Thursday, May 27, 2010

Round 2.. More local pannie action...

So knowning what I am going into this weekend.. 2 smallies were definitely not enough to hold me over... I needed another fix... So I headed down to the local pond once again for some pannie action.. I figured most of the spawning would have been done by now.. But there were even more beds in one of my spots than were there the last 2 weeks... I decided I would use a new top water that I picked up at Bob's Bait n' Tackle in LaCrosse.. and it worked wonders.. Some people have maybe argued that I am using too big of a popper for panfish... They couldn't be any more wrong.. These Accardo top water lures drive the bluegills into a frenzy.. Even a 4" sunnie will make a quake and hit these things hard... I could have easily taken home a limit tonight.. But I didn't want to be filleting til almost 11pm...

Another day on the backwaters...

Decided to go and hit another backwater spot today with some crawlers and take the fly rod along for shits and giggles... Was an absolutely wonderful day to be out and fishing... Days like these make me wish I had a boat.. Not for better fishing opportunities.. I like 2 blocks for the 'Sippi.. I'd say that's almost as good as it gets for some.. But mostly to just be out on the water and enjoying the day instead of tucked in between trees smelling like OFF!... But none the less it was another semi-productive day.. Plenty of fish cruising the backwaters.. tiny panfish that would rip off parts of my crawler.. could see some small largemouth bass cruising around as well.. and then there were a couple nice sized smallmouth cruising right along the rocks.. I could see them clearly as they ran off bluegills and other small bass... Fishing was slow... but was able to get both of the smallies I saw cruising the rocks on crawlers that were about a 12" below my bobber.. Pound for pound.. This fish puts up a hell of a fight.. I tried to see if I could get one on my fly but no such luck.. they'd look at it and then continue on their way...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Ol' Miss

Decided to head out and fish the spillway today with Sarah.  Fishing was slow at first but it started to get a little more excited as the day progressed.  Caught a couple gills on the fly... Caught a nice smallmouth bass off of the dock.. just let it fall to the bottom and I watched him slurp it up... Also caught a northern.. Seemed to have almost been big bird food.. but had gotten away... All and all in was a good day out...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sun Is Shinin' And The Weather Is Sweet

Woke up early this morning.. No work.. Nothing but fishing on my mind... Decided to hit up the local pond for another day of pannie action.. This time just for fun.. Since I still have a bunch left over from Monday's outing.. After first going to my northern hole.. and getting nothing but wet feet thanks to my waders that need to be patched up. >.<  I got to the lake at about 9am.. It was beautiful.. Sunny.. No Wind.. Probably around high 60s.. Never did get a temp read on the day.. Started out at a spot that is not a normal spot for me and caught a few smaller bluegills and pumpkinseeds.. As I was walking along the shore I noticed carp cruising along the far side of the weed beds.. I started focusing on them.. Unfortunately today was not the day I was gonna get my first carp on the fly... After about 3 hours of fishing and too many pannies to count.. I headed home for awhile for a meal and to rest a bit..
     3pm I headed back out to do some more fishing.. It was around 80F.. A little windier than this morning.. But not awful in the least... Not really knowing where I wanted to go.. I headed back to the lake.. Opposite side.. Hoping to tie into some bigger gills.. which I did.. Had I been keeping.. I would have had a nice limit for sure.. Lot caught 7-8"+ range.. Got a lot of practice on distance casting.. being able to get my flies out roughly 50ft and with some accuracy when i wasn't getting lazy with my wrist action..

      As I was fishing for gills I got a hard hit.. and whatever it was put up a nice fight until it dove into the weeds and covered it's face.. It was a very nice largemouth.. My biggest on the fly so far.. What a great surprise when I'm just out fishing for gills.. Nice thing about flies.. Almost anything will take them..Given the chance.. I tied into a second largemouth but lost him just feet away from shore as like the previous.. He dug into the weeds... This has got me really excited for the 29th.. Bass Opener.. As I did see a couple hefty largemouth cruising the weed beds when I was fishing earlier today..

