Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Maiden Voyage!

About 2 weeks ago I put in an order for a Creek Company Super Sport XR1.. I decided upon this one because it was reasonably priced.. not too cheap.. not too expensive.. the reviews on it were more than welcoming as well.. So yesterday I drove to Cabela's in Prairie Du Chien to finally pick it up.. When I woke up this morning I immediately looked at the weather to see if I could get my new toy into the water for its maiden voyage.. and to my luck.. it had stopped raining and radars showed nothing in the area... Overall I'm very comfortable in it.. One of my key points when purchasing a pontoon was to make sure I would be comfortable and feel safe in it.. As I cannot swim.. can tread water but that's it.. The learning curve for rowing is definitely steeper than i had imagined.. and wasted more energy than distance traveled.. but that will change as I get use to it.. Overall.. I think it was a great investment and it will definitely get a workout!

On a side note.. Winona Park Rec offers FREE kayak and canoe rentals 7 days a week.. at the Lake Lodge.. Mon-Fri 3-6pm and Sat-Sun 1-7pm April 15-May 25th.. and then they also have summer hours as well..

Friday, April 29, 2011

4/28... Some More Warm Water Action..

Got out for about an hour yesterday around dusk... down at the local lake.. This weather we've been having has made for some slow and very light biters.. Normally not even getting any indication that there may be a fish on the end of the line until you tug on the fly line.. and feel the slightest of resistance.. It's as if the pan fish are just like "ok.. the food is pulling me this way so i'll swim with it" and you won't even notice.. None the less.. I've been out a couple times since my last post.. With nothing to really  consider mentioning.. Mostly slow days with a couple 4-7" gills to hand... and then yesterday I had a first.. My first White Bass on the fly!.. Put up a nice little fight and was quite unexpected... Also had a nice sized Largemouth on that I lost half way through the fight trying to reel in extra line.. All in all.. It was a more productive day then the past couple outings.. And with weather getting up into the 60s today and storms to come Saturday.. Today should be a more productive day...

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Eagle Cam's Mom Killed by Airplane

It appears that an adult eagle was killed by an incoming airplane in Norfolk International Airport.. Biologists believe that it was the mother of the Norfolk Botanical Garden eagle nest.. as they have not reported seeing it return to its nest since 8am Tuesday.. Footage of the camera goes on to show the male of the pair returning with a fish to feed the youngin's

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Updated Lake Winona Map

Here is an updated depth chart of Lake Winona(thanks to the Lake City Fisheries Dept.) ... most websites.. and including Navitronics and the DNR have an outdated version of the map.. pre-dredging.. things sure have changed...
Map Courtesy of St. Mary's University & Lake City Fisheries Dept. 2006.
The older map can be found HERE for comparison 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Finally Some Warm Water Action

With school and work.. time has been really limiting for me.. especially for fishing.. so when I have had the chances to get out so far this year.. I have headed south to be stream side and catch trout.. So today after work and homework I have a little spare time to get out to the local lake and hopefully put my 2wt to good use... And fortunately that was the case!  Took about 20-30 to hand in the hour that I was out this afternoon.. along with 2 8"ers that really made my day.. and an unexpected surprise in what was about a 1lb largemouth... which put up a nice fight on the 2wt.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

4/23.. Getting Lost North of 90

Woke up.. got ready.. fed the dog.. and I was out.. On the road at 10:30am.. Stopped at FleetFarm to grab a few essentials and then sat and stared at my maps for awhile.. During winter season I told myself I was gonna start hitting up some more streams that I have either never fished or were more unfamiliar with.. Get out of my comfort zone per se.. So I decided I would fish something north of I-90 today.. Which honestly.. I have done only one other time.. Why bother I figure when I know so much good water south of 90.. Well indeed that is why I did bother.. because I know almost NOTHING about north of I-90 other than the Whitewater system.. and by know the Whitewater system.. I mean I know it exists.. I have fished it.. and So does every other trout fisherman in Minnesota on any given day.. and aside from that I don't know of any other great creeks north of 90 that are worth my time to drive..

So off I headed north on 61.. Took some turns here and there.. missed the creek I was originally looking for and kept driving until I recognized the next town I would run into.. Blind driving.. Its the greatest >.<  Stopped at one potential creek.. but didn't look nothing worth my time.. Could've been wrong.. but while I was checking it out.. another angler came along and pulled up.. So I let him have it.. seeing as I had little interest in it.. Got back in my car.. and turned around.. If there is one thing about not knowing where you are.. at least if you turn around eventual you'll get back to where you were?

