It's been a good start to pike season. Moving fish almost every trip out. Today caught one really nice pike along with a couple incidental smallmouth. Fishing only the martian muddler. Put a couple pics in for last week as I missed a few reports.
So we are going to do a weekend wrap-up in this report. Have been really focusing on pike. Went out for the past four days and moving a couple each day. Friday landed 2. On was decent in the mid twenties. Saturday work my tail off to land only one fish in the low to mid twenties. Sunday moved 3 or 4 fish but missed all of them. Monday went out with Dave and I moved two or three on topwater. Dave landed 2 one of which was a beauty pushing upper twenties. Water is blown out now. Not sure when I will see another pike.
The pike were acting completely stupid this evening. 13 eats with 5 pike to hand. 3 really nice pike for skinny water fishing. All caught on the Martian Muddler in sunrise. It was crazy for about 2 hours then all of a sudden when the pressure bottomed out everything shut off. Windows. It's all about those windows.
Great evening to float. Took Harry from the Rock River Flycasters out. Not much action but he did land a 16" Smallmouth on the bare naked diver. I popped 2 pike on topwater. Great float for sure.
Fun day on the water. Dave and I caught dozens of smallmouth. No real big ones but still a whole lot of fun. Dave was tearing it up on a clouser minnow. I caught a mixed bag on a tequeely including a couple sauger and a channel cat.
Epic evening flyfishing for browns. Some where around 50 fish to hand. Biggest might have taped 17". Mix of streamers thise evening.
Well went popping divers for pike and landed two smallmouth before my only fly was tied up, out of reach and broken off. Better than sitting on the couch any day. Gorgeous evening to spend a couple hours on the water. Both Smallies caught on the bare naked diver.
Epic evening hunting for browns. 39 browns to hand. Every single one caught on a black Milwaukee leech. Several over 14 inches. Casting up into the riffles was the deal.
Beautiful evening to take a float. Took a friend out. He caught 9+ smallmouth and 1 pike. We kinda lost count. All on top water which made the evening more fun.
Super stoked to be on the pike game. Dave and I moved 5 or 6 pike Thursday evening which caused me to hunt for pike this weekend. Today it all came together. Landed a beautiful pike on a tan and green martian muddler.
This is a combined report. Took off for Driftless late afternoon yesterday and set up camp. Landed some beautiful fish including a nice rainbow. Swinging a black leech pattern. Tried some mousing with no luck. Woke up super early this morning and back at it. Landed 11 browns and 2 rainbows. Epic day for sure. Two browns were over 18". Fishing a size 4 black scuplpzilla. Big streamer, Big Fish! One fish pictured twice below.
Ah so great to be back to hunting smallmouth. The rivers and creeks are finally receding to levels safe for wading and water conditions are getting better. Landed 2 smallmouth and one channel cat on a crayfish pattern.
Went out at midnight to do some mousing. Pretty awesome experience. Dave checked an item of the bucket list by catching his first brown on a mouse. I had my first eat on a mouse. Pretty cool experience! Sounded like a toilet flushing. We fished into the morning when i switched to a scud and landed a beautiful brown. Dave pulled a rainbow on a streamer. Dave ended with a brown and a rainbow. I ended with a brown. Both left tired but smiling. Epic.
Epic day on the water. 45 browns to hand. The first 2 dozen caught on a tan scud. The rest on a black leech pattern.
Tried the evening instead of the morning. 13 total fish to hand. 10 browns and 3 rainbows. All but a couple caught on the black leech.
Awesome morning on the water. 26 browns to hand. Size 14 scud and size 12 pink squirrel. One landed on black sculpzilla.
Another great adventure to Southwest Wisconsin. Took Cam along with me. Cam got a lift on the train in Fennimore and of course we had to "Grab a Cone" in Montfort. Fishing was exciting. We missed so many fish however we managed to land 4 fish in the couple of hours we spent on the creek.
Pretty good morning on the water. Caught 10 total browns and missed many others. The water was very stained however that work out to be advantages. All but 2 browns were over 11". Swinging a black sculpzilla or brown/yellow space invader.
Sometimes you gotta make lemonade out of chocolate milk. The local rivers were blown out but got to hang with the Rock River Fly Casters and fish a private pond.over 20 largemouth in 3 hours was quite fun. No big ones and all on bare naked deer hair diver.
Back out and about. I continue to think the big females are still post spawn but saw a little more action tonight as compared to Monday night. Landed 7, the biggest might have been 13". Space Invader, TeQueely and Bare Naked Diver all produced. Stoked. Have a few trips planned over the next several days.
Gorgeous evening on the water. I have been spot checking water here and there for the past week for both water clarity and signs the smallmouth are post spawn. Got My first indication of post spawn. Landed a 15"ish female that was spawned out. She was laying in the bottom of a fast run. Soon as I got her back in the water, I reeled in my line and called it an evening. I will let them rest for a few more days for sure to let them put back on some weight and recover from their dance. Size 2 TeQueely landed my only fish.
