Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Northwoods Trifecta

Ever since I've known Taylor Spraungel he's been doing his best to convince me to fish his favorite northern Minnesota trout stream.  I've never felt like making a special trip to check it out but I did make time to check it out on my way home from my Memorial Day weekend spent up north.

My first impression was that the creek was much larger than I thought it would be.  I'm so used to taking everything Taylor says and cutting it in half before dividing it by two.
 The wilting Trillium is a sure sign that spring is almost over and the summer's comin', days are gettin' long.

While I usually start with streamers Taylor assured me that nymphing is the way to go here so I started out the day with a two nymph rig.  Ever since I started fly fishing I have always liked the look of the Prince Nymph.  This Brown Trout liked the look of my size 12 beadhead Prince Nymph.  As I photographed him I couldn't help but to exclaim, "We have so much in common!".
 Not the quite the 27 inch brown that Taylor claims to have caught here a year ago but a pretty little guy none the less.
 This stream had more nice little riffles than I could count.  One right after another.
 My first Brook Trout also fell for the Beadhead Prince.
 They call this place the Royal Hole.  Taylor has pulled many nice trout from this hole.
 My biggest Brookie of the day tipped the scales at 11 inches,
 I was so happy.
 I like how the White Pines hovered over the river like a mother over her baby's crib.  They have watched over this river for many years.
 Such a beautiful place.
 This was a nice bend.
When I got to this spot I decided my two nymph indicator rig wasn't going to cut it so I switched to a Czech Nymphing setup.  
I love it when my ideas work out.  This 15 inch brown put up quite the fight.  
 I have pioneered and mastered the art of the trout selfy.  If I ever write a book there will definitely be a chapter on the topic.
 I can't believe I put off visiting this place for so long.

After I was done fishing I drove to Taylor's Grandma's cabin where I changed into some dry clothes and ate some delicious pancakes.  Thanks again Grandma Spraungel!

Then it was time to fish for bass.  Taylor's sidekick Kincaid "The Blade" Edwards took charge and bailed all the water from the the bottom of the boat.

 We decided to give our fly rods a break and fish with gear.
 To complete the northwoods trifecta I landed this delicious bass.
 Thanks again Taylor!

The End

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bridges of Badasson County

In need of a Royalex canoe for my upcoming Nipigon expedition I traveled out to Badasson County Wisconsin to purchase one that a guy had for sale.  After the transaction was complete I figured while I was out that way I might as well fish for a couple of hours.

There is a creek out that way where a friend of mine had a successful brook trout outing in early April.  I had a stretch in mind that I planned on checking out but with a lot of creek between me and that spot I decided fish some bridge pools along the way.

The first bridge I came to was very nice.
 Here is an upstream view.  The water was clear.  I had no fear.

 The nice pool was on the downstream side of the bridge.  I was contemplating how I would approach the hole when a truck pulled up and a guy and his three boys jumped out.  My presence at this site didn't seem to phase them as they walked purposefully towards the bridge.  At that point I knew the time of having this spot to myself was about to end.  I quickly darted under the bridge and threw my bugger into the fast water quickly bringing a small Brown Trout to hand.  By the time I was done taking this photo there were two lines in the water on the downstream side and two upstream.  I was outnumbered and it was time to leave.  I said, "Good luck!" to them and walked back to my vehicle.  There were more bridge holes to conquer.

