Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Scouting Waukesha Trout Streams

Early trout season is almost upon us.  Though I doubt I'll actually make it out for opening weekend, I'm itching to get out soon.  It has been a long time since I've actually fished a small trout stream.

I started asking questions about Waukesha trout streams on a local fishing forum and got some nice responses, though nobody else had fished them.  The verdict: Access is spotty, the trout are overlooked.  I circled a few overpasses and access points on a map, intent on finding nice trout water within an hour drive from Milwaukee.

This morning, I had some errands to run after work in Waukesha.  UnFortunately, everything is still closed when I get out of work.  With an hour to kill, I unfolded my map, and made way for the proximity of Rosenow Creek, this creek doesn't even show up on my map.

This is what I found:

There was a parking lot big enough for about ten cars (or eight SUVs) with a nicely developed trail.

The stream flows from East to West, mostly a dark bottom, rarely over two foot deep, and almost narrow enough to jump across.

Manmade tracks give way to deer tracks a few hundred yards downstream.

The fishing upstream looks to be a little more technical.

The stream looks promising. I didn't explore it too much, I'll come back and explore more thoroughly with my gear.  There were a couple other streams I wanted to look at, but they were rather far away.  I'll look at those another time.

Just a reminder, there are still a few days left to enter the giveaway!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Early Trout Opener Giveaway

I was cleaning out some old, broken and rusty flies and saving them in a baby food jar so I can reuse beads, hooks, or whatever else I can salvage.


Look at the picture below and guess how many hooks are in the jar.

Click to enlarge

I don't know how many are in there myself.  I say hooks because it would be hard to count the actual flies since there are likely pieces of hackle, chenille, and all other sorts of pieces flies in there.  


Leave your guess in the comments below before 11:59PM, (central time) on Friday, March 1st.  You only get one guess, so make sure you're happy with your number.  If more than one person guesses the right number, the person who guessed first will be the winner.  If nobody guesses the exact number, the winner will be the person with the closest guess without going over.  The winner will be selected and announced around noon on Saturday, March 2nd.  The winner will be notified by email and will be announced on the What The Karp!?! facebook page, you can click the Facebook badge in the right hand column.


An assortment of 14 of my hand tied flies, including streamers, nymphs and dries.

The prize

One olive and two tan scuds, size 12

Two size 12 Flashy Pants nymphs.

Two size 16 and two size 18 Elk Hair Caddis.

Two size 10 bead head Woolly Buggers, one black, one black and grizzly.

One size 10 Force Choking Leech.

And two size 10 Black Barbers, the actual two pictured below.

I will ship them as soon as possible.  Good luck, and have a happy early trout season!

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Black Barber

Hook: size 10 Wooly bugger
Thread: black
Tail: black marabou
Body: black chenille
Rib: red holo tinsel
Wing: black marabou
Eyes: two links of dog tag chain

I wanted to call it something related to my profession, as is the case with the Coachman, which evolved into the Royal Coachman.

Phlebotomy's roots lay in bloodletting, which was performed by barbers, and the white and red striped barber's pole has all kinds of symbolic meaning related to blood and surgery.

I was torn between calling it the Bloodletter, or the Black Barber.  I asked my wife which she liked better, she said she'd call it Fluffybuns.  I already let her name the Flashy Pants, I don't think we need a Fluffybuns.  Black barber wins because of its resemblance to a barber's pole.

Sorry for the history lesson, I'm a nerd.

Click here for a video!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Two Journal Entries From January 2011

Friday Jan 7, 2011  4:25 pm

Potential song titles

  • Set The Sights On Alderaan
  • Knutsen Creek
  • Casket Wax
  • Lapiz Philosophorum 
  • The Glacial Sea

1-12-11  1:55pm

Started working on a new song last night.  Slow, atmospheric, pretty, melancholic.

Chords are
  • Dm7sus4?
  • Dm7
  • Dm7sus2?
  • Am7
  • C
  • Em7


there will probably not be any lyrics.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Pond That Should Not Be

I have noticed a particular pond near the Menomonee River.  It's not large, probably less than an acre.  There is an island in it and a large sewage pipe drains into it, probably from Miller Park's lot.  The water is always opaque, not quite like skim milk.  Out of curiosity, I fished it for a little bit one day in December.  I didn't have any strikes, but there is something in there-- something big.

I'm going to fish this pond until I catch what's in there, whether it be carp, catfish or Cthulu.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My First Carp

Monday, 4-12-10, 8:10 a.m.

I forgot, my Monday class starts at 8:30, not 8:00.  So I got to class a half hour early.  Oh well, I've done stupider things.
I went fishing yesterday afternoon.  I went near the yacht club.  I saw a few really nice bass, but they were mostly uninterested in what I was offering.  One showed moderate interest in a Wildeye Bluegill.  I caught a big carp on the same Wildeye Bluegill.  Hooked him right in the mouth!  I thought I snagged him, but he was legal.  I saw a walleye laying motionless on the bottom, I could not get him to bite anything!  he looked to be a good size too!  I'd say bigger than 18".