Good to be back to chasing Smallmouth. Before I left for the Hardly Strictly Musky Tournament, Smallmouth were on beds. I think they are post spawn now since I was able to pick up 4 in faster water or on the seams of fast water. These are more typical summer lies than the flats where Smallmouth bed up. I used one fly for the whole 4 hours I was out. Brown and yellow space invader.
Epic adventure paddling Dustin Hinds and Chris down the Kish. Dustin landed the biggest smallmouth I have ever seen pulled from the Kish. 20 and 1/2 inch toad. Ninja casting Chris landed a 15" and a 16" early on. Dustin finished with 5 smallmouth and Chris finished with 8 smallmouth. Learned a lot from both of them! Fish were following to the boat. It took a pause to induce a strike. Dustin used a yellow swinging D and Chris used a chartreuse, white and blue streamer about 8" in length.
Great day on the water with Justin James. A legit 17", two 15s, two 14s and a couple of 10s. He hooked up with 5 others that he lost but what a blast. Have to say the maiden voyage with the drift boat on the Kish was a great success!!!. We fished the Frosty Minnow all day in black over white. Falling pressure from 3.51 to 3.38.
Another quick float after work produced 3 smallmouth. One was between 15 and 16 inches. Run and gun with a Chartreuse over White Frosty Minnow. Off the water by 7:30.
Great evening float in the Frontier 12. Wish I would have had my thermometer with me. The water felt super cold and I didn't think I would have a chance to catch a smallmouth after the past two weeks of winter weather. I was able to land two smallmouth on my short float. Both came on the chartreuse over white Frosty Minnow one of which was 15". Glad I pulled that pattern out of retirement. Looking forward to this warming trend.
What an excellent adventure. 13 fish total. 8 Browns, 3 Bows and 2 Brookies. New beadhead black leech pattern worked magic today. Missed a lot of fish with poor hook sets. Most of the fish were caught out of the fast waters just below the riffles or out from under lunker structure. A few of the bigger ones pictured below.
Went to a super technical and clear trout stream on a sunny day with bluebird skies. Very challenging and frustrating day turns to reward. The first half of the day I was spooking fish left and right. Cast any type of shadow or get too close and fish would just scatter. Sat and watched Dave fish and learned so much. We fished down stream with streamers. All about the ninja approach and the mend. Black leech pattern was the best. We probably landed 10 or 12 total fish. Missed many, many more. Several of which were gorgeous fish. Some of the best pictured below.
Awesome adventure with Ted. Ted caught 8 browns and 1 rainbow. I caught 3 browns and 2 rainbows. We missed a bunch of other fish. I started off trying to fish a red scud trailed by a black midge emerger. No luck at all. Ted fished a size 6 VIB all day and killed it. I stopped, put my rod down and just watch for a bit. Ted gave me a size 8 VIB in olive and success. Ted landed a beautiful 18" brown early on the size 6 olive VIB. I landed a 15" brown on a size 8 olive VIB. We were drudging the bottom in big deep pools to get connections.
Beautiful day to travel up to Southwest Wisconsin. The water was still pretty stained with visibility in the water maybe 6-8 inches. Landed two browns with some luck. Missed a few others. Came back early to check out some local pike waters but no pike to be found. Black sculpzilla produced both browns. If it stays dry it should great conditions by Saturday.
Cabin fever forced me up to Southwest Wisconsin looking for some browns. Everything was blown out. I hiked up to the spring heads and the water was still stained with zero visibility. Beautiful to get out and about though. Hopefully clears up in the next several days.
Excellent fly fishing adventure with Dustin Hinds. Dustin put on a clinic moving 3 musky with one to net on a yellow articulated streamer. All fish were moved between 10-11.
Great day to get out and explore for new water. A little bit windy but the sun was shining and all in all a beautiful day to be on the water. Did a little bit of spot hopping. 7 total fish between Ted and I. For me 3 rainbows and 2 browns. Ted caught 2 browns including the beauty of the day with a rich yellow coloring. I missed a really nice fish twice. Once on the way down and then again on the way back up. The first time I just barely connected. The second time she took me under some structure and was able to shake the hook. Black and olive sculpzillas and grey scuds.
One little bow and one little brown is all Cam and I could catch. We tried a new tactic today. We threw sticks and rocks in the water to try to attract the fish. I don't think it worked. Black Sculpzilla landed both fish.
Lesson in humility today. I couldn't move a single fish however Dave landed one and had several others on including a brute. I should have put my rod down and just watched. Dave really has the trout fishing dialed in. He was constantly changing flies, sneaking in on the approach and I even saw him throw some split shot on. I picked up some pointers for sure. I will give it another go later this week. Cooler conditions and the water was slightly stained. Overcast and maybe hit 40 degrees.
