July 21, 2018


interesting factoid: When spiders eat butterflies they discard the wings because they have no nutritional value to them.

July 20, 2018

July 19, 2018

Hidden Gem

This morning before the sun breached the hills of Southern Wisconsin I was in my happy place.  I was on a driftless trout stream.  I invited my friend Sam Delventhal to come with me.

This time of year it is typically too hot to fish for trout.  Hot equals too warm of outdoor temperatures which equates to too warm of stream temperatures. Too warm of water does not have enough dissolved oxygen in it for a trout to properly revive after a prolonged battle when released.

The blast furnace weather broke two days ago.  Last night the air temperature was sixty-two degrees as a high.  This meant the streams cooled down.  I had not trout fished in three weeks and was going through withdrawals.

The first thing I did on stream this morning was take the stream temps.  If they are anywhere near seventy degrees you should not chase trout.  The stream we were fishing was about sixty degrees. This gave us the green light to fish.

I have caught many big trout in my over half of century of traipsing through the hills and valleys in search of the next trout.  These days I am more selective of when and where I go.  My wife likes me to take another angler with me due to my knee problems and back.  Sam was the obvious pick.  He is a like minded angler and is quite good at trout fishing.

Before I went this morning I did some reconnaissance .  This time of year the weeds are over your head in some places.  Mixing fishing and aerobics is not my idea of fun.  I needed an area that was somewhat easy walking.

I looked through my log books and a place jumped out at me from years past for this time of the year.  The notation in the corner of the page said: "Cows not bulls in pasture. Well manicured."

I drove to the farmer's house yesterday and reacquired permission and asked about bulls and there were none.  The farmer still had his black lab from many years ago when I asked the first time.  The lab had a grey muzzle and was a little wider than I remembered. 

 The farmer was astounded I remembered his old girl's name.  "Snickers" still loved petting and riding with her master on his four wheeled mule everywhere.  I like asking landowners if they wanted a couple trout if we had any luck.  The husband and wife put in an order for two if we caught any.

The farmer's wife told me the cows might comes to see what I was doing.  They were all bottle fed as calves and were very friendly.  They might even need a little petting.

Lots of folks scratch their heads when I talk about my love for trout fishing.  Trout fishing is the total package for me.  I can be in nature having fun.  At times I enjoy watching my fishing partner catch trout more than catching them myself..

I have become a photo nut over the years.  I typically take a few glory shots of the trout and anglers and stream photos with the angler fishing.  This morning was very enjoyable.  Between Sam and I we caught 30 nice trout.  The average sizes were way above average.

As we started this morning the sun peered over the Ocooch Mountains and the sunlight on the stream as Sam fished was breathtaking.  I snapped a couple photos of the perfect morning.  We had a ball and only fished for 3 hours.  We dropped off two trout to the landowners as we left.  Sam even cleaned them for the couple.  We thanked them for allowing us to fish.  I gave Snickers a couple pets and we were on our way.

When I get home I usually review my photos and do a log entry.  My photo I took of the sunrise breaking over the hills was quite a disappointment.  I tried tweaking the photo.  No luck.  I made the photo black and white with a vignette frame and low and below the hidden gem popped out at me.  The sun breaking the hills was just amazing.  It captured exactly why I love trout fishing.

Epic Outing

San Delventhal and I met up at 5am.  We have had a long heat wave that broke a couple days ago.  It was cool over night and there is a front moving in around noon.  The next couple of days looked rainy and might wash out the streams.  The window of opportunity was this morning and it appeared to be closing fast.

We hit the water at 5:10am.  The water was clean for the waterway and stream temp was 62 degrees.  Some clouds when the sun broke the horizon.

I caught first fish of the day.  Sam got me to smile.  I cut my beard off yesterday.  I am growing it back immediately.

Shortly after the brown I landed about a 15 inch smallmouth and released it without photo.  I dislike smallies invading my trout's water.

Sam started to work his magic.

He was tossing a size 9 panther and so was I. Sam's spinner of choice.

I was tossing a size 9 also.  My spinner of choice.

Sam landed a decent brown.

The sun was breaching quickly and I thought the trout would turn off.

Sam hammered about an 18-19 inch smallie that tail danced and got off.

It was my turn and I cast upstream and was rocked by a decent trout.  It ran deep and then did a sky walk about three feet out of the water and shook its head and got off.  Sam fired in the same run with his spinner and had an immediate hook up.  I swear it looked like the same fish.

Sam continued his mastery of the browns and we ended with 30 total.  I caught guppy of the day and Sam had a banner day. Sam had on 2 smallies and I landed one.

I had a decent trout follow and turn three times.  I called out to Sam to come up stream and catch the tentative trout.  Three casts later he landed the below trout.

We ended the morning at 8:35am.  Sam told me this was his best outing ever for general size.  I truly appreciate a good fishing partner that does not need to be told where to cast and can get his casts into tight places.

Days like these make up for the less than spectacular outings.

Thank you for going with me this morning Sam.  This truly was an epic outing.

July 18, 2018

Asparagus Potato Soup

Asparagus Potato Soup

three extra large spuds peeled and diced
one large yellow onion diced
one heaping table spoon chopped garlic
one bunch asparagus chopped...not woody part
one package thick bacon browned and quartered
ten leaves of baby spinach chopped
Half pot water
liberal peppering
Simmer in medium sized pot until potatoes nearly gone.
Add pint of heavy cream...stir in
cup shredded extra sharp cheddar...stir in 

let simmer another 15 minutes...serve

Beaver Dams Are No Good

Every one of these streams 12 years ago were some of the most prolific brook trout streams in the driftless.  That can not be said now.  Brook trout numbers are crashing in my home waters.

If you find a dam contact your local warden.

Beaver dams may be good for catching trout when they first appear. Beaver dams slow down the water in your streams and a slower stream means warmer temperatures. Warmer water means less dissolved oxygen in the stream. 

Beaver dams are perfect breeding grounds for "gill lice." 

Fewer brook trout equals few tiger trout.  Each of the streams pictured I have scored tigers in the past.

July 15, 2018