May 05, 2016

Places NOT To Go For Trout Opener

Guides have been pounding the below areas all early season.

Don't waste your time opening weekend there.

Willow Creek  Richland County

Reads Creek  Vernon County

Bad Axe and Tributaries Vernon County

Tainter Creek  Crawford County

May 04, 2016


Part of the allure of trout fishing is the blind potential of what lies beneath every cast you make.

About 15 years ago I saw it the first time.  I was fishing with Pat Hogan and Jay Thurston.  I was not close to the refusal but I was apprised of the aftermath.  Jay had a huge hit. The fish freight trained the Mepps See Best and was off nearly as fast as it was on.  All I heard was muttering about the power of the fish and how it possibly could have gotten off so quickly with such a ferocious strike.

The next year I took my friend Bob Skoronski "Green Bay Packer" retired Ice Bowl Era to the same stretch of water.  Before we got close to the cut corner that Jay got abused in, I told Bob to make sure his lure was tied on well and to retie if the knot was in question.  Bob retied just to be cautious.  I had told Bob the story of the freight train from the year before.  I could tell by his facial expression he was a tad bit skeptical of my retelling of the tale from the year before.

We fished up to the corner.  There was a downed tree about 30 yards below the hole where the incident happened the year before.  Bob could not walk by a good hole and cast into the run.  Bob was retrieving the panther when it looked like lightning struck his rod.  It lurched downward and then straighten back to normal and Bob reeled in.

Bob looked at me with his mouth wide open and the first thing out of his mouth was:  "Are there pike in this waterway?  That fish nearly ripped the pole out of my hand."  That fish never showed itself again.

Through the years I had thought about these 2 incidents and the only rational explanation was the trout hit the spinner part way down its jaw not at the corner where the hing is.  Old large trout have jaws nearly made of stone.  The spinners basically bounced off the bullet proof jaws.  A couple inches closer to the hing and there would have been a hook up.

Anyone who has fished with me has seen my set up.  A few have poked a little fun at it and called it a broom stick or mop handle because it is such a heavy action rod. I like the casting accuracy it gives me.  It also allows me to even feel if the spinner blade pauses at all spinning.

Yesterday while fishing with Chris I had a similar incident.  It was quite unexpected.  The day was sunny and there was no structure in the run I was casting.  Big trout shun sunlight and usually like to hide in structure.  I was running the shaded bank deep cut when it happened. I guess the cut to be 4-5 feet deep.  My spinner literally felt like it had slammed on its brakes and went in reverse at Mach 10 all in the blink of an eye and then the line went limp.  I yelled big trout to Chris and had him cast right in there.  It did not come back.

Rock Jaws 3          Anglers  0

May 03, 2016

Guest Post Jeff Lawver

I've been reading your blog for a while now. I also checked out some of your trout fishing videos.

You seem to emphasize that fishing further down stream is the ticket for hooking up with bigger trout, particularly browns. For years I was kind of stuck in a rut, fishing the same old sections of the streams I routinely fished, and being disappointed with the numbers of larger trout, especially big browns .

Sure there were years where I had good luck, but that has been a long time ago now. I kept hoping that things would change, and the spots I usually fish would again produce big trout aside from brooder rainbows.  Not that I mind tying into a big 'bow now and then, but as you say browns are more challenging, even stocked ones.  I was fortunate enough to be able to retire a couple of years ago, and was bound and determined to expand  where I fished, particularly getting much further down stream on some of my favorites, as well as checking out new waters. Well I have to say the results have been very rewarding.  Last year I still had a tendency to fish the typical spots more than I should've ( it's hard to break out of ruts).  Even then when I did try a section further down, they often produced nice browns.

 This year was a real eye opener for me, as I went for it more often, venturing further down than ever before.  I must say I've had the best brown trout fishing I've had in a long time, if not ever.

 Like you, I prefer spinning gear.  Unlike you, my weapon of choice is jigs and plastics. My favorite plastic is a 1.5-2" tube with white(pearl) being my favorite color. I also use curly tail grubs, craws, hellgramites, and plastic worms. The latter can be great after rain events big enough to wash a lot of worms into the streams. I will say though, that I have started using spinners again since you seem to swear by them.

