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.
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".
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 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.
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.
Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook