lifeless body laid in the center of the hole.

 This football shaped brook trout was obviously a carnivore.  It fought a valiant fight but the stress of the battle and gill lice were more than it could tolerate.

February 16, 2015

Another Opener Possibility

A spring feeding in just 15 yards upstream.

New Kype Magazine

 Check out page 54 and 55.

Kype Magazine
Click above link

Bean Soup

2 small bags of Navy beans soaked over night in water.

Rinse beans and put back in crock pot.

Add water up to 3/4s full crock pot.

Added pepper.

Add 1/2 pound bacon scraps browned.

Add 3/4 pound spiral ham scraps

Add one large yellow onion diced.

Add two heaping teaspoons diced garlic

Add a cup of chopped spinach.

Slow cook on low for 9 hours.

Salt to taste.

February 15, 2015

Narrowed Down To Three Places For Opener

Deep wintering hole
Nice thermals here
First choice if not ice covered,