    After a couple more hours of fishing I decided to call it a day.. You can only fish for panfish for so long before the fun starts wearing off.. Especially when you start catching bass and are the better man and don't target them.. Unlike the couple of people I saw out today.. Grr..  But none the less.. A lot of fish were caught.. And it was definitely a beautiful day to be out....
...Unless you were this bird brain =P

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pannies on the fly

Today started out with the normal problem I often see myself faced with... Where and What do I want to fish for?   Since gas and money are on the low end of the scale right now.. and since the sun was shining high.. I figured today would be a great day to catch some pannies on good ol' Lake Winona..  Pannies are still in spawn on the lake.. the last couple weeks of cold weather probably forced them back down deep and held off on their spawning pattern.., It was easy pickins... Tied a popper onto my fly rod and I was tying into the pannies for 3 hours until I filled a hefty limit.. Boy are panfish a hoot when you are using a popper on a fly rod.. You really get to see the true aggression of these little guys as you see their wake as they zip across the water to pounce on that popper.. And not only are they entertaining to catch on the fly.. But they are delicious as well...

The Bond Between Fishermen, Land

HERE is the Winona360 article on trout fishing

Thank You Lisa for helping spread the word!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

5-11.. more crappy weather

Woke up looked at the radar and saw that the rain was definitely coming.. Temperatures were in the mid 40s roughly.. This weather really needs to go away.. Thankfully next weeks outlook looks amazing.. 70s/80s.. That's What I'm talking about!  Was on the road by 10am.. Today was not only a day for trout fishing.. A co-worker and writer for Winona360 asked me a couple weeks ago if she could follow me on the stream for a day and write an article about trout fishing in southeastern Minnesota.   I decided the South Fork would be a good spot since it's pretty cleared out and I knew she wouldn't have to cross any waters.. She didn't strike me as the kind of girl that had waders haha..  On the way to our spot Wes called me and he decided he would meet up with us... Just more information for the article that was being written... We get to the spot at about 10:45.. Rain was eminent.. Actually I think it started misting when we were there.. It was windy.. 10-15mph winds here and there.. Definitely nothing as bad as the days previous to day.   Started out pretty slow.. not much happening.. Hooked into one brown.. Wes hooked into a couple chubs... water in the lower South Fork is starting to warm up as the chubs are starting to get thicker.. But the brookies are still holding in there...
     We moved up stream and it started raining harder.. Luckily for our little cub reporter we were near a bridge.. so she was able to stay dry and continue her interview.. We made sure to try and cover all basis.. What makes this area good trout water.. why.. the technique involved in trout fishing.. Why we love to do what we do.. Sometimes it's something tough to put into words.. why one loves to do what they do.. especially when it's something like trout fishing... As one of us fished.. She interviewed the other.. Wes tied into a couple dinky brooks on a PT so i switched up to a PT as well and hooked into a brookie... after about an hour of this spot.. Our reporters hands were too cold to write anymore and she was on her way.. Hopefully with more than enough info to write her article... I think she enjoyed it..  I know Wes and I enjoyed sharing our love for the sport with world on a local level and I cannot wait to read the article...
     We decided we would head upstream and hike through some thicker stuff to a section of the South Fork that is not only beautiful but also usually holds some good fishing.. It was beautiful as always.. but it was definitely not holding much today.. Or at least were not feeding... The rain my have cooled off the water and put the trout on the DL.. we caught a couple.. but nothing over 10" that's for sure..
     Personally cannot wait for next week.. This weather is beyond ridiculous.. Cold.. Windy.. Rainy.. Even some snow flurries and frost.. It's May.. Seriously this weather needs to go.. And by the outlook it will be amazing.. 70s and 80s by next week.. About time!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Slow day...

