Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Illinois Wisconsin Fishing Blog

A fellow emailed me this week and wanted to introduce me to his blog named Illinois Wisconsin Fishing, and now I'd like to extend the same gesture to you, I'll suggest you click here to visit the site and have a read for yourself.

As it turns out, fishermen make fish stories and, big surprise, we want to tell them.  That's how this little project started out for me.  Now I'm a few hundred posts deep and still look forward to punching keys after a good outing.  It even motivates me to get out sometimes, as I know I can't write about my adventures until I actually have them.  So as David (the Chicago Trout Bum) supports me and I him in our parallel quests to enjoy the aquatic gifts we've been given, I hope you support Illinois Wisconsin Fishing by having a read.  I'm going to start keeping my eye on the site, no question about that.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Northern Minnesota : July 2010

Each year I am lucky enough to spend a week or two at a cabin in Northern Minnesota with some wonderful scenery and world class fishing.  The lake the cabin sits on is full of large Walleye, mean Smallmouth, big Musky, and a good smattering of Largemouth Bass and Northern Pike.

Dusk falling away on the lake as my girlfriends father keeps us on a good line using the depth finder as a guide when a visual of the reeds falls away.  Nights spent under the inky sky of Northern Minnesota, quietly moving through the lake in a boat older than either man on board has become part of who I am.  I am one who appreciates water and sky and stars, but there is something exactly perfect about summer nights up there.

I spent the week of the 4th of July up there this year and spend every night trolling and casting break lines and reefs for Walleye and Smallmouth.  I was lucky enough to land a 22+" Smallmouth, a personal best of mine, adding to my other personal best this year (caught on memorial day weekend) 8 lb. walleye from the same lake.

The warm year has made our usual style of fishing the shallow break line less effective and we were forced to use new strategies to find the fish.  I welcome a challenge and it was fun learning some new water this year.

The Smallmouth, which hit an x-rap, trolled over a sloping boulder field.  I found that trolling a soft zig zag between slightly deeper and slightly shallower than the lure runs often results in good hits from big fish.

I also had a chance to play guide a couple nights, captaining one boat or another with two good comrades with me.  We had loads of fun and got some great fish in the boat.

 This is Chris, who recently returned from Iraq, it became my goal to get him a good Smallmouth, as he told me he has been having a Smallmouth dry spell and hadn't caught one in 4 years.  We got him a decent fish, followed by his personal best, pictured above.  Icing on the cake was him bagging a personal best walleye, unmeasured and released I would put it around 24" and somewhere around 3.5 pounds.  It was a great fish.

Here's Nick with a stringer of Walleye that fed the whole cabin dinner the next night.  That night was one of the few that we managed to identify a pattern and methodically filled a stringer with enough to feed the gang.

Another great part about the location of this cabin is that it is just a 15 minute drive from a small lake that is chalk full of nice Largemouth Bass and feisty Northern Pike.  Catching a dozen or more of each in a short morning is no where near unheard of.

Only accessible by canoe and kayak keeps the fish many and the shoulder room generous. Here is Rich with a northern on the line.  You can't beat the scenery here either.  It's as good as any post card you'll ever find.

Finally a nice largemouth being released kayak side.  A huge plus of fishing from a canoe or kayak is that boat-side release is done with ease, most fish never need leave the water to be released.

In short order I will be leaving for a week in the Upper Peninsula, where I will try my hand at trolling for lake trout.  Flashers, Dodgers, Flies, Spoons, and Body Baits are prepared, leaders are ready and rod holders are installed on our 16 foot aluminum.  It's been a great summer.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Re-writing of Your Famous Fishing Hole or, The Great Milwaukee Flood of July 2009

Dear friends and followers, it has been long since I've posted anything.  My days are long and my nights short, time for fishing is scarce, and time for blogging is more rare even than fishing time.  Tonight, however, I find myself in South-Carolina after 13 hours on shoot, we're photographing a major bank headquarters in Charlotte NC this week.

Tonight I need to bring you some photographs (not mine unfortunately) of my beloved Milwaukee area.  Shorewood (where I spent 4 years of college) got 11.6 inches of rain yesterday and flooded out not only the Milwaukee river, but the streets, yards, and basements no doubt of many of my former streets and apartments.

First for the fishy stuff.  The Milwaukee River bursted its banks to over 16000 cfs.... I've never seen anything like that, not even in the mid-June flood of 2008.

Secondly my favorite tributary, Oak Creek, every year my gravel runs and boulder spots are a little different, I have a big feeling this year is going to be something extraordinarily different.

If you plan on hitting your spots for Skamania strain Steelhead anytime soon, I would highly recommend getting in a good scouting session as soon as the water gets low to figure out the new bends (or lack of bends) in the rivers.

Here are some photographs from various photographers in Milwaukee who submitted photographs to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and others.

This is at Oakland and Edgewood, just a few blocks from where I used to live.  When I lived in Milwaukee I would bike through this intersection with my salmon rod in my backpack to fish  the Milwaukee River. Thise are the tops of cars you are seeing in the foreground, that middle car is floating...

If I had my kayak in Milwaukee you know I would be out exploiting nature for some fun in the flood.

Finally, this is an image my friend Steph made in the UWM union parking garage.  I worked just behind where she is standing during the making of this photograph.

I need to share some of my recent stories with the blog and I promise to soon.  Maybe tomorrow night I will have a bit of energy left in me.  Until then, nice to be back hitting some keys.