April 09, 2016

The Buggers

All below trout were caught on woolly buggers.

April 07, 2016


Going to my childhood stumping grounds sunday to dredge some log jams and under cut banks.


North American
plural noun: boondocks
rough, remote, or isolated country. Where the big trout live.

"we're out here in the boondocks, miles from a telephone"

synonyms:backwater, hinterland, backwoods, backcountry, middle of nowhere;
wasteland, bush Large Trout;
informalboonies, sticks, trout as big as your arm.

Every April my anticipation grows.  My favorite kind of water is almost ready to fish.  I affectionately call these areas the Boondocks. I always need to wait until the water warms up a little.  A trip there early will be void of trout. They are the areas that are over grown by the end of May and not able to accessed by foot.

This hinterland is seldom fished and the trout are shy and weary. They are much more likely to hit a large offering this time of the year.  Their stomachs are aching for a big meal.

  The cold harsh Wisconsin winter has them near thermals.  Above and below the picture above are tiny trickles feeding into the main waterway.  They are almost magnetically attracted to these thermals.  Even a four degree temperature upgrade can mean catching Mr. Big or him hiding under the lip of the banks.

These days the trout are ultra sunshine weary.  They are use to the weeds hanging over the banks and covering their movements.  Running slowly close to the banks on the non-sunshine side is key these days.

They have not decided to venture very far from their winter lays yet.  They still shun fast water and an under cut bank by slow water can by fruitful.

Thermals can be springs feeding in or even the run off from a swamp.  Swamps are nothing more than large springs spread out over a large area.


April 06, 2016

Blast From Past

The time I went with Coach Knight turkey hunting in Crawford County.

April 05, 2016

Five Day Outlook

Sunday looks like the day to fish. little windy...find a watershed that runs east west so the hills can block the wind.

Wednesday and Thursday look a little rainy. 

Streams should be ok by the weekend.  Some of the bigger waterways may take longer to clear.


April 04, 2016

Beaver Dams

They typically back up water when they are first built and mean lots of trout for the angler.

The WDNR shocked a huge brown out of this dam a couple years running.  The land owner told me about the 29 incher he had on his wall that he discovered while he went along on a shocking trip. This stream had a thriving brook trout population but is protected these days due to gill lice.  No brookies are allowed to be harvested due to the scourge that is gill lice.

The PH changes in long established dams and is typically detrimental to trout.  Dams also block seasonal spawning. Dams are breeding grounds for gill lice. The biggest male small stream brown I have ever seen was caught behind this dam.

 I caught 24 brookies at this dam and never moved from my casting spot. This is one of the streams that no longer supports brook trout due to gill lice.

The beavers have had this dam for 2 years now on the headwaters of one of my favorite streams.  The spring that supplies the life to this stream is only 80 yards upstream of this massive beaver dam.  The water spreading out over a larger area gives the water more surface area and warms the water way artificially and it could have long term detrimental effects on the trout population.

Dan Braun and I had a veritable field day behind this small dam slamming brown after brown.


Not a single trout was caught behind this warm stagnant dam this day.

 This stream was my best brook trout stream and it now has none.  It was also a big time tiger trout stream and no tigers there now.

 Beaver dams long term are not an angler's friend.  Beaver runs can be way dangerous to step in and the pongee sticks the beavers leave behind can impale an angler.


Beaver dams are not good for the stream and you should contact the WDNR and tell them about dams you have found.

Gill lice thrive in beaver dams.

Please contact the WDNR when you find a beaver dam.

April 03, 2016

Barb Out Wandering Again

Barb went to The Kickapoo Valley Reserve today to hike another trail.

Some trees on the rock face of the Kickapoo River that could no longer stay upright.

Steps up to KVR Visitor's Center.

Barb loves taking tree photos.

 Birch trees are my favorite.

A scary bridge that only creaked a little when Barb crossed it.

Six miles later on Old 131 Trail she came home.

Trip Report Crawford County Not Typical

Drove down to southwest Crawford county and accessed some streams from the road.

One stretch screamed for me to wet a line.  I fished for 1 hour and landed 21 browns.  One was decent sized but got off before I could net it.

Landed 5 from this hole.

Landed a dozen from this huge beaver dam.  Is where I lost big fish of the day.

Went to another nearby stream and caught a couple more.

About 300 yards from the vehicle I saw movement in the weeds about 50 yards from me.  There is a hound that visits  some of the time while I fish.  I remember it well.  A big floppy eared coon dog that always wants petting and swims in the water in front of me and ruins my fishing.

The movement kept getting closer and I finally caught a glimpse of color through the weeds.  No coon dog colors.  It was black in color and way big.  I had seen bear tracks on this stream before.  My mind began to race.

I thought bear and then I thought mother bear and it being protective of its cubs.  I started searching my vest pockets for my bear spray.  I then remembered I gave it to my wife for her hiking.

Next thought was to climb a tree.  No decent trees and if there was I might have a hard time getting up one with my bad knees.  Running was out of the question also. I waded out into the beaver dam to the top of my waders.  I thought if it was a bear I was going all the way in to avoid it.

I then remembered reading about yelling at bears trying to scare them away.  I started to yell and the yelling had an opposite effect on the movement.  It sped up and came at me faster.

This big black thing ran like no dog I had ever seen and I was certain it was a bear.  It lumbered and really looked wider across the chest.  I had my Swiss army knife out and was ready to be eaten.

It broke through the weeds and out into the open.  Its head was huge and it was all black.  Then I caught a glimpse of a skinny medium length tail.  No bear has a tail like that. I was relieved.  I had a run in with a Rottweiler once on stream and it was really tense for a while.  This thing was another half size bigger. No flop ears on this big muscular all black dog.  It had shorter ears.

I pride myself in reading a dog's body language and this one seemed like it might be friendly.  It ran up to me at full speed and slowed clumsily as it got close to me.  It came right out in the water with me. This all black 150-170 pound dog looked like a black lab and mastiff cross.

It demanded to be petted and rubbed on me so hard it nearly knocked me over.  It jumped up on me and put its paws on my shoulders. It had a drooling problem like mastiffs I have seen in the past.  It did a head shake that sprayed the water and me with drool.  I petted it for a while and then walked back to the vehicle.  The dog stayed out there exploring.

About a mile down the roadway I saw a lady walking along the road.  She flagged me down and asked me if I had seen a really big black dog.  I told her where I had seen it.  She grumbled about how much trouble the dog was in and off she walked.