Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fishing the Rush and Willow Rivers

After fishing the Kinnikinnick on Saturday and Sunday I headed out in search of some larger trout. I first made the trip to the Rush River near Elsworth. I arrived and decided to leave the fly rod in the car. I tied up a white and black Panther Martin with gold blade, size 2. I found a litte curve above a larger rapid and tossed out the spinner. It landed just under a downed tree, and as I retrieved it a 11" brown smashed the lure and I landed it right away. The pool below that little run proved free of any takers. I then hiked upstream and under a bridge. I was able to see some large trout holding behind a cement pillar, but none were interested in what I had to offer.

Since this river was wider and I was having difficulty launching a little spinner so far I decided I'd bump it up to a size 4 Panther Martin with a silver blade. I landed a couple more browns in the 12-13" range. As I rounded what would be my last bend of the day I saw a huge boulder in the middle of the river at the head of a large pool. Casting here proved to be pretty tough due to a large overhanging tree but after some consideration and a couple of carefully fired casts I managed a pair of beautiful browns. One rocking the tape at 14" and the other being just short of 13 and a half. I broke down the rod and headed back to the car.

I hopped in the car and headed down the road to turn around and saw a beautiful series of riffles and a nice undercut bank and decided I'd park and try for one more fish. I got one more nice brown and called her a day.

The next day (Tuesday) I had an hour in the late afternoon so I tried the Willow River race which is just a short drive from my house. I haven't fished this in a long time and remember catching mostly brooks and rainbows. It was a short trip but I managed 3 browns in the 11-14" range and last fish of the trip... A beautiful 9" brook trout. It was nice to see one while I had the chance to fish all this beautiful water.

So all in all 29 browns and 1 brook trout were landed in my early season, barbless, catch and release trout fishing adventures. It was a really beautiful 4 days of fishing.

Back to Chicago, maybe I can find some Steelhead and Cohos soon.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kinnikinnick River, Easter Weekend

Had some wonderful weather this weekend, I fished the river Saturday from 11:00-1:00 and Easter from 10:00-1:00.  Both days when I got there the temp was around 37-39 degrees.  Once it hit around 45 degrees the trout started rising. 

Most fish were landed on #2 panther martin spinners, yellow and orange.  A couple were landed on rooster tails, but gold blades worked best.  

#8-#12 caddis immitations worked very well when fish started rising.

Between the two days I landed 20 fish, and lost at least twice that many more to short strikes and spit out barbless hooks.

Fish were all between 6" and 12", most were 8-10 inches.  Its been two lovely days on the water, I'm heading back out tomorrow morning to a different spot, going to see if I can find some brook trout because I've not caught a char since august.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Eight to Twelve

The last couple of weeks have been very hit and miss at the lake front.  It seems every other day the winds change direction and start howling up to 20-30 knots.  North East switches to South, back around to North West... so on...

This has made things tough out at the seawall.

Even when the waves quiet down for a day or two its nothing short of chocolate milk.  This makes chasing trout and salmon nothing short of a challenge.  We did manage to land 5 last Wednesday (April 1st) but it required a lot of trial and error, footwork, and even a drive to a wisconsin harbor, two tribs, and finally we found the fish at montrose harbor.  There was still a decent chop and I'd give visibility no more than 2 feet, but it was enough to land some spring cohos.

Here is a photograph I grabbed with the cellphone, as its the only camera I had on me today.  This was right about where irving park hits the road.  30 foot spray up and some waves actually rolling onto the wall.

Until things change, get out the wet suits and surf boards and I'll see you in the surf...  Tight lines.