Monday, June 16, 2014

Return to Stonehammer

On Saturday morning at 4:00am I met up with my dad at our secret rendezvous point near the Minnesota Wisconsin border.  From there we would join forces and head strait for a place that I had in mind.  That place would be none other than Stonehammer on the the Rush.

The moon was just setting on the western horizon as we walked to the river from the parking lot.  The time was 5:10am.
 I'm not quite exactly sure how Stonehammer earned its name but one legend I heard had a hammer in it that was supposedly made of stone.  Another local legend has it being named after Chester Stonehammer.  Chester was an early pioneer to the area who was also extremely narcissistic.  He had a habit of naming things after himself.

You know you are at the river early when you see racoons on the shore.  The racoon made his way into the thicket before I could pull my camera from it's waterproof sack.

 The fly I would start with would be Lefty's Deceiver.  I didn't even know that it originated as a saltwater pattern until I started doing research for this article.  Another example of ignorance equaling bliss.
 A snapping turtle carcass lay rotting on the shore.  I wondered to myself what could have happened to end this turtle's life.  There was only one way to find out so I plunged my hands deep into the rotting flesh and closed my eyes.  I was presented with a vision detailing a battle between this turtle and the bitter cold of winter.  He just didn't burrow deep enough I guess.
 I soon became a deceiver believer when I saw this Brown Trout chase it down in the current.
 Here is a shot of the Deceiver in the water.
 I looked over and my dad was in the process of catching a nice Brook Trout on the Conehead Madonna.
 Kareem Abdul Jabbar would be proud of this "Hook Shot".
 The release shot.

Dad sure can cast.
 Wait a second....
 Bam!! Fish on!!
 A frenzy ensued.
 The Conehead Madonna.
 I made my way up a section of slow water casting my streamer as I went.
 Brown #1
 Brown #2
 Live Long and Prosper.  Does anyone know the name of this streamer?
 Brook #1
 Brown #3
  Brown #4
 I decided to see if the Olive Wooly Bugger still worked and was pleased with the result.
 It was a good day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The first Trapfest

The Bluetooth technology that we use to to wirelessly connect our electronic devices received it's name from King Harald Bluetooth who unified Denmark and Norway.  When I found this Blue Crawfish claw on the banks of the Timber Coulee I thought about King Harald Bluetooth and the idea of bringing people together.  It wasn't the Blue Craw Claw of the Timber Coulee Valley that would bring trout anglers of different ilks together for the first Trapfest though.  That credit goes to Bryan Trapper Voldahl who first proposed this event in January of 2014 on the internet trout fishing forum known as

Driftless Trout Anglers is an internet trout fishing forum that is unique because it doesn't matter how you decide to fish for trout.  The only thing that matters is that you love trout fishing and have access to the internet.

It wasn't long after Trapper's initial proposal that Kschafer3 and I would hop on board.

Soon after that the event was given a name.

And no event is complete without it's own poster.  A special thanks goes out to Daniel Braun of for the excellent poster design.

The weekend of May 16-18 was chosen for the event and the Westby Rod and Gun Club Campground on the banks of the Timber Coulee was the location.

I was really looking forward to Trapfest because it would give me the opportunity to meet a lot of people in person that I had only known online.  One of these people that I was looking forward to meeting was Mike Juran.  I could tell from my dealings with him online that he was quite the character.  In the weeks leading up to the event I learned that Mike was going to be out of town on business during the weekend of Trapfest so he wouldn't be able to attend.  It was a good thing that I had already planned on being down in the area a few days early so I made arrangements to fish with Mike on Thursday May 15th.

I have always known to, "Beware of the Ides of March" but nothing could have prepared me for what the "Ides of May" had in store.  

Mike took me to one of his secret spots where we talked, laughed and fished.  Neither one of us caught a lot of fish but I believe that we both caught each other's drift which is essentially more important.  He even gave me half of his wrap that he had brought along for lunch.  What a guy.  

After Mike and I finished fishing we parted ways and I made my way back to the campground where I had set up my tent earlier in the day.  When I drove in I noticed three dudes that were hanging out by the only other tent that was set up in the campground.  As I drove close I rolled down my window and asked them if they were here for Trapfest.

They seemed rather excited to see another person at the campground and I would later find out that they had already been camping for a few days.  It turned out that they were in town for Trapfest and one of them was even on DTA(

Malcolm aka mo104 had traveled all the way from Southern Illinois with his two buddies Joey and Patrick.  Joey and Patrick were new to the sport of fly fishing and I was impressed with the story Malcolm shared about how he was introduced to the sport.

It turns out that one of his teachers started a fly fishing club at his high school and it was all downhill from there.

That night I met Trapper himself for dinner along with Shatner and "The Founder of DTA".  It was a good time had by all.

When I made it back to the campground after dinner I had many laughs around the campfire with Malcomb, Joey and Patrick.  I even made plans to fish with them in the morning.  

 Malcolm was like a drill sargent while he instructed his buddies on the fine art of casting the fly rod.  Actually it seemed like he was a super nice and patient teacher.
 Patrick chronicled the events in his drawings.

 Joey was very happy with his catch and if Malcolm hadn't had his sunglasses on I'm sure I would have seen the pride in his eyes.
 I even decided to get in on the catching for once.

I believe Malcolm tied most if not all of these flies himself.  I wonder which pattern is his favorite.

 Saturday was spent fishing and exploring with Kyle and Levi(Caster).  Highlights of the day included fishing with Kyle and Levi.

I had to be careful getting around these cattle.  
 This was my biggest trout of the weekend.  It measured in at 17 inches.

While making my way upstream I came across Matt Sment of Badger Tenkara.  He gave me a quick lesson in Tenkara and was even nice enough to help land and release the Brook Trout I caught using the Tenkara.  

On Sunday I fished with MNFishHunter(Ryan Frick) and BigRiverBum(Seth).  It was fun.  

 I have never met anyone as enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the sport of fly fishing as Ryan Frick.  His blog is "".  He was even nice enough to give me a few of his flies that he has developed.
 This one streamer that I tied on immediately after he gave it to me quickly transformed me from a fly fishing zero into a bass fishing hero.  I have since the acquired materials to tie more of that wonderful little pattern.

I am looking forward to next years TrapFest.

Popular Posts