Friday, June 24, 2016

Hexy Time

During the month of June a natural phenomenon occurs across the upper Midwest known as the "Hex Hatch".  I've known about it for a long time but hadn't ever fished it.

While doesn't have an official fan club it does boast it's fair share of fan boys.  When Charlie invited me to catch the Hex Hatch on the Straight River with him I was all in.

Charlie and I had a few brief conversations in the days leading up to the weekend.  People who know me primarily from reading my blog often have the wrong impression of me.  I made sure to let Charlie know that, "I'm kind of a tool in real life".

I was pretty excited about hitting the Hex Hatch on the Straight but my enthusiasm was tempered a bit by conversations I had with friends leading up to the weekend.  Many had stories of fishing the Strait and failing to catch a trout.  People would complain about how the shorelines were swampy and not easily walked.  "If you don't have a canoe don't even bother", was a common remark about the Straight.

I love getting the scoop on things from people I know and trust but I also think there is a certain value derived from succeeding where others have failed.

As I drove up Friday evening I thought to myself about my expectations for the trip.  I decided that if I could catch at least one Brown Trout on the Hex then the trip would be a success.  More would be welcomed but less would be a complete and utter failure.

Saturday morning was nice on Ten Mile Lake.
 Charlie's swamp had all these cool webs on the bushes.
 We decided to fish the Straight Saturday morning.
 It wasn't as Straight as I thought it would be.
 We tried streamers for a bit.
 What a trophy.
 Purple flowers.
 Ready for the evening fish.
 We met this guy named Vern at the bridge.  Here he was paddling to his spot upstream.
 Straight River baby.
 After we made it to our spot Charlie's buddy Ty joined us.  Charlie was showing Ty how big the Hex actually are.
 American badass.
 The sun was going down.  Soon it would be Hexy Time.
 I had some Hexes at the ready.
 Oh baby.  The wait was almost over.
 The time has come for the Hex to start hatching.
 I was so happy.
 Charlie was happy too.
 I said goodbye to the old caboose Sunday morning.  Thanks for the invite Charlie!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Weekend Warrior

My weekdays have been consumed by work and school lately but when Friday evening hits I transform into what one might call a Weekend Warrior.

I had a default plan in place to fish by myself on Saturday morning but that changed when my good buddy Nick texted me on Friday.  

The suns they were a rising as Nick and I made our way to the stream.  Neither one of us had fished this stream before but I recently received some intel that it's been fishing well.
 And fishing well it is; Nick caught this trout on his third cast.
 The morning fog had not yet lifted.
 Rays of sunlight burst through the trees.
 I casted my Conehead Muddler up into here and stripped.
A small Brown Trout couldn't resist.
 Spider webs were everywhere.
 And the river flowed.
 We took turns fishing since the creek was small.
 Nick always thought it was his turn to fish so I just took pictures.
 This was a nice little riffle.
 Nick made 14 casts up into here.  I sat there and counted his casts.
 9:17am is traditionally the start of dry fly time.
 This trout knew what time it was.  The trout were rising to something.  My strategy of fishing dry flies usually involves tying on a Caddis and crossing my fingers.
 Nick is the master.
 Another Brown down at the hands of Nick.
Nick and I had an excellent morning.  Eventually we fished another another river and had good luck fishing dries there as well.

Troutstock festivities were in full force Saturday evening at the Gas Lite campground in Trimbelle.  It was good to see my friends from

Storms struck the area in the early morning hours of Sunday.  When I woke up to my alarm at 4:30 am I looked outside and there was lightening and hail.  I didn't think I would be doing any fishing that day.  I had to drive my car out of this new lake when I woke up.
 The Trimbelle was chocolate milk.  What a ripoff.
 I assumed that every stream within 60 miles was probably blown.  But then I received a series of texts from Shebs that changed my life.

In less than an hour I was floating merrily gently down a stream.
 Eventually this water makes it's way to a sea.

 I found this dead Sculpin on the river bottom.  Sculpins are a good sign of a healthy river.  Except when they are dead I suppose.
 I found a cold water feeder and decided to check it out.
It was flat and shallow for a while but the cold water made me want to explore further.
 Finally a nice riffle.
 And a Brookie.
 Then a deeper bend pool.

And a bigger Brookie.
 Couldn't resist the Olive Rubber Legged Bugger.

 I would find Browns as well.  I thought about keeping them because I don't like Browns in Brookie streams but I didn't have my creel and my pockets were small.

 Then I came to this spot.  Spots like this used to be tough for me until I figured out how to fish them.   I took a few tries but an aggressive Brown kept attacking my Bugger.

 I finally got him.  Catching fish in challenging cover is especially satisfying.  I often revel at the degree of fly fishing badass which I have become.
 I was so happy.
Nice to end the day with a Brookie, 

This one goes out to all the other Weekend Warriors out there.  


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