Showing posts with label brook trout. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brook trout. Show all posts

Friday, June 8, 2018


One of my friends saw that I was on the Carf #icatchsmallfishtour2018 and invited me along to go fish some of his favorite brook trout waters.  In typical CARF fashion I forgot the reels to my 3 and 5 wt rods, so, I had to borrow Cody's spare 5 wt reel.  It seems I'm always forgetting things.  This one time my friend Jim flew up from Chicago for work a day early to fish, and when I picked him up from the airport we immediately went to the trout streams.  I told Jim not to bring anything but his waders and boots.  Well, I should have told him to bring his fly box, because, I forgot all of my flies at home on my desk.  Ha!

Enjoy the short video, and be on the look out for a longer version of the video by subscribing to my Youtube channel.

Let me know what you think of the video in the comments on the Youtube page, and don't forget to give it a "thumbs up" because it really does help in letting me know if it was good or not.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


This is Drew.  He likes to tie flies and fish for trout.

Drew admiring a musky fly.
Drew is also a big fan of playing with my camera while I'm using it.

Drew using my camera while I was trying to use my camera.
Drew also likes to play with my camera when I'm not using it, and sneak close up pictures of peoples faces or behinds.

Drew in search of Eddie Rivards best side.
This is Eddie Rivard.  He likes to fish, tie flies, and share his stories on his blog Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing.

Eddie showing off some bucktails with the Chicago Bears colors.
...and here is the product of Drew sneaking up on Eddie Rivard with my camera.

Possible caption contest photograph for the future??

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


Found myself in Wisconsin with some time to spare, so, I did the logical thing....I went trout fishing.  I was out and about enjoying the weather and hiking around Willow River State Park, and afterwards, I decided to head on down the road to the Kinnickinnic River.  I grabbed my FSA custom 3 wt, Vedavoo hip pack, and Tacky fly box, tied on a top water bug I've been working on, and walked on down to a new spot I scoped out back in June.

The no name fly I've been working on was the ticket and my fly box was not needed.  I found some rising trout on the tail end of some small riffles, and they were picking off anything that was drifting through.  

Vedavoo hip pack.
Wet waded up the river just a little bit in to some skinny water, and found some a few more fish drifting that same fly.  I don't know if it was the fly or the amount of fish caught, but the fly was starting to come undone.  Need to do some tweaking...I kind of want to think that the trout were just beating it up throughout the short outing, which is very possible.

Brook trout like to party.
Came across a floating fish, and upon further investigation - I determined it was the biggest trout that I have ever seen with my own eyes in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin, and that it was a brook trout.  Didn't have a wallet on it, so, I wasn't able to determine it's age or where it came from.

What a shame.

All in all it was a solid 1.5 spent fishing on a beautiful day, and a reminder to me and to all of you that live here in the Midwest to get out there and enjoy the outdoors and the kick ass weather while we have it....Winter is coming.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Big Trout Flies

Since moving to Minnesota, I have been trout fishing more in the past 3 months than I have the past 4 years when I lived back in Illinois.  I have also learned that trout don't shy away from big flies, either.  Usually, the big trout flies are streamers of some sort, and tied by Aaron Przybylski of Scavenger Fly or Matt Ebbers.  I've decided to mix it up and tie up some very effective small flies, bigger.... 

What do you think?

Don't forget the little caption contest I'm hosting - CAPTION CONTEST.  The winner will be chosen tomorrow afternoon.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Tenkara Angler - Spring Edition

The Spring Edition of Tenkara Angler is out, and if you haven't yet, I suggest you check it out.  Whether you're a Tenkara angler or not, you will most certainly enjoy the articles in this magazine, and maybe, just maybe you'll find yourself wanting to pick up a Tenkara rod, and giving it a shot.  I know I want one, and definitely see one in my future. 

