Monday, September 1, 2014

Eddie's Clearwater Revival

While I had a originally planned on heading to the U.P. for Labor Day weekend my plans changed when Foxy had an irritated front paw and I didn't feel like bringing her with or dropping her off at the pet sitters in a dilapidated condition.   I did know however that she would be fine if I left to go fishing for a few hours at a time.
If you were to ask me, "Have you ever seen the rain" my reply would probably be something like, "Yes it's been coming down in sheets for much of the summer".  Heavy rains Friday night sent the Kinnickinnic and many other western Wisconsin Trout Rivers into an unfishable state Saturday but after spending my morning working I knew of at least one place where I could find clear water.

While perusing Facebook earlier in the day I noticed that Lund's Fly Shop in River Falls was having a sale.  I had been planning on restocking my assortment of Seagar Grand Max Flourocarbon Tippet and it was buy one get one free.  It was a lot of fun talking with the owner Brian Smolinski.

 I checked out the Upper Kinnickinnic from a bridge in downtown river falls and it looked pretty much like I expected it would.  Things would be different at Clearwater Creek I told myself.
 I've always thought this was a cool mural.  I had my cans of spray paint with me but I figured I would find another less pretty brick wall to deface.
 On my way to Clearwater Creek I stopped by a few other places to see what they looked like when the water is high.  At some point I will return to this spot on the Rush to see what it is like when water levels are normal.
 The rain clouds were blown away and the sun emerged.  I wondered to myself, "Who stopped the rain?"
When I finally made it to Clearwater Creek I was reminded how much of a little gem it is.  If you ask me how I heard of this place I'm not going to tell you that, "I heard it through the grapevine" because that would be a lie.  My good friend Nick Brevitz brought me here once and told me to keep it a secret.  That is why I never refer to it by it's real name.  Traveling up this creek is kind of like taking a, "Run through the jungle".

I managed to catch about four or five Brook Trout but this one was by far the prettiest.  
I was so happy but remembered feeling like this many times before.  It was kind of like, "Deja Vu all over again".
 While stumbling up the stream I came across this curious looking rock. It appeared to have an image of an elk on it but I couldn't tell if it had been etched or if it was naturally formed.  Either way it was probably one of the coolest rocks I have ever seen.  I wanted to keep it so I picked it up and was immediately transformed into an elk.  It took me a moment to figure out what had happened but it was kind of neat being an elk.  I pranced about for a while before I realized that there were no other elk around to prance with and I became lonely.  I walked back over to the rock and placed my front right hoof upon it and was immediately transformed back into a cool dude.  I decided to leave the rock at the creek.

 When I returned to my vehicle I took a moment to admire my sticker collection.  While some guys have girlfriends I spend my days fishing and collecting stickers.
 It was quite dark out by that time so I decided to switch up my tactics.  When fishing for trophy Brown Trout some would say that, "The night time is the right time" but none of these flies in my mouse box has done well enough yet to earn the nickname, "Midnight Special".
 I did manage one small Brown Trout on a Chernobyl Ant pattern.

The next morning came and while I was lookin' out my back door I noticed that it seemed to be another nice day.  I talked to Taylor "Trippy Trouter" Spraungel and he was out exploring with Kincaid Edwards.  I thought it would be fun to meet up with those guys and while I couldn't share the location of Clearwater Creek with them we made plans to meet near another creek that I knew would be running clear.  I had very specific instructions for them on where to meet me and it sounded a little something like this.

Catch a ride to the end of the highway

And we'll meet by a big red tree,

There's a place up ahead and I'm goin'

Come along, come along with me.

When we made it to the creek we walked over to the bridge and peered down into the frigid clear waters.  We could see several large fish but we we unsure if they were suckers or trout.  I figured there was only one way to find out so I decided to start fishing there.  Kincaid and Taylor drove the vehicles up to the next bridge crossing and I told them that I would fish up to them.  I started a fishing a little ways downstream from the bridge fishing in shallower water.  While the water didn't seem to contain any fish it was a great spot to make a few practice casts before moving up into the prime spot.  I can't even count how many perfect practice casts I executed.  I was ready for prime time.  I made my way up to the pool that I knew contained large fish and launched my cast.  When my streamer hit the water so did about five feet of fly line directly on top of it.  I couldn't believe my cast was so bad but I started stripping in line while my streamer sunk into the depths.  Then from out of the the bottom of the pool came a "Denizen of the Deep".  His great jaws clamped onto my streamer and I set the hook with all my might.  The race was on.

While the fight only lasted about a minute something happens to the time space continuum when you are engaged in a battle with the biggest Brown Trout of your life.  My first swipe at the goliath was unsuccessful and when he moved into deeper water I moved with him.  Seeing an opportunity and sensing weakness in his eyes I lunged forth and as cool water gushed into my waders the largest brown trout of my life entered the confines of my net.

 I felt like such a Fortunate Son to have caught such a beast.
 He measured in at 24 inches.

I tried taking one of my trademark selfies with him but for whatever reason my camera wanted to focus on the background instead.  Getting him back in the water alive was more important to me at the time than having an awesome selfy with the fish.
 Here is the streamer I used to catch him.  It was already starting to come unwound when I took this photo.  I had just purchased it a few weeks ago at a fly fishing garage sale I visited in Eden Praire one day.

After uploading a photo of Goliath to Facebook I continued fishing upstream excited to share the news of my catch with Taylor and Kincaid.  I was glad I decided to go fishing yesterday.

The End

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook


Dan B said...

Fantastic fish!

Ryan Frick said...

What a beast! Beautiful brownie!!!! Congrats Eddie.

Ryan Frick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian Crouch said...

wow is all I have to say.

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