April 23, 2016

Valley Stewardship Network Presentation

 Where:    Valley Stewardship Network
                124 1/2 South Main St.
                Viroqua WI


When:      Wednesday June 8th from 7pm to 8:30pm

 I will be doing a photo presentation of all the residents of the streams and valleys of our beautiful area and where they live.

April 22, 2016

Seafood Soup

It was like Gordy's was fishing for me yesterday. I walked through the seafood area and Bay Scallops were on Manager's Special. Off I went with 2 bags. Seafood soup base is in the crock pot already this morning.

 Italian parsley, 2 white onions, one can mild rotel, 2 cans petite diced tomatoes, 3 heaping teaspoons of diced garlic, diced celery and 60 ounces of chicken broth and some pepper.

  Later comes scallops/shrimp/clams/mussels/okra/crab meat

April 21, 2016

A Flashback

 Fritz Durst and I were fishing the heart of the driftless about ten years ago. We were way back in the sticks on the head waters of one of my favorite streams. You could step over the stream in most places. 

 There was a large tree across the water. The stream could not go around it so it went under it. The force cut a nice deep belly under the log of about three feet. 

 Fritz and I talked over how to fish it downstream. Fritz decided he was was going to bounce his panther martin off the tree and let it drop directly into the deep belly under the tree. 

The cast was perfect and the water erupted instantly as the spinner hit the water. We talked strategy beforehand. If there was a big hook-up Fritz was to muscle the fish out from under the down tree into the shallows downstream.

 It was much bigger than we had thought. There it was in 12 inches of water thrashing and trying to get away I stormed up there and netted it.

 Fritz unhooked it and i readied the camera. Fritz made the comment he was going to mount it. I cautioned Fritz to hold the fish over the net for the Glory Shot in case it struggled so it could be guided back into the net. Of course the fish struggled and it missed the net and into the water it went and back under the tree to its water home.

The Heart Of The Driftless

ALL streams and rivers in the heart of the driftless area in good condition for trout fishing.

April 20, 2016

Napping On Stream And Other Gobblety Gook

Went fishing alone today.  I bit off more than I could chew.  It was cloudy when I started and then it got sunny and hot.  I flat out ran out of energy.  I laid down on a nice warm stream bank in the soft brown grass and took a nap.

The bright sun made the fishing a little hard for a while.  For 40 minutes I only caught one brown.

The clouds came out and the trout started to become a little more interested.

Did not land a trout over 13 inches today.  Trout to hand 25 browns.

I broke in a new Diawa Excelsior 2500 today.  Must have put a little too much line on it and blew a big knot.  I sat down stream side and peeled off some line and retied.  I flicked the lure from the seated position out to straighten the line.  There was a stump directly in front of me not 5 feet. Just as i was lifting the panther out of the water a massive brown bum rushed the lure and swang and missed.  It did not come back.

The rain started coming down hard.  I like bouncing my lure off of the backs of log jams and letting the spinner drop for a 2 count before retrieving it.  I did my pat cast and before the 2 count was over the lure came screaming back at me.  I tried to set the hook but there was too much slack in the line.  I reeled for all I was worth to catch up with the willy trout.  Finally I could feel trout and it felt me and surfaced and shook it giant head and that was the end of the story.

You win some and you lose some.

Guest Post Andy Kurth "Caddis"

I don't get out fishing much anymore...not as much as I would like.  But I always try and sneak out to the water for some mid day lunch hours in April.  Like clockwork, after a few days of 70+ degree weather the black caddis emerge. It is likely the best dry fly fishing of the year for the mighty brown.  Great way to escape work for a nooner.  Even with stream being on the downward trend for fish density, I have fished the ol girl for 20 years and have some old standbys that produce during the hatch.

Just like an old girlfriend, every now and then she gives you a wink and a dance if you stop by just enough.

Andy Kurth

Go Figure

January and February lots of my fishing friends braved the cold weather and went out in less than optimal conditions.  The trout were picky and few were caught.

It rains a little and only gets down to 45 at night and 65 during the day and no one is fishing?  What gives?

Alec Fojtik with a recent brown he caught on a pheasant tail.

April 18, 2016

The Swimming Hole

The buds were just poking their heads out to see if the coast was clear and the leaves could follow shortly. Mother nature was hard to fool.  If the leaves and the spring wildflowers stuck their heads out too early they would pay the ultimate price.

Then spring rain greened up the grass a little.  The smells of spring were abundant and inviting to the young boys and girls of spring.

It was a yearly thing that all the kids from the block did.  We would caravan to the swimming hole. Most times we had a couple new victims to play the yearly prank on.  The older kids always set up the young ones.

 It was 52 degrees outside but the water temperature was 38 due to the overnight temperatures. It took 40 minutes by bicycle for the crew from Gays Mills to get to the swimming hole.  There were hills and it was a long trip on my new yellow bike with the banana seat and butterfly handle bars. I really worked up a sweat.  All of us were ready for a swim.

We fake argued about who was going to be the first one to use the rope and swing out and christen the hole for the new year.  Every year we put on a performance for the young kids.  We had already decided before we left who was going to use the swing first.  I remembered very vividly my first swing out there with anticipation back when I was the voted first one

We all watched as the new kid on the block swang out there with pride and with the feeling of being the first to break the surface of the swimming hole.

It was exactly same as my first swing three years before.  Everyone was watching and waiting for it.  No one told the newbies that the water was barely above freezing and their triumphant swing would end with them shivering and being unable to speak.  The gallery laughed until they almost cried at the young swing master as they scurried out of the hole.  Their lips were typically purple and they were shivering uncontrollably.  It was great!!!

The summer meant many trips to the swimming hole and we wore out many ropes through the years.  The climbing to the top of the tree to tie the new ropes was not my favorite thing to do. We didn't worry about mosquitoes or deer ticks back then.  The worst thing that ever happened back then was sunburn and the first swing hypothermia.

Children these days are raised in sterile environments.  The ride to the swimming hole would not happen due to its distance from mom and dad.  The rope would chafe their hands and burn because their hands were typically used on hand held games and Iphones.  I have not seen any kids swinging on that rope for a decade.  It truly is a shame.