Great day on the water with Ted Burgess. Not a lot of fish but great weather. Did land this beauty. We landed 3 fish total and moved a few others. Water was 37 an warmed to close to 40. Black size 8 sculpzilla for me and dark VIB for Ted. Sparse midge hatch but no rising fish. We flipped rocks and Ted gave me a 101 on basic entomology. Stoneflies on the rock along with caddis and scuds. I was surprised how big the stonefly was. Maybe size 16 or even 14.
Rainy day on a Southcentral Wisconsin creek. Almost didn't go but I am glad I did. I landed my first browns of 2018. 3 in total. Two around 11" and one around 8". All on the black Sculpzilla. I did try several nymphs with no luck. For some reason either swinging the sculpzilla or quarter upstream and strip down stream was the trick.
Took my cousin J and his friend Ryan steelhead fishing. Ryan landed one coho and one little king. Flows are low and still the remnants of the salmon run. Hoping for a little rain this Wednesday. Coho took the size 14 clown egg. 46.8 cfs 2.62 ft
Well I thought with this string of cooler weather that the pike would be getting super active. All day on the water and only one pike. Did land 2 nice smallmouth on pike flies.
I was able to sneak away from the boatshow to get on the water about 3PM. Very sunny out and just a few casts into my adventure a pike chases down my fly from across the river. That is the most aggressive that I have seen them so far this early spring. I had another follow then by 4 didn't see any thing. I am hoping for more of the same today. Water temp hit 48 and Martian Muddler did the trick
Started on the North Branch with no luck. Water temp on the North Branch was 36 degrees. I then moved to the South Branch. The pike were quite a bit more active than Sunday. Landed 3 pike and had 5 other strikes. Martian Muddler only fly I used today.
The water warmed up since yesterday and so did the action. 4 degree swing in water temp seems to have the pike stirring. Landed 2 little pike on the Martian Muddler and had 3 other strikes. I think with this warming trend we will get a lot of action this week with a high likelihood of the start of spawn by early next week.
Caught my personal best steelhead today. No other strikes or hookups. Talking to others on the water and it has been pretty dismal for them too. The steelhead was hooked on the swing using a popsicle fly in purple blue and yellow.
Connected with three fish today. Lost all 3. Using various colors of Glo Bugs.Every connect was on the swing. Can't let this many opportunities get away when there don't seem to be a lot of fish moving up the river.
Connected with 2 fish today and landed one. Fishing purple egg sucking leech followed by various colored glo bugs. The steelhead took a clown pattern glo bug on the swing.
Another 5 pike to hand. Orange and yellow bucktail is smoking it this season. Water temp is down to 59 which is in the pike's ideal range.
Getting closer to finding that 40"+ in my backyard small rivers. Throwing a yellow and orange bucktail fly that I tie. Landed 3 pike.
Picked up 1 decent sized today. Stilling looking for that 40"+ out of the small rivers in my backyard. I thought for sure that I would move more fish. Just when you think you have them figured out they throw you a curve ball.
6 pike to hand and a total of 11 pike eats. It was kinda amateur hour out there today. Missed a lot of fish because of poor hooksets. Had another big smallmouth on but it shook the hook too. All the pike were hooked on a yellow and orange bucktail I tie. One pike caught olive bucktail. Next weekend is probably going to be the turning point for more aggressive pike since we will start getting some really cool nights.
Went out with Dave. Ended up landing 3 pike and 2 smallmouth and missed several more in less than 2 hours of fishing. Had a total of 7 eats from pike. All fish caught on a yellow and orange bucktail fly I tie. When the water dips a few more degrees I think it is going to be on like donkey kong.
Well landed two small pike today on a yellow and orange streamer. It seems the pike are still in a neutral mood. Once the water drops a few more degrees we should start seeing some really aggressive bigger pike.
Landed two little pike. Had lots of action but missed several hook sets. All using an intermediate sink tip pulling a red and white buck tail streamer.
What an epic day on the water. 4 pike to hand but missed so many more. 3 where caught on a red and white streamer. The biggest was caught on a smallmouth colored streamer. I have got the esox sickness for sure!
Took the VIPs out for about an hour or so. Landed one smallmouth on a deer hair diver. I may need to switch some things up. The smallies may be on to my tricks. I have an idea for a new fly that might mix it up a little.
Just 2 smallmouth this evening. i think they are on to my tricks. Both smallmouth landed on a deer hair diver. I did throw a Tequeely on for a while with no luck. The water was crystal clear and very low.
Epic day! Landed 18 smallmouth and 1 pike in less than 6 hours. The TeQueely using the crayfish hop produced the majority of the fish while he deer hair diver produced the 3 biggest fish. Water was clear and low and I was unable to grab water temps but still feels like it is the 70s. It is about to get crazy. Soon as that water dips below 70 the smallmouth will start packing on the pounds for winter.
