Friday, April 27, 2012

SBS: Mini-Bugger

This has been a pretty effective pattern for me over the years.. Dead drifted as the lead fly.. You cannot go wrong.

Hook:  #12 Nymph
Head: Bead Head in matching size
Weight: .015 Lead 6-8 wraps
Tail:  Marabou, 3-4 stands Krystal Flash
Body: Black Ice Dub
Hackle: Whiting Hen Hackle, Grizzly

Step 1:  Add bead and Give 6-8 wraps of lead or until shank is 1/2 wrapped in lead.

Step 2:  Lay down a layer of thread to secure in the lead and lay down a coat of super glue/head cement
Step 3:  Tie in marabou and krystal flash

Step 4:  Make dubbing loop and tie thread forward and tie in soft hackle

Step 5:  Sparsely fill dubbing loop with black ice dub and twist tightly

  Step 6:  Wrap dubbing brush forward and tie in behind head

Step 7:  Wrap hackle forward and  stroking back feathers and wrapping thread to secure hackle.  Whip finish and secure with super glue.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April 17th

Yesterday my buddy Ted called me up to see if I wanted to do some trout fishing.. Pfft.. What kind of question is that.. Of course!  So we headed north to the Whitewater area to do some trout fishing and hopefully catch some trout..

It was a great day.. Temps were in the low 50s when we headed out and peaked in the low 60s as the day progressed.. At first things were frustrating.. Trying to find a pattern that was gonna work.. The past couple days it's been easy.. Fish rising to Caddis.. Tie on a EHC and you were money.. Today it just seemed that it wasn't working out for me.. BWOs were popping and there were a few risers.. But I started out with a nymph tandem.. No dice.. Ted stepped up with a EHC and took one or two.. I switched up to a BWO dry as few of them were coming off and nothing.. Switched to an EHC and nothing.. Just was not going my way.. Perfect casts.. Perfect drifts.. Nothing.. Tie on a bugger.. Nothing.. Ted on the other hand was catching them here and there on nymphs.. mainly copper johns of the red variety..

As we headed up stream and the day progressed.. The caddis were coming off a little more and we both switched back to EHCs and that was where it was at the rest of the day.. Each taking our turn to step up and land a fish.. First Ted.. Then myself.. and back and forth we'd go catching one and letting the other step up to the plate to land another.. Finally things were working out for me..

As the day got later the caddis dropped off in normal fashion of the past week.. Seems like the hatches have been starting around noon-ish to 1pm.. and dropping off by ~3pm.. Overall it was a great day as always... Any day catching fish is a good day..

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review Time! Sawyer 3-way Inline Water Filter

A couple months back I decided I would finally purchase myself a water filter system for those days that I forget water.. Or I decide to go camping where fresh water is not an option.. As in backpacking into some of the 1,000,000+ acres of state forest land that is found here in southeastern Minnesota..

After looking at many different options... MSR.. .Katadyn... Aquamira... I decided to go with the Sawyer 3-way Inline Water Filter.. I chose it based on reviews I found on-line.. And unlike the different pump systems out there that could(and have from reviews) break down.. I went with what seemed simple enough... Connect to hydration pack and sip.. I also liked the idea that this water filter could be used in many different ways.. From a simple straw system where you connect the tubes and dip directly into the water source and sip.. Or gravity system where you can fill up your hydration bladder with water.. and allow it to drip down into another container.. ie: water jug/dish tub/nalgene.. Or it can even be connected to a water faucet if you are in an area where you should not drink tap water..

The filter is good and guaranteed for up to 1,000,000 gallons.. How you would keep track of that is beyond me.. But I imagine it's guaranteed for life by that statement.  It is equipped with a 0.1 micron absolute hollow fiber membrane filter.. Protects you from 99.99999% bacteria and 99.99999% protozoa and cysts... The filter weights in at a whole 3oz.. So it's definitely light enough for the hardcore backpacker..

So Saturday I finally got to test it out as I had forgotten to fill my hydration bladder before heading to the stream to do some fishing.. So I unhooked my platypus and dipped it in the nice cold stream and filled it up and my thirst was instantly quenched... First thing I was impressed with was how easy it was to draw water from my pack with the filter on.. Could barely tell that it was even hooked onto my hydration pack.. The second thing I noticed was how clean tasting the water was.. Even fresh well water has that metallic/earthy taste to it.. This water tasted as filtered and fresh as possible without the nasty chemical/chlorine taste that is added to municipal water sources.. Or from chlorine/iodine tabs.. Even with nymphs and all swimming around in the bag.. It tasted great! And 3 days later.. I'm not sick!  So it obviously does it's job..

I would recommend this to anyone looking into a hydration system as it's simple to use and on the cheaper end at only $50-60.. No maintenance besides maybe having to backwash it as it get's used more or is used in very dirty water.. And the chance of this thing actually "breaking down" seems slim

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Just because it's called "smart"water.. Doesn't mean it can fix stupidity and ignorance...

Bonus Round!

Once I had gotten home, cleaned and grilled up my trout.. I was still yearning to get out and do some more fishing.. So I geared back up and headed down to the backwaters to do a little fishing and see what I could find...

To my surprise.. Wasn't a single fisherman at this spot.. Normally there is a minimum of 4 cars lined up.. With up to 8+ lined up down the road.. Maybe they were all streamside!  I tie on a simple white bugger.. Nothing fancy.. I attach 25# Vicious Elite Fluorocarbon to the end of my furled leader as pike love slamming all sorts of flies out here and better to be safe than sorry...  Within a couple casts I tie into my first fish.. It's something decent...  He starts jerking line out from my hand.. It's a biggger guy.. And takes off.. My reel clicking away as the fish runs and takes me to my reel.. Ok.. It's pretty big.. Or at least for my 5wt as it bends.. Almost doubling over.. I get a little edge on him and finally see.. It's a big pike.. He quickly jets back off and takes me for another short run.. Finally after about 10-15min of fighting I grab him behind the head and remove the bugger from his big toothy jaws.. 30" pike.. Biggest on the fly this year.. If not my biggest pike on the fly ever...

