I missed fishing last weekend because I was off on vacation, meeting family in Milwaukee and Madison. There was some promising water nearby on some days, but it wasn’t that kind of vacation.
Yesterday the weather was gorgeous and after work I headed for a section of the Tomorrow River that I haven’t fished in several years, and only once before in the evening. I forgot how close this spot is, vand I made it there in sixty minutes.
As soon as I waded in I could see trout, but they were not inclined to be very cooperative. I easily induced them to follow the lure, but they would not take it.
The river has been getting lots of attention in this stretch. Some pretty serious sandbag work has been done to narrow the channel. Thanks to those who did all that work!
I finally did catch a brown trout. I caught a second brown on one of the rare occasions where I guessed where a trout should be and cast precisely to that spot.
The heat wave broke a little, and the mosquitoes took some time off, so it was a very pleasant evening to be out on a stream (even if I only caught two trout).
I could tell that we’re just about half way through summer. Twilight is coming earlier, and so I made it home to watch a little TV with Cindy before bedtime.
After work yesterday I drove west past Wautoma to fish in the crystal clear waters of the West Branch of the White River. The water was so transparent that I could easily make eye contact with the trout. I could see them, and unfortunately they could also see me. It was a good set of conditions for observing the fish and their reaction to the lure. There were loads of trout, but most of them just let the spinner pass on by. Some noticed it and followed it for while and then headed for cover. Some were scared by it, and high tailed away as quickly as they could. Every once in a while one would take it.
I caught mostly clueless small ones. The nicest was the one shown in this picture. I got him by blindly casting around a bend so neither of us could see the other.
Although they weren’t bad at first, later in the twilight the mosquitoes and flies came out with a vengence. I ended up hiking out through a swamp, and just about choked on all the bugs attacking my face. Sometimes, that part makes me wonder why I like being out in the woods in the summer at all.
My catch tally was three rainbows and four browns. And I made note of where the really big ones were trying to hide in the clear water for when I come back next time.
After a couple of days of bicycle riding down in Chicago, I wasn’t sure I would feel rested enough to get up before 4:00 AM this morning. But I woke up before the alarm went off at 3:45, and thought I could beat the bright sunshine if I got to Chaffee Creek before sunrise.
Chaffee is the stream I always think of when I think of big fish in a small stream. The wading is sometimes difficult. The flow is narrow enough that the brush bridges over and doing the limbo is required. There are deep holes on some of the bends (that’s where the big ones are hiding). And there are soft spots in the sand where you can sink quickly to above the ankle. But the trout are in there.
I caught my first trout in the pool where I jumped in. That took the pressure off so I could enjoy the rest of the wade.
Until the sun rose high in the sky, I caught a mix of small and decent-sized browns. After the sky brightened, even the deep bends were illuminated, and that was the end of the catching for the day.
I caught a total of six brown trout and waded about a mile.
I went for a swim in Curtis Lake to wash off the bug spray and stopped for lunch in Wautoma. And, as usual, I stopped for an ice cream at Milty Wilty.
To celebrate the 4th, I got up early this morning to return to a favorite stretch of the Pine River. I wasn’t alone, the mosquitoes got up early, too!
It was warm, but not as oppressively so as other recent days. The river flow was about normal and the water was reasonably clear.
I started fishing at about dawn. I didn’t catch anything right away, but I did see a few follows. I’m always encouraged when I know the trout are there.
This section is a fairly easy wade. There were no wader-topping deep holes and the bottom is sandy but comfortably firm.
I finally started catching browns about a half hour into my wade. I hooked way mare than I was able to land. If I pulled in every one I had hooked, my catch total would have been triple what it was. Why are there days like this where the fish just don’t want to chomp down?
The catching continued until the sun got too bright. I caught 13 browns (moostly small but with a couple of nice ones thrown in) and one lonely brook trout. I waded over a mile and by the time I walked back to the car I had logged two and a quarter miles.
I headed into Wild Rose for breakfast at the recently reopened Chatterbox Cafe. Finally, I topped off the morning with a pleasant swim in Kusel Lake on the way back home.
Sunday morning was supposed to be overcast, warm and humid. The forecasters got the hot and humid right, but missed on the clouds because it was sunny for a good part of the early morning.
It was a nice but sweaty time to be out angling on the Mecan River. The mosquitoes sure seemed to enjoy it!
One lone kayaker came through while I was fishing under a bridge. We exchanged reports of all the deer we had been seeing that morning.
