Monday, August 27, 2007

Speaking of sink tips...

I spent a day on Lake Superior with my father-in-law, setting herring nets and then trolling for lake trout and salmon. When push comes to shove and you need to go deep, an 8 lb downrigger ball will beat a sink tip every time. (They just don't cast very well). We smacked a number of trout and I had a blast. Thanks Dale, for letting me experience the big lake from your boat.

Fulfilled Obligations

If you read back in my first post
you see that I mentioned a trip to Ontario's mighty Nipigon River for T-Mos' bachelor party.
Well... we went. This was my third stop to the river that has the distinct honor of being home to the world record brook trout. I towed Jon Johnson up from WI and met my brothers for a day and a half of sink tips, sculpin patterns, 25 mph winds, rain and Brook Trout.

Suffice it to say I had the smallest boat on the river and possibly the only Jon boat in all of Canada. The Chinook were running and the other boats spent their time pulling plugs and gutting fish on the boat ramp. K, T-mos and yours truly spent our time casting sink tips and streamers against the bank and through as many greasy seams as we could find. The operation went like this: One guy fished from shore while the other two jumped in the boat and fished while we held with the motor in the current or back rowed in the eddies. The wind was blowing like Dizzy Gillespie and there were white caps on the river. T-mos pulled first shore duty and withing the first couple hours gave a whoop. K and I motored over and were treated to a shit eating grin and 20 inches of Nipigon Brook Trout. It was inevitable. T-mos ALWAYS gets it done...and he was fishing his two hander. (Probably the only Snap T being performed in Northern Ontario that day.)

Anyway, that should have taken the edge off but instead only served to make me twitch like a pennyless meth head. We continued fishing and I almost fulfilled my lifelong dream of catching a 20" brook trout when the fish I'd hooked transformed into a 5 pound Northern Pike. Now normally I'd have really enjoyed that fish, but as it was, it left me with case of Fontinalis Interruptus.

We around 5 pm K asked to be dropped off on a rock downstream where we had seen Steelhead and Salmon thrashing about earlier in the day. As T-mos and I pulled the boat away and headed for a seam to work, I looked back to see K double hauling a sink tip off of the rock in the middle of the Nipigon while 12,500 cfs of cold lake Nipigon water roared past him on all sides, slowly eroding his perch. My only thought was that at sometime in our lives as brothers he had learned to trust me. While Kevin worked the water accessible from his 100 square feet of granite, T-mos and I motored up to a likely seam. T-mos took over the oars and held me in the bionic eddy while I sunk and swung a size 4 brown bugger through the seam. On the 6th or 40th cast, my line tightened up, I set, and began gingerly stripping in line. The fish rolled near the boat and I said "Laker." T-mos disagreed and I prayed he was right. I got the fish on the reel as T-mos beached the boat. Already soaked from the rain I jumped into the water in my hiking boots and, after decades of dreaming and planning, wrapped my hands around 21.5 inches of pure wild Brook Trout. I hugged T-mos, gave out a war whoop and stood in the Ontario rain in a trance. And then, I climbed back into the boat and began to cast again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

River Day

Todd and I got on the water at 7 am and fished until 4 pm. We managed a fair number of smallmouth and a white bass or two. We had a great day considering it was a scorching 467 degree day (not including the heat index). Todd introduced me to a couple of minnow patterns he fishes up in his neck of the woods. I will be tying a few dozen of these flies because, as the pictures indicate, they work. (Aim high Todd...about 4 feet high.)

Monday, August 6, 2007


As of today I have been a stay at home Dad for two and a half months. My youngest daughter is currently sleeping soundly downstairs and I am updating Snake Guides for all of you folks who are sitting in your offices watching the clock and looking for a diversion from the daily Grind. Lest you look on me with envy, let me say that the grass is always greener. Although I love my kids eternally, changing shitty diapers at home on a perfect fishing day isn't much different than what you all are doing...Does anyone know where I can get a floating infant seat for my boat? Ok, back to the point. Trout. Haven't seen one. Haven't fished them in god knows how long. Summer 2007 will go down as the summer of Daddy Day Care and smallmouth on the Wisconsin. Craig and I hit the river last night for a quick fix. Pounded up a few fish and then made a perilous voyage upstream to the landing just before complete darkness shrouded our plodding. Which brings me to another point. If any of you are ever thinking of securing a boat for the Wisconsin River, don't buy a motor bigger than a 9.9. You will never safely run at full throttle even with a 6 like mine. At first I tried to read the water to avoid the evils of schoals and downed timber. Now I try to memorize the runs as much as I can, run at 1/4 throttle and keep my eyes glued to the depthfinder. On the run last night I managed to bury the skeg in gravel twice and bump one dead head and a rock. Treacherous demon, this river.

More Pics from the Wis River

Shocks was kind enough to send along his photos from our trip on the Wisconsin River near Merrill. Luckily he got a picture of the other fish we caught.