Got out to a couple spots today.. it was windy.. probably a constant 15-20mph wind with gusts in the 40s... overcast.. looked like it was gonna rain all day but it never did until the end of the day there was about 5seconds worth of sprinkles..  first started out at the Sheldon area but winds were nasty and fish just weren't biting... a few rises here and there.. and i could see them sitting at the bottom of the deep pools.. next i went to Choice.. still the winds would not let up. but at least the trout were rising though i couldn't get them to really take on anything up top.. with the winds blowing against the current it made it too choppy and tough to see my dries...  took a couple, that are now in my fridge, on a combination of HW Prince nymphs and orange scuds... and caught about a dozen or so creek chubs... finally i decided i would stop at Rush Creek.. not much going on.. nothing at all really.. saw a couple small risers.. and tied into one on one of my last casts.. but he was never brought in.. seemed to be a nice sized trout too =( ... well at least i got out for a couple hours.. but this mess of weather we have been having of late sure needs to straighten out.. if its not raining.. its windy as all hell.. its getting annoying and frustrating

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Waters

After going to Trout Day at Forestville on Saturday and talking with Steve Klotz about a certain stream in the Winona area.. Me and my buddy decided to head out and explore a new stretch of stream... We arrived at our destination around noon... Cool.. Slightly windy.. Very cloudy day.. Looked like rain.. There was another angler... He wasn't having any luck.. We decided we would walk down stream and work our way back up to the cars... After a little bit of walking we cut through the brush and headed stream side where we found our first hole and riffle for the day..  Water was still murky from the rain over the weekend... Area was tight and proved frustrating with snags and hang-ups in brush... Hewas able to pull a few smaller trout out of the riffles.. Myself had no luck.. I changed up to a bugger at the head of the riffles with no luck.. Here my buddy was able to hook into a pair of browns.. ~14" and a fat ~16" Both taken on #12 Princes.. I switched back to a #12 red SJW and worked a downed tree and root wad that looked promising.. and landed myself a ~14" brown.. Those would be the only fish of the day.. A couple more hits.. But nothing landed.. Overall a successful outing for unknown water...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Biggest Trout On The Fly

Caught my biggest trout on the fly today on Garvin Brook... only trout of the day... beautiful weather.. low 70s.. sunny.. nice breeze... the redhorse are now starting to move in and spawn

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Another day off of work means another day of fishing.. Headed out to Trout Run as I had not made it out there yet this year... Would today prove to be a successful day of fishing?  Success would be an understatement.. today was probably one of the craziest days of trout fishing I have ever witnessed... got to my first spot around noon... step out of my car and notice that the trout are already leaping out of the water.  It's sunny.. probably in the high 60s... fished the first couple holes with little success.. water is crystal.. i'm spooking more of the trout than anything.. the rest are sitting down low.. with no interest in whats happening above the water... turn the bend and come to my next hole.. literally spent an hour here.. caddis were coming off the water... and the fish were in a feeding frenzy.. cast my elk hair up and watch the trout come up and pick off my fly.... all was done by sight the streams were so clear.. i could cast my fly right on to their nose and they took it without a second though.. i don't even remember how many fish i caught in this hole as every 3-4 i would inch up on my knees another couple feet.. soon after hitting the holes with the elk hair i got bored with the ease of picking off these guys off on top of the water.. so i switched up to a tandem with a #14 Pheasant tail.. trailed by a #10 Danger Baby... haven't tried these Danger Babys out yet.. but it seems to have this cased caddis look to it.. so i figured it would produce.. and produce it did.. as soon as i went below the water the trout got bigger.. nothing huge.. but definitely bigger.. i noticed a lot of the bigger trout sitting at the bottom.. so that was one reason for switching to nymphing... as the day progressed the caddis got thicker.. and thicker.. and thicker.. at one point it was just a sheet of caddis.. almost enough to gross me out..  4 hours and too many trout to count later i decided to head back to the car.. a car covered in caddis

     Spot #2... decided to head up to some more familiar territory and stop at Bucksnort.  There were a couple cars.. nothing too bad.. and from talking to the other anglers it was worse upstream... started out rather frustrating.. fish are jumping everywhere but refuse to hit anything i throw at them.. nymphs.. more elk hairs.. just not happening.. same followed suit for the other angler i was talking to.. just weren't interested.. maybe the amount of caddis was just too much for the fish to key in on my particular fly.. 100s of caddis... 1 fly.. odds are not on my side.. so i decided i would hike downstream a ways and work my way back up to the bridge.. put the elk hair away and tied on a #12 pheasant tail and  #12 Hot Wire Copper John(red/copper)... this tandem seemed to work it.. kept trout on my line as i worked my way back upstream.. later due to snag.. I switched to a HWCJ and Brassie... which continued to pound the fish..