Went out with Dave to fish for Smallmouth. The day started real slow. We switched up to white streamers. Quartering down stream and swinging the flies with very slow strips seemed to be the ticket. We ended up with double digit smallmouth. I was using the white and silver murdich minnow. I did pick up a couple on top water using a deer hair diver.
Woke up to the sound of the riffles and a nice chill in the air. Packed up the camp site and then off to chase browns. The browns are definitely on to my old tricks. Switched it up again. Black Milwaukee Leech with a pink squirrel. Only picked up 4 browns today. Had to back to back to back browns get the better of me. 3 browns in a row shoot the hook. Today I missed many more than I landed. That's how it goes some times. Can't land them all or it wouldn't be fishing it would be catching.
Ended up sneaking back up to Wisconsin to chase Browns. Took my tent with me to camp. Landed 12 browns in the evening before crashing out. I think the browns are on to my old tricks. I had to switch things up. All 12 browns caught on a black Milwaukee Leech Pattern by quartering down stream and swinging. Don't forget the Leisenring lift at the end!
Beautiful day to be lost in Wisconsin. Went to Grant County in search of Browns. Landed 11 total. All caught on the baby brown pattern using the crayfish hop and leisenring lift on the tailouts. 4 best browns pictured.
Went back to the North Branch. No luck with the deer hair diver. Switched to a Merdich Minnow's Evil Twin and landed 1 striper and 4 smallmouth. Water conditions continue to improve.
Finally! It was great to get out on the North Branch. Picked up 7 smallmouth all on the deer hair diver. 5 Mississippi in between pops. Water is in good shape and if the weather holds the conditions should only get better.
Got off work late so only had a couple of hours to fish. Landed 5 smallmouth. 4 came on the baby brown pattern and one on the deer hair diver. Water conditions continue to improve and I am looking forward to Saturday's float with Rocktown Adventures.
Tried to move some musky this morning with now luck at all. On the way home stopped to try for some smallmouth. Landed 2 smallmouth and 2 rock bass. Both smallmouth were caught on a size 2 tequeely. Looking forward to the water continuing to drop. Still a little high and stained as of now.
Went back up to Grant County this morning. Landed 9 Browns and 1 Rainbow. Most caught on a Black size 8 Leech Pattern. Lesson learned this trip is that if a pocket looks big enough to hold two fish, there is a good chance it is. Hooked up with a really nice brown in a pocket in fast moving water. Lost the battle with her as she shook the hook and jetted off back into the depths. Threw back into the same pocket which is something I rarely do but I was too lazy to move after being disappointed. Hooked up with another brown which was a little bit smaller but still a fun ride in fast water. Also, mix it up and switch flies.
Went up to grant county to fish a spring creek. Really good day. Landed 15 browns. Nothing of major size but nice quality fish. Mixing it up with a black size 8 wooly bugger. Lesson learned from this trip is that the water is never too fast to hold fish. I fished a riffle that looked like white water rapids and sure enough there was a brown hiding in one of the pockets.
When out for a couple of hours this evening. Landed 3 total smallmouth. One on a size 2 TeQueely and 2 on the deerhair diver. Water temp is stable at 74 and it was good to get some top water action.
Took my VIPs out again. We landed 2 Smallmouth and 1 Rock Bass. Both Smallmouth caught on a Baby Brown Wooly Bugger Pattern. Water has warmed up and hopefully the spawn is over and top water action will start up.
Went up to the Driftless area. Fishing was very good. Landed 12 browns, 1 rainbow and 1 brook. I was soaked all the way through by 11 am so I left early. VIB, black cone head wooly bugger and baby brown wooly bugger pattern. Learned quite a bit this outing. I may bring a hitail craw with me next outing. I may be on to something.
Took my VIP clients out today. We only managed one smallmouth landed on a baby brown pattern. Water was still a little high and stained still. My guess is the spawn is wrapping up. Won't be long for summer smallmouth top water action.
Went up to Driftless with a friend to fish for Browns. I landed 12 total. 1 on a grey scud, 4 on the san juan and rest on various small streamers. Couldn't ask for a better day fishing.
I was able to squeeze 45 minutes on the water this evening. Landed one Smallmouth on the deer hair diver. Threw every one of my favorite flies until I finally tied on the deer hair diver. Super stoked that the top water bite is starting. Water conditions are still high and stained. We will see if we get rain over the next couple days and what that does to the water conditions. I didn't see any beds but the water is stained. If they haven't spawned yet it will be very soon. Once I see beds I will switch it up and target some other species.
Spent a half day in Driftless exploring new water. Fished two new creeks and landed 5 browns. 2 on the San Juan, 1 on a grey scud, and 2 on a black leech. Blue bird skies and high pressure made for a challenging session.
Was able to sneak a way for a couple hours. Landed 5 smallmouth in about 2 hours. Missed a couple others. I love when you learn something new on the water. Tried a new fly today. It is an articulated streamer and I was able to get it to walk the dog under water. Very cool watching the take. Landed 4 on the white articulated streamer and one on a size 2 tequeely. Water temp dropped back below 60. The spawn should be real soon. Once I see beds I will start targeting Largemouth and Northern for a few weeks and let the Smallmouth do their thing.
Went back up to Wisconsin to chase Browns again. Landed two, had two more on and moved several others. The water was low and clear. They were hesitant to commit. Ninja drifting a pink squirrel landed my only two browns.
Drove up to Wisconsin to spend the afternoon on some spring creeks chasing browns. Landed 3 total. Biggest was 12" or so. One on a VIB, one on a pink squirrel, and the biggest one on a purple parachute adams. Catching one on a dry was quite exciting. I was hoping for a bigger hatch.
Just when I think I have it figured out, I get humbled and realize I have so much more to learn. Only landed one smallmouth this afternoon on a size 8 baby brown pattern. Back to the grind probably won't get out until Wednesday afternoon or Friday. 3 more weeks until the semester ends and then it is fish on!
What a great day on the water. Was blessed to be able to take a client out today and put him on some Smallmouth. My client wanted to use spinning gear which I know little about...I was able to translate what I know about smallmouth from fly fishing to traditional gear. He landed 8 smallmouth and had at least 4 more on including a monster. Still a great day on the water. After finishing up with my client I hurried back to some water to do a little fishing of my own. I landed 5 smallmouth and 2 rock bass. I had a really big one on for a few moments. My client took all of his fish on a 4 inch tube. I caught two smallmouth on the size 4 HiTail and smallmouth on the Baby Brown Streamer. Looking forward to tomorrow.
Was able to get an hour of fishing in after work. Landed 3 smallmouth and a rock bass all on a baby brown pattern. Had several strikes on a murdich minnow. Look forward to taking a client out on the water tomorrow.
Picked up three more smallmouth on the size 2 TeQueely. Tangled with a small pike for a brief moment until he death rolled and was gone. Water continues to warm. Threw top water with no luck. Was hoping to see at least one top water strike. Biggest issue is getting that crayfish to move as slow as possible. Mend, mend, and mend.
Great to be chasing smallmouth again. Started on the South Branch with no luck. Later went to a trib and landed 3 smallmouth. Biggest may have taped 13. All caught on a size TeQueely using the crayfish hop on the swing. Water is definitely warming up.
Better conditions this morning. Only had a few hours before the rain rolled in. The pink squirrel and olive scud was the ticket this morning. Landed 4 browns biggest may have been 12 inches or so.
Bluebird skies, high pressure, gin clear water and ice forming on the guides in the morning makes for a very challenging day. Did a lot of exploring in Viroqua area. Only landed two browns all day. Black wooly bugger. It was frustrating to see the browns dart out after my fly but not commit 100%. Today showed me just how much more I need to learn.
Tough day on the water. The water was surprisingly clear and the browns would not come out and play. Black wooly bugger ended up being the biggest producer. olive wooly bugger was not far behind. Landed a total of 5 browns.
Illinois opened up the Catch and Release Fly Fishing season before they open up the actual spring season. The catch and release fly fishing season is a great time to practice some skills or teach some one to fly fish. I landed 12 in a couple hours and missed so many more. Two were over 15". Red San Juan worm and Olive Wooly Bugger were the two patterns that worked well for me. If you want to catch more numbers but smaller fish, then drift a nymph like a scud under and indicator and you will easily catch double digits.
Almost didn't go this morning because of the weather forecast but I am glad I did. I landed 11 browns ranging from 10-13 inches. 10 were caught on the red san juan worm and 1 caught on a grey scud. I was disengaging the indicator from the water and high sticking to get a better drift and this seemed to be the magic trick. Another trick that was working was throwing the san juan into the riffle and the indicator on the edge in the slower water. The indicator acts like an anchor and pivot point causing the fly to swing and rise in the water column.
Beautiful day to explore new waters. I love getting lost in Wisconsin. Today was a tough day on the water and I only landed one little brown on the red san juan worm. There was a window of about an hour where browns were going crazy hitting the surface. I could quite figure out what they where attacking. By the time I figured something out it was too late. Rain moved in and I had to leave. I had one surface strike on a elk hair caddis and one surface strike on a stimulator.
Beautiful day to go up to Wisconsin and hunt for browns. It was mostly cloudy to cloudy for the majority of the day but the sun did try to peak out a few times. On cloudy days I love using black and today was no different. I went big with a size 2 bunny leech which landed me one decent brown. I switched to a san juan worm that landed me one rainbow. I also took some time to explore some new waters which look very, very promising.
When it is cold like this I typically don't fish but fishing is like crack to me and I needed a fix so I decided to take a drive and test the pickup truck I bought the other day to see if it was going cut it as my fishing truck. It made it up to the Madison area and back. Swung a white bunny leech for about an hour and picked up one little rainbow before my hands froze and i retreated back to the truck for warmth. Remember when it is this cold to get the fish back in the water as fast as possible to prevent ice forming on the gills. Tight lines.
