Monday, May 30, 2016

Trout Bummin'

I really only had one week between the end of spring semester and the start of my summer session class and I was determined to make the most of it.  I decided to become a trout bum for a few days.

It had been a while since Ryan and I had teamed up but the last time we fished together a great tiger was the result.  Ryan has introduced me to a few really cool places and it was time I showed him a place that I've grown quite fond of.

I can just sit there and watch Ryan fish.  I'm always thinking,"What's he doing?", "Why is he doing it?".  Fishing with the master and paying attention to what he does can be a great way to learn.
I have discovered a new subspecies of Gayfeather.  I call it Rightangleisc Gayfeatherificus.
I have learned that if you want to cover a great deal of water efficiently a canoe can be amazing tool.
This place looked really fishy but there was no one home.  I was worried that Ryan was starting to doubt me.  I have told him great things about this place.
I think this pipe has been there for a while.
After about five hours we made it to a place where I remembered having a follow once.  We parked the canoe on a small sandbar and I instructed Ryan to make a few casts towards a small rock wall.  He immediately hooked a trout.  After so many hours of not catching or seeing a fish were both quite relieved.  I think we ended up catching 4 Browns and 4 Smallmouth Bass out of one little spot.
This was a nice one one the Yellow Frick's Fix.
Ryan had one on.
Splashy splashy.
It wasn't done yet.
More splashes.
Ryan was so happy.
The Frick's Fix strikes again!
Another spot and another nice trout for Ryan.
Then I caught one.  At first it didn't feel like a big fish and then it started to fight.  It tried to dart into some logs and I had to use both hands on the rod to show him who was boss.  He measured nineteen and one quarter inches.  I wanted him to be a twenty but the tape doesn't lie.
I was so happy.
Another beautiful stretch.
Ryan and I parted ways around 6:00pm and I started to make my way towards Trapper's place in the heart of the Driftless.  I stopped at the rest area off of Interstate 90 where you can look down into the Rush Creek Valley.  I'd like to poke around down there sometime.
There is a nice sign about "The Geology of Southeastern Minnesota.
I took a minute to tighten the straps securing my canoe.
I as I was driving out of the lot I notice a guy getting into a truck that had a big Green Bay Packers sticker on the back.  I thought, "Who's that idiot?" assuming that he was probably from Wisconsin.  Then I noticed it was my former nemesis and current friend Mike Juran who was just returning from his trip to Montana.  It was nice to see Mike as it had been a while.  We talked for a few minutes before parting ways.
On my way to Trapper's place I stopped to photograph the sunset.  "Gotta pay the bills", I thought to myself.  Prints of "Mississippi Sunset" are available for purchase on the art page of my blog.
I made it to Trappers place Thursday night where I feasted on pork chops courtesy of chef Trapper.  I was quite tired after a long day so I went to bed early and in the morning I decided to dry some things out.
It is important to keep your streamer boxes organized.
We made it out fishing for a while in the early afternoon.  Sheila came with too.
The first spot didn't produce so we moved on.  I decided to pull out the Winston and fish dry flies for a change.  Many people are not aware that before I started fishing streamers I was regarded as one of the top dry fly fisherman in the world.  Now that I've gotten to be pretty good at fishing streamers I am starting to mix in dries and nymphs again.
First I decided to start catching them on Rivard's Elkhair Caddis.  It was always one of my best patterns.
Trapper saw me catching them on the Caddis so he quickly changed patterns.  What a copycat.
I nice Brookie for the Trap man.
A nicer Brookie for the Edmeister.  We just stood there taking turns catching trout on the dry flies.  I was one of those moments that people dream about when they take up fly fishing.
Here is the dry fly box that my dad gave me for Christmas a few years back.  When he gave it to me it was filled with dry flies that he tied and it is one of my most cherished possessions.  Most of the flies in there are still his ties.
Here is trapper taking care of business.
Taking care of business baby.

Back to the business at hand.  Sheila is a good fishing dog but Trapper says, "Her mom was much better".
On my way back to Minnesota I stopped to take a leak at a roadside pull off outside of Coon Valley.  This was a pretty cool informative sign.  It is because of these practices that the Driftless area is what it is.
I had a few hours to kill before bedtime so I made my way over to Chatfield, MN.  I'm a big history buff and remembered reading about the war between the town of Chatfield and the town of McCoy, MN that was fought in the late 1800's.  The town of McCoy no longer exists because Chatfield won the war but the McCoy strain of Brown Trout still swims in Mill Creek which has a nice long easement on it.

Here is a McCoy Strain Brown that I caught out of Mill Creek.
Beautiful little Creek.
E is for easement.
Pretty hillside.
That night I went over to Lanesboro where I showered at the Sylvan Park campground in town.  Shebs was staying there and we talked for a good while about fishing.  I had to get up early so I had a good sleep in the Element.  The element is just long enough that I can stretch out in the back of it and sleep well.
I told Chris that I would meet him at the Maple Springs Campground by Forestville State Park at 6:00am.  It was a nice street scene in Lanesboro at 5:30am and again I thought about paying those bills.  I only have a few prints of "Lanesboro Morning" left so pic them up while you can.
The sun was already rising.
Chris was ready to go went I made it into the Campground.  This was the first time I had met him in person but came to know him through his blog at Fading Angler .com.  Chris is doing a good job battling Parkinson's disease while getting in as much fly fishing as he can.  He was overjoyed to catch his first Driftless Brook Trout on the fly.
Chris was so happy.
Ryan had recommended that we fish this section and it didn't disappoint.
Here is Chris casting his Redington Butterstick fiberglass fly rod.
What a pretty place.
This is a big cliff.
Forest and stream.
Wild Rhubard?
Looks very Rhubarby but it's hard to tell.
Someday I would like to know the name of every plant in the forest.  What are these yellow flowers?
What is this leaf?  What is this bug?  Green leaf and small bug right now.  Someday I will know the real names like Greenis Leafus and Smallis Bugicus.
Everybody knows the Dandelion.  Even these are pretty when growing in the Forest.
This is the seed dispersal phase of the Dandelion,  Blow on it.
Chris fishing.
Success with one of the Zebra Midges from  Those guys sure know how to tie flies that catch fish.
Chris is fighting a giant!
A nice Driftless Brown Trout for Chris!
Beautiful River.
Someday I will venture further upstream.  Many mysteries await.
We were the first ones here at 6:15am.  Now we have some company.  It appears that they all went downstream.
I was a great three days bumming around the Driftless with friend and fish alike.

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