Driftless Trout Anglers

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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 10:21:03 AM(UTC)
Gurth
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Well, the wife has decided that she wants to fish a bit more but had never gone trout fishing and wanted to see some of the cool places that I go to and catch one (or more) of those little beauties.

Took her to BEC in CP a few weeks back coz she didn't have waders yet and we got skunked – I don't often get much through that overfished stretch, so not much of a surprise.

Stopped and casted in BEC above Mazo along our bike ride a week later and got skunked. A section where I have yet to catch a fish, but it was convenient to the bike path.

She got waders last week, so I took her to a spring pond up north last weekend and we got skunked. Brookies were rising, but they wanted nothing to do with us.

All three times we tried, I didn't catch fish either. Was she kryptonite? Salmo-nite?

She took to calling herself the "Troutless Sconni" like the "Buckless Yooper" from Escanaba in da Moonlight.

Yesterday was the first actual dedicated trouting on streams though and I assured her that she'd get her first and likely more where I was taking her. Trust me, we weren't coming home until she got one.

Got up at 5:30 – me willingly, her begrudgingly – and headed due west to the Driftless below the Wisconsin River.

Arrived on stream and I chose relatively big water for our first stop so cast accuracy wouldn't be a major issue while she was getting a feel.

Sections that I usually catch fish at - let her cast first (several at each spot) - yielded nothing for her.

I managed this 16 incher in a pool that she had already cast…


UserPostedImage


Didn't lift him from the net as he was bleeding a bit - clotted off or I'd have reluctantly kept him for a friend.

Also got a 10 incher from another spot but she was still troutless and the bite really didn't seem to be on.

Okay… the next stream has never let me down. I always get at least a few.

Headed there and she was thoroughly enjoying the adventure of this all…


UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage


This was a much narrower stream, but she finally got her first trout… and a brookie at that...


UserPostedImage


I've been told (by Bill) that there are brookies in this stream and have seen photos, but that was the first I'd ever seen of one in person.

She angered the trout gods by not kissing it though.

A section later, she got her first brown…


UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage


Ahhh… this is fun when you actually catch fish. She had been asking how she'll know when she has a trout and not a weed. The brown illustrated the difference nicely.

Went up a few more sections and I got a couple marginal browns, but again, the bite didn't really seem to be on.

Headed towards home as I had a couple of sweet spots between there and here that I wanted her to try so she could maybe get a nice (14-16) brown.

Hit the first of these and she got a little brown and I got another fun 16 incher…


UserPostedImage


This one was really pretty with the yellow pattern on the bottom.

I could tell she was spent as it was almost 2 and even my buddies rarely want to stay on the streams as long as I do.

"Let's just check one more spot on yet another stream. It's on the way back to the highway and if it's open, you'll have a shot at a nice fish."

She was cool with that and the section was open.

Walked several hundred yards to the spot and she was still okay(ish), as she was getting tired – walking all day in waders can take some getting used to…


UserPostedImage


Then I made her walk through this…


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She's 5'1" and the vegetation was well over her head in spots. I was laughing loudly as she was cursing me. Laugh


Got into the stream and let her cast first and almost on the first cast, she got this…



UserPostedImage


Could see that it was a nice fish as it breached 30-40 feet upstream where it first hit.

Had been (politely) coaching her over the past few weeks on what to do WHEN (not if) she got a big one on and calmly talked her through this one.

She did a great job of keeping the rod tip level with the stream while keeping a bend in the rod.

At one point though, the beast must have swam towards us as we both thought it had gotten off, but nope… still there!

Again, she did a great job of letting it play itself out even when it was less than 6 feet away and it wouldn't come towards me and the net. Eventually, she could turn it towards me and I almost screwed it up coz it was too big for my little trout net. First try and I bumped it with the rim of the net. OhMyGod

In the end though, landed the fat pig of a fish. 17 inch beauty of a wild Wisconsin brown trout – no trout of any kind have been stocked in this system since 2003 and those were rainbows.

Shaped like a football. I've seen photos of fatties like this, but had never seen one in person.

This fish – only an inch longer than the two nice ones I had gotten earlier, probably outweighed them combined all by itself. Was an absolute chunk. Again... never held one that fat through the middle that wasn't over 18 inches.

She was very excited and I was even more excited for her.

That brown on her first real day of trout fishing…

She'll be bored with anything less than steelhead from now on.

BigGrin

Oh yeah, and what happens when you take your wife trouting?

She just might catch the big fish of the day.Wink

Edited by user Monday, August 14, 2017 11:22:59 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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OTC_MN  
#2 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 10:50:00 AM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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That's fantastic! That smile says it all.
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 1:33:36 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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That's great stuff Gurth! Pardon the pun, but I think she's hooked. Smile

Gurth wrote:

UserPostedImage


Boy am I familiar with that fence she's belly crawling under. I usually have to half-undress to get through that thing without getting tangled up. Sure would like to talk the land owner and Trout Unlimited into putting a fisherman's stile there.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
stan b  
#4 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 1:57:11 PM(UTC)
stan b
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Mr. Gurth,
That is incredibly awesome!
As good as it gets!

This made my day!

Stan b & Elvis
"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
Gurth  
#5 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 1:59:57 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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Thanks guys and Bill... don't do it.

If they put one of those there, it will be apparent that there is an easement there and one of our favorite little streams may become more like its neighbor.

It's possible that you and I are the only ones who fish it. Wink

BigGrin

Edited by user Monday, August 14, 2017 2:24:20 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
draik11  
#6 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 2:34:38 PM(UTC)
draik11
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That's one helluva fish, Gurth! Tell her DTA is impressed ThumpUp
lightningo2  
#7 Posted : Monday, August 14, 2017 9:22:52 PM(UTC)
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Damn Nice Job!Drool
vmthtr in Green Bay  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, August 15, 2017 3:55:47 AM(UTC)
vmthtr in Green Bay
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Awesome. I like to take my wife also, She is sidelined this year with shoulder surgery.
rschmidt  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, August 15, 2017 4:32:08 AM(UTC)
rschmidt
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Haha nice fish forthw wife Gurth. My wife accepts my fishing problem as a coping mechanism, but it's the last thing she'd do for fun! R
weiliwen  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, August 15, 2017 5:10:30 AM(UTC)
weiliwen
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Holy mackerel, that's a great fish! I bet she goes with you a lot more now.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
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