Another Inland Trout Season Ends. I was able to get out on the water. I thought it was going to be a really tough day when I only landed two small browns in the morning session. Hit Orvis to pick up some conehead olive wooly buggers and headed back out in the afternoon. It was truly amazing session. Landed 17 browns with several decent sized browns in the mix but most where less than 11 inches. Not a cloud in the sky hence the need for olive wooly buggers. The six best pictured below.
Went hunting for a dance with the devil. Landed two biggest pictured below. Lots of topwater strikes. It seems Pike are not very accurate on their topwater strikes. Missed a lot of fish or I should say a lot of fish missed my fly. All caught on a deer hair diver.
Another great evening on the water. Only landed 3 smallmouth this evening. One on the diver, one on the murdich, and one on the Tequeely. Biggest pictured below. Danced with the devil 3 times this evening two of which the devil won. After losing my only deer hair diver and only murdich minnow, I tied on a size 2 Tequeely. Finally won the third and final dance. See northern pictured below.
On the way back from the DuPage Fly Fishing Company stopped at the South Branch. Only had about an hour and half of light left. Smallies were going crazy for topwater. Landed 3 including these two beauties pictured below. Missed at least seven top water strikes. Had another decent fish on but went airborne and shook the hook. Water temp surprised me as my thermometer read 78. Deer Hair Diver was the magic fly again.
Took my VIP clients out today for a couple hours. Started out real rough. Cam kept falling face first into the water and getting upset. Talia is a trooper. She is wading like a champ. We missed four big top water blowups before landing this beast. Had another beast on but lost her. Using a deer hair diver all day. I am glad to see the action is back.
Tough evening on the water. I was skunked. Threw a TeQueely and a Murdich for a while with no luck. Very strange. Typically Smallmouth are going crazy this time of year. Maybe the Indian Summer has them confused. I can't wait to take a scientific look at the data over the winter.
Tough evening on the water. Didn't land a single fish. Learned my lesson to not rush out without double checking I have all my gear. Ran out the door without my flouro and had a 5 ft leader on. Just couldn't get the fly to tick bottom with the water moving a little bit faster and such a short leader. Did get a few strikes on topwater but they were dinks and could get the fly in their mouth.
Went over to Grant County to fish a spring creek. With the cloudy cover I tied on a size 8 black conehead wooly bugger. The first hole I came to I landed my personal best Driftless Brown Trout that measure over 20". Unfortunately, the battle with this Brown tore up my last black wooly bugger. I tied on an olive but had no luck. I don't think it was so much about the color as it was not a conehead so I was having issues getting it down in the water column. On my way back up I started nymphing with a olive size 14 scud with a bead which produced 7 browns. Tried to fish another spring creek in the afternoon. Didn't have any luck at all.
Started my morning by exploring the Mecan River for the first time. The Mecan is beautiful and was running very clear. It has a very sandy bottom and deep cut banks. No luck on the Mecan but I will visit her again as I don't think I found the right section. Shot down to BEC in the afternoon. Landed 1 brown and 9 rainbows all on a size 8 black conehead wooly bugger.
Some more good Smallmouth action today. Topwater was hitting for couple of hours. Picked up this nice one on a diver. Water temps much, much cooler at 64 degrees. Dark day dark fly and throw on some topwater. 4 total smallmouth landed but missed two others on the topwater strike and not getting a good hookset.
What a fantastic evening on the water. 9 smallmouth in less than 3 hours. Landed a beast of a smallmouth in fast water. All caught on the Murdich Minnow on the swing.
A lot of Kayak, Canoe and tube traffic today. Still managed to pick up 7 smallmouth, two of which were decent for sure. All cauhgt on a size 2 Tequeely
Starting out the week with some nice Smallmouth action. I had a very nice smallmouth on tonight that shook the hook before I could get her to hand. The water temp was 77 and the smallies were hanging in the fast water. It's about that time of year when the smallmouth action heats up and they get super agressive! Pictures from yesterday and today. Caught on a comgination of TeQueely and HiTail using the crayfish hop.
I love cloud cover when it comes to chasing trout! Swinging a black wooly bugger and throwing a hippie stomper produced three rainbows and one beautiful brown. My best #driftless #browntrout yet. Took several pictures of her and then one of each rainbow. Oh and I missed more than I caught. Should have caught double digit trout and if I had another hippie stomper or some type of ant I would still be there. Was great action!
Double duty today. Started the day by exploring a new spring creek in Wisconsin. Only picked up one little brown on a BWO. After this morning's adventure went home and regrouped for a float trip. 13 smallies, 4 rock bass, and one carp. No real big smallies but still had a great float. Pictures of the of biggest of the day attached. Size 4 TeQueely was the biggest producer.
