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.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Old fly lines as backing

Or, further means of rejecting the notion that any typical lake fish specie in Minnesota could ever get to your backing and as such, the length and type of backing on your lake reels is basically irrelevant beyond the function of making line pickup faster.

Lots of old fly lines around; I like to label them so I can recall their history/use.  I don't have a lot of spare backing around.  Because I like to use things that are on-hand instead of spending more time/money, I made the dramatic and highly controversial decision to use old fly line as backing.

Orvis Clearwater on the left (again in the vein of which fish can actually run: the Clearwater is not an elite drag; no matter here, in a lake fishing application), the reel in the "cassette" package that I recently acquired.  The pack includes three heavy plastic spools that fit into the spool "holder" which fits into the reel per normal.  In the image above the old 4 wt fly line is spooled on as backing and my BWCA 7 ips full sink lake line is wound too tightly on that little reel on the right.

Here is the lake line now on the large arbor Clearwater.  The 4 wt fly line buried, basically never to be seen again unless this reel gets triaged into carp duty somehow.

The cassette approach needs some field testing, but in the short-term it freed up three fly reels for use in other endeavors.

Nail knots and line clippings.

Cassette pack L to R: 9 wt floating, multi-tip, full sinking lake line.  The three options that should be at hand when in BWCA or more generally when lake fishing for SMB and pike.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Deer Hunting 2019

Only deer I saw from the stand on opening weekend firearm season A.  Shot placement very good with rifled barrel and red dot.  Twisting back to left shooting downslope approx 45-50 yards.

Crossed the gully and then died; slid downhill during the throes.  Never got out of my sight.

Pausing during long drag out.  Probably around a quarter mile but all downhill; pretty good feeling.

View from stand looking downslope over left shoulder; deer came kind of up and across this view.  Into a really good shooting window.

Spent good amount of the weekend trying to move deer to hunting mates.  Did move one but no shot came of it.  Also sent one up a slope as I was walking back to stand after dragging deer out.  Heard but did not see that one.

There is no place on this property that does not afford a spectacular view.  Count myself fortunate to be welcomed into this hunting party year after year.

They hang in the cedars on the steep sideslopes.  This rub was right on a worn-to-dirt highway they use to go in and out of the cover.  My stand is not on any of the cedars; my two hunting partners post those.

DNR communication, coordination and execution re CWD testing was very good.  No hassles.

Gun kill on left; road kill we picked up on right.

Stayed at a small farm in Houston County for the second weekend, with older son.  His photo credit here.

Sat out two nights in a really good stand.  No deer seen.  First time ever logged two consecutive blanks in that stand.  Neighbors got blanked too; we heard only three instances of shooting.  Saturday night was windy; too windy.  Sunday night felt pretty good; nothing.

Monday night after that second weekend, big deer right by our house.  City deer have it pretty good.

Doing some rounds of grinding and jerky rather than all at once.  17 lbs of neck meat and scraps in three ziplocks.

Only hunted one night of first weekend second season.  Sat with younger son on a property we were seeing for the first time, again by the good graces of a friend.

He was very quiet and careful; did a great job in the stand.  Also fell asleep.  One doe came into view right at the very edge of range, coming from behind us.  Got the gun up but it would have been very marginal; so I waited.  She was unawares.  Steadily angling away from us; never giving a shot; never angling toward.  Was hoping to wake the kid up with a start.  He never did see the deer.

Stratification of chili spices.