    I don't think I could have asked for better fishing conditions than what I got today.. Warm.. Sunny.. Breezy.. 7 hours of non-stop caddis hatching.. a couple trout for the kitchen and too many to count beyond that..  yeah.. it was a good day

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fruits of Labor

If there is one thing I love about fishing.. it's the part at the end of the day where i can enjoy my catch.. the "fruits of my labor"...  Today was a perfect day for getting some fish to fry.. nice and sunny.. temps in the high 60s low 70s... slight breeze but nothing to be worried about.. After work I decided I'd take the fly rod down to the lake and catch my limit of sunfish to fry up for tonight... Bluegills are stacked up in the weed beds for spawning.. and there were many people out enjoying the day to give me the weird looks.. as if they have never seen a person with a fly rod before.. Catching my limit was a simple task.. done easily in under an hour.. but always a fun task on the fly.. even if so simple.. kinda gives you that child like bliss -.-

Monday, April 19, 2010

Rush Creek 4-19

Got out to a section of Rush Creek this afternoon with a friend of mine... Fishing was good.. temps were in the mid 60s.. sun was shining.. and the Caddis were hatching... forgot the camera.. which always sucks.. caught about 12 trout.. all were in good healthy form.. caught one 14" rainbow on a #10 red SJW... then as the trout started rising...  I'd been a fool had I not switched to my last elk hair caddis.. which had me into a couple of trout right off the bat.. one as a nice 12" brown that put up a hefty little fight... kept the 12" and 14" for eating.. right now I am on a definite trout feast... C&R is awesome and all.. but sometimes its nice to savor the fruits of our labor..

Obviously this section was not touched on opener seeing as the only foot prints in the area were of my buddy's dad's boots... which is a great thing because there have been some nice chunkers pulled out of this stretch this year.. I'd say it's is as healthy as I've ever seen it..

Trout Opener!... Not what was to be expected...

     April 17th.. 2010.. Minnesota official Trout Opener.. got a campsite at Beaver Creek Valley State Park for Saturday and Sunday.. or so that was planned.. since about mid week I was kinda sick.. something going on in the intestinal region.. really not sure.. but it was minimal so i was not worried at all.. well fortunately it made full swing on saturday *grr*.. took my time getting to the water because i knew how chaotic the day was gonna be with trout fisherman every 100 ft from each other at some stretches.. as we're driving to Beaver Creek the bridge south of Sheldon is loaded with cars.. not surprised in the least.. so we get to camp around 10am.. set up camp and lounge.. walked around and showed my girlfriend around the park a little bit... talked to other fishermen to see how the action was.. nothing really saying much of anything going on.. it was a bright sunny day.. and the water is running crystal clear.. no surprise pickin's are slim...
     Around 4pm I finally decided to get out and hit the water... maybe most of the people that are getting out to catch and eat are done.. streams were packed between Sheldon and Houston.. so i decided to head west and go as far as the Lanesboro area.. i get to one of my newly favorited spots... my gut starts going crazy.. "Does a bear shit in the woods?"... after dealing with all that i finally get to the water.. setting up my rod.. FFFFFUUUU!!!... i forgot my indicators at home.. really?  checked everything like 20 times.. and i forget one of the most important things to my rig.. good job dumbass!... day was already going bad with the sickness.. didn't get any better with forgetting the indicators.. so i switch to a #6 brown Wooly Bugger... hook into one trout.. the only trout..stomach starts F'in me in the A again.. so i get off stream.. and head back to camp.. stomach not doing any better.. i decided its time for bed.. not the greatest time for camping may i add.. got down into the low 30s... needless to say i was in many layers of clothing and still kinda chilly... really hoping i wasnt gonna have to use the head in this cold night...
     Wake up the next morning.. the lady doesn't wanna have to deal with the cold.. i'm still sick.. so we pack up camp and decide to head back home.. At least i was able to catch a fish opening day.. what a disappointing opener that would have been... get sick and get skunked... btw.. here is the recipe to the trout i made sunday.. it was to die for..