I continued fishing until I basically couldn't see where my fly was landing.. I caught a pair of crappies and that's all she wrote.. That pike sure was a blast though!

Trout Opener 2012!

Yes.. Today April the 14th was Trout Opener in Southeastern Minnesota.. I originally had taken off the weekend to dig up and turn the dirt on our expanding garden plot.. But with heavy rains last night.. Turning up dirt was gonna be no easy task.. Knowing my day was now open I thought where I would fish as the day was looking promising.. As the morning progressed I realized it was Trout Opener.. I am not one to always make it out.. And the times I do plan on doing so.. The weather is never favorable.. Or I get sick.. Like last year...

So I decided I'll head to one stretch and if it's filled with cars.. I would not play this game of "find a place to fish in peace on opener".. I pull up to the stream around 12:30-1pm.. There is a vehilce.. Someone is sleeping inside of it.. Good sign?   I look downstream from the bridge and I see one guy making his way back.. So I figured I best get geared up and moving before more cars arrive.. Without hesitation I get my waders and boots on.. Rod all lined up and tie on a Elk Hair Caddis as it was the fly of choice the other day.. And today was very similar.. So I was expecting similar results...

I hoof it downstream and start where I had begin the other day.. A couple casts in and I land my first trout of the day.. A dinky little 4-5" brown... Not too much going on for rises.. Here and there but nothing like the day before.. I'm catching one here and there.. Watching plenty come up and look but do not take.. I switch up here and there to find a color more favorable and finally figure out it was a size issue.. And from there on my catch rate increases...

Overall it was a good day.. Caught plenty of fish and easily took my limit... Finally I got to do what I had been waiting since last September to do.. Catch and Eat!  MmmmMmmm grilled trout.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Back To The Stream..

So it's been awhile since I've posted.. Not much going on.. Mediocre bass... Small perch.... Small pike.. Crappy weather and sore elbow keeping me sidelined for most of the days this past week... And the upcoming week is looking pretty grim.. Possibilities of snow???  Jesus.. This state's weather drives me nuts some times..

I decided I better get out and do some fishing.. Any fishing today.. Before the inevitable comes along.. Rain... And crappy weather.. The rain is definitely needed as the stream I was at was very very low.. But this highs in the low 40s and low 20s at night should be long gone.. At least with how untypical the weather has been so far this year..

It's been awhile since I've been stream side with all the great warm water action.. So I decided I would hit up one of my favorite streams.. One that I knew would have me on at least a couple trout... And with my elbow being sore.. I figured I best leave the 9wt along for a little bit and go with something lighter.. Got stream side.. It was sunny.. Slight breeze.. Absolutely perfect day for some fishing.. It was so nice.. I didn't need nothing more than a T-shirt for a top... Left the hoodie in the car.. Rigged up and walked down stream...

As I was walking I realized I was going to have to retie immediately as a caddis hatch was brewing up.. Get to my first hole and trout rising everywhere.. I tie on a tan CDC EHC.. And within my first 3 casts had my first fish.... A couple more casts and brown brown brown... I move up a little bit and see a bunch of trout rising around this downed tree.. I keep casting to them.. Pulling one at a time.. The bigger of them sitting right up underneath the backside of the branch.. Casting and casting to him.. Each attempt a miss at him and a hook up with another.. I was determined to get this fish.... About 20 casts and a dozen trout later.. I finally land him.. Persistence pays off!  After about an hour.. I decide it's time to leave my first hole..

I continue up stream pounding browns left and right as they rise to the swam of caddis along the streams edge and around downed trees... I keep catching browns on a regular basis.. most in the 10-12" range.. all very healthy and putting up a great fight with my 4wt St. Croix Imperial... I jump a bunch of water and head to my final stretch as I have to head back within 45min because of work.. The fish are going absolutely crazy through the stretch and landing more trout than I can count easily.. Elbow is getting sore and I'm wasting more time drying my fly after each trout than I am catching them it seems.. Alarm on my phone goes of... Snooze... 9min later.. Snooze.. I can catch a couple more.. Then.. Damn.. I gotta head to work...

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Thursday, April 5, 2012


Was out rock hounding today because the fishing was unimpressive... Was hoping to maybe find some redhorse starting to pile up in a local stream.. But ended up rock picking instead as they were no where to be found.. And instead came across this...

Revisiting Old Hometowns

So over the past week or so the fishing has been so so.. Temps jumping up and down and water levels dropping... Fishing has been hit and miss.. Not skunks.. But definitely nothing worth writing about.. Mostly a bunch of 8-12" Largemouth Bass.. And small pike.. A bluegill here and there... But Monday I decided I needed a change from the normal waters I've been pounding for what is almost a good month now... So I headed north to the Wabasha area to hit up water that I use to fish on a daily basis when I lived up there...

It was supposed to be a good day.. Temps in the low 70s.. Not much for wind.. Gusty.. But very fishable.. First cast of the day landed me my biggest fish of the day.. And biggest bass of the year so far.. It was all down hill from there... Next cast had me tied into something that had my 9wt doubled over.. And being too anxious to get a glimpse of what it was.. I had pulled the fly from his mouth.. Overall it was a good day.. Took a handful of bass.. and a small pike... Was at least able to add a couple fish to my Species List for the HSO Fly Fishing Challenge.. One of them which was more than a worthy add to the list!