Explored some new waters today. I abasolutely love fishing new waters. Landed 4 smallmouth 3 of which were over 14 inches. All fish caught on a size 4 or 6 TeQueely using the Crayfish Hop.
Hit a small creek to hunt for smallmouth. Picked up 3 all on the size 2 TeQueely. Water was high and stained and it was hard to get the fly down and ticking bottom. When I was ticking bottom is when I got hook ups.
Went out on a small creek to fish for smallmouth. Through everything but the kitchen sink but got skunked. I am watching the barometric pressure closely. There may be something to it.
Great evening on the water with my son. I think he has caught the addiction. I could not get him to leave. Of course I was easily talked into staying. We caught countless little bluegill on an elk hair caddis and a softhackle hopper. We landed 4 largemouth. One that was just a beast. All largemouth were landed on a chartreuse blockhead popper.
Went out to Pierce Lake for a couple hours this evening. Had the lake all to myself. When these cold fronts come in and the wind is high no one goes out on Pierce. Had three hookups but only landed one largemouth. Used a Munchable Minnow in pumpkin color.
Met up with Ted to fish some private ponds that he has access to. It was good to get out since all the rivers and creeks are way high right now. I landed several blue gill, 2 crappie, and 4 largemouth, two of which were very nice. Used four flies today. Caught the biggest largemouth on an olive wooly bugger size 8. Caught one crappie on a black leech pattern and one on a chartreuse frosty minnow. The second biggest largemouth was caught on a murdich minnow tied by Ted. I walked a way with 4 murdich minnows which I am excited to try in the lakes around here. Of course I was popping and dropping all of the patterns today. Ted caught 2 very nice largemouth on the Murdich Minnow.
Went up north for a couple hours this morning. Only landed one brown on a black wooly bugger. I am starting to dig this stripping streamers for trout. Saw her hit the surface and cast right up into the riffle. She smacked it. Great fight on my 4wt. Perfect morning.
Went to the north branch for a few hours and caught one smallmouth. Hooked up with two others but didn't get them landed. All three were in the 8-10 inch reange. I was really surprised with warming temps not to see some better action.
Just an absolutey perfect evening to get back out on the Kishwaukee River and chase smallmouth. The water temp was 62 and the fish were a little bit sluggish. I landed 4 smallmouth with only one taping over 16 inches. The other 3 were in the 8-12 inch range. All four fish were caught on a size 4 TeQueely. I wish I would have had a few HiTails. I needed to get my fly ticking bottom a little more and drifting a little slower. Remember on that crayfish hop watch your line like a hawk. I didn't feel the biggest fish of the night strike but saw the line running. I think with the coldfront moving out and the temps warming up tomorrow and all weekend is going to be great smallmouth action.
Spent a couple hours on the water after work. Not even a strike. Water temp has fallen 4 degrees over night and when these cold fronts move in combined with stained water it makes for some challenging fishing.
Good to be fishing for Smallmouth again after a week of concentrating on Largemouth for the past week in preperation for the Bent Rods Bass Tournament. I went out for about an hour after work. No fish landed. It is post spawn and a cold front has moved in. Water is clarity is stained and a little high. Enjoyed the time working on casting in the wind as that was a huge factor in the tournament last Sunday.
Took the Frontier 12 out on Pierce Lake. When it comes to fishing for largemouth in lakes, I have a lot to learn. I threw a Frosty Minnow in various colors, Blockhead Popper and TeQueely and didn't get one single hook up. I think with the coldfront that moved in the fish are deep and out of my reach. We will see what happens at the tournament this weekend. We will see what I can get figured out between now and Sunday.
Since smallmouth are on beds almost everywhere I fish local I decided to take a drive up north to fish for browns. Only had two hours to spend on the water but landed two beautiful browns on a size 8 midwest electric wooly. I am so stoked after such short but successful trip. I never bought into the ninja fishing until today. The water was so clear that I spooked a lot of fish. I started stalking for trout and the magic happened. Also the pop and drop technique is not just for the frosty minnow. Works well with the Midwest Electric Wooly for Browns.
Took Justin out to show him some fly fishing techniques. Last night I noticed that smallies are on beds in the Kishwaukee and I have reports and confirmed that smallies are on beds at one of the creeks I fish so we tried another spot and didn't see beds. Popped a nice smallmouth on a size 4 tequeely demonstrating the crayfish hop. Smallies were hiding from us this morning so we targeted carp for a little while. Justin hooked up with a monster carp that won today's battle. Toward the end I was goofing and hooked up and landed a nice catfish on a size 4 tequeely. Please don't pull smallies off their beds.
Snuck out for 30 minutes to take the water temp before class. Caught two smallmouth. Both on the crayfish hop using a size 4 tequeely. After class stopped by the South Branch for 20 minutes or so and landed one northern on a size 4 tequeely using the crayfish hop.