14" Brown Trout.. gutted and skinned
1 Tbls butter(cut into 4 slices)
4 Lemon Slices
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 c. Cornbread Stuffing(use less water when prepared as the trout, lemon, and butter will add moisture)

Preheat oven to 450... stuff trout with the cornbread stuffing..  take a piece of aluminum foil that will be big enough to wrap the trout.. lay 2 pieces of butter in the middle of the tin foil.. top with lemons.. sprinkle half of the black pepper onto the area.. lay trout down.. repeat the process on top of the trout.. pepper, lemon, butter.. wrap tightly.. roll up edges so the fluid stays in the aluminum.. put on a sheet pan and cook for 17min.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Treading New Waters...

o after going to work today and finding out I didn't have to work I decided to do what any avid fisherman would do on a day off... go fishing.. and I decided that fishing a new stream was in order.. so after some thankful pointers from Mark Dahlquist.. I decided to hit up a stream in the Caledonia area.. as I have had interest in this stream before yet have never fished it..
1pm I arrive at the destination suggested by Mark.. very windy.. warm.. temps in the mid 70s.. storms have been in the area for the past couple days.. looks like rain fall has been close to nil as the stream is running crystal clear.. I first start out my day rigging up a prince/hwcj.. first decided to walk down stream and see what was provided.. plenty of deep holes with minimal riffles seemed to be the name of the game on this stretch.. as i was going to make my first cast.. trout started rising...such a bi-polar day made well for a caddis hatch.. sunny... then cloudy.. rain tease.. more sun.. more clouds.. repeat..  caddis hatch.. in full swing..   so i immediately switch up my rig before even making a cast.. no nymphing today.. tie on an elk hair and start pulling in the fish.. nothing too big.. all were under 10".. all were browns..(on a side note.. the trout in this stream fend for their lives.. as probably half the trout i caught had some sort of scarring on their sides.. as seen in the picture above.. probably from close calls with eagles and hawks..) as the day went on and the flies got lost due to less than pleasurable wind conditions.. frustration ensued.. and finally i was spent.. day over... don't want to fish anymore.. sometimes frustration wins.. mother nature *shakes fist* you win this time!.. on a positive note i think i finally got the double haul cast down.. had to.. there was no choice when the winds were easily gusting over 15mph.. so in the end.. i guess it was at least a day to practice casting technique and catch a couple fish in the process... and i learned new water

Monday, April 12, 2010

Root River 4-12

Went to work this morning.. got done around 2.. from there i scouted the weather for awhile.. wondering if any of that storm was gonna hit where i potentially wanted to go this evening.. as 4pm rolled around i check again and was clear for take off.. decided i would take to one of my favorite islands on the root river.. got there late about 5pm... first look at the area seemed to be as normal as the year before.. minus a couple feet of shore that had eroded away during the thaw... as i got closer to the river i noticed a few redhorse in the shallows.. i knew there was a reason i brought the crawlers.

So i make my ford and get to the island.. water looked to be about right.. if not slightly low... i decided i'd start out slow and hunt for a stick to hold my rod up as i dunked some worms.. threw my line in and tended to getting my fly rod set up.. soon after i hooked into my first fish of the evening... my spinning reel screamed... that's a redhorse.. put up a hell of a fight.. not a small guy either.. soon after getting bored with the worm dunking.. i got the fly rod out... in hopes of landing my first redhorse on the fly.. but that was not happening today... i hooked into only one more fish on the afternoon... but it's always nice to get out and fish when the opportunity is there.. i cannot wait for the weekend to get here.. trout opener is gonna be a blast!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Fish and Whistle.. Whistle and Fish...

What a beautiful day and I was stuck indoors cooking for the masses. Next weekend is a different story.. no work.. trout opener.. whistle and fish =)

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mmm.. Caddis

Woke up late.. was busy partying it up the night before.. decided i would drive on down to one of my favorite stream sections on Rush Creek.. didn't get on the water until 1pm.. had to be at work at 5pm.. so it was definitely crunch time.. the day before i fished a section of Garvin Brook and didn't even get a hit.