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Favorite: My Favorite Candid Photo

I have always loved catching candid images of people.  They are so much more natural than posing a shot in a predetermined "special place," or a location that a photographer chooses to use as a backdrop.  In early October I snapped this photo on my Nikon coolpix L24 on the Menomonee River, as seen originally in this post.

The guy fighting the salmon had been fighting her for some time and had attracted quite a bit of attention, nobody cared about the guy with the camera and the baby, and I snapped half a dozen shots or so almost completely unnoticed.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

I Can't Figure Technology Out

I was just looking through my phone and I came upon a lot of pictures of fish going back quite a ways.  I don't have a very smart phone, and I just learned how to get photos onto my computer by texting them to my email.  I need to delete some pics to make more room for pictures of my baby girl, so here's a bunch of random pictures!

I caught this carp in October
2011 on a black Mister Twister

I found this wild melon growing streamside just
before halloween.  I knew what I had to do.

This is the coho that broke my rod

That was a beautiful fish.  Does it look
like a steelhead?

Many salmon in the Menomonee that day

My Little Cleo watches crows fly over

My father in law takes it all in

Really? Budweiser?  this is Miller country!

I took this kid from work fishing I think I lost
2 that day.  I think he was using Thundersticks.
All the fish pictured that I caught were released, but the kid kept his two.  The Budweiser salmon probably died of natural causes and had the beer bottle added later.  There were many dead salmon at that particular spot for a long time.  That coho was probably the hardest fighting fish I caught all season.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Menomonee River Update

I took my baby for a walk along the Menomonee today, we didn't see any fish, but we took some nice snowy pictures.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Help me identify this fish

In earlier posts, I referred to this fish as a bluegill.

I was just looking at it though, and I thought to myself, "that doesn't look like a bluegill."  All those species in the Sunfish family are kind of the same looking.  Sunfish back in Michigan have bright yellow bellies, but maybe this is a species we don't have in Michigan.  I've checked my Field Guide to North American Fishes, but nothing really looks all that similar.  I caught it in the Menomonee River on a bead head scud.  I'm sure it belongs to the genus Lepomis, but I can't figure out the species.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

My Favorite Fishing Trip of 2012

My dad makes a trip to Magician Lake in Dowagiac, Michigian with some family every year.  The trip usually happens in the middle of June, but this year it was bumped up to the end of May.  I have always wanted to make this trip, but I was never able to because of work, school, or whatever else.

This year, with our little one being just two and a half months old, we decided it would be a good practice trip for our much longer upcoming trip to Minnesota in July.  It should have been around a three hour drive, but it turned into a five hour drive with all the stops our baby needed us to make for her.

We got to the cottage, hauled in stuff, hugged and greeted family before I put together my fly rod, strung it up, selected one of my size 6 olive and grizzly bead head buggers and made for the end of the dock.  My cast had become rusty because I didn't get much of an opportunity to fish the year before.  There was a stiff breeze, so I tried to use it to my advantage and cast with it a good twenty yards or so and started stripping back.  I couldn't believe it when I had a strong strike on the first cast, and neither could anyone else.  My 5 weight had a nice bend in it as the fish took a little line, but it tired quickly and came in.  It was one of the biggest, brightest sunfish I had ever caught, probably close to ten inches!  I had another hit on my next cast, and a foot long largemouth bass cleared the water and broke my tippet.  I decided to stop because I had not yet purchased my license.  When my brother finally showed up, we took a trip to the intersection that the locals refer to as "town" and got our licenses.

The next day we didn't hit the water until late morning.  My wife and baby relaxed in the grass with some books while we were out.  My uncle Paul played the role of the drunken guide.  We drifted in circles and fished for a few hours, everyone caught fish-- mostly on Bass Stopper worms.

My dad and brother Shane

Uncle Paul, brother Kyle and aunt Lollie

Baby and mommy relax

Shane always crashes hard

Later that evening, I paddled out to the raft in the paddleboat and fished with a worm under a bobber with my spinning rod, and cast buggers with my fly rod.  I landed some sunfish and bluegill on the spinning rod and lost some nice bass on the fly.

The following day we hit the water much earlier.  Paul's brother Lloyd played the part of a much more professional guide on this outing.  Only my dad, Kyle, Lloyd and I were going out, so we all piled into one boat, and we were on the fish right away.  Between the four of us, we kept like fifteen bass!

Nice sized bullhead, we all laughed about that

That bass is smaller than the lure!

That's a little better

Dad with his two biggest bass

It sure was hard to leave for Wisconsin, but I'm sure we'll make it again.  Lily cried most of the way home, but she slept some too.  She's much better at car rides now.

I can't believe how tiny she was!