I thought I better make my blood type public. That way, if I have another trip like tonight and you find me pale and unconscious by the side of the river after the mosquitos drain my blood, you can pass that info on to the rescue team.
Aside from the mosquitos using me to bulk up for winter, I had fun picking up where I last left off on Radley Creek. Enough time has passed since all of our rain that water levels are back down to normal. The sky was clear, but the sun is setting earlier now and so the fish were out and cooperative.
I caught eleven brown trout before climbing out at 7:30 when it got dark.
My old reliable stretch of the West Branch of the White River was not quite as reliable as usual this morning. But it was still fun, and I did catch some trout even if they weren’t as numerous or as large as on past trips.
This section offers the opportunity for a trout “triple play” – brown, rainbow, and brookie from the same stream in a day. I’ve done it here before.
I caught a small brown right off the bat, but that was it for a while. I had no trouble flushing the fish and getting them to chase and bump the lure, but they weren’t in the mood to get hooked today. The weather conditions (foggy and cloudy) seemed right, but maybe the trout don’t read the same books I do.
Eventually, the catching picked up a little. I caught a couple of small rainbows and several small browns, with one decent one thrown in. Alas, I did not land a brook trout, so no triple play for me today.
I caught six browns and two rainbows, and finished up in time to go for a swim in Curtis Lake before lunch.
Yesterday after work I headed to the West Branch of the White River. The sun was shining and the water was really clear. As is my usual practice, I tied on one of my home-made silver spinners.
I almost always use silver. There are lots of theories about lure color. I debunked most of those, at least for myself, by going a whole year without using anything but silver. I caught just as many fish overall that year as I usually catch.
But based on a comment sent to this blog, for the last few years I sometimes pull out a black spinner. My rule of thumb is to do that only if I see the trout actively running away from the lure. That usually happens in clear water when the sun is shining.
I fished for an hour with silver and caught one small brown. I saw trout running from the lure, so I switched to black. I immediately caught a twelve inch rainbow. Soon after, I caught a couple of nice browns and continued to land trout at a rate of at least one every fifteen minutes. Was it the black blade, or was it the sun sinking in the sky? I guess I don’t know for sure, but I will be careful to always pack a few black spinners from now on.
It ended up being a very pleasant night, and I totaled eight browns and one rainbow.
Thursday night I went camping with some musical friends at Hartman Creek State Park near Waupaca. I got up early on Friday to do a little fishing in Radley Creek.
The weather was really perfect for trout angling. The sky was overcast, and it was even a little foggy for the first part of the morning.
I hiked through the woods to start out further downstream than I have even been before on this river. As I fished back upstream, I started seeing some trout right away, and I know if I can see them I can usually catch at least one.
The water was not quite as deep as the last time I fished here, but there were still a few holes I had to circumvent by getting out and walking around.
I caught a couple of small ones, and then finally a nice one who was hiding under some brush. That big one made the trip worthwhile.
I decided to quit while I was ahead, and climbed out when I was only half way back to the car. At that point I had caught and released eight broown trout.
I couldn’t find any place open for breakfast in King on a Friday morning, so I headed to a new place in Waupaca instead.
I made it back to the park in time to participate in some jamming around the campfire and swimming across a lake for exercize. In all, it was a very fun weekend.
I was back on my home waters Wednesday after work. I fished a section of Willow Creek that has been reliable for big ones in the past.
This time, the water was much lower than the last time I fished here about a year ago. Then, the wading was tricky because of frequent deep holes over the top of my waders, but the reward was big brown trout. The shallower water made the wading easier, but unfortunately it was at the expense of the big ones. They must have been off hiding somewhere else.
I did catch some small ones pretty quickly, along with frequent chubs. It was well into the trip as sunset approached when I finally caught a decent brown.
The land surrounding the river is really brushy along this stretch. I fished to a spot where the river comes back close to the road so I did not have to hike out through that jungle.
Sunset is coming earlier as summer wanes, so I had to push my pace to get to the exit point before it got too dark. On the plus side, I was back home in Appleton by 9:00 PM.