Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Open Tying Night

Last night was open tying night at The Fly Angler.  Several people showed up to tie with Mike, mostly members of the St. Paul Fly Tiers Club.  It was a good time!  Just before the tying began upstairs, one of my buddies working at the shop put together a nice set up that made me drool.  Seriously...  I only held it for like eight seconds and immediately handed it back.  It felt soo good and the cost of the set up....well let's just say I had to put it back or Jen may have started looking for a burial plot for me.  What was this set you ask?  It was a 8'6" Winston Boron IIIx 4wt, with the Abel Super 3N reel.  Simply AMAZING. 
Once I got upstairs and situated, I tied up a dozen of these Zebra midge variants.  It was the standard pattern but with a red butt that I saw in one of the shops fly bins.  Then I tied a few with a caddis green butt using a gun metal beadhead instead of the copper.  Made for what looked an like an upside down caddis.  Hopefully it will work for me. 
For those interested the next:
  • The Rush River Clean Up on April 21st,
  • MN Bass Expo 4/20 - 4/22 in Blaine,
  • Open tying night at the Fly Angler is May 7th, 6-8pm,
  • Club fishing outing on May 20th, 
  • and as always, every Thursday night is the Fly Tier's club meetings.  I think there will be some trying their hand at tying tube flies on April 19th.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Three bearded guys in a boat.

So we went up and spent the day with my parents along with my aunt and uncle on Goose Lake.  We had a great time hanging out, showed off my new motorcycle (a 2008 Yamaha Raider) to my parents.  Both seemed genuinely impressed.  For Easter dinner, dad worked his magic in the kitchen and made his great fried fish.  A huge serving of crappies along with the various salads made for a great feast.
photo provided by Trails.com
Afterwards, dad and uncle Keith and myself went out on dads boat and headed over to the crappie spot to see if we could replenish what we ate.  They handed me this thing called a spinning rod.  It was missing at least four feet of length and had this funny kind of real called an open face real.  Sure can't fly fish with this, especially with that slip bobber thing and crappie spinner jig at the end.  Dad assured me that the rod was the right length and to start fishing.
Luck was not on our side.  All that was caught was a bass in the first five minutes.  Dad claims that made him the best fisherman in the boat.  I countered that he was the worst since he caught something we were not targeting.  Uncle Keith shook his head and chuckled at the two of us.  I think he was just happy that I had taken over his anchor duties...something about he'd kept forgetting to bring it up every time dad wanted to change locations.  They had been fishing the previous two days with same amount of luck we were having, only with some added anchor drama.  The debate over who the best fisherman in the boat continues.  At least until we go fishing again.
A couple of hours on the water and we headed back to the dock, fishless and happy.
a little breezy,
a little cool,
lots of sun, and
good fun.
a little stained and in the 50's.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

2nd time out for the 2012 season.

Jen and I had a good day on the river.  We were able to finally get out again, after my spring had a temporary interruption of two unplanned visits to the emergency room.  Which made this day together on the river all the more appreciated.  The day started out overcast and as we drove into Western Wisconsin the skies cleared up. 
We crossed a couple bridges on the quiet winding roads of rural Wisconsin passing by cows, turkeys, eagles, and a Lama (the fuzzy four legged kind, not the bald two legged kind).   We pulled off to a spot I vaguely remembered from two years ago thinking that it would be as good as any place to start.  We put on the waders, rigged up each of our 7' 4wt bamboo fly rods, and headed up-river.  We messed around for about an hour with limited success before coming upon a Private Property sign that made me decide to turn back.  It didn't say "Keep Out," but it also didn't say, "Come on in" either. 
On our way back, we had a young guy local who lived across the road stop and chat with us on his Arctic Cat four wheeler.  I wasn't thrilled when he pulled up as I just wanted to be left alone today.  But five minutes into our conversation, I decided I liked this guy and we continued to chat for about a half hour.  We traded a few fishing stories, how his maple syrup season was slow this year, and some knowledge of each others rivers and lakes, which really benefited Jen and I.  Turns out....we should have gone down river from where we walked in.  And that made all the difference in our day.
We parted ways and headed downstream.  We caught a lot of what I call firecrackers.  Brookie's in the six to ten inch range, that are so feisty and full of spastic energy when you catch them, and so brightly painted with their orange tummies and fins, black and white edges, and green marbled backs.  BAM!  They're just little sticks of dynamite!
The Lucky fly of the day!
The key was to use one of my favorite wet fly patterns that has a starling (or grouse or woodcock) hackle, black dubbing body with copper ribbing, and a few fibers of golden pheasant feather for a tail.  Oh, and kneeling definitely helped today as well with the water being almost gin clear and the bright sunshine, we had to reduce our presence to the trout. 
There was very little in the way of hatches today, just enough to make you hope some dry fly action would come about, but we only saw a few fish break the water chasing emergers. 
In one hole that had a some bigger trout in it, we spotted two snapping turtles hanging out in strategic spots that made for casting to the trout pretty hard.  That would suck to catch one of them on a fly rod, and since the fish were not big enough to get my adrenaline going, we moved along quickly form that spot.  Later we decided Spring was here to stay, as we came across two more snapping turtles that were "hugging," or some call it "shaking hands" with each other at the bottom of a short run.  Our own little version of Wild America I guess.
At the end of the day we headed back home and stopped in to one of my favorite post-fishing pubs, The Mainstreeter Bar & Grill in River Falls (who still does not have a website).  We had Supper there along with a frosty beverage and then continued on back home.
Air temp: 60's
Wind: Intermittent 0-10mph
Water Conditions: Cold/clear
Sunshine: Lots of it