The articles/essays I enjoyed.
Brookies & Beer
The World in Black & White
Matching Nature
Tenkara Abroad

Click on the link below to view the eMagazine

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

North 40 Fly Shop eMag: Spring Edition

Bored at work, and need something to pass the time?  The North 40 Fly Shop eMag is out.  There are some great articles in there, and my favorite would have to be Shucking Prawns and Skating Bulls.  Clink on the link below to check it out.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Pink Squirrels and Hatches

While at the fly fishing expo, I purchased some much needed proven trout flies from Matt Ebbers.  On the way back to Chicago, Dave, and I stopped at the Rush River after pretty much everyone told us to go there while on our way back.

Dave and I doubled up about 15 minutes into our wade.  I hooked up with a small brook trout on a Matt Ebbers pink squirrel, and Dave caught a brown trout on...I have no idea...a trout fly.  Pretty fish.  Small fish, but pretty fish.
Doubled up.  Photo by UA Dave.
Me wading upstream.  Photo by UA Dave.
While on our wade back downstream to the car, I noticed that there were trout starting to rise.  As I continued to watch, more and more trout were rising and at a faster rate.  What is this madness I thought to myself.  I felt something crawling on the back of my was a black winged insect.  Very small with sort of a long body.  I was witnessing a hatch!

I quickly switched flies to the smallest black dry fly I had, and immediately told Dave to do the same.  After quite a few missed opportunities and some good laughs, I finally hooked up!  My first "match the hatch" trout, and a nice one at that!

The small fly that caught the brown trout above was from my purchase of trout flies from Phil's Phly Shop.  I am terrible with all the names of these small flies, and really only know if it's a nymph or a dry fly.  Haha

Well, that brown trout shot out of the water like a missle to take the fly, and it was AWESOME!

Friday, March 25, 2016

River Falls Fly Fishing Expo: PART TWO

Part Two of the River Falls Fly Fishing Expo.

I would just like to start off by saying, it was really great meeting and talking with everyone at the show, and I really wish there was more time to shoot the chit and chat all things fly fishing.

Erik Thue of Catch and Capture.  It was great meeting Erik.  I've been following his stuff on Instagram and Facebook for awhile now, and he ties some great flies, and has some great photography skills.

I've met James Durbin of Big Pike Flies a Way of Life has been around for awhile.  I've met him once before a few years ago at a Chicago Musky Expo.  He's a great fly tyer and has perfected his patterns for pike and musky.  Oh, and James definitely had thee most impressive mustache at the expo.

Ike of Chasing Fins Guide Service tying up some predator goodness for the St. Croix River.

Kevin @redbeard.flyfishing on Instagram is a great young fly tyer.  It was great meeting you, and I hope those flies catch you a lot of fish!!

Andy Selvig had one of the simplest displays, but it was surely the coolest one of them all.  It was a really awesome old milk crate/box.  Andy had 2 seminars throughout the day, one for intruder style flies, and another for deer hair divers.  He's a great fly tyer and his flies really show his skill.  I wish I would have taken a close up picture.

Didn't get a chance to talk with them, because, they were packing up, but I must say that Luke Swanson of Livin' the Dream Guide Service has some serious chops at the vise.  A few of the musky patterns that he still had out on his table really blew me away.  Keep up the impressive work!!

Photo taken from the Livin' the Dream Guide Service Facebook.

I didn't make many purchases at the expo, but I did purchase some much needed trout flies from a few fly tiers, one of those purchases coming from Phil's Phly Shop.  I picked up some random small dry flies.  Phil had a huge selection to choose from, so, I had him and his lovely wife pick them out for me.  Phil is a Navy Vet, and his wife is Filipino...My father was in the Navy, as well, and I am 1/2 Filipino, so, I had to give them some support!

Phil is teamed up with his friend Dan, and not only do they tie all of the flies shown above,  but they do some fantastic custom rod work.  They had some beautiful rods on display, and the custom cork work is stellar!  They don't have a website, but I'll leave the information from their cards below.  It was great talking and meeting all of you!

Phil's Phly Shop
Quality Phlys and Rods
Located on the South Fork of the Kinni
River Falls, Wisconsin

Dan Rach
Custom Fly Rods - Custom Flies - Rod Building Instruction - Fly Tying Lessons - Fly Casting

For everyone else that I met, but don't have any pictures of, it was great meeting all of you, especially, those of you that I follow on social media.  It's great putting a face to a screen name!