I was able to draw out many brown trout and could see them chase the lure, but they just weren’t biting.
I had reel trouble, too. I think another spring broke in my expensive Pflueger Supreme XT spinning reel. That’s kind of a pain. I’ve sent for spare parts and fixed it before, but by the time I spend the money for shipping and the effort it takes to replace a spring, I’d be better off ordering a cheap Chinese reel off of Amazon. There are plenty of decent reels there that cost less than the price of the repair. I may just consider that going forward.
I fished for four hours, wading just over a mile, and managed to land just three browns.
I cooled off with a dip in Lake Alpine on the way home.
Thursday afternoon after work, I headed to the Wautoma area with my friend Kip. It was nice to have company. Kip had not been out stream fishing in a while, and I thought the West Branch of the White River would be a great place to reintroduce him to the sport.
We stopped for sandwiches and ice cream cones on the way, so we arrived at the stream ready for a pleasant evening of angling. I dropped Kip off on a promising section and the circled back downstream about a quarter of a mile to try my own luck.
I let my reel go under on Wednesday night, and it was still in the process of drying out. So I grabbed my backup rod (a slightly lesser make of St. Croix which I never actually used until now). That rod came with some kind of magic built into it. I caught a nice brown on my very first cast and a small rainbow on the second!
I worked my way back upstream and eventually met up with Kip. On the way, I caught seven browns and three rainbows.
We climbed out at around 7:15 PM for the ride back home.
Cindy was out of town on Wednesday, so I decided to sneak in an extra fishing trip after work. I wanted to go somewhere reasonably close so I could get home in time to walk the dog. Radley Creek south of Waupaca fit the bill.
The water level was up just a little, and the stream was a little murkier than usual. But there were trout present, and at least the small ones were biting despite a bright sky.
At one point I climbed out to get around some deadfalls, and casting from shore I had two big ones (~16") hooked breifly. Alas, I could not hold on to them long enough to actually land them.
I finished up before 8:00 PM and totaled seven brown trout. That’s probably better than average for me for this particular section.
The summer solstice was last week, so I was up at 3:30 AM this morning to get to my favorite section of Flume Creek at sunrise. I had already scouted this section once several weeks ago, but it was heavily flooded from rain.
The stream level was high again today, but at least it was fishable this time. I could see lots of ways the earlier flooding has changed the river. There were many deadfalls from trees that fell when the banks washed out. And overall the stream was significantly wider than in past years. I guess the weather takes it toll on small creeks like this one.
The water was murky from the high flow. I couldn’t see the fish unless they followed the lure close to me and close to the surface. Even so, I saw way more trout than I was able to land.
I did manage to catch and release three brookies in about three hours of fishing,
I treated myself to breakfast in Iola, and stopped to take my first swim this year in Lake Emily.
The early sunrise let me have all that fun in the morning and still make it back home to Appleton before noon.
I like to stare at the map once in a while to come up with a new spot to fish. That’s what I did on Wednesday to come up with a section of Wedde Creek to target.
It was a bright blue sky afternoon when I left work. I was hoping there would be some shade on the stream, and there was. But the fish weren’t very active, even in the shadows, and even in the deep bends on this little river.
It was another wonderful time to be out wading in a stream, though. The sky stayed blue, the mosquitoes remained calm, and the wading was pretty easy. The hike to and from the creek was easy because there wasn’t much undergrowth in the mixed pine/oak savannah here.
I fished for more than three hours and managed to land only one small brown trout after the sun started to set. The evening was so pleasant and enjoyable that I would gladly do it again, even for one trout.
The other good news was that I scouted out some new stretches on Chaffee Creek nearby for some future trips. There are a lot of trout stream miles over by the town of Dakota!
It’s that time of year when the alarm clock needs to go off really early in order to make it to the river by dawn. Because the weather report called for cloudy skies, I treated myself to some extra sleep and didn’t get up until 4:00 this morning.
When I got to my chosen section of the Tomorrow River, I jumped in and caught a nice brown on my third cast. That’s the way I like to start a trip!
The water level was about average, making the wading pretty easy. The temperature was down in the low sixties °F, and that slowed down the mosquitoes a little compared to my last couple of trips.
I caught a mix of little ones and bigger fish, for a total of nine brown trout. Before I climbed out, I encountered two kayakers out enjoying a morning paddle.
I topped off my morning with breakfast at The Wooden Chair in Stevens Point.