Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Drifting for Muskie's

This past weekend finally came after a long time of waiting.  Peter and I had set aside this weekend for a float trip to fly fish for muskie's with Wendy, our guide from the Hayward Fly Fishing shop.  Wendy, by the way, was also a cover girl for a fly fishing magazine holding one of those big trout things.  I'll skip the recap of the ugly drive up on Friday, but just mentioned that we met up at Peters cabin within 5 minutes of each other, which was pretty funny since we both had a long ways to go and had each had our side stops along the way. 

It had been a while since I last saw Peter, so after a hurried unloading of some gear and our clothing for the next day, we had a chance to exchange some highlights while we settled in by the fireplace.  We both had a long day so we retired early for the evening, and we needed to get up early in order to meet up with Wendy at the fly shop.  

Saturday, we eagerly got up, had a good breakfast, and were out the door with no delays.  We met up with Wendy and Larry who were both hanging out in the parking lot waiting for their respective clients.  After a short confusing dialog of regarding the shuttle logistics we ventured off to the Chippewa River.  On the drive out we saw three wild turkey's near the road.  I declared this to be a good omen for no good reason.  But it brought a smile to our faces.

We got to the boat launch, jumped into our waders as Wendy unloaded and prepped the boat for the day.  It was a cool morning, and a little overcast, a very little wind.  A lot of the trees were revealing thier fall colors, mixed in with those that hadn't started yet.  In no time at all we were floating in the river and getting familiar with the 9 and 10 weight rods as well as the flies the size of week old puppies.  It didn't take long and Peter had landed a pike.  Nothing huge, but still a fun fight and fun to watch.

Before we knew it, several hours had past, we were deep into our chatting about random stuff and enjoying an absolute gorgeous fall day.  Then Peter tagged into a muskie.  He quickly had that landed in the boat, and we took pictures.  It had a neat iridescent green color on it's side, and again, a nice sized fish, but not the scary monsters you see in brag pages of Outdoor News. 

Then there was the "almost" double header.  Peter and I were at a spot where we both set the hook at the same time on strikes.  Peter hooked his and ended up landing a pike.  Mine decided it didn't want to commit to me and spit the fly.  It was crazy fun moment and would have been cool had we both landed something at the same time. 

At some point we did break for a lunch on the river, prepared by Wendy, who makes a good lunch, but an excellent desert.  We had also stretched our legs and waded a gravel bar where there was some good water and some potential channels for muskie.  That is when we encountered the only other people we had seen all day on the river.  Two kayakers that paddled by us.  Other than that, we had the whole river to ourselves all day.  I think if I remember correctly, the float was around 7 or so hours from beginning to end.  So if you are keeping track, Peter caught one muskie and two pike, and I had two significant strikes and nothing landed.  As for wildlife we had saw a couple kingfishers in an aerial dogfight over the river, an eagle, we also heard a grouse fly off and a turkey putting. 

After the float we headed back to the cabin.  Peter jumped in the canoe for a little lake fishing to wrap up the day.  I transferred my running line and backing from an old bad Orvis reel I had to a new Ross spool that I had got last Christmas in preparation for Sunday's fishing in Northern Wisconsin for salmon and steelhead.  David Keene arrived while I was working on this, and directed him down to the lake so that he could go fishing with out of the canoe for the last hour of the day. 

I made a few casts along the shore shortly after my project was done and caught two large mouth bass and a decent sized pumpkinseed within a half-hour.  Once it was too dark, we headed off to the dead animal bar for supper.  While that is not its real name, it was an appropriate name.  There were a lot of dead animals mounted, more then your average Wisconsin bar.  Supper was good, then we headed back to the cabin to prep for Sundays fishing.

1 comment:

  1. Critter (We ARE on a first nom-de-plume basis, right?)--

    Been reviewing your blogs from this month and, with the exception of your back, damn(!), it sounds like you've been havin' a nice start to Autumn. You're takin' in the stuff that counts, and gettin' to count the stuff you take, too. How neat is that?!? Glad to hear the 4-wt. is doing its part! And you get to share it all with a great woman! Does it get much better? No need to answer . . .