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