Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Highs And The Lows; or, Losing The Fish of The Season

I had one of my best days, if not my best day, of the season fishing for smallmouth in the Milwaukee River earlier this week.  I got up early Thursday morning to fish the same stretch hoping for similar results.  Instead of fish on back to back casts, I got the skunk.

It was