Air Temp: 54F(1pm) 61F(4pm)
Water Temp: 56F(1pm) 58F(4pm)
Clarity: Crystal

The rush looks to finally be settled in and not a bit high anymore.. last week it was still a couple inches up.. i hooked up a rig of a Hot Wire Copper John and a 20 incher.. expecting trout to hit on the same flies i was throwing last time i was on Rush... walked down stream a ways before deciding to start making some casts.. While walking to where i wanted to start i spotted Grey Caddis in the bushes along the stream.. and then started noticing them everywhere.. quick to get on the rising fish i immediately switched to an #12 Elk Hair Caddis... and within a couple of casts i was hooking into the feeding frenzy fish.. as the day progressed i noticed some mayflies.. maybe Dark Hendricksons.. March Browns? and i also saw some small stoneflies flying around the area.. the trout literally had an all you can eat buffet of bugs to eat this afternoon.. i threw Elk Hairs.. Sparkle Duns and Dark Hendricksons.. all of which produced fish. Overall.. great day to get out.. and in the end.. i guess it was a good thing i woke up late.. too bad i had to go to work.. would have much preferred to forget about that place and just fish all day.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Started the day late... Didn't get on the water til after 11am this morning.
Air temp: ~46F
Water temp: ~49F
Clarity: Clear

Not much was going on on the Pine today.. rocks examined showed very little for nymph action. Saw a few trout rising but could not tell what they were feeding on as there was no obvious hatch going on nor was there a sign of one. The day itself was not very productive either. 2 browns.. 1 fat 12"+ brown hiding under the cut that took on a #16 copper brassie. Both were taken on brassies. Sucks when you lose what they are hitting and cannot find any thing else suitable.

A fool... I am not

Got out on the south fork on 3-31 and 4-1. Stream conditions were good. Two amazing days that resulted in amazing fishing. 31st I fished by "The Million Dollar Bridge" caught an assortment of browns and brookies. Weather was amazing. Started my day at 8:30am. Was cool and sunny; around 50F as the day progressed though the day got warmer(mid-70s), brighter and the bite got better. Trout were taking on a Zug Bug that a wayfaring fisherman gave to me that morning that had good success until I lost it to the stream. Changed up a couple times and finally got them hitting on a variety of flies: #12 Orange Hare's Ears, #12-14 BH Pheasant Tails, #12 Brown Mini-bugger, #10 BH Prince Nymphs. No significant hatches were going on throughout the 8hrs i spent on the stream that day. Bite was definitely good and it was a great adventure. Before I had only fished this section of the south fork from the gate to the bridge with spinning gear. This time around was a whole other story. After getting some pointersfrom another angler earlier in the day I had decided to venture further upstream than I had been before. Resulting in some amazing scenery and great fishing. After I was done at the south fork i headed back towards Rushford and fished a favorite stream of mine for the remainder of the day. The day prior a tip from a friend had mentioned the spotting of and success of fishing a stonefly nymph. Using a #10 20 incher i was able to get hooked into a nice run of trout to top of an already excellent day of fishing.

April Fools, I got up a little later in the day. First day of Spring C&R. That means all streams are open in Southeaster Minnesota. This was a great day because it allowed me to finally fish a stretch of stream that i have wanted to fish ever since trout season closed. I wasn't the only one obviously thinking this as when i showed up there was one car already parked at the bridge in Choice. By the time i had entered the stream another car had arrived as well. Normally I seem to be the only fisherman on this stretch most of the year, which i am perfectly ok with =) Another day of venturing into unsung territory to me and it again turned out to be a great success. What i once didn't venture because of what seemed like boring water made way for an amazing treasure after walking into the spot about a 1/4mile. Again, browns and brooks hitting on #10 prince nymphs.. didn't even bother with putting anything else on. That is until i ran out of princes. This gave me a chance to use my new mini-buggers. Tied on #10 black mini-bugger and went for a walk. Got into some amazing scenery and even more amazing water. Riffles for a good 1/4mi and deep limestone boulder riffles. Trout willingly took the bugger and they were nothing far from short. All 12"+ and a couple around 16"