Looking at my maps I decided to get off the road I was on check out another stream near by... Got there.. It was quite the mess of a stream.. downed trees everywhere.. highwalling around every bend.. silt silt and more silt.. but a couple deep cuts near root wads caught my attention of this "wild" stream... Walked maybe a 1/4 mile of the stream total.. not much to cast to.. mostly was just shallow wide silted up stream... the few casts that I made resulted in a couple hits and chases but no takers.. back to the car for my next unknown destination!

Got to my next destination.. walking streamside had a few chase and hit at my spinner but no takers yet again.. Quite frustrating but you gotta keep movin on... As I'm walking along the stream.. I come to realize.. I probably should have left my spinning gear in the car.. and grabbed my fly rod.. there was a small hatch of Dark Hendricksons and the trout were keying in on them.. never did see anything too big take to the surface.. all looked to be in the 4-6" range.. gave up a little early on this stream knowing I had brought the wrong rod to the stream.....

Jumped back in my car.. eyed over the map to see what was next on my adventure.. locked in on my choice and was off!  This was quite the adventure.. really really do love the DNR and their sub par labeling of roads on their trout stream maps.. My next destination would have me kinda lost.. not completely like omfg i don't know where I am or what to do.. lost.. but more like "I don't know where I am.. but I don't care"... drove for about 45min until a town sign finally appeared and was able to match it up on my map.. !!! Some how I went through 3 towns.. none of which had signs outside of the limits saying "hey welcome to the middle of f'in nowhere".. turned around.. headed back to the 1st of the 3 towns I went through and figured out the map.. for awhile.. more driving.. more driving.. know how much Google Maps sucks when you are use to looking at Garmin Topo maps?  it royally sucks!.. google maps is cool and all.. but its no Garmin map set... next thing I know I'm about 20 miles southeast of the stream I was trying to find so I said effit.. NEEEEEEXT!

Finally I make some headway.. Get to my destination.. Less having to search for this one.. though it did take awhile.. drove past the road to get there twice.. sometimes it can be tough to tell if the road just goes to a resident or if it is where I should go.. and again.. DNR maps don't help.. why did I forget my Garmin again!?!?.. Today would have been a lot less driving had I had it.. but anyways.. I'm rambling.. back on track.. Get to my destination.. walked i'd say a mile or so upstream.. was a thickly covered stream.. all wild trout.. I'm starting to wonder why it seems wild population streams get no HI.. seems like it would be cheaper to help preserve and improve a stream that has a naturally growing population instead of fixing up a section of another stream that you have to dump pellet fed moron fish into to keep the population stable.. crawling through the thick of it all.. back at the car I wondered if I should grab my long rod or the spinning gear again... glad I didn't chose the long rod.. It would have been a nightmare casting in such a tight area.. The fish were very active... coming up to holes I would see them coming up to the surface to take bugs.. but they were not selective.. cast my PM up to the head of the hole and would get a hit.. have the fish on.. lose him within a foot of me.. This continued happening consistently.. they would either barely hit the spinner and I would not hook them.. they'd chase and not take.. or the most frustrating of the afternoon.. they'd take and I'd lose'em.. I only took 2 brookies to hand.. but the fantastic and vibrant colors of those two wild brookies was enough for me in the end..

Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22... Hammock Creek

Woke up around 10am.. Looked out the window and saw it was sprinkling... Wasn't planning on doing any fishing today as I saw yesterday that it was supposed to be raining all day long.. Went to Weather Underground and looked at the weather maps which showed a huge gap between systems and decided I would go out and do a little fishing....

Got on the road some time around 11am.... Made sure to pack up the rain jacket.. Just in case... and packed my 2wt.. 5wt.. and spinning rod.. just to cover all bases... Decided I would head south of I-90... First 4 spots I went to all had at least 4 cars at them.. Oh yeah.. No one is working today... Totally forgot that part... After flipping through my maps I decided I would keep driving south and check out a section of stream that I had never fished before... When I arrived things were looking good.. no rain.. not too chilly.. the section of stream I arrived at looked amazing..