Matt Ebbers -  Matt has some exceptional skills at the vise whipping up streamers and trout flies.  Check out his instagram - @ebbsforce1

Joel Ebbers - Brother of Matt has some of the same skills, and visits Chicago often.  Maybe we'll get to wet a line one of these days when you're in town! Instagram - @ebbs81

Aaron Przybylski - I mentioned Aaron in my Film Tour night post.  He ties some really cool small streamers that I'm looking forward to sinking into some fish face!  He grew up in my area, and visits sometimes.  One of these days when he's in town, we'll definitely wet a line and catch some local bass.  Check out his instagram - @stcroixpeezworth

Eddie Rivard was at the show, but we did not know that either of us would be there until it was all over with.  Would have been great to meet you.  Eddie owns the blog Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing.

Grant Meyer - Great meeting you, dude!  A fellow Fig Parmer.  Check out his instagram - @meyer.grant.d

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Minutes To Spare - First Brook Trout

Before the River Falls Fly Fishing Expo.  UA Dave and I decided to forego the early set up of our tables, and fish a stream that flowed on the backside of the parking lot of the building for the event.

We both hooked up with our first brook trout within minutes of each other.

It was awesome.

The brook trout was gorgeous.

I'm still pretty thrilled about the catch.  I just wish the light would have worked better with me, so, I could have captured all of it's colorful beauty, but you take what life gives you, and I didn't want to keep the fish in the net for long, so, off she went.

Big thanks goes out to +Brian J Smolinski and Lunds Fly Shop for jokingly telling Dave and I that there were fish in the stream behind the parking lot.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Driftless Winter 2016: Part Two

Day Two

When I walked out of the hotel to my car, I noticed that we got some rain overnight.  One of the streams we were planning on fishing is known to get cloudy fast after some rain.  Throw all of the melting snow and ice in the mix, and our plans changed.

We decided to hit a stream that I have only spot fished in one of the few times I had been up here.  In the summer this stream is extremely difficult to fish, because, of all of the overgrowth.  Lucky for us, it was Winter, and the banks were somewhat open.

With this being much smaller water, I opted for my FSA custom 3 wt.  The weather throughout the day was great.  The temperature dipped a few times, but nothing outrageous.  It definitely did not feel like January.

Adam continued to work a hopper dropper, and I casted small streamers and occassionally drifted some nymphs. Adam was the first to garner the attention of a few brook trout, but none were fully committed to showing face.

One of the small streamers I was tossing was a tiny woolly bugger...I forget the size, because, I didn't tie it, but my guess was a size 8.  Well, I casted at the front of a nice pool I was approaching, and a trout came completely out of the water to hit it, but wiffed, and never came back. 

The after a few more drifts a trout came out from right in front of me and hit the bugger, I lifted the rod, felt the weight, and then it went slack.  After some silent F bombs, I made a few more casts, and then checked my fly, and to my surprise, the hook had broken off.  I could not believe it!  Has this ever happened to anyone??

What really sucked was it was my last small black streamer.  I scarified a few to the shrub gods.  I'd also, like to give a little shout out to, Brad of Tippets and Tales, for giving me the tip on small black leech type patterns, and Tim Lobello, for his report on the area the day before we went up.  Much appreciated Gents!

Tossed pretty much everything.  Don't mind my sinking leaders.  The stuff I was using was stashed behind them.  Ha

On the walk back, we decided to take the road.  We looked down on the stream in the parts we had waded and fished and we could see schools of trout shooting around and stopping at this one pool.  Outrageous.  We drifted some flies towards them, but no dice.  They were really not having what we were selling.

Skunked, but we didn't care.  It was a great weekend to get out and explore some of the endless amount of water that flows through some beautiful country.

The Driftless.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Driftless Winter 2016: Part One

Day One

My friend Adam and I have been trying to get out and fish this winter.  We were thinking steelhead in Michigan or Wisconsin, and that just never happened, because, we've both been busy.  Things always work out in the end, because, it just so happened that we both had a free weekend at the end of January.

