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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Sunday, September 8, 2019 8:31:30 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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Was up visiting my parents in northern Vilas and hit a couple of the streams where I first learned to trout as a kid.

These are a small streams that wind through national forest land and typically hold a low density of smaller brookies and occasionally, a few browns.

Tannin stained but clear and good depth (1-4 feet) for such narrow water.


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Water was noticeably colder than what I’ve been in down here and my hands were borderline numb at times and I was cold in my core at one point, almost like when I’ve had hypothermia before.

Guess I’m still summer soft. Flapper


Caught a bunch of brookies…


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Just love the dark coloring on some of these Northern brookies.


Also got a few browns including the biggest I’ve ever caught in Vilas. Was hoping this was a brookie when I first hooked it but I’ve never found even 12 inch brookies in these waters.

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Hooked another tiny brookie and thought to myself that it had giant spots for one so small and then I got it out of the water…


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A North Woods tiger!

Don’t know why, but it never crossed my mind that I’d ever catch a tiger way up there. Tigers always seemed like more of a Driftless thing but makes sense as this stream has natural repro of both species.

Sure... it's tiny but was so surprised to be holding it in my hand that it made a good day great. In three or four years, when it's 8 inches LaughFlapper, it may be a real stunner.


No rainbows anywhere in this system, so I’ll call it a trifecta.


I always appreciate getting to fish waters that are different than my home waters and getting back to where it started for me is always special.
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
thanks 2 users thanked Gurth for this useful post.
William Schlafer on 9/8/2019(UTC), stan b on 9/8/2019(UTC)
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William Schlafer  
#2 Posted : Sunday, September 8, 2019 11:15:02 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Congrats Gurth!

The Tiger-Brown-Brookie trifecta is more impressive than Rainbow-Brown-Brookie. Tigers are rare and exceptional looking creatures.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 1 user thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
Gurth on 9/9/2019(UTC)
mmalyuk  
#3 Posted : Monday, September 9, 2019 1:38:46 AM(UTC)
mmalyuk
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Nice report and congrats on the tiger.
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Gurth on 9/9/2019(UTC)
SquareEgg  
#4 Posted : Monday, September 9, 2019 2:22:20 PM(UTC)
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Wow, a couple of absolute gems in there! Gotta say, I don't know if I'm more impressed by the tiger or the brown. In the years of fishing those streams I've caught exactly 1 brown of about 4 inches... but then again I've never caught a tiger in there, so good job all around! LOL
Gurth  
#5 Posted : Monday, September 9, 2019 3:45:05 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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Originally Posted by: SquareEgg Go to Quoted Post
Wow, a couple of absolute gems in there! Gotta say, I don't know if I'm more impressed by the tiger or the brown. In the years of fishing those streams I've caught exactly 1 brown of about 4 inches... but then again I've never caught a tiger in there, so good job all around! LOL



Haha… the other two I got looked like this…


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Got all of the browns after the tiger so took a photo of that guy ^ to complete the trifecta but then got the bigger one later.

Yeah… the only browns I remember catching up there prior were like that little one. I've gotten a couple each of the past few seasons.

As a kid, I never caught a brown (that I know of) up there and didn't catch my first until I was in college in LaCrosse.

The other day I was thinking that there was no way I'd see any this year because the water felt so cold.

Saw a few 12-14 inch fish in the same stretch last year and a couple short-striked and a couple were lost when I derped them off – one because I had loosened my drag completely to deal with a tangle and forgot to reset.

All of them (last year) gave me the impression that they were browns rather than brookies even though I didn't get a clear look at any of them. The one I caught the other day confirms for me that they were browns last year and that I may be chasing a phantom in terms of a big brookie in those waters.

I wasn't really joking about that tiger only being 8 inches should it survive a few more seasons.

Even the brookies are probably sexually mature at 7-8 inches and really have no reason or ability to get a whole lot bigger.

Fine by me as they are gorgeous and I enjoy small trout fishing. Even got to bust out the 4'8" UL with 4lb mono which I almost never use anymore!

Anyway… pretty sure that the browns probably swim up from the larger river and I'd guess that you know that too being a native to the area.

This stretch with the browns and the tiger (and brookies) is one you shared with me a couple of years ago that I hadn't known about or hit prior to that. It's my favorite stretch up there now. You can email me at the addy below if you want further deets.

Also hit the D-skin, but that seems to have fewer and fewer fish every year.

My wife went there with me and got a little brookie and I didn't get anything...


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“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
Gurth  
#6 Posted : Monday, September 9, 2019 4:10:30 PM(UTC)
Gurth
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Oh yeah and this was in that stretch right on the water so be aware should you go this season or warn relatives that may not know…


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Was fun being there coz as a city slicker and a SW Wisconsin fisherman, I never (very rarely) wonder about what else is in the woods with me.

Heard several large noises and the thought of bears and mountain lions crossed my mind. More likely deer as I've had bucks stamp the ground at me before.

Also had a turkey vulture that I didn't notice take flight from a tree above me and it made quite a racket and startled me.

Had a mink swim downstream towards me and then see me at the last moment and turn towards shore.

Saw ruffled grouse, turkeys and sandies.


Glorious day for sure.


Oh yeah and a group of 5 middle aged brothers was setting out on the D-skin pretty high up (about the mid-point of the gravel road) and were gonna paddle to Scattering Rice.

2 canoes and a kayak. They were surprised when I told them they shouldn't have too many portages and it would mostly be open.

Judging by their attire, I don't think they expected to have to get out of their boats. Laugh


I'm sure they had to. Laugh
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
SquareEgg  
#7 Posted : Monday, September 9, 2019 5:44:17 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post
This stretch with the browns and the tiger (and brookies) is one you shared with me a couple of years ago that I hadn't known about or hit prior to that. It's my favorite stretch up there now. You can email me at the addy below if you want further deets.

Also hit the D-skin, but that seems to have fewer and fewer fish every year.


Really glad to hear! My father has gotten into a couple small browns there as well this summer- a first for him.
We've noticed the same re: the D-skin. With each trip north I've been spending less and less time on that water.

I'm making my final trip of the year North at the end of the month. The main focus will be musky but sure, I'll give the Northwoods trifecta a chase!
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