Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Witching Hour

So my last job of the day ended up being in a trouty little town just a little ways east of the Twin Cities.  I was glad that I had the planned ahead and brought my fishing stuff with me.  It was already around 7:30pm but before I could get any fishing in I was going to have to eat something.  Whenever I buy a Five Buck Lunch from Dairy Queen I almost feel guilty.  I can't believe they are making that much money giving me so much food for only five dollars.

As I strung up my rod and put my outfit on I thought about the limited time I had to fish.  They say Eddie Rivard can catch more trout in an hour than most guys can in an entire weekend.  One thing I've noticed is that the less I care about catching fish the more fish I actually end up catching.  It's all about doing things the right way.  I call it the Rivard Way but you can call it whatever you want as long as you keep the words Rivard and Way.

So I've always referred to the last hour of daylight as "The Witching Hour" but upon looking up the actual definition of "Witching Hour" I guess I was a little off.
When I made it down to the creek it looked like it was prime time.  I was pretty confident that I would catch a few.

 Not only was I confident I was also very happy.  After taking 37 selfies I finally took one that was blog worthy.
 Oh dang it was already 8:03pm.  I better get to fishing.
 I cast a Hippy Stomper for a while and had a few weak hits from micro trout before using the last ounce of daylight to tie on a small streamer which I had many bites on and a few brief hookups but failed to land any trout.  I was still pretty sure it was going to happen.  I believe the waving of my rod somehow conjured up a group of bats that were flying in circles around me in the darkness.  I felt like a great wizard.  Perhaps there really is something about this Witching Hour.  It was all going quite well until one of my bats somehow got tangled up in my line.   It wasn't even hooked.  To make matters worse I could hardly see and I hadn't brought a headlamp because I didn't plan on fishing late into the night.  The bat kept trying to swim towards me.  I assumed it thought I was a tree and it probably thought it could escape the water by climbing up on me.  I was not down with this idea.  It was pretty horrible but eventually I was able to get the bat untangled and  I could hear it walking around on the bank.  My line was pretty tangled and the only way I could get it untangled at this point was to cut my streamer off.  Afterwards it was too dark for me to tie anything else on to the end of my line so I decided to call it a night.
 While I was driving home I figured that I probably could have used the light from the LCD display on my camera to tie on a new fly but by then it was too late.  Oh well it was still a fun little adventure.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Bug Out Bag

A few years back I was on a date with a woman and after I got done telling her all about myself I finally gave her a chance to speak.  After a while she told me about an ex boyfriend of her's who she described a somewhat of a paranoid type.  She told me about how he insisted that she put together a "Bug Out Bag", so that when the stuff hits the fan they could head for the hills as quick as possible.  I think that was the first time I was introduced to the concept of a "Bug Out Bag" and the whole idea of it has stuck with me for some reason.

Fast forward to this weekend I was a little bummed Friday when I realized that some previous commitments were going to pretty much make it a weekend without trout fishing.  To console myself I made it a point to get out on the Mississippi for a few hours Friday night.  While I don't usually make it a point to name the waters that I fish I am just going to give my readers a little tip here.  The Mississippi River has fish.  Don't ever complain that old Eddie didn't contribute to your vast array of fishing knowledge.  Here is a shot of one of the many Freshwater Drum I caught Friday evening.  Besides that I also caught a couple small Smallmouth Bass.  

So after my volunteer commitment ended on Saturday afternoon I received a call from one of the Nationwide Locksmith Contractors that I occasionally do work for.  They had an emergency lockout that needed to be done down in Red Wing.  One of the things I have always loved about being a locksmith is never really knowing where I will be working or what I will be doing on any given day.  I worked as far away from the Twin Cities as Rochester and Duluth as well as in many hodunk towns in between.  As soon as I knew I was going to Red Wing the little wheels in my brain started churning.  

According to my calculations I  had just enough time to go to Red Wing, complete the job, fish for ninety minutes and still be back in the cities early enough to make it to church on time.

