Driftless Trout Anglers

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OTC_MN  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, November 14, 2017 3:42:44 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 128
Location: St Paul MN

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)
I'd meant to post something along these lines a while back but couldn't with the forum issues. Had forgotten about it until I was looking for another email I'd sent, and found this in email form, I'd sent to a friend of mine. Kind of dated, but FWIW...

So one of the perks of working for a Canadian company is I sometimes get Canadian holidays off. And yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving.

Since the kid was in school and the BOSS was at work, I decided to get up early, head south and fish some MN water. We've had some rain so I decided to start on the Root, which seems to stay clear even when some other streams are blown out.

Yeah, not so much.

Got there and it was chocolate milk, and high - up into the grass. I'd headed out with the intention of fishing streamers, which I don't do as often as I should. Figured as long as I was there I may as well have a go. A 5" long chartreuse articulated streamer disappeared about 3 inches down. Wading was really treacherous not being able to see at all where I was stepping, the water was full of floating leaves and junk that fouled my streamer about every third cast, and after fishing about three spots without a sniff, my confidence had dropped to just about zero.

Stood there in the river for a bit contemplating my options. Stay and grind it out? Go burn some gas and look for cleaner water?

While I was standing there thinking, a walnut fell off a tree and beaned me right on top of the head.

Taking that as a sign that someone was trying to tell me something, I packed up, and bugged out.

Decided to work my way back towards home, and check a few streams, although I was almost resigned to it being a washout. If the Root was dirty, other streams were likely to be blown out too. Stopped at the first stream on the way back north - total mud.

Then I got to the Whitewater, and much to my surprise...it wasn't too bad. Definitely some color to it but not opaque. Actually looked really good. Picked a stretch, parked the truck and headed upstream with my streamers. Figured I'd fish down with streamers, then depending on what happened either fish back up with nymphs or something, try another stretch, or give up and go home.

Ended up with 19" and 17" browns, and two 18" rainbows. The bigger brown and one rainbow were on a white Circus Peanut, and the other two were on a gray Sex Dungeon. Missed three other hits, had some other fish follow/flash. Lighter colors (white, gray, yellow) definitely got more attention that olive or black. Got to see both browns and one of the rainbows come up and eat the streamer, which was really cool. A lot of similarities to muskie fishing actually. I don't fish streamers a ton, and am trying to learn, so given the fact that I was making it up as I went, and I still managed to catch some nice fish and have shots at some others, I was pretty happy by the time I'd made it back to the truck. Learned a lot too, which is the best part. But I can definitely see how guys get hooked on chucking and ducking.

Ate lunch and decided to fish the same stretch since I had it to myself, knew it, well and knew it was pretty reliable. Rigged up my Euro nymphing rod and headed downstream a little ways to hit a riffle/hole I like.

Stepped in, caught a 14" brown on my first drift, then another a couple casts later.

Pretty much continued like that for the rest of the day.

Fish were where they should have been and were biting. Most fish came on the point fly, which isn't unusual. Fished mostly Red Darts and Frenchies tied on jig hooks. Did get a few on the dropper, and but not until I'd switched dropper flies quite a few times, and finally started catching fish on a soft hackle PMD emerger (of all things). At that point, I was definitely at the "Uhh... I dunno" stage of the fly selection process. But whatever - they ate it.

I think they must have drained their ponds at the Crystal Springs hatchery and dumped the holdovers in the Whitewater, because at one point I got into the rainbows and they were all 15-18 inches. Ton of fun on a 10-1/2 foot 3-weight, although after about the 5th one it felt a little like seal clubbing. Ended up with around 35 browns and a dozen rainbows. Set the hook on a lot of leaves (leaf hitting the line makes your sighter jump just like it does when a fish hits), beautiful conditions, and despite a few near misses, I didn't get hit by any more falling walnuts.

All in all... Just a fantastic day on the water.

With my kid starting hockey season, might be my last trip until winter season opens. If so, not a bad way to pull the curtain on 2017...
"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
Gurth  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 14, 2017 4:54:58 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: May Fly

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Sounds like a huge day.

My kid being done with hockey (and lacrosse) is a big part of why I have so much more time for trouting than I probably ever have before.

My buddy and I had a few laughs on a windy day in early October with the walnuts dropping around us.

Your mother had a tongue like a trout!
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, November 15, 2017 3:58:58 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Originally Posted by: OTC_MN Go to Quoted Post
While I was standing there thinking, a walnut fell off a tree and beaned me right on top of the head.


Oh yeah. I had that happen to me a couple seasons ago. Caught a Black Walnut bomber right on the metal button on top of my ball cap. Left a nice red contusion on my bald head. Had some special curse words that day.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
OTC_MN  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:04:19 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 128
Location: St Paul MN

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Yeah, it didn't feel good. I've been drilled by hockey pucks that hurt less.
"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
OTC_MN  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:08:19 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 3/18/2016(UTC)
Posts: 128
Location: St Paul MN

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post
Sounds like a huge day.

My kid being done with hockey (and lacrosse) is a big part of why I have so much more time for trouting than I probably ever have before.

My buddy and I had a few laughs on a windy day in early October with the walnuts dropping around us.



One of the most enjoyable days I had on the water all season. Got to learn some new stuff and catch fish besides.

Hockey isn't really a sport so much as a lifestyle choice. Pretty much takes over from October to March. Kid loves it so can't complain. He's a goalie though, so new leg pads this season really cuts into the fishing budget. Blink

It was pretty windy, and there were times that day when it looked like I was getting shelled by a destroyer. Walnuts landing all around me. Dang things...
"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
Gurth  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:27:26 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 478
Man
Location: Madison

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Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)
My kid played goalie one year of mite. Glad he wasn't very good at it.

Yes, hockey is a lifestyle but the winters fly by.

I was also a coach through youth hockey so I was at the rink just as much as he was. Wouldn't trade it though.

High school was great as I was no longer a coach and the parents socialized a lot. Semi-small town (10k) program adjacent to Madison where the bars and restaurants sponsored team so we went out a lot to repay them.

A different high school's head coach recently asked me to join his staff now that my kid is done. I declined and one major reason is that I'd rather go fishing in my free time now than go to a rink.

Edited by user Wednesday, November 15, 2017 8:28:40 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Your mother had a tongue like a trout!
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