Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Early Bird Special

I had planned on doing some mousing last Friday night but something always happens to me when it gets dark out.  I become tired and lose my motivation for everything else but sleep.  I cut my losses and found a hotel in River Falls to sleep at and prepare for my sunrise assault.

The first spot I came to on the Rush River shortly after 5am already had a car parked at it so I found another spot where the coast was clear and I wasted no time getting suited up for fishing.

First Fly

You have to start somewhere.  I consider the act of attaching the first fly of the day to the end of my tippet to be somewhat of a ritualistic experience.  Some people start with the same fly every time but I usually start with a fly that I have recently tied or purchased from one of my favorite fly shops.  Earlier in the week while visiting I had noticed an advertisement for a sale of fly fishing goods that was going on in Eden Prairie on Thursday and Friday.  I was lucky enough to have a job scheduled in Hopkins Thursday morning so after I finished the job I visited the sale.  I probably would have found a way to get there even if I hadn't had a job scheduled nearby but who knows.  Since I was one of the first ones there I had a wonderful selection of flies to look through.  I ended up finding 34 flies that I needed and one of them was a Olive Bead Headed Wooly Bugger with rubber legs.  I have had success with buggers similar to this one so I knew I could fish it with  confidence.  That was the ceremonial first fly.

Three casts in I had my first taste of success.  A wily 11 inch Brown Trout jumped out of the water several times while I retrieved him to my net.  I seem to have a knack for catching trout with wounds.  This trout's mouth was in the process of healing from an injury.  I named him Woundy, suggested some Neosporin then released him back into the water.

 This might be the other side of the first fish or it could be the second trout of the day.  I was having too much fun to keep track.
 This one was a dandy.
 I was so happy.
 The river was very beautiful.
 I think this was the biggest trout of the day.  I think it was 16 inches but I haven't measured my rod to be sure.  I know if I measured it it would probably end up being 15 inches and 16 sounds cooler.

Sometimes when I am fishing I think to myself, "What a nice place".  Shortly afterwards I take a photo to share with my fans.  
 I liked the slope of this trout's forehead.  Very hydrodynamic I'd say.
 This was the one Brook Trout of the day.  Caught on the same bugger I caught every other fish on.  I had to use my blue rod because I forgot my usual four weight rod.  It was nice to spend a morning with old blue.
 This is where I caught the Brook Trout.
 This Royal Wulff was another fly I purchased at the sale.  I have always liked the look of the Royal Wulff.

I caught 11 fish between 5am and 8:30am.  6 of them were over 13 inches.  I call that the, "Early Bird Special".

Shortly after 9am I met up with Taylor "Trippy Trouter" Spraungel and his buddy Kincaid Edwards.  It was the first time I had met both of them in person but I became acquainted with Taylor through the website  

A self taught fly fisherman at 17 years old Taylor "Trippy Trouter" Spraungel is poised to take the world of fly fishing by storm.  I'm just glad I knew him before he was famous.  I was surprised when his casting skills seemed to exceed my own.  This guy is the next Jeff Currier.

I led them to one of my favorite spots on the Rush where we fished for a few hours.  The action was much slower at that point than it had been earlier but I was glad that both Taylor and Kincaid caught fish.

See the grasshopper on the rod.
 At this point Kincaid was freeing his fly from a snag.  Either way it's always nice to see a rod bend.
 Many flowers were in bloom.
 Kincaid is on the left.  Taylor is on the right.
 I came upon a whitetail fawn while walking back to my vehicle.
This reminded me of hunting season.  Their white tail reminds me of a middle finger.
Afterwards I checked out a new spot on the Trimbelle.  Eventually I want to be able to say that I've walked the entirety of all the trout waters in Pierce County.  I have a lot left to check out.

 Spider webs make the best hatch charts.
I thought this was kind of a cool looking flower.  I want to know what it is but am too lazy to google it.
Important update!  My friend David has informed me that these are Turtle Head Flowers.  They grow well in moist, heavy soils which explains why they were flourishing on the river bank.  I love having smart friends.  :)
Thank you for reading my blog.

