Monday, June 29, 2015

Obsessed with the Northwoods

This is a picture heavy post, but it's worth it.

One day mid June, The Fat Gordo, hit me up and asked if I wanted to head answer was YES!

What perfect time, as well - The Fat Gordo's birthday was the 12th (Friday) and mine was the 14th (Sunday - Flag Day). It's funny, because, the two of us really don't like celebrating our birthdays, so, it was kinda perfect we spent it on a river in the middle of nowhere with one another. Ha How cute, right?

I casted 3 flies the whole trip, and found great success with a brown pattern I had tied this past winter. The Fat Gordo used his usual double blade inline spinner, and mixed it up with a frog.

The smallies were definitely ready for us, and wanted to do battle with us often. These river smallies never cease to amaze me with their strength, heart, and willingness to hit big ole musky flies. 

This particular small jaw (pictured below) put up one hell of a fight, making multiple runs, and never giving up. I could not believe the fight this one put up against my 10 wt. As it was bent over, I shouted to the Gordo, "It's a TANK!....Whoa!!!!!" As I held her up, Gordo and I, were in awe of her beauty. The colors and markings were just beautiful. After a successful release, Gordo and I, must have high fived and fist bumped a hundred times. Good times!

What you can't see is the biggest smile on my face. Like Christmas morning.
Another shot of the big beauty.
After a super long wade...which should have been split into 2 days, we decided to find a backwoods road I know of in the dense forest, and hike it back on land. We knew that it was going to be a very difficult wade back, and both of our legs were jello. The Fat Gordo already took an accidental dip in the river, and we didn't want to chance anymore.

Killed around 6 ticks on my waders when we made it back to camp.
Walking along the road we came across this big bad momma. She was relaxing in the middle of the road soaking up the last of the sun, and did not like our presence. We saw a few areas on the road where it looked like something was digging. The Gordo and I, started to think she was looking for a place to lay eggs. I'll have to do more research on that, because, I'm curious. Anyone have knowledge of snappers and when they lay eggs and where?

Also, I am still AMAZED at how fast they snap. She snapped at my GoPro camera, and my jaw dropped. Excuse my language, but HOLY SHIT!! I advise everyone and their mothers to never put your fingers near their face, that is, if you still want them. It's safe to say that I will never go noodling after this experience. F THAT! Hahaha

SMILE you're on camera!
...and of course no trip North is complete for me without stopping and picking up a 6er of something from Wisconsin's finest breweries, New Glarus. I usually go with Moon Man or Spotted Cow, but I've never seen this one before, so, I gave it a try, and I was very pleased with it.

New Glarus Hopster

My Nautilus Premium Fly Reels Yeti Cooler is pretty awesome, and I am thoroughly impressed.
Some more fish porn. Another thing about the smallies in this river is they are all kinds of different colors. Some are dark, some are light, others have more markings than others, and some don't have any at all. Really interesting stuff. I know some people associate it with spawning, but I guarantee that these fish were not spawning.

The Fat Gordo with another small jaw
One of mine. Keep 'em wet.

The Fat Gordo was determined to catch a smallie using a frog, and he was successful. The first one he did not get a photo of, because, of some sly tactics from the smallie after the Gordo removed the hook. The small jaw pictured below fell victim to a Booyah frog, and you can just see how happy the Gordo was, but I know he wanted a picture of that first one.

What a great trip. There's nothing better than having a successful trip, getting back to your truck at the end of the last day, packing up all of the gear, enjoying a quick lunch, starting the truck....trying to start the truck...SHIT...the truck didn't start. I forgot the headlights on. The Fat Gordo's truck does not have a beeping notification telling you that you left them on, in turn, leaving you with a dead battery if you leave them on.

So, here we are, a few miles away from the main road, in the middle of nowhere USA, on a Sunday afternoon. Luckily, we were able to get a hold of a 24 hr wrecker service that was very familiar with the area we were in. 1 hour later...the truck received a jump, and we were finally on our way home.

Already looking forward to my next trip North.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Solo Musky Mission

Friday, June 5th.

With my gear loaded in my car the night before, as soon as I was out of work, I headed North. No one else could go, but I didn't let that stop me. I was on a mission, a musky mission. Ever since I caught my first one last year, I just can't seem to get that fish off of my my best friend, The Fat Gordo, would say, "I'm Musky Minded."

I arrived to my destination with 1.5 hours left of day light. I did not waste any time.

Bugs love the Subie.
Fly Rod.
Extra Fly in my hat.
Go Fish!

40 minutes into my short wade, I hook into something big.

Strip set.

Oh. Wow. It's big! 
(I know, I know...That's what she said.)

After the initial hook up, I could tell what it is by it's ever distinctive fighting style. It kept digging, and digging.
...It's a tank smallie!

Saturday, June 6th.

It was in the mid 70's when went to sleep, but I woke up at 5 am to my car telling me it was 38 degree's outside. Awesome. It eventually warmed up to the mid 70's again.

Clear blue skies. Not the most idea musky conditions, and that theory proved true for the day. I did have 2 follows, but they were definitely only following, and not partaking in any extra curricular activities that day. The only fish that came out to play was this small jaw, I spotted tailing in a shallow pool between some rocks. It was the end of the day, Saturday skunk, no more.

CARF approves of this.
Upon arriving back to my car, I noticed something on my car door handle. To my surprise, it was a tube, that was already rigged. I laughed, because, I immediately knew who left it. He's sort of a tube fanatic. Hahaha It's always good to know you've got friends out there in another state, in the middle of the woods checking on your car. Haha!

Forever thankful for the person who left this tube, for pointing The Fat Gordo and I in the right direction!
After some dinner, and a few New Glarus Moon Men. Exhausted as I was from a very long wade, and casting my 10 weight all day, I mustered up enough to hit a spot of the river from shore. Hooked up with 2 nice sized smallies. 1 on a spinnerbait, and another on a jig 'n Stankx Bait Company sultress trailer. Then back to camp for another sandwich, and the rest of my beer.

Hands down IMO thee hardest fighting fish.
I was rained out on Sunday. Woke up to a huge storm rolling through, and after checking the future forecast, I decided it was best I just start heading home.

The fishing was tough, but that's musky fishing, right?

Until next time.....

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Don't forget about me!

Lately, I have been having a hard time finding the time to get to the keyboard. Juggling life, work, my Pig Farm Ink - Iron Fly event, trips, and fly tying orders has my plate pretty full.

This is just a friendly reminder, that I am still around, and looking forward to catching up with all of my blogging buddies.

For now, enjoy some underwater shots!

A friendly carp that would not eat a fly.

Let 'em go, to let 'em grow!