Friday, July 20, 2007

Recycled Fish, a non-profit fisheries conservation organization, announces the “Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge.” Anglers who take the Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge now at get a free Recycled Fish annual membership, a handful of gifts, and are registered to win outdoor gear in the New Members Sweepstakes.

“Our goal is to activate anglers as the primary stewards of the resource,” says Executive Director Teeg Stouffer. “There is a huge global movement toward green living, and this is the way we angling enthusiasts respond to and support it.”

The Recycled Fish Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge is sponsored by Fetha Styx, Fly Fusion magazine, Coleman, Cabela’s, FoodSource Lures,, Secret Weapon Lures, Hill’s Discount Flies, Vertical Lures, The Reel Discount Store, Yakima River Fly Shop, Driftwood Lures, and Vicious Fishing.

For more on Recycled Fish and the Sportsman’s Stewardship Pledge, visit

Teeg Stouffer, Executive Director

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Cousins Came Around

A week or so ago Aunt, Uncle and five cousins drove 200+ miles one way to visit for a while. We were able to watch the kids jump around a bit... introduce new babies and generally relax and feel pretty good. We also took the oldest kids to the Transformers movie, which they seemed to like. I didn't take many decent pictures during the vist, but fortunately Aunt AM capture some great moments, and offers her superior photography here:

Take Some Kids Camping Day

Brother and I took JD and JD camping last sat-monday. The main goal was to roll them around in the dirt and throw them in the river. We succeeded in that... It was a nice time. The fishing (one hour logged) was garbage. The water at this state park was doggey and slow and flat and had no interesting character to speak of... Okay though - wasn't a fishing trip. Here are some photo highlights:

Roasting some high fructose corn syrup.
Attempting to drive in the nude.

Kill that fuggin' 2-D screen, put the kids in the river and just let 'em be.

Backwash and spittle caught for future consumption.

Dado put a square of dark chocolate in my oatmeal.

I wish I had some salt to mix with the wood smoke.

Slept for approx 30 minutes like this... comfortable?

Cooking breakfast in a car camp is a highlight. At our new home, we inherited this beloved cast iron gridle that fits perfectly over two burners of a Coleman stove. Add coffee to bacon and legs and find that you're happy.

Some specie of parasitic wasp that we encountered.

Pirate slogging along in the river. He had no trouble navigating the wild. He even lagged behind a bit because his interest was grabbed and held so often.
A Few Hours of Perfection

Last week a friend and I left the trail behind and picked our way up a bit of stream in a WMA. Warm, but not hot; no sweat; no biting bugs... damsel flies abounding and fish where they should have been. I had to stop on several occasions to soak it all up. Wet wading and high sticking were in play. Streamside veg was thick.

Days like this get me thinking about how to best use fishing time. Should I chase big fish in less desirable environs, or should I dance a bit with these trout and rub elbows with some remarkably beautiful compadres? I like both.

Canning Chronicles running a dry fly over some pretty water. I think I got him hooked on this stretch of river - which is good.

The high stick schlick that is deadly in its own right.

The Adventure 3.

Frogerton feeling good and safe.

Damsel in distress. Not really though - looking pretty relaxed here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Last 14 Hours

Late yesterday hit a little trout stream with a good buddy. He is looking for chances to get his fly rod in the field, so I obliged. Nice night - great weather including short period of rain. We encountered a hatch of very small mayflies and something else that I could not catch to ID... color was white and size was around 20 I guess. I tried a small dry fly but it got laughed at. I switched over to JB's Wilted Spinach (my version of it) and immediately caught (or at least hooked) just about every fish within casting distance... at one point hooked a trout on six straight casts. Pretty funny because I know nothing about hatches but I know that that fly rocks.

This AM I tried to catch a carp on my new 7 wt. Only saw one, as conditions were tough and time short. I did have a cool little LMB roll on the fly as I was jigging at bubbles... first fish on that rod - hope that's not a curse. Also caught a strangely decent crappie... both from ugly water right in urban Roch.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Minor changes in sum can make for major change...

Started out the day driving around with the heat on full blast again. Pretty funny. By 830 AM I was covered in sweat... yeah man. I poked around Lake Zumbro - walked a really cool shore and blew a couple chances at carp - not much action though because the top end of the lake is so turbid. It's criminal that the public can't get to the tailwater of that dam... I trie dand tried and was turned away by private property signs. Finally I walked into a resort thinking I might camp there and pay for a day... only to find that it'd be tough fishing from shore, so I axed the idea and headed for Oronoco. As I pulled in, I saw a VFW pancake breakfast. Outstanding timing, so I stepped in - reminding myself that I was not in a rush.

