Monday, March 23, 2015

Day of wonder, day of glory.

Earlier in the week Taylor had asked me if I wanted to go fishing with  him in southern Minnesota on Sunday.  He picked me up at my place around 6am and along with Foxy we were on our way.

There is a Mcdonald's restaurant just off 52 near Zumbrota.  It has become tradition for us to stop here on our way down.
Traveling through Rochester on Highway 52 you will pass under some kind of bicycle/pedestrian bridge.  I call this, "The Gateway to Minnesota Driftless Bridge".
Arriving at the first creek I was just finishing rigging up when Taylor already had a fish on.  He had caught another one of these silvery tinted Brown Trout here last week.  Is this brown a recently stocked fish or are some browns more silvery naturally?
 Can you say flashback?
 Here is Taylor's second fish and it possesses a more common Brown Trout coloration.
 A deadly combination.
I was surprised to still see some traces from the last Ice Age including the Saber Toothed Jack Russell on the bottom left.
 I watched Taylor catched about for or five fish before I got frustrated with the streamer and switched to nymphs.  The Beadhead Pheasant Tail Nymph is the tomato soup of the fly fishing world; It gets the skunk out.
 I was using a Ray Charles Nymph as my trailer.  It just happened to be sitting on the Trouts head when I took the photo.  The trout was not double hooked.  After releasing this trout I switched back to streamers.  I've never really been big on tomato soup.
 Foxy loves trout.
 She also loves hot dogs.
After finishing up at our first spot we grabbed lunch and then met up with renowned fly fishing expert Ryan Frick.  Taylor nymphed 15 trout out of this small run next to the road.  I caught none at this spot.
 It was beautiful though and the snow was just starting to fall.
 We headed to another spot.
 Ryan is smart.  He pauses far away from the stream to examine the water from a distance before moving in.  One of my goals in life is the be the best fisherman I can possibly be.  Rather than re-inventing the wheel I enjoy spending time with people who are better at fishing than I am and then mimicking everything they do.  I am in the process of growing an awesome goatee so I can be just like Ryan.
I watched intently as Ryan stripped his streamer in.  So methodically I thought. Strip stop strip stop flow strip stroke drop strip stop strip stop flow strip stroke drop.  I have thought of a few different ways I can practice this technique even when I am not out on the water.
The next spot we came to I caught my first tout of the day on the streamer using Ryan's techniques.  I think my usual jerk-strip retrieve is probably a little too aggressive for lethargic trout.  I am happy to have a new weapon in my arsenal.
 Speaking of arsenal I was stoked to hear that the Timberwolves recently re-aquired Kevin Garnett.  Someday I hope to have an arsenal like his.
Ryan and Taylor fishing by the bridge.  It was so cold it was like a fridge.
 I thought this weed was cool so I took a photo of it and then edited the photo to make it look even cooler.  I am such a badass.
 We moved spots again and I caught a nice Rainbow right away.  Things were looking up.
 I moved upstream quietly where I came to a large pool of medium depth.  Soon I had a trout on that seemed sizable.
 At first I thought it was about 18 inches but then I measured it with the Rodrule and it was only 16.25 inches.  Man would I love to catch a Brook Trout this big.
I was so happy.  Today was also the first day I got to try out the Filson wading jacket that my parents got me for Christmas.  I was so warm and dry throughout the day.  Thanks Mom and Dad for the jacket and the superior genetics.  Look at that smile. :)

 After releasing this hog I ended up catching trout on my next two casts.  I can't remember ever catching trout 3 casts in a row before.  I will never forget it now.

 The terrible two.  While actually the terrific two but terrible sounds much more awesome.
 We traveled to yet another river and I nailed this 14 incher again on the streamer and again using Ryans technique.  He also tied the streamer that I caught all but one of my fish on yesterday.
 Foxy almost go her teeth on this one.  Good thing I have fast hands.
 What a beauty.
 Shortly before we left Foxy decided to go for a swim in the creek.  She was glad to have blankets to bundle up in on the long drive home.

Being that Ryan also has a blog he made a post about this day as well.  Here is the link.  Ryan Frick's awesome blog.