Sincerely, -Eddie Rivard

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Home again, Home again, Jiggity jig.

It doesn't matter if I just spent a week chasing Taimen in Mongolia or if I'm just getting back from a trip in Labrador fishing for trophy Brook Trout.  Whenever I return home from a fishing vacation I don't truly feel at home again until I've reacquainted myself with local waters.  Upon arriving back in the Twin Cities area last Thursday evening from my trip to Wyoming I already had in my mind a picture of what I would be doing on Friday.  I you guessed fishing than you are correct.

There is a Brook Trout stream that I initially visited in my early teens that I hadn't been back to since.  It's been on my bucket list for a long time to make a triumphant return and Friday would be that day.

While high noon on a sunny day isn't exactly the best time to begin a Brook Trout fishing outing a guy also has to sleep in once in a while.  While I've backed down from about every other challenge that I have ever been presented with this day would be different.  I was ready to take this creek head on.  Literally head on because I started at the mouth where it empties into a much larger body of water.
 I wasn't really sure what to expect as I started to make my way upriver but that's part of the excitement I feel when checking out a new place.
 The first roadblock I came to was these trees in the river.  They had been placed there on purpose perhaps as a means to discourage people from exploring this place.  I was undaunted.
My first major discovery was this dead creature.  I couldn't decide if it was a baby Bowfin or a juvenile American Eel.  All I really know is that it didn't taste too bad at all raw.  I am going to have to find some more of those little guys.
 I think I took this photo just after eating my little friend.  I hadn't put the camera back in the dry bag yet so I figured it would be a good time to take a photo.
 The creek was still very sandy at this point and I hadn't spotted any Brookies despite my polarized lenses.
 As the creek changed from sand to rock I started seeing Brook Trout darting every which way.  I decided that it was time to extract my vengeance on this species.  My weapon of choice would be a Gartside Sparrow.  It has quickly become on of my favorite search patterns for Brook Trout.
 This is the run where I caught my Brook Trout.  Notice how the bottom has turned from sand to rock.
 A little ways upstream I found evidence that this stream may contain much larger specimens.  This rotted out carcass didn't taste nearly as good as the morsel I had earlier but it still provided me with protein that my body so desperately needed.
 I think I will come back to this place.
 The stream seemed to go on forever.
 It was a very magical place.  Woodland fairies hid in the thick stream side vegetation and giggled joyfully as I stumbled by.
It was like a scene from a movie.  I forgot what movie it was a scene from but I'm sure it was a good one.
Eventually the mosquito's came out in full force.  Besides providing protection from dangerous ultra violet radiation the Buff also provides some relief from attacking hordes of insects.  I was sad that I had forgotten to bring insect repellent but I was so happy that I had my Buff.
 This is a picture of rocks.
 There were a few decent Brook Trout hanging out around this rock.  By this time the bugs were really starting to bother me.  I ran with reckless abandon back to my vehicle.  There's no place like home.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Eddie went out to Wyoming

In August of 2014 I traveled with my dad and brother to the state of Wyoming where we fished the Tongue River and had good times.

Eddie went out to Wyoming

Eddie went out to Wyoming.  He was lookin' for a trout to catch.
He was in a bind 'cause he was way behind he was willing to, "match the hatch".
When he came across this old guy nymphing a run and nymphing it hard.
Eddie jumped up on a pine tree stump and said, "Hello I'm Eddie Rivard"

I'd guess you don't know me but you've probably viewed my blog.
And if you'd care to learn something new let me show you how to catch a hog.
Now you cast a pretty good fly rod boy but give Eddie his due.
I'll bet a barrel of pride against your hide because I think I'm better than you.

The guy said my name's Randy and you have a lot of nerve.
This was my spot until you showed up I'm going to kick you to the curb.

Eddie string up your pole and cast your fly rod long.
'Cause summers broke loose in Wyoming and Randy hates your song.
And if you win you get to know that you are the best.
And if you lose than it was all in jest.

Randy strung up his rod and said, "I'll start this competition".
And line shot out right from his guides as the waters they did glisten.
As he let the nymphs float in the water he attained a drag free drift.
It wasn't long before he landed, a seventeen inch fish.

