Driftless Trout Anglers

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ilikefood  
#1 Posted : Saturday, June 22, 2013 7:41:13 PM(UTC)
ilikefood
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/29/2011(UTC)
Posts: 502
Location: River Falls, WI

Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 2 post(s)
I have been planning and fantasizing about taking one day off from work to trout fish. For a lot of reasons, that just never worked out, until yesterday, Friday, June 21. Although I had to take a conference call from work, I was able to fish the majority of the day. It provided a wonderful and much needed break. It was also a great way to usher in the summer.

With heavy rains over night, I sought out small water. I was rewarded with slightly stained and high water, but very fishable. Unfortunately, the fish were very slow. No surface or subsurface feeding activity to speak of. On one stream, there seemed to be very small midges or something in the riffles, but no one seemed to notice. The weather must have turned the fish off. Despite the lock jaw, I did catch one keepable and cookable brookie at the first stream. After a quick fish there, I had to pack up and run home for the conference call from work. After that was done, I drove to the next stream.

There, the water had a slight stain. No one else fishing. Great! Stream to self, cloudy weather, stained water, life doesn't get much better. Now only if the fish were biting. The night before, I tied on a new tapered leader using the new-to-me perfection loop. The idea of the perfection loop seemed good, but I had never fished with it. Back at the stream, I tied on a pink squirrel and hooked into a decent-sized fish. I played the fish for a few seconds, then the line broke. Darn. It broke just above the perfection loop. Now my confidence in the new knot is zilch. Did it break right at the knot because I tied it wrong? Was it the new leader? Why it broke caused me concern. I moved up stream and found a nice male brookie, only to lose him right before the net. Now my confidence is shot. I did manage to land a small male brookie with nice colors.

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I kept moving upstream. Then, a nice corner pool with love 'em or hate 'em lunker structures.

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After a couple casts, a hit. Small fish. I bring it up to the surface and it doesn't look like a normal brookie so I grab the net. Once safe, I look at my first tiger trout! A small gal, probably only four inches. But very cool to catch my first tiger.

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Once released, I throw the pink squirrel up by the cut bank. My confidence is up and feeling great. Then I snagged a rock. I pull on the line and it starts to move. Fish on! The pool next to me is deep, like I would probably drown if I made a wrong step. The rocks are hard to stand on and the fish wouldn't move. I get it out from the structures where I can see it, and its a nice fish. Over the next five plus minutes (felt like hours) I fought the fish. It would run downstream and then back upstream to the pool. I was concerned that it would cut the line on some rocks, so I tried to keep it out from the structures and rocks. I also played it safe with my low confidence in the line and knots. Then, it wants to run downstream, a long ways, probably eighty to one hundred feet. So I jumped on the bank and ran. Finally, I tried it down (and it tired me down) and I landed a really beautiful, solid brown.

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After catching an almost-trifecta (no rainbow), the trout gods stopped smiling on me. The weather was hot, humid, my waders made of aquaseal were leaking again, and the weeds were getting obnoxious. This was the last fish of the day even though I hit another stream.

Apparently, the first day of summer was all about beautiful fish and not quantity. Which is fine by me.
What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, p. 40 (Oxford University Press, 1949).
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outdoorbobby  
#2 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 10:22:15 AM(UTC)
outdoorbobby
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 2/21/2012(UTC)
Posts: 254
Man
Location: Eau Claire, WI - Hayward, WI

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Awesome post man! Love that feeling of catching the first tiger! I've only caught one small one myself, but it is a memory you won't forget!
"I envy not him that eats better meat than I do; nor him that is richer, or that wears better clothes than I do; I envy him, and him only, that catches more fish than I do."
Richie  
#3 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 5:50:02 PM(UTC)
Richie
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/14/2011(UTC)
Posts: 214
Location: Kenosha

Apparently you made the right decision by hitting the streams and were rewarded with a big brown and the rare tiger. That is one heck of a day. How big was the brown?
ilikefood  
#4 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 7:23:43 PM(UTC)
ilikefood
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/29/2011(UTC)
Posts: 502
Location: River Falls, WI

Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Thanks for the kind words guys. Yes, it was a great day on the water.

As for the brown, it was 17 inches. It was 20 inches before I measured it. Then it shrunk. Or, maybe it was my tape measure? Yeah, it was definitely the tape measure, I need a new one.
What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, p. 40 (Oxford University Press, 1949).
EddieRivard  
#5 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2013 7:31:01 PM(UTC)
EddieRivard
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/26/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,194
Location: New Brighton MN

Thanks: 67 times
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Excellent writing and photos. It's good to remember that you'll never regret taking a day off of work to go fishing.
trapper  
#6 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 1:42:55 PM(UTC)
trapper
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,261
Location: West Fork

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Was thanked: 45 time(s) in 39 post(s)
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ilikefood  
#7 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 6:06:57 PM(UTC)
ilikefood
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/29/2011(UTC)
Posts: 502
Location: River Falls, WI

Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 2 post(s)
EddieRivard wrote:
Excellent writing and photos. It's good to remember that you'll never regret taking a day off of work to go fishing.


Thanks for the complement Eddie. It is nice to take work off and fish. I, unfortunately, suffer from workaholicism and find it difficult to pull myself from work. Sometimes, work just happens and there is nothing I can do about it.
What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, p. 40 (Oxford University Press, 1949).
Trout_Patzer  
#8 Posted : Monday, June 24, 2013 8:53:56 PM(UTC)
Trout_Patzer
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/13/2010(UTC)
Posts: 425
Location: Maple Grove, MN

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Congrats on a highly successful outing. Tiger, big brown and a day off of work. Goes in the good day column if you ask me.
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