We decided, we're going to fish.

Our destination, the Driftless Area of Southwest Wisconsin.

You just couldn't beat the scenery.
I haven't been to the Driftless Area of Southern Wisconsin since May 2013.  The last time I attempted to go was in September of 2013, a few days before the season is set to close for the year.  I never made it, because, my car was totaled. Click here to see that old post - Sitting Duck.

We left early around 4 AM on a Saturday morning and as I made the last turn onto a gravel road we we greeted by a bald eagle.  Always a beautiful sight.  Adam has never been up here, and he recently got into fly fishing, so, I was looking forward to showing him the very few spots I know in the Driftless.

Frozen guides did not stop us.
The morning started off cold.  Our guides were iced every 5 minutes, but that's okay, we weren't miserable, because, we were thrilled to be out of the house and wetting a line surrounded by such beautiful scenery.  Adam brought along some liquid heat to help warm him up from the inside out.

Adam sippin' on some liquid heat.
What to use...dries? nymphs? streamers?

What size should we use...10? 14? 16? ...20??

After changing flies quite a few times, I ended up getting some attention from red beadhead leech I tied on a size 6 egg hook.  Adam went with the hopper dropper technique.  A technique I rarely use, but probably should use more often.

Not wanting to spook any of the fish with my walking, and how I slip and fall in the snow, I was attempting to make hero casts, so, I can fish an area before I was near enough to spook the fish.

Streamer Eater.
Casting the leech to the tail end of some riffles, I got a strike, but missed.  3 casts later, my rod bent, and as I lowered my net, a beautiful brown was scooped up.

As the day went on, it got warmer.  Our guides were iced, no more.  I was actually breaking a sweat, because, I was so warm in the 4 layers I was wearing.  The rise in temperature gave us hope that the fishing was going to turn for the better, but it didn't.  It stayed stagnant.  We couldn't figure out what they wanted.

Long stealthy casts.  One of the keys to fishing the Driftless.
The lack of fish didn't affect us at all.  One look around and it was all good.  These streams are very special, and they just get prettier when the snow reveals lush green grass, and the trees begin to become full of life, again.  The trip wasn't done, and we were already looking forward to returning when jackets and winter gear were not needed.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Change Up

Earlier this week, I swapped out the hooks on my tying desk from the big 8/0 hooks I use for musky and pike, for size a size 14. I love to tie a variety of flies. I would go crazy if I had to tie the same pattern 100 times in a row, so, the change was good.

I don't know what you would call these, but it's basically a Copper John with a pheasant tail, with no legs. I left out 2 steps. Much more enjoyable for me to tie than the traditional Copper John, and the people I have tied this for have had equal amount of success.

Pheasant Tail Copper John Clone?

Size 14 Hook
Pheasant Tail
Medium Copper Wire
Peacock Hearl
Gold Bead (Copper or Gold)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Streamside Furled leader

Right before winter last year, I purchased a furled leader from Streamside Furled Leaders at the Early Show hosted by the Illinois Smallmouth Alliance.

Having never heard of furled leaders I was intrigued by this. I purchased one for my 3 wt rod, for when I'm fishing for bluegills.

What a great product! I don't really worry about my leader when I'm fishing for panfish or bass, so, this product was perfect.

The leader attaches with the loop to loop connection, then just tie on a 3 foot (or whatever you like) piece of tippet to the small ring at the end, and you're in business.

I haven't taken it off my 3 wt at all this season, and I'm pretty sure I will leave it on until I'll need a replacement. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Winter Sucks

This winter definitely sucks.
The snow keeps falling.
It gets colder and colder.
My cabin fever rises
I am beginning to lose patients.
That groundhog better see it's shadow.

I've been tying some small stuff lately. Any advise is appreciated.

Bead head brassie size 14
Steelhead Blue Prince Nymph Size 14
Olive Prince Nymph size 14
A bunch of size 10 green grublins.

Size 22 zebra midge.