When Randy finished Eddie said, "That's a dang nice trout.
 Now sit down on that log right there and I'll show you what I'm all about".

"Water on the mountain" Run, Fish, Run!
Eddie shoots line like bullets from a gun.
Trout in the river chasing after my fly.
Eddie does your fish bite? Why child why?

Randy bowed his head because he new that he'd been beat.
When Eddie laid his twenty incher on the the ground at Randy's feet.
Eddie said, "Randy just come on back if you ever want to try again".
I done told you once you son of a gun, "I'm the best there's ever been".

And he sang

"Water on the mountain" Run, Fish, Run!
Eddie shoots line like bullets from a gun.
Trout in the river chasing after my fly.
Eddie does your fish bite? Why child why?

Any trip to the Tongue River in the Big Horn Mountains of western Wyoming must begin with a stop by the Fly Shop of the Big Horns on main street in Sheridan.
There is a statue in front of the store of the original owner.  We thought it was pretty cool and tried loading it in the truck but it was firmly attached to the sidewalk.
This place has a bigger selection of flies than any other fly shop I have ever been to.  Look at all the hopper patterns!

The guys working were very nice.  They answered all of our questions very professionally.

In the spring of 2014 some of the preeminent fly tiers of the Driftless Area participated in a fly swap involving nymphs.  Somehow I was allowed to participate in this swap.  I would use and catch trout with many of the flies I received in this swap.
One day while I was fishing the Kinnickinnic earlier this summer I showed these flies to another angler I encountered on the stream.  This was a man of great wealth and power.  He wanted the flies and offered me 13,000 dollars for the entire collection.  He explained to me that it was all the cash he had on him at the time and I said, "No way".
The zebra midge is so effective.  It catches trout from coast to coast.  It catches trout like butter on toast.
The Sparkle Pupa by champion tier Tdoran proved to be a trout magnet in the mountains of Wyoming.
Here is a photo of the Sparkle Pupa after it spent time in the jaws of many trout.
Some other flies rose to prominence over the course of my time spent in the mountains.

A while back I ordered a nymph assortment from the Winona Fly Factory.  Included in the assortment was this Bead Head Caddis Larvae.  It was probably my top producer of the trip.  I also caught trout on similar flies that I tied myself.
Brook Trout are not native to Wyoming but they exist here in good numbers.  I have had a lot of luck both in Wisconsin and Wyoming with this Olive Conehead Rubber Legged Bugger pattern that I bought at Mend Provisions.

I noticed many flowers were in bloom.
It is always good to be back in the mountains.
This was right before we got to pet the moose.  They are such gentle giants.
 The giant rock formation is called, "Twin Buttes".
 Here is my brother Sam fishing below one of the Twin Buttes.
The river was nice.  Seconds before this photo was taken a Bigfoot disappeared into the forest.  If only I was quicker at taking out my camera.
If you love the trout you must pet them.
Here is Sam with a nice Rainbow.
In the center of the photo you can see the moose about to cross the river.  I did not try to pet this one.
 My dad pulled a trout out of the pocket water.
 We figured out where they keep the explosives.
The South Fork of the Tongue is very beautiful.

I was trying to figure out if this trout was a Cut-Bow or a Cutthroat Trout.  A Cut-Bow is a cross between a Rainbow Trout and a Cutthroat Trout.

Jimmy didn't make it.
 One night we saw some bull elk on a hillside.
 We stayed at the world famous Arrowhead Lodge.
 One day while eating at the neighboring Elk Lodge I noticed that they had Rocky Mountain Oysters on the menu.  I have always wanted to try these.

So I ordered them.
They were very tasty.

Catching trout makes Eddie smile.  I was so happy.
The Cutthroat Trout originally got its name from being very shrewd in it's business dealings.  It was only in 1974 that someone noticed the orange stripe underneath its mouth.
 This is a section of the North Fork of the Tongue.

This moose didn't make it.  Now he is providing nutrients for the stream.
Here are some signs that I photographed on the trip.

We enjoyed our time in the Bighorns.

The End

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook.

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