Needless to say, they've added some nice fish as well to my totals for this year. I mainly wrote to you to say thanks for giving me the impetus to explore new water. Although you're not the only one to make the claim that big browns move downstream to find more forage, and escape fishing pressure, your many photos of bruiser trout was the final nudge I needed.  I just wanted to let you know you a hand in making my trout fishing more in line with what I'm looking for, big fish.

Thanks again,

Chris Young And I Trip Report

First off the weather person was fibbing.  There was not a cloud in the sky until about 10:30am.

The trout were temperamental at first but Chris posed for a nice photo to get us going.

Chris found a couple trout willing to bite.

Chris posed for  another photo.

He lost a couple in here.  One was about an 18er.

Chris found another place to fish that was photo worthy.

Another photo worthy fish.  The clouds came out as advertised and the fishing picked up.

I managed one worth a photo.

Chris finished the day with his personal best brown trout.

Many hits without hook ups.  Couple bigger fish not patient enough to get in the net.  The average fish was over 14 inches and well fed.

May 02, 2016

The Fog

 Fog is magical.
It is for each person to see what they want to see.
 It has time travel properties and can grant wishes.

An Email I Received

Len -

 Last March 2015, I lost my father to a stroke.  I can't remember the exact details but from what I remember I think he had a piece of paper in his pocket with your name on it and he might have seen you speak that day or sometime earlier that week.  I think my sister in law reached out to you based on what she found.  She sent me copies of both your books.  It wasn't until just recently I was able to read them, I assumed they would bring up too many memories that I wasn't quite ready for.

My dad's farm is located outside Cazenovia.  I've fished there since I was a kid and the few chances I get to go back there, I always walk down to the bridge and throw a line in there.  I've caught everything from that bridge:  Walleye, bass, panfish, suckers, carp, and trout.  When I was younger I would stay up there one week a summer with my Grandma and fish nonstop.  I would venture upstream in hopes of finiding trout, my dad always told me stories of trout up in the hidden holes.  A few times he'd drop me off a few miles upstream and I'd spend a summer day making my way back fishing along the way.

It's been almost 30 years since I've ventured upstream more than the first bend.  Your books have inspired me to get back to fishing that stream and venturing up farther looking for those hidden holes.  Only my oldest son has the patience and dedication to fish more than 10 minutes without getting bored and giving up.  I can't wait until we can make a trip back and spend a day fishing, this is something I've let the struggles of life prevent me from doing and I've let the same struggles keep me from showing him.  Your books have given me perspective and rekindled my passion for fishing the small Wisconsin streams.  I felt I needed to email you and thank you.  I don't know how much we'll get in the field or what species we'll pursue, but I can't wait to get back to the adventure of traveling upsteam excited to see whats around the next bend.

A quick trout story.  This one doesn't have an exciting build up and fighting a monster trout, but that's what makes it interesting.  I must have been 14 years old.  It was spring and I was fishing down at the bridge, there is a rock ledge that consistently holds fish under it.  The suckers were running, normally there isn't anyone fishing there but this evening there were two men pulling out suckers about one a minute.  I baited my hook with a worm and moved from my normal spot because the two men were in it, I pulled a few suckers from the ledge and offered them to the two men.  My fourth fish bit just like the suckers but had a little more weight.  I pulled up a 21 inch trout, can't remember if it was a brown or brook.  It gave no fight, I was able to pull it over to a spot where the rock edge was sloped and pulled it out of the water.  Pulling a trout out of those waters, especially at the bridge, seemed to happen as much as seeing a white deer.  The two men's eyes were huge, they just stared in amazement that a 14 year old fishing with a worm just pulled out a huge trout, feet from them.  I'm sure that has been one of their monster fish stories, unfortunately they were just spectators that day.

 Again, thank you for the inspiration your books have given me.

Brown Trout

May 01, 2016


This Saturday is the regular season opener.  Make sure you look at the new and more micromanaged regulations before you go out.

Will be a circus like every other opener has been since my first in 1961.

If I was you I would take Monday and Tuesday off and fish far from the road in wooded areas where the lazy bridge hoppers typically don't go.