September 29, 2017

Chip Off The Old Block

Taken by Wayne Jurgensen circa 1997

Taken by Barbara Harris 2017

September 28, 2017

What A Problem

I had never fished this stretch before.  Most of it was shallow and holes were far apart.  The necked water came down quite fast and dug out a nice belly on the left side near the exposed tree stump.

 I am a firm believer in casting above where I think the trout are laying.  It gives the presentation more of a natural look and you aren't dropping it right on their heads. I cast up into neck approximately twenty times and was rewarded with a mixture of brooks and brown.

 I was disappointed.  My first cast raised a big fish.  The swirl it made plastered a huge smile on my face but a brookie obviously beat it there and alerted the big.  I tried to problem solve and find a solution on how to avoid the smalls if I had another such dilemma.  

The water was shallow and there were trees and debris in the shallow areas.  It looked like spring floods had really played havoc in the area.

I looked past the shallows and saw the deep cut out on the left.  The spring floods had really done some damage.  I started to get excited.  I was already imagining a deep hole in the middle of the shallow water for quite a ways.

I inched my way up to the hole.  It was there just like I thought.  I looked at the hole and tried to picture the primary lay so I would have a chance at the big in the hole before the smalls hit and put down the wary smarter big trout.

The broken water upstream under the log across the stream told me it was shallow there.  The broken water ended and I thought that was where the hole began to get deep.

I was scratching my head and trying to think where to cast.  If i cut up the lower water a big wary trout would not hit if i scored a small.  The commotion would surely alert a big.

I used the same rational as the neck hole on this hole.  I cast up to the broken water and planned on bringing the presentation through more natural.  I was trying to have it in the best lay in the hole.  This is where the big should be laying.

I cleared the broken water and then it happened.  The hole came to life.  I swear there were at least four swells and trout were charging from all directions.

It was slammed and it felt like a giant.  I was so excited and thought 25-30 inches.  It was crazy and had no rhyme or reason for the way it fought.

I did not know how to battle it because I had not experienced such an odd fight before.  Bigs I had caught before have run deep and hunkered down.

I exerted some pressure and started getting the fish to come my way.  About 15 yards out I saw the "fish."  The weird battle even got weirder.  I had 2 browns on my spinner at once.  There were two 15 inchers hooked on one panther martin.

I decided to get the trout in immediately.  Two browns on one lure would be quite a photo.  I also wanted to get the smalls out quickly so I would have a shot at a big. Just before the net one shook loose.  I was pissed.

20 browns later and not a single big I walked past the hole and surveyed it.  The hole was about 5 feet deep with huge boulders lining the bottom.  It was by far the deepest hole in the entire stretch.

 I tried to map the bottom and was unable to do it. I looked at the hole and thought there should have been at least one big in there. I plodded on dejectedly. There was one indent at the top of the hole on the left. There it was.  I spooked one giant at the top of the hole as I fished past the hole.

Anyone have any tips or things they have tried to avoid the smalls and go after the alpha trout in the hole?


 Caught on coneheaded bugger
Caught on black horse hair jig.

Orvis Blog "Big Fish Small Water"

Orvis Blog

September 27, 2017

Mother Nature Calls

 A twenty incher is the yardstick for a large trout in small stream Wisconsin.  I witnessed three anglers lose the same fish in this tiny hole that was over thirty inches.

Last year was our first extended seasons.  Early season here in Wisconsin opens the first Saturday of January and extends through to the 15th of October.  Our season typically ended September 30th for years prior.  It was determined that our spawning trout would not be adversely effected by adding 15 days to season. The actual spawning had not started. 

I have kept log books for over 3 decades related to small stream Wisconsin trout.  I complied my data and there was a constant to every year.  I stumbled on larger trout in the last week of September each year.  I tried to see if there was a factor that caused this constant.  I looked at the stream temperatures and they fluctuated and could not be the reason.  The leaves changing colors was a constant.
The leaves were changing when this bronze male took the bait.

I talked to a few of my fishing friends that guessed it was because mother nature called and the bigger trout got the itch to move up stream and do their yearly spawning.  The spawning isn't actually happening but the trout have an internal clock and it is time to move.

They leave the deep snarly messes they call home and start their yearly trek upstream. Trout will move quite a ways to find good spawning areas.  During these transition times they are in non-typical lays.  You can find them in amazingly shallow runs.

These trout are out of their comfort zones and their typical feeding lanes.  They are opportunists and will eat whatever is in their path.  There are no wrong flies to throw during this time period.  Terrestrials are a plenty during this time frame. A hopper dropper with a bead headed nymph enticed a thirty incher to show its face during this transition period. 

This 2 week window in Wisconsin can be a blast.  The bigs are out and about and in non-typical areas and they are hungry.  Get out there and fish  these last two weeks and have a ball.

This late season brown was fooled with a coneheaded bugger in a non-typical lay.

Wisconsin Beauty

September 24, 2017

Two New Arrivals

When I watered my flowers this morning found two new types of large morning glories.  Is amazing what a little water can grow.

Found At Flea Market

Thinking about dragging it places and taking photos of it where I fish.