Through on my waders and my rain jacket.. wasn't sure how long I would be out... and it had been sprinkling on and off during the whole drive.. packed my jacket with all the gear I needed... decided I would take the spinning rod with me.. Had been sometime since I was stream side with a spinning rod.. and this was a brand new 6'6" St. Croix Triumph that I had yet to use.. bought it earlier in the year to replace the one I broke during my trip up north...

I walked downstream for probably a good 1.5-2mi... Finally I decided I should turn around and start walking back up stream and start fishing.. I could have continued walking down stream.. but forgetting my watch and not knowing how long it took me to walk to where I was I played it safe... but there was plenty more potentially amazing water down stream of me...

As soon as I started to turn around and start fishing back to my car... it slowly started raining.. nothing severe... actually the whole afternoon it rained.. with a few times here and there it would stop.. never once saw the sun.. cloudy.. gloomy.. rainy day.. thankfully that makes for a very productive day on the water!

Rain makes for easy presentation.. For one it breaks up the top of the water.. making it tough for the trout to see you.. and even tougher for them to differentiate a spinner from a rain drop.. a couple times throughout the day I had trout take my spinner before it had even started spinning.. a couple were even as it was hitting the water.. this combination of elements for the day made for some very aggressive fish...
First cast.. nothing but a mess of line.. cleaned it up.. retied my spinner.. next cast same thing..

First lesson of the day... Fireline Crystal SUCKS!  I will be removing the remainder from my spool and going back to PowerPro..

I basically cast to anything that looked deep and/or covered up.. lots of over hang and downed trees made for some great structure that when cast to.. Casting up stream through runs produced some nice trout.. but my best trout were had  by casting across stream and letting the current sweep my spinner into downed trees and low overhanging trees... This was my proven method when I almost skipped a hole because it seemed like a snagging catastrophe waiting to happen.. But I gave it a shot.. walked up above it.. cast across and let my spinner sweep back to my side of the stream and bam!  I pull out 15-16" Brown.. followed by 3 more ~12".. most of the trout that I caught were in the 10-12" range.. with a handful below that.. and maybe 5-6 that were bigger than that... ended the day with somewhere around 30 trout to hand.. and at least double that that chased or hit my spinner..

When i got back to my car... I had realized I wasn't too sure about where I exactly was.. DNR maps aren't the greatest marked maps in the world.. and I knew where I was.. but none of the roads in the area where labeled on the map... So I just drove until I got service and used Google Earth to save my ass... That's what I get for forgetting my Garmin...

All in all a good day.. When it rains.. it may pour... But one thing is for certain.. When it rains.. I reign supreme! =)
Something bigger got a hold of this guy... Unfortunately I didn't find him..
Close up of the previous trout's tail

New Stream Maps for 2011

Don't know how long ago the DNR posted them.. but I just noticed it.. New Updated Spring 2011 Trout Stream Maps

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Wolf River Cam

Pretty cool underwater camera.. mostly for watching 'eyes but you can catch a few other species as well.. 

Free live streaming by Ustream

Monday, April 11, 2011


This is something that has been in the back of my head for awhile now and it has really bugged me.  I'm an avid fisherman.. enjoy the sport.. love the sport.. do not discriminate against one angler or the other with which form of fishing he prefers as long as what he is doing is not wasteful or harmful to the fish.  Spin..Baitcast.. Spincast.. Fly.. Spear.. Bow.. I really don't care we're all allowed to fish how we want to legally.  Where I do have a problem is when an angler openly admits that he breaks the laws.  I will refrain from naming any individuals as that is just childish.. I'm sure if this person was to read this post they would more than likely know I am talking about them.  And what gets me more is not just the out right rule breaking of fishing waters out of season.. It's that this said person will talk and fight with other anglers as to why all streams do not allow bait.. especially crawlers.. and fight it with a passion.. and then go and break another law!  Really?  How hypocritical.. Some fishermen wonder why they can't do what they are trying to do.. while others just abide by the rules and go on with their lives.   You know.. I'd stand and fight for this person's rights.. But when you are saying one thing and then going and breaking rules.. Then you should have no voice.. or for that matter a license in the first place.


Friday, April 1, 2011

1 Year Ago Today

Happy Birthday to Fishing N' Forgetting..  My first post was 1 year ago today.. Thank You to all who follow and read my blog!