Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This last week of inland trout

With the streams being muddy last weekend, I had opted to socialize a bit.  Saturday morning I attended the annual Bamboo rod makers gathering in Martel, Wisconsin.  About 20 people or more came together for the event and the weather was great.  Met some new people and saw some old friends.  Steve Yasgur was on the grill serving up tasty burgers for everyone to add to the fun.

After spending most of the morning and early afternoon there, I moved on for a beer at my pub (The MainStreeter) in River Falls, WI before attending the Northern Driftless Area River Gala presented by Kinni Creek Lodge & Outfitters.  The hosts Paige OlsonBob White, Andy Roth, and Kip Vieth did an excellent job putting this together.  A special gift for all to enjoy at the event around the cozy campfire were many flavors and endless supply of beer provided by the Rush River Brewery.  That was fun sampling the various flavors they had to offer.  While this was only scheduled to go to 10pm, many hung around later then that sharing stories and laughs.

I have the next two days off for the last two days of inland trout season.  I plan to hit the road early and hope that the reports of clearing rivers in Wisconsin hold true, since SE MN is pretty much out of the question with the recent flood activity.  Some snacks, the tent, sleeping bag, fleece, waders, and a few maps are all packed up.  More importantly, I just hope to find some hungry trout and enjoy this great fall weather. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Stinky Pinkys!

The original plan for this past weekend was to go to SE MN and go trout fishing with the club.  But, I was easily talked into going fishing on the North Shore by Jay and Ben as the pink salmon run was on!  

Long story short, we joined up with the Canadian, and Jay's crew (Adam, Jesse, and occasionally Tony) North of Duluth after having a great continental breakfast at the Lander B&B.  

Jen and I caught our first Pink Salmon, adding another species to our fish list.  We caught so many fish our arms were truly tired by the end of the weekend.  We are guessing that between just Jen and I, that we caught around one hundred pinks.  And I am pretty sure we were the slackers of the bunch.  Several times we had five of the six of us with fish on at once.  Total Craziness!

We had dinner Saturday night at the Gun Flint Tavern in Grand Marias with Tony, and then we camped ON the beach of Lake superior, set up tents in the dark, had some beer around the campfire and then woke up to a spectacular vista.  And then, more fishing.  In total, we fished five rivers over two days.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Tough Trouting

Last Saturday Ed called me up to go fly fishing on the Kinni and of course I said "you betcha."  We had about 4 hours of fishing in before the rain pushed us off.  I caught a handfull of browns using small streamers, and Ed caught a trout on a fly he tied, which was a first for him.  Way to go buddy, keep at it!  It was my first time down to the Kinni since the high waters and you can see some obvious changes to the river, not all bad either, except that we didn't catch anything over 10" long.

As we were getting out of our waders at the truck, it started raining really good, which was about the same time that Ed realized he had misplaced his cell phone.  We looked quickly before giving up betting that it was somewhere inside the truck.  We then headed back into town to the Mainstreeter for lupper as the rain poored down.  By the time we were done eating, the rain was done.  With one more look through everything inside the truck to find Ed's phone, I spotted it...on the roof of my Toyota.  The miracle wasn't that it was there after driving into town from the fisherman's parking lot, it was that after all that rain, it still worked!
Yesterday, the Canadian and I went back to the Kinni for the evening and fished till dark.  Between the two of us, Ben caught the first, biggest, and most fish, by landing the one and only trout for the evening.  Even the worm dunker that was fishing below us was not catching anything.  Odd, he must have bought the cheap live bait.  We ran into a few people with nothing much significant caught, with the exception of one guy.  He said he caught sixteen fish.  Show off or liar, I can't decide which.  He, for what it's worth, said that he was using grey scud patterns.  hmm, the one fly in the kitchen sink I didn't throw in the water.  Go figure.  At our debriefing over supper at the Mainstreeter in River Falls, we decided to try fishing again Sunday on a stretch of river Ben knew of in southern Minnesota.  

Ben served up some great Sweadish pancakes and jam for breakfast.  FABULOUS!  Then he and Jen and I left Amy behind, and headed out the door to see what the fishing would bring us.  With the one minor issue of back tracking bit to a local DNR license agent after realizing that when Jen bought her MN fishing license at the Fly Angler this morning before drinking her coffee that she forgot to add the trout stamp.  REALLY GIRL? REALLY? GEEZ!!  So I got over my minor aneurysm, and she bought her trout stamp and we continued on to trout country.  Which, by the way, we did see a Conservation Officer driving around several times.  He never stopped to chat with us.  Dang, he could have seen Jen's brand new shiny unused trout stamp!  Just kidding Jen. Kinda.

We fished for half a day and then decided to pull the plug.  It was pretty damn hot, especially wandering in the woods in waders with our sleeves rolled down to the wrist due to the amount of stinging nettles around.  It was a bright blue bird day and not a single cloud in the sky for cover.  To add to the day, the trout didn't get the memo we were coming to play as they were not really active or feeding.  I caught three brookies, Ben caught one brown, and poor Jen caught none (must have been the bad trout-karma for her earlier "trout stamp incident").  One of the brookies I caught was on one of my latest wet fly concept patterns that stayed up until 5am tying this past Friday night.  (Note to Yaz: it was the black/silver variation of the flies I gave you on Saturday).

Even with the fishing not being on fire for us the past week, I have hopes that this coming weekend will get better.  The forecast is optimistic, with temperatures easing back a bit, and as the end of inland trout season comes nearer, the trout gods need give up something for us to reflect on during the upcoming winter.