Monday, January 9, 2017

Winter Season Begins Jan 1st/8th

I found time to get out twice in the early winter season. The first day was a shot at some new water. There is so much water between Minnesota and Wisconsin. I've found some great streams, but it is really fun to try new things from time to time. In fact, in general, I prefer to fish a new stream than fish the same stream twice (unless it is a new section).


So, for my first day out in 2017, I found a new section on a this phenomenal trout map. I don't know who made it for Minnesota, but it is awesome. I love it. I'm hoping someone will make it for Wisconsin.


The section I fished had easement access but it was really hard to find so I stopped at someone's house to ask for directions. They were very helpful and said I could fish anywhere I liked. Score!


The stream has only a mile of publicly fishable land that had work done on it back in the 80s. A beaver did some work on it this last summer, but that is another story I'm sure.



Anyway, after finding the easement, I hiked my way down to the stream and found myself facing a phenomenal run and pool.


There was a nice undercut near the run so I threw a streamer through the run and caught a healthy driftless brown on my first cast. It is one of those sparsely spotted browns with good olive and gold color. It amazes me how variable these fish can look.
 
I got a new Patagonia hip pack.  I love it. I'm a hip pack person for sure.

I fished down stream until I came to a long, slow, deep section. I started hoping over a few muskrat or beaver dens and quickly saw when the section is so deep.


A broad, sturdy dam was doing its job. I wonder how that affects the fish population in that part of the stream. Darker water. Deeper water. Bigger fish?
 

On my way back out, I hit a few spots I a spooked earlier and manages a gorgeous native brookie. There is something special about the native brookie. Sure they don't get as big as the big browns, but, man, I really love them.
 


It was a great way to finish a first day out on the water in 2017. My next outing would prove to be a bit tougher as far as fishing is concerned.




We recently had a bit of a cold snap in Wisconsin, as such finding open water was more of a task. I hoped a favorite stretch would be open, but it was much harder than I thought. I should have searched for a sunnier stretch of water. So all in all, no fish came to hand.



I threw streamers because I'm not that confident in my nymphing technique or skill.
 

You can see how sparse the pockets of water were at times. It made for a gorgeous day. At times, I was able to simply walk across slow runs because the ice was nice and thick.
 

A couple amazing finds were this frozen hawk. I think it is a Nrothern Goshawk, but if any of you know can identify it as another type, let me know! I looked closely, but left the bird to the wild.


It was surprisingly light weight for its size. I suppose that's the deal when you are a bird.


I also found this big buck. I presume is a hunter's lost harvest. a gorgeous rack, just squeaking out that 9th point.


By the time I got back to the car, I decided to leave the waders on for the drive home. My gators were frozen to my laces. My feet were warm though.


Once we have a slight warm up, the water will get a slight stain and the fish will get hungry. The bite will turn on again!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Early Adventures in Fly Fishing for Musky

It is pretty awesome when you move outside your fishing bubble and meet new people. You never know what you might learn. For instance, I learned I have a wadable stream not to far from where I live that supports a healthy musky population. I also learned how to tie articulated flies (which, by the way, big brown trout also seem to like). 

The musky season in Wisconsin runs May through December. I didn't start my search until the last days of November. The last couple outings were in snowy cold weather. 


I essentially spent time looking for dark water. Deep pools where big musky might be waiting to ambush unsuspecting prey. 


Lots of bushwhacking and exploration over several short trips yielded no follows or fish seen. 


Dead Dear Run is one of my favorite spots on this new found stream. Named as such for obvious reasons. 


Lots of frozen guides and cold fingers until finally... finally...


I caught my first musky on the fly. He took it right at my feet. It was so fun to watch. No too big. Maybe a little over 25' (though, naturally, he gets bigger every time I tell the story).


Big hunks of meat for these big toothy fish. 


Here is @normalicious showing off his o'pros dragonfly rod holder. they are handy in certain situations. I like when standing in a stream and tying on a new fly. Sometimes line get's caught up in it, but in general, it is a nifty too to add to the arsenal. easy stocking stuffer too. 

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The New Guitar Strap

I just got my early Christmas present. A custom guitar strap from Lenny Kenny leather. Here's hoping this inspires as much music as there is snow falling down outside our home. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kristian Matsson's Guitar Strap

I am envious of Kristian Matsson's (aka Tallest Man on Earth)
guitar strap in addition to his musical skills.


He has been know to collaborate with Rolf Nylinder. I would love to fish with these guys. Rolf has a few videos showcasing Matsson HERE. So good.

Edit:
I figured out who makes these. It is Linny Kenny out of New Hampshire. Her stuff is amazing.


Meant to post this about a month ago. The post after this will show the result of this new find.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Rest Easy, Friday Night: Vol 19: David Nash (ME!). County 9 - My Third Album

If you are looking for some new music, especially some to make the new Bon Iver album sound a little better, check out my new CD. You can listen on Spotify or get it on iTunes.


There are only 8 tracks, but I feel it is a good album considering my amateur status. Honestly, it is better than the first two.


So this fall/winter, when you are sitting down with your favorite cold or warm beverage and searching for inspiration while staring at the naked hook clamped in your vise, try playing this CD in the background. If nothing else, you won't be sitting in silence.

 
Click HERE for a link to iTunes
Click HERE to listen to "Fertile Ground" on Youtube

Thursday, October 20, 2016

One last outing this season. For real this time.


Last Saturday, I got in two more hours before season ended in Minnesota's East Coast/Wisconsin's West Coast.

Courtney, @SculpinArmy, and hopscotched our away from run to run, pool to pool and tree stump to tree stump.


The overcast skies and mild weather were comfortable conditions for swinging large flies made of buck tails and rabbit strips.




We found plenty of easer smaller trout. Nothing spectacular, but fun. I was getting ready to announce, "You know, it is just great to get out one more time.  It doesn't matter if we catch any big ones..."




photo credit: Courtney Morris, @SculpinArmy



photo credit: Courtney Morris, @SculpinArmy



And that's when I had a nice take. I was throwing an articulated streamer tied by Courtney. Light in color, fast in action.


19 inches of browned butter sauce and black peppercorn. 



photo credit: Courtney Morris, @SculpinArmy







photo credit: Courtney Morris, @SculpinArmy

Now that is how you end a season of fishing in the Driftless Area.




photo credit: Courtney Morris, @SculpinArmy








Tuesday, October 11, 2016

One last outing before season ends

I met up with a new friend, Sculpinarmy on instagram, and we went to explore some new local water. We got great weather and so hungry browns. 

The first frost of the year laced the trees. As it melted, it seemed to rain down on us even though the skies were cloudless. 

We threw streamers into deep pools and enticed quite a few healthy upper teens browns out of the shadows to attack our flies. Few landed but great fun all the same. 


Any photo in this post with me in it was taken by Sculpinarmy. Check him out on instagram. He catches big driftless browns and takes great photos. 

On another note, the blogger app seems to be malfunctioning on the iPad and iPhone. I can't add anything but photos. My computer isn't working well so it is making editing this a bit tricky. Hope the formatting works okay.