The coffee was steaming, as you can see. There was a Schlitz beer light on the wall. The cost was $4 and the sausages were of unknown origins. You tell me - does this look like a corn free meal?

The price I paid was greater than money though - I found out later that I left my precious Gazetteer and all my trout stream maps on the table. Hehe - too bad for me I guess. The door was locked when I returned. A friendly neighbor gave me a phone number to follow up... thanks to him.

From there, went to the local dam thinking I'd nymph up a storm. I didn't, but I did get more than my share of smallmouth action. The best of which is pictured here - caught dead drifting with indicator.

All of these smallies were caught with the Wonderod - a fiberglass Shakespeare model given to me by my bro - he picked it up for $3 at a g-sale. I decided to fish it after some encouragement from JB and my neighbor. I like it.

After smallies and no carp at the dam, I went back to the torture chamber that is the local carp water. I knew I'd see fish, but the question was: would I be able to fool them? This time - YES was the answer... thankfully. I hooked three and landed two great fish. I got that damn carp monkey off my back. I saw quite a few fish - the first one I had a good shot at I hooked only to have him come off right away... The second one was a dapping situation - money in the bank there. The third was a cruising fish... put fly in path and guessed right. That last fish hooked was one of the biggest I've seen in that water - probably 7-8 lbs or so (??). I'm convinced that it had a lot to do with the fly - JB's green mini-crayfish. Pretty much every fish that I didn't spook that saw that fly ate it readily.

Also - I fell in love with the old 5/6 Pro Graphite for a carping rod. WHAT A DIFFERENCE it makes to have the right rod for the job... the 4 wt just doesn't cut it - doesn't cast well enough. I was putting money casts on fish left and right - even in strong wind. Then I broke the rod. Snapped it in two... Went well with the shattered fly box (happened when I vaulted up on a cement slab about five feet high and forgot that the box was in my pocket), lost Gazetteer, and lost dozen flies.

All in all it was tough equipment day. THe fishing was not fast and furious but it was enough for me to be in harmony as I sit here writing. Heck, I just consumed two brown trout from the Zumbro system along with a few glasses of red wine... How can a guy complain about catching stunning brookies, hard-fighting smallies and a couple great carp on the fly? He can't.
Nothing Like Getting Your Izzow Kicked All Over the SE

Carp rule, and I suck it up real bad. That is the story of last tonight and today. I found a number of fish. Most were in uncatchable locations thanks to the walls and rails of mankind that were built to separate us from the river and all its glory. Stay away! Keep out the walls say! Well, one consequence of such an approach is that the urban carp are well protected. For example, these stunning folk were safe and sound within my site but beyond my reach. I'm longing to meet again their rural cousins in Rice County and beyond.

These fish are so damn educated and tough, I don't think I'll ever catch them. They scoot away anytime you break the horizon, and if you are sneaky enough to get flies to them they laugh and turn away. Last night I could manage only a sucker and a LMB (I didn't catch the LMB - he caught himself, as all LMB do - that is why you don't fish for them, you merely throw for them... hehe).

Today I started out the door around 930 and didn't rig up until 1430. Yeah you heard me right. I was driving around looking for big MISS carp... couldn't find any, but I was sure the next stop would produce. No way though... add to that the fact that it was 94 F, and I had to have my heat on full blast to keep my car from overheating... you can imagine some frustration. I gave up on carp and went to the trout crutch. Even that was somewhat of a trial though, given conditions. Brook trout can save the day - no question there. Absolutely stunning is what they are... Also a couple small browns marinating in lemon juice right now - soon to become me.

Friday, July 06, 2007


And a youth said, "Speak to us of Friendship."

Your friend is your needs answered.

He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.

And he is your board and your fireside.

For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the "nay" in your own mind, nor do you withhold the "ay."

And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;

For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.

When you part from your friend, you grieve not;

For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.

And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
from Kahlil Gabrain’s The Prophet
The Leaky Faucet

All through the night, the leaky faucet
searches the stillness of the house
with its radar blip: who is awake?
Who lies out there as full of worry
as a pan in the sink? Cheer up,
cheer up, the little faucet calls,
someone will help you through your life.
~Ted Kooser

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Drop it like it's hot

Last time I was out I got my tail kicked by a dozen or so carp. They were feeding on the far side of a tributary mouth and I just couldn't see heads, mouths or takes. Finally this guy swam up to me and said "take me as I am" so I did that by straight-arming JB's green crawdad up and to the left of his probing mouth. Strong little fish... beautiful gold. There'll be many more from this water in the years to come. It's seven blocks from my house.