Thursday, May 28, 2020

Lake Michigan Water Levels

Thought it would be a lot higher than this forecast indicating.  The current provisional data (green line) say 582.05 feet as of today, which is only approximately 3.5 inches higher than June 2019.  I read some articles early on and saw some predictions of more like a foot increase.  Still TBD but looking okay.

Friday, May 15, 2020

While this happened some time ago, I just noted as much today, while looking through the spring inventory (because I want to know where a guy can get cold clear water if the river is turbid and you're in a fix e.g. thirsty; note you'd still want to boil the water before consuming).  MGS confirmed naming of this spring was result of guidance provided on all-day spring discovery expedition in October 2015.  Believe it or not there are still things to discover out there.

Branch stream at base of bluff is a seepage face. A lot of watercress from main stream all the way to spring MN85:A00337.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Spring Bug Notes

4/25/20 Bad idea to be a lazy ass and not get on the stream when one needs to be there which is leading up to the hatch.  This was a Saturday and I wandered around noon thinking the caddis would be so good it wouldn't matter how many people on the water.  There was complete blanket bugs - on the water, on my person, etc.  Zero fish rising.  They were already distended with bugs in stomachs.  Footballer in the pic by way of nymphing which I did not want to engage.  So I left.  On walking out I found thirteen cars in the parking allowance; most I have ever counted anywhere.

Next Day we Did it Right

4/26/20 three key things made for success: 1. up early, 2. walked further in, 3. went to water with light and variable hatches.  Kid hooked half a dozen at first hole, swinging soft hackle downstream.

That's a proper stomach content list right there.  Various prey items; not frantic habitual gorging on caddis pupae.

New gear that I like - holds tippet and flies, attaches to terminus of lanyard.

Got some bigger dry fly fish.  In the morning they were on the emerger.  Afternoon we were seeing a few caddis.  If you could nail the hop and skitter (which requires greased fly and leader) you could bring about bass-like eats.  The dead drift was only infrequently successful to start.  As the afternoon wore on they started eating the dead drift as the caddis disappeared.  Key overall was that these fish were looking up, but did not have access to unlimited bugs.  Ideal situation.

Big fish above was situated around that rock.  Great looking dry fly water.

Been eating a lot of venison and trout.

Put 'em in tacos.

Wild ginger and ramps in the north alley by compost.  Emulating the floodplain floor; fun to watch over time.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quarantine Fishing I.

Younger guy out; kids can teach adults a lot; or at least they can remind us of some things.  "I always feel so good when a fish is on the line" he says.

Seemed like every time I used a drift to offer some instruction about high-sticking, keeping line off water, etc. a fish at a fly.

Last of the batch.

Hand-me-down hippies in play.

Fish Camp Early Spring 2020 Bridging Feb to March

Day 1

Only things he really needs me for at this point are driving to the water and rigging up.  First hole he approached he extracted six fish via nymphing.


Just one night; a quick hitter; kind of a last minute bit.

Signing Out, Cabin Log

In the cabin log-book one can dare to attempt a poetic form for the report but beware you get no chance to revise.

Day 2

Fishing a soft hackle upstream in aquarium water.  High degree of difficulty.  A good laboratory.  Casting errors and flaws laid bare.  So when it happens the butter is particularly bright.

Just needed one fish to my own hand and it had to be softie swing.

Thursday, March 05, 2020

Winter Notes

Kids been into ice fishing so we logged disproportionate number of hours on the ice.  Many many rainbows of this approx size been taken home.  Takes some adjustment going from the hunt of the stream to the persistence and vigilance of the sheet ice.  Never been skunked in some 4-6 winters of doing it.  Usually end up with 1-5 rainbows and some miscellaneous.  

They put brood stock in there too.  Calloused from a lifetime of rubbing on cement raceways. 

Mostly we fry them.  Sometimes fish tacos.  Here saving some with skin/scales on for smoking.

Many LMB, crappie and even one big bullhead have come through the ice too.

Flood control reservoirs around town are managed as recreational fisheries.  To change things up we head out there now and again; different deal: instead of a few bigger fish you generally find 30-50 small fish; pannies and perch.  Here we sorting out seven inchers to take home.

Stream Fishing


Why'd I tie all those nymphs.  

Just a few nymphing runs this winter; slightly below average results.  Best walk I've had was 2/24 from 10 AM to 1 PM. Started out nymphing and nose-tipped this beauty with big mouth.  Then just kind of stopped fish and started looking for fish rising to midges.  It's possible I may be done nymphing.

Nice water.

I walked to stretch of water that many years ago would put off midges in abundance.  I studied it a long time; kind of waiting.  No rises; swung SH through anyway; nothing.  Walked back downstream.  Eventually found risers.  Steady risers.  I put the Wilted on them one by one and proceeded to stick every fish that showed.  Quartering down and across.  The eats were violent.  And the fish were not dinks like you might expect in these settings.

You can toil with the upstream presentation but if you really want to pick apart risers, the soft hackle swing is ideal.

Did it for me; called it a day after a few hours.  Following weekend kid and I stayed overnight in a trout camp and I wasn't even driven to fish.  Just guided him although he needed very little help.  First hole he approached he extracted six fish with tandem nymph rig.  Then on to fishing the Wilted and he got two fish out of aquarium setting.  Nice way to close it out; we on the cusp now; winter's back broken; no more long cold stretches; soon we'll be into spring fishing; the good hatches; the green spreading over the floodplains.