Monday, May 11, 2015

The World's Most Dangerous Group

Straight from the sewer; stink stink, stink like manure.

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Last of April 2015

Out with neighbor and good buddy.  We stole away for a day trip so we could high stick in broken water.  Original intention was a car drop; we opted at the last second for one car, walk back instead.  Basic setting was water in good condition, sunny, moderate wind.  No people despite popular stream reach.  We packed in some cans of good beer.  Walked pretty slowly. Hoping to see some bugs. 

Nymphing good early on.  Sensing dry flies and the associated small fish, I cast a streamer for maybe 30 minutes before making the switch.  Good reminder on this log pile: don't go get your snagged flies.  Not worth it.  Second cast I hooked the lead log.  Fortunate to use the loop-send to unhook it (would have broken it off; was practicing a form of mitigation) because on the next cast the fly was set up front and as it was settling it was eaten by the big fish of the day.

We found caddis late morning and they were going from there on out.

My neighbor was relieved to cut off the four points of weight nymph rig and get to the grace of the dry fly and glass.  I suppose he brought 15-20 fish to hand on a standard EHC.

This was money water; all water like it was taken apart fairly methodically.  Each piece yielding 3-6 trout to decent drifts.  Drift over where you figure the trout are laying up; watch them rise to your fly; that is the deal here.

Not pretty: just hair tied on a hook, with a trailing shuck.  No hackle.  The fly is effective though.  This rod seems to want to lay this fly out there.  I need that because I'm a high-sticker more than a caster.  So when it starts butter churning smoothness and my arm melds to it and the line lays out somewhat acceptably and I track the tuft on the water; I'm reminded and I appreciate some fine craftsmanship.  As for the caddis they live in the spaces between the rocks.  If we cover up all the rocks we'll kill a lot of their possibilities going forward.  Don't do things that hurt streams would be the basic advice.  One of my old coworkers used to say "don't do dumb stuff."  I've seen a number of amazing caddis phenomena; been alongside some good folks for some of them.  Prolific is a word that comes to mind.  Trying to think about web-spinning hiding secretive creatures that get a call to transform, pupate and take to the air and breath oxygen from it.  People will never know all their secrets and that makes me happy.

Pics out of order, as I got this and all that follow from my neighbor.  This fish I guessed at 14" - he who ate the streamer as it broke the water and fell in front of his dark hold - we used a rolled up cloth tape to measure it; turns out it was 15.5 inches long with a sweet deep mouth.  Bent the 2 wt.  Led me downstream a bit.

Here is the inexhaustible hole.  Simple as that.  So deep the fish can't see you; so much hydro cushion the angler is camoflauged invisible.  You basically have to decide to just leave this hole while still catching fish.  It's proven this bar every time I've visited it.  One highlight was getting a stone cold eat from a whitesucker that was holding down there in the ranks of trout.

Next three pics credited to my neighbor.  Go it afoot.  Find trout in the good places of the world.  Here is one of them.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Making Good on April

Been fortunate to put together some solid outings in one of the world's best months: SE MN April.  Hit all three of my favorite day tripper trout waters; each with various family and and friends; stayed at a state park with one of our sons.  I always tell myself to make these Aprils and Mays count; only have so many; objective assessment probably says we were able to manage the homefront fine and log a highly acceptable April 2015.

Many trout waters.  My description of the best is not related to number of fish or size of fish.  It pivots on this: where are the streams that offer all-day walks that show never-ending good water?  These are streams that fall in a certain size range.  The small water doesn't have it.  And the biggest water around here either doesn't hold trout or is somewhat unwadeable or both.  I've got a short list.  Following pics were taken on one of the top three, on a forty degree windy day on which my dad and I found time to fish together.

We hit a greasy road; couldn't keep the vehicles straight; fish-tailing.  On Sunday of this past weekend I spent 45 minutes laying on the ground in my yard spraying off the undercarriage. 

Walking into starting point.

Dad's first SE MN stream trout.  Taken on his yellow Abu Reflex from way back.  He is holding the spinning rod that he bought me approx 28 years ago.

Appreciated all of his remarks on the bluffs, valley and cliff faces.  Not everybody gets to fish in these valleys and I like it when I get to kneel on the bank and watch someone take it all in.

Fact is that I can't show people how to catch trout with spinning gear.  Suck at it.  I can't see how you can get a spinner down far enough to dig out salmo trutta.  After a while Dad would run a spinner through a hole and I'd come behind and hook fish on nypmhs.  Finally I said here man, take this fly rod.  Don't cast it like Brad Pitt; just flip it; flip all the points of weight and follow the drift with a high stick.  Work your way across the water near to far.  Every lane will show a trout.  In his first position he stuck a 15 inch BNT on a Peabody lead fly.  Landed it.  Beautiful buck with deep mouth.  Proceeded to hook three more.  Nymphed like a champ.  And BTW look at that water and tell me the words absolute money do not come to mind.  No man could design it better.

His first trout on a fly.

We harvested small fraction of the caught fish; here some stomach contents.


This fish ate a streamer as it swept across current; tailed out, hovered and smacked it.  I like the spots.

Don't often see wetlands of this type in these systems.  An interesting find.

Going deep into the valley requires a walk up and out.  Great day.  April is easy-walking, buggy and sunny.  Nice time to shake hands with planet Earth.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rocks and Water

April camping with my second son.  Photo journal.

Good gear item.

No dishwashing is the goal.

Morning sun on coffee works is always a highlight for me.

Secondary springs located.

Because the small water was the only fishable, it was loaded with anglers.  We did our best to fit in without ruining folks' days.  Angling was secondary; the big spring was the goal.

Caught a pretty good number of trout given the scenario.

Absolute money water.

"Fish right over there, Danny Boy, guaranteed."

Famous spring of SE MN.

He took off his boots and socks and made a run at entry but the flow volume overwhelmed him; he though better of it.  After stooping under, one can stand up straight.

And then beyond is the keyhole, to depths unknown.