Dedicated to the relentless pursuit of fish on the fly. Welcome to the obsession, I hope you enjoy the pics and ramblings. If you like what you see (or really don't), feel free to drop me an email at And when you're done, get your waders on and get out there, cause the only way to catch 'em is with your bug in the water.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blackfoot Carp Classic 6

After leaving Wisco wednesday night and driving straight through, Andrew and I rolled into Blackfoot Reservoir about midnight thursday. We were greeted friday morning by an excited Scott Sanchez and crew, already plotting on how they were going to get the varmint cong (chislers, not carp). Heading to the center of camp, we ran into Currier, Trey, and Bennie who were already eager to wet a line. Breakfast was already underway and the rest of the teams were gathering around the staging area, ready to go. It looked to be some pretty stiff competition with a bunch of experienced anglers who know their goldfish.

It was a pretty good turnout, about a dozen teams showed up despite the horrible weather and even lousier fishing. Within about a half hour of leaving the start, the wind picked up and soon there were whitecaps across the entire reservoir. Not exactly ideal for carp fishing. I only spotted three fish throughout the day and with the temperature dropping not many teams weighed in. Ironically enough, shortly after weigh-in the wind practically stopped and I managed to get a few shots of Sanchez and Mike Whitcomb working a pod of feeding fish.

Theeeen the rain rolled in, eventually turned into snow, and made for a cold, wet evening, everyone huddled in or around campers. There was plenty of cheer to go around though, as the grills were fired up despite the weather and the bullshit and fish stories flew until late.

Saturday. Wow. Waking up to snow on the ground was not high on my list of things I wanted to do. Fortunately the hot coffee and pancakes were enough to get us going and we headed out to get beat down again. I thought friday had been bad, but this was worse. Colder, windier, and not a fish to be had. Only three came in across the board, with tales of misery from just about everyone there. Despite the weather, folks rallied for the night ahead and the fires burned bright around camp. There's always next year, and judging from this year's turnout, it'll be even bigger than before.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Some Might Call it Epic

This past week has been a bit absurd to say the least. After many hours on the road and in the air, I finally arrived in Northeast Wisconsin last Saturday and met up with Andrew Drasch and Tim Fischer to do a little exploring on the Menominee. We'd heard it was a great smallmouth fishery that should be picking up right about the time we rolled in. It was and it did. The first night sitting around the fire, organizing gear, and fantasizing over the next day's fishing had the three of us so amped up that I don't think anyone got any sleep.

Day one started with three or four smallies and two nice pike in the first half hour and the fishing kept up consistently enough that we didn't get back to our basecamp until almost 11pm. While most of the action was from the smallmouth, there were plenty of smaller pike in the mix, so the 40lb. shock tippet was a good choice to avoid losing our perch patterns.

We spent the second day on what the Wisco boys call a flowage (the rest of the world calls it a lake) created by one of the many dams on the river. Pounding the shore with baitfish patterns was the ticket for smallies in the two to four pound range as well as small pike and even a muskie.

Working our way into a weed-choked slough that seemed perfect for largemouth, I tied on a big hairy topwater pattern and started drawing strikes in the patches between weeds. After a few fish clobbered it and didn't stick, I cut the weed guard off and proceeded to nail two bucketmouths. The violent strikes that these fish destroy a fly with are impressive to say the least, which would probably account for my big shit-eating grin in the pictures. The larger of the two was not at all happy about my fly invading his space and put on quite the show when he decided it was time to destroy.

Not long afterwards, Andrew decided it would be a good idea to break my 8 weight on the biggest smallie of the day and we got mocked by some good ol boys zipping by in a little outboard. Quote of the day goes to one of these goons, apparently totally boggled by our motorless driftboat: "Dude's rowing!" Our lack of motor notwithstanding, we appeared to be having a hell of a lot better day than those guys. Pulling off the water long after dark once again, we were already formulating our plan of attack for the next day.

We decided to head back to the same stretch of river for day three and fished it a bit more effectively, focusing on the areas that produced well the last time. It paid off big, with pretty consistent smallie action in the morning and a bunch of lively pike through the afternoon and evening.

After such good fishing and spending three days with two world class ball-busters, I had a bit of a hard time getting back on the road to head to Idaho. Little did I know just what we were in for, but more on that later. I feel I should point out that in the slideshow over on the right there, I appear in a picture with a baitcaster. I admit it, I went there. After three days of throwing an 8 weight nonstop 50 to 75 feet on every cast, my wrist just couldn't take any more and needed a break. It didn't take long before I was back on the flies, I got bored with not catching anything on it. Bait is sissy.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Three Days to Go

With just a few days before I drop kick northern Wisconsin's fish population Chuck Norris style, I did manage to get out in our now normal crap weather with Mark and find a fish. Yeah, one. Apparently it was the coolest take Mark's seen in a while, he was freakin out from his perch above the fish. My only view was downstream through horrible glare looking at an orange indicator. Even though it was one of the trickier presentations I've had to deal with in a while and I was pretty sure my cast was way off, the fish got up and charged a #10 black bugger from about 15 feet away. And then we proceeded to get rained on in 40 degree weather for the rest of the day without even a look from another fish. Oh well. Wisco, prepare for war.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It just won't stop

The weather has been staying consistently awful around these parts lately and the fishing has been a bit challenging as a result. Sustained wind in the high teens or more every day gets real old after this long. Fortunately, there are still plenty of active fish out there. The rainbows have been coming through pretty consistently and are making for some fun excursions off the beaten path. Apparently the word has gotten out on just about every sweet spot around here that involves less than a mile of hiking and the pressure has been absurd. With the snowline steadily receeding, more and more is opening up that the baitchuckers won't get into. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

Quit reading this now and go fishing