Had 20 minutes to kill before class so went down to a creek and cast a fly or two. Noticed several fish get spooked which I thought was from me stepping in the water. I started casting to structure and my third cast my line took off so I set the hook. Landed a nice little northern on a size 6 tequeely. Caught one little smallmouth in a shallow run. Some say when the pike are out to play the smallies go away. I am not sure I buy into that but held true for today.
Put the Frontier 12 on the water for a couple hours. It was amateur hour out there tonight. Only brought one Midwest HiTail with me which I lost after catching my first and biggest of two #smallmouth. Caughr the second my only black wooly bugger which I lost shortly after. Water temps have hit 60 and I suspect spawning will happen soon. Please remember it is catch and release smallmouth from April 1st to June 15th in pretty much all Illinois rivers and creeks. Can't wait to put a full day on the water! #fishfinderreport #flyfishing #midwestfishingadventures #nucanoe
Shot on over to the river to take th e water temp and threw about 10 or 15 casts in before I needed to get home. Picked up one little smallmouth on an olive and white Frosty Minnow. I was surprised how hard the strike was. I saw fish rising which is a great sign. Looking forward to some time on the water.
Went out on Pierce Lake for a couple hours. Caught one largemouth on an olive and white Frosty Minnow. Fishing the dropoff about 25 ft off shore. I think they are staging to come up to spawn. I think after a week of warming we will be in business on Pierce.
Fishing was tough this morning. Winds were out of the East-northeast at 13.3 mph. There was quite a bit of chop on the water and fishing was difficult. With water temps at only 51 degrees I think we will have to wait for a warming trend to get the largemouth up and moving on Pierce Lake.
Took my daughter and son to Four Lakes to fish for an hour or so before the rain moved in. Cam helped me land a nice little largemouth. First largemouth of the season caught on a Midwest Hightail Craw. Using the crayfish hop along the edges of the lake. I think largemouth are starting to move in for spawning.
Started on the north branch in my Frontier but it was just too windy to hold position so I ended up fishing a small tributary for 3 hours or so. No fish landed which was quite surprising. Tried the Frosty, HiTail and the Tequeely with no luck. Today should have been really good fishing and since we have a cold front moving in fishing may change for the worst with colder temperatures.
Tough evening on the water. I only caught one smallmouth that was probably 12 inches on a size 6 TeQueely. Ran into Jim on the water and he landed one smallmouth but his was much nicer. I thought for sure today would have been really good fishing. Still have much more to learn.
Got out on the south branch for about an hour but it was flowing too fast for me to be able to control the fly. Water temps continue to warm. The next two or three days should be excellent fishing as the water levels continue to drop.
What a beautiful day to be out on the water. Caught six smallmouth in two hours, all but one were over twelve inches. All six were caught on the Midwest HiTail Craw. I can't stress getting your fly on the bottom and moving slow. I didn't even tie on a Frosty Minnow tonight. Just too much success with the Midwest HiTail. I think fishing will be good for the rest of the week if temperatures keep warm. There is a cold front forecasted to move in middle to late next week with temps dipping down into the middle thirties which may turn the fishing off. We will see what the overnight temps do to the water temp. I would say get out over the next several days and to pick one I would think Friday is going to be the best day to be on the water.
I was able to get out on a tributary of the Kishwaukee River for about an hour. Landed 3 smallies. One may have been 15. Low and slow was the key. First two came off a Midwest HiTail twitching across the bottom. The third on the lift at the end of a swing taking a black and white Frosty Minnow. With warmer temps this week I think good fishing all the way through the weekend.
Tough day on the water. The wind came in out of the south and it was all I could do to keep my Frontier in position. A little disappointed no fish landed today.
Beautiful day to be on the water. Took my Frontier to the Kishwaukee to do a short float. Interesting twist. Usually I catch my spring smallmouth on the frosty minnow. Today no takers on the frosty minnow but landed 3 and missed a beauty on the Midwest HiTail. I think I could have landed a few more if I could get my fly to tick bottom a little more. I have a theory and we will see how it plays out. I think I am going to tie the Midwest hi tail in a size 2. Little bit bigger and heavier.
Was able to get out for a few hours this morning. Water temps held up despite air temps in the upper 20s. Paddled upstream from KFP but no smallmouth. With warmer temps today and tomorrow I would think tomorrow afternoon might be good.
Went down to the Kishwaukee River for an hour before I had to go to class. No takers as of yet but soon the smallmouth we be participating in the dance. Water temps are warming and the smallmouth will be prespawn very very soon.
Stripped a couple streamers with no luck. The water is starting to warm up but the next couple days are going To be cold. We need to see water temps in the 50s.
Went up to Paradise Springs to shoot some video footage for a short documentary that I am working on. Threw a line in and caught 4 brook trout all on a black wooly bugger. Using the pop and drop technique along with the leisenring lift.