The End

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Week In Review

I hadn't planned on getting any mid-week fishing in last week but with my work van in the shop for a minor repair on Wednesday I knew exactly what I would be doing with my down time.  It wasn't too hard for me to figure out where I would be fishing either because I was running on a hot tip from Trout Pro Nick Brevitz.

Traveling to a trout stream with a hot tip in hand is kind of like running with the wind at your back.  Upon arriving at the stream I was a bit surprised because it was a mere trickle and didn't seem to fit what Nick had so eloquently described to me.  I know from experience that just because a stream looks like a trickle from the road doesn't mean it can't have a series of pools a ways downstream chock full of hungry trout.  I set out with my trusty dog Foxy to fulfill my destiny.  After walking about a mile through some pretty rugged terrain the trickle slowly turned into a stream and I started to see some fish darting in all directions.  Adrenaline raced through my veins when I finally had one take the black Wooly Bugger that I had been slowly retrieving.  My first attempt at getting a photo of the fish was thwarted by Foxy as she wanted to see what trout tasted like.

 My second attempt at a photo was a success.
 Shortly after releasing the trout I heard some rustling in the bushes and looked over and there was these two dudes coming to the stream to fish.  They seemed young and hip and I assumed they must be great fans of my blog.  I was glad I had brought some photos of myself with a Sharpie because I was going to surprise them with some autographed photos.  After a brief conversation I garnered that they had never heard of me or my blog so I gave the guy in the blue shirt a couple Ray Charles nymphs and they went on their way after I convinced them to pose for a photo.  Al vida zein.

It looked like my new buddies were heading downstream to fish so Foxy and I started our trek back upstream to the car.  I never did find that wintering hole that Nick told me about and later on I found out why.

My dad and I had made plans earlier in the week to go fishing on Saturday.  We met at our rendezvous point near the border and headed towards the Rush River.  All the reports on fishing in the Kinni have been negative so far this year so I figured we would slay them on the Rush.  The sun was just coming up as we made our way into Dairyland.

It was a beautiful morning yes it was.

 I started out fishing a small streamer and when I didn't catch anything for five minutes I figured I would have better luck switching to nymphs.  How do you spell success?  I spell success 6 X.  Say 6 X five times fast and depending on what type of person you are it will either start to sound like success or sick sex.  To me it sounds like success and that's why I choose it when I'm nymphing for small trout.
 When choosing your nymph it is wise to base your decision on what type of aquatic insects are present in the stream.  On one rock I turned over I found all Caddis Larvae ranging in sizes from 14 to 24.  I can see there will be some pretty epic hatches in the coming months.
 Walking upstream I discovered the carcass of a small racoon.  One day while fishing this same stretch last summer my rig had gotten caught up in a tree.  A family of racoons climbed the tree and unsnagged me.  I recognized this little guy as being one of the members of that family.  I sure hope the others made it through the winter.
 Some guy must have thought he had a great idea to visit the Rush River with a bottle of Rush River brand beer.  Please make it a point to pick up your own trash.
 It was tough to fish from this side of the river without casting my shadow over the water.
After fishing this stretch for over an hour without a bite or even a sign of trout I had an idea to head to another river.

When we made it to Clearwater Creek we worked our way upstream taking turns fishing spots that looked like they may hold fish.  We also saw plenty of trout darting every which way.

After turning over a rock I saw a Scud.  I was glad to hear that my dad had an orange Scud in his fly box that was for me.
I came to a nice looking plunge pool and slung my scud into the depths.

What do you know a trout.
 I love it when my plans work out.
Traveling further upstream we came upon a beaver dam that wasn't here last summer.
 It created a massive lake that was 7 feet deep in some spots.  Walking through it was quite treacherous.

At one point I saw a fat brook trout holding tight to the bottom.  I was surprised that I didn't spook it.  I drifted my scud in front of him and saw him grab it.  Setting the hook was like ringing the bell and that trout fought like raging hell.

 I won.
 I was so happy.
 He measured in at twelve inches.  I'm pretty sure I've caught other twelve inch Brook Trout but this is the biggest one I have pictures of.  I hope to beat this record by several inches this summer.
 So beautiful it's true.

A little farther upstream I found a Sculpin.  He was dead but still a cool find.  It's the sign of a healthy stream when you find Sculpins.  
Did anybody lose a shoe?

The End

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