The next bridge hole was much larger and deeper than the first.  I quickly dissected it with my streamer resulting in nary a follow.  
 Brown trout like to avoid light so during the day they are either at the bottom of deep holes or hanging out under overhead cover.  The bridge was a veritable lunker bunker.
My hypothesis proved correct when my first cast under the bridge resulted in this lunker to hand.
Before I left this spot I spent some time peering into the depths of the deep pool.  I could see there was the carcass of a very large fish rotting away in about seven feet of water.  I could not however tell if it was a trout or a sucker.  I wondered to myself if this stream has BTP.  For those who don't know acronyms BTP stands for Big Trout Potential. 
Upon my arrival to bridge number three I could see many small trout darting every which way.  I had a few chase my streamer but couldn't get any to commit.
 I walked and fished about 100 feet upstream.  I could see that there had been some habitat improvement work here done at some point.  I was so happy.
The next bridge crossing I came to was a feeder creek. It didn't look or smell much like trout water but I decided to take a few casts anyway.  It was Creek Chub city over here.  This Chub fell for the Superior X Legs.
As I was driving down the road to my pre-determined access point I passed a house where I noticed some folks loading kayaks on to their vehicle.  Their house just happened to be on the stream I was about to fish.  At that point I had a canoe on top of my car so I thought, "Kindred spirits!".  I whipped a U turn and pulled into their driveway.  The lady met me as I rolled down my window.  "Is it okay if a access the creek through your property", I asked.  She said it was fine and they even let me park in their driveway.  As I walked down to the river I wondered how often this private section of stream gets fished.  Judging by the aggressive nature of the resident Brook Trout I quickly determined not very often.
 I pulled seven Brookies out of this pool.
 The pool I caught this Brookie in yielded trout ten casts in a row.  I actually got fed up with catching trout and switched to a larger streamer in an effort to weed out the little guys.
 Pretty place.
 Grass Creek?
 Rounding the bend I came to a magnificent pool.  I failed to lure any trout from the depths but I made a mental note to come back here during hopper season.
Soon I found myself in an enchanted forest.

 Eleven inch Brookie. Give me a cookie.
 Light at the end of the tunnel.
I fell in love with the Bridges of Badasson County.  I hope to make it back here at some point this summer.

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook

Thursday, May 21, 2015

The Voyage

I really wanted to explore a long section of one of my favorite trout rivers.  Wading the several mile stretch would be tough so I decided that the best way to explore the river would be with a canoe.  Mark and I had managed a canoe together well on the Kickapoo last September so I asked him if he'd like to tag along.

I've rented canoes from REI before but when I called the Bloomington location to reserve my craft the guy informed me that they were unable to rent out any of their fleet until the Bloomington Police Department finds time to inspect and certify their inventory for rental which didn't happen until June 1st last year.  I'm glad I am highly skilled at the Google because I quickly located Hardwater Sports in Saint Paul.  Tony was happy to hear from me and he had a canoe available.  I picked it up Friday afternoon.  The Hardwater Sports mobile was a sight to see.

Mark and I met up at 6am because we wanted to get an early start.  It wasn't long before we stopped at a spot that looked promising.
 At the next spot I cast my bugger into some fishy looking water and soon landed an 18 inch Brown Trout.  For many it would be the fish of a lifetime but it is about average for me these days.

 I was so happy.

 Mark was happy too.

 This is a prime example of litter and nature peacefully coexisting.  That old plastic milk jug is so happy.
 This photo is titled, "Moss on the Rock".  Prints are currently available.
 It's places like this that big Brown Trout call home.  Unfortunately no one was around.
 Beautiful river.
 While mine and Mark's methods vary greatly we are both at the top of our respective games.  This trout fell for Mark's Panther Martin Spinner.
 There were Redhorse suckers too.  They get these cool looking bumps on their heads and tails during mating season.

 Pretty Brown.
 This one goes to the blooper reel.
 There is a reason why Mark is widely known as the king.  This one measured in at 18 inches.

The Redhorse is a beautiful fish.
 I sometimes wonder if Mark likes Redhorse more than Brown Trout.
 On to the next spot.
 All trout love the bugger.  It was an awesome sight watching this little guy chase down my bugger in the fast water.
 It was the perfect day for a voyage.
 Mark caught a Smallmouth Bass.
 I've heard it said, "Happiness is a Smallmouth on a stiff rod".
 While we were nearing the end of our voyage we ran into some other fisherman.  They were visibly upset that we had just canoed through the run they were about to fish.
 It happens.

 The End

Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook

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