Whenever I think about making it to church on time I always think about this song.  

This is kind of where the whole concept of having a Fly Fishing Bug Out Bag starts to make sense.  It only took about five more minutes for me to have my bag of fly fishing stuff with me when I left for Red Wing.  It's all about being ready at all times because you never really know when an opportunity to fish is going to present itself.

So after completing my job I had to figure out where I was going to fish.  I was pretty close to the Pottery Pond so I did a quick drive by and couldn't really believe how many people were there fishing what looked to be somewhat of a weedy cesspool.  I had another place in mind so I started heading that way and ended up going over Hay Creek as I made my way out of town.  I have a little habit of stopping at every trout stream I drive over and taking a look at the water.  I like to check to see if it looks trouty or not.  As I stared down at Hay Creek I noticed how the water in the river seemed to disappear underneath a bank before shooting out into the main channel again.  This is called and undercut bank and places like this are often home to the kind of trout that guys like me dream about.  I decided that If I fished here I could get in a few more minutes of fishing since I would be doing less driving. 

Back on the subject of river currents and undercut banks for a second.  I've been lucky enough to fish with some of the "best of the best" fisherman around and one thing I've noticed that they all have in common is that they pay just as much if not more attention to how rivers work when fishing as how fish behave in certain situations.  Since I am always trying to up my own game I now spend a lot more time studying things like hydrodynamics and stuff.  This is high level competitive stuff.

I walked down the road a ways before finding a nice little path that led down to the creek.  This is a view looking downstream.
 This is a view looking upstream.  Micro currents going everywhere.  I studied the river like Tom Brady sizes up the defense of opposing teams before making a play.  I am pretty much the Tom Brady of fly fishing.
 Armed with my Winston GVX Select Three weight I started making casts with a hopper/dropper style rig.  Over the course of the next hour I caught two Brook Trout and four Brown Trout.  I was one of those evenings where even though the trout weren't flying out of the water but I was having just enough action to keep things interesting.  This ten inch Brown felt like a giant against my Winston and the 5X tippet I was using.
 The ten incher came out of this run.
 Here's that undercut I was talking about in the beginning of this story. Half the water in the river is actually underneath the bank on the right.  That's where trophy trout like to live.
 Looking downstream I reflected for a moment and was glad I gave this section of river a chance.  I have never really been much of a Hay Creeker but perhaps it deserves a little bit more of my attention.
 Gotta love that slightly stained water.
 I always like to take a moment to check out the graffiti that is found under many bridges.  Some of it is pretty good.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Long Hike

So I made tentative plans to fish on Saturday leaving my options open.  I always enjoy messaging with Shebs at night when we are both dreaming about what the next day lays in store for us.  I can talk for hours about fishing but often have difficulty talking for five minutes about just about anything else.

Usually I make plans to head out before the sun rises but yesterday I had some physical fitness testing at school at 0900 hours which set me back a few hours.  Overall I was pleased with my test results and still felt like I had enough left in me to take on a good long hike.

Oftentimes before venturing into the great unknown I worry about something bad happening and nobody knowing where to look for me.  I sent Brevitz a quick text before I started just so that they would know where to start searching should not show up for dinner.

Shortly after texting Nick I rode my bike down to my starting point and locked it up to a sign post before making my descent into the lush valley.  I was excited to see what the next 4-6 hours lay in store.

I cast my streamer into the deep spot next to the bank.  Numerous trout tried to chase it down until one of the mightiest of them clamped his jaws onto it after which a fight ensued.
After making several wild jumps out of the water during the fight the beast was finally subdued.  This was quite the battle on my 7 and a half foot 4 weight Ross Journey Fly Rod.  "Not a bad start to the day", I thought.
 I continued upstream staying in the creek to avoid tresspassing.  I made a mental reminder to keep the pace up so I could be sure to finish before it got dark.  I had three miles of water to cover.
 I happened upon this sign which meant I could walk the bank for a ways.
 This section was pretty void of fish so I happily frolicked along the bank.
 This little logam riffle complex held a few scurrying fish.
 Approaching this deep bend my heart beat fast because I could tell it was going to be good.
 Besides this trout I pulled about 5 or 6 more out of that bend.  I like to memorize the dot patterns of every trout I catch just in case I ever catch them again it will be like reuniting with an old friend.
 I imagine the whole scenario would go something like this.
I came to this relatively calm bend where I could see trout rising every 15 seconds or so to Caddis.  I simply couldn't help myself so I proceeded to catch 5 or 6 on the dry fly.
So much fun catching fish after fish at will on the dry fly.
By the time I reached this bend the rising had ceased and I figured it was time to test out my latest creation.  I call it the Pink Squirrel Leech.
What a champ the Pink Squirrel Leech turned out to be.
 What a beautiful spot this was.
 And another trout falling victim to the temptations of the Pink Squirrel Leech.
 With a few pinpoint casts a pulled two browns out of this micro cut bank.  If the cast landed too close to the bank I would snag and too far away the fish wouldn't chase.  I am oftentimes impressed with the fly casting skills I have and look forward to the times when I can help others discover the joy of being a fly fishing maven.
 Looking back downstream after a 5 hour long, 3 mile hike with over 30 fish caught.

On my way home I received a call from Micah and Drew.  They were on their way home from a day of fishing and invited me to come to a barbecue at Micah's place.  It was fun way to debrief with friends after a day on the water.  If you still want to read more about fly fishing check out the blog that Micah and his wife Abigail have created.  You can find them at The Driftless Flyer.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Phil mentioned to me today that my blog could use an update since I haven't posted anything in a while.  One thing I decided when I started this blog was that I would never start a post out by apologizing for not posting in a while.  As if I am sorry for living my life undocumented; what a farce.  I do however recognize that I haven't posted in a while and would hate to have my fans worrying about me.  Rest assured I have been able to get out from time to time.  

First things first.  I want to thank those who came and visited me at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo.  From this photo you can see how seriously I take my fly tying.  
 I recently received my 2017 trout stamp in the mail.  I look forward to this event every year.
Now let me take you on a walk down memory lane to some of the times I went fishing and didn't get a blog post out.  

When Eddie met Drew and Micah

Eddie Rivard blogs about fly fishing.  He lives with his dog Foxy in New Brighton Minnesota. 
 I started this day solo
 A 1 A, Trout Stream Avenue
Trout were feisty chasing my leeches
Didn't bring my net so I landed them on the beaches.
 Hiked to a remote section of the Rush.  It was well worth it.
 I always catch fish on the Olive Rubberlegged Bugger.  No wonder why I tie so many.
 It was a nice stain this day.
 A slightly larger specimen.
 Gotta love the selfy!
 It was nice to catch a Brook after catching about 15 Browns.
 Later on I met up with Micah and Drew.  These guys are the next generation of awesome.  I've been googling ways to make my camera focus better so in photos like this the fish would stay in focus no matter how far Micah sticks it out.
 At what point does the size of your net go from a plus to a minus.  To each their own I guess.
It was good to fish with Drew again and to fish with Micah for the first time.  I'm looking forward to fishing with them again.

When Eddie fished with Ryan

I try to fish with Ryan every chance I get.  He is just such an awesome dude.  I will try to add more words to this tomorrow. :)

Grand Slam

Silver Trout

 Brown Trout
 Brook Trout
 Striped Trout

Kreelex to the rescue!

The Mission

 Unlike the Caddis the Blue Wing Olive Fly is not meant to resemble any particular insect.  It's just an attractor pattern tied to resemble many things ranging from ants to hornets.


 Why me?

 Naturally occurring rock formations.

 Wide and shallow.

 The Island of Misfit Sandals

I will be adding more words soon :)

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