Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The search continues

Narrowly escaping a delay at work Friday, Jen and I headed up north for another weekend of steelhead fly fishing.  By chance, a couple of buddies (Mike and Phil) saw us as we passed through Superior, WI and they called my cell phone to say hi and we pulled over for a couple of minutes to say hi and take a little leg stretch.  We caravanned the rest of the way to the motel and after checking in, stood outside in the dark brisk parking lot looking up at an almost full moon taking away about who had heard what for fishing reports and what everyone's plan was for next day.

I could have stayed in bed all day Saturday instead of fishing.  But we got dressed and ran the truck for a awhile to get rid of the heavy frost on the windows and ventured out.  All the normal parking lots were pretty much full and that was causing me to get frustrated in trying to get away from the crowds.  We went back to the least full parking lot and thought we would give it a shot.  Even though there were many cars at this lot, we pretty much only saw one fisherman who had a European accent.  But, we saw him over and over and over again.  And that got on my nerves trying to get away from him.  Whatever.  Jen caught and landed a nice 18" skipjack that day so she was doing pretty good.  Myself, not so much.  I hooked and lost one fish, hooked many rocks, logs, branches, trees, and my rain jacket.  At one point I lost my composure and threw my rod on the bank in the mud.  Pure frustration coupled with annoyances of not being able to get way from euro-dude and not being familiar with the stretch of water were were on and not catching steelhead made for a short day.  We called it quits earlier than normal with the idea that I just needed to stop fighting with whatever forces were at odds with me.

The evening went much better, after we changed and grabbed a beer at the hotel room where we were found by the Bob's (who just pulled into town), Peter and his wife Kris, Crazy-Luke, along with Mike and Phil.  They had better luck than myself and a more enjoyable day when it was all said and done.  We went out to dinner together for the evening since it gets so dark so early now to catch up and make plans for the next day.  

Sunday was a better day for my disposition in spite of the thick frost on the cars on a crisp 26 degree morning, and our fishing luck improved....sorta.  Jen hooked a larger skipjack that had it not been for my slow response and her quick landing would have been a netted.  But since I was slow on the draw, fish spit the hook where she had almost beached it and it swam off.  She was kinda not happy with me, even though she tried to cover it up.  We both know, that I screwed that up as net man.  In my defense, I do think that was the quickest landing of a steelhead that she ever executed.  I hooked three that day and landed none of them.  The Green Bay Packers won. Yoda, hooked and landed a 25" up river from us; Mother Feiker lost a nice one on his last cast of the day.  Yoda was able to get a lot of the battle on his Go-Pro, but in the end the Steelie spit the hook and gave Bob the fin.  Crazy-Luke caught four on Saturday and one on Sunday. I don't remember the numbers for Mike and Phil, but I do recall they did really well, especially in one particular hole. 

Jen and I spent the night there with the Bob's instead of hurrying home since we had taken Monday off to just chill out with each other and to go to an hour long appointment I had set up after I had taken the day off.  More about that later....maybe.

Tuesday morning I had taken off to go fishing with Mike and Dad for small mouth bass in Location X.  Dad however called last week and cancelled his spot.  But since it had taken so long to work out a date and get time off, I went anyway fishing with Mike anyways.  We met at Mikes place and we kind of dragged a feet a little as it was another balmy 28 degree morning.  We got the boat launched and did some fishing.  The first half hour we kind of battled the thin layer of ice that had formed on the water trying to cast over or through it with our flies and fly line.  But the once the sun came out and waves picked up the ice broke up.  Mike ended up with two smallie's landed, and I caught two very small pike.  So my streak of small mouth fishing success continues to be not exciting.  That change, someday. 

Now I'm on the countdown again.  Only three days until we head up again for another chance at catching AND landing some good steelhead.

A new form of "Ice Fishing"- fly line on top, fly  dangling down below.

A cast where the fly didn't make it through the ice.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Steelhead weekend summed up.

This past weekend:
    some friends were seen,
          some potential new freinds were made,
               some beverages consumed,
                    some blueberry ribs were ate,
                         some rainbows, smolt, and steelhead were caught,
                              on prince nymphs and pale eggs
                                   saw two circling bald eagles, one otter with trout in it's mouth
                                        worn out, tired, very happy, 
                                             five days of work until we can do it all over again.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Weekend Summary

Jen and I drove up in snow flurries to my friends cabin in northern Wisconsin.  I Realized that I forgot to pack my fleece pants to wear under my waders at home.  We chatted and formulated a plan for the weekend over Jameson on rocks, and then headed off to bed.
Peter and I fished for Muskies on the Flambeau River in the blowing snow...I was reminded by my cold legs and numb hands that I forgot fleece pants at home.  We did not catch or land any fish, but it was good to see Wendy from the Hayward Fly Fishing company again and so many eagles flying along the river.  After the day was done, we headed even further North to thaw out with some pretty decent home made pizza at the Kro-Bar.  We bumped into my Joe form Merrill, WI and talked to him and his buddy for awhile and played a little pool.  I only see him like once, maybe twice a year, so that was a nice surprise.
We woke up to thick frost on the car at 23 degrees.  Got our stuff together for a day of fishing for Steelhead, woke up Joe and his buddy, who asked me why they decided to try to keep up in doing shots with the 23-year old's.  I just laughed, and wished them a good day on the river and thinking it was good that I didn't participate in that game with them. 
We got down into the river, and reconfirmed my irritation towards myself for forgetting my fleece pants at home and the growing list of crap that I forgot, broke, or misplaced that I have to work on before coming back up.  Peter started his steelhead season within fifteen minutes by landing a healthy skip-jack.  We fished for a few hours and then took a lunch break before driving off to another spot where I caught nine and landed five fish.  Four were future steelhead ranging from 8" to 14", and the fifth one was a legit skip-jack coming in at 17-inches.  Three took the pale yellow egg, and two took the #12 PTN.  So the search for their feisty parents continues. 
I also had a foot and a half long witness checking out my casting technique.  He swam across the river to hang out with me.  He hung out on the shore behind me for about twenty minutes after his swim, and then disappeared.  My guess is the 42 degree water might have slowed him down and needed a little sun bathing on the beach to get going again.
Common Garter Snake sticking tongue out at me.

To top off our great fall day, Jen and I headed home through Duluth, MN and stopped in for a nice anniversary dinner at Black Woods restaurant where I proposed to her.  The service and food was great, and it was nice to stroll down memory lane and reminisce about our earlier days together.
More to come later, as for now we to put a "pause" on our fishing as we have a wedding to attend next weekend someplace in Iowa called "BFE" I think.  It's between "Some-town-I-haven't-been" and "it's-that-close-to-Illinois-really???" Then after that, it's back to the north woods fishing adventures.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

And the winner is...Me!

That's right, me. 
Two weeks ago I won a random drawing for pretty nice healthy cooking cookbook.  Hey that's cool right, I haven't won any thing in a while. 
Then two days later I logged in and found an email from the National Trout Center in Preston, MN informing me that I had won Grand Prize for the 2012 Raffle!  The Grand Prize being a Headwaters Bamboo Company fly rod.  Specifically, a Peerless Santiam 7'0" 5/6 wt, Medium action with two tips and a very nice rod sock and tube.  I confirmed that they address they had was correct and they said they would send it to me via UPS.  Great!  But, it showed up the day after inland trout season closed.  So I'll have to wait a bit before slaying some trout with my newly won prize, but I think it will be worth it. 
I did take a peek at the Headwaters website and it would appear that the value of the rod is the $800 range, not bad for spending much less than that on the raffle tickets, unless you count up (and let's not do that) all the raffle tickets over the years trying to win a bamboo rod made by Dave Norling at various Trout Unlimited Raffles.  The Headwaters rod felt very nice and has great looking real seat.  I'll have to take some pictures to post of it when I have some free time later on.
This coming weekend, I'll be fishing for Muskies on Saturday with a friend on our annual trip with Wendy from the Hayward Fly Fishing Company.  As for our 12th wedding anniversary on Sunday, Jen and I will be holding on to our tradition of the past several years, which is that we will be standing in cold water fishing for steelhead in the north woods of Wisconsin taking time to stop from our busy lives to enjoy mother nature, friends, hopefully a fish or two and life in general.
Fall is here...go hunt, go fish, go ride your motorcycle, just go out and enjoy it all whatever it is that gets you going!  Winter will be here before you know it.
Our group (Star Chapt 444) that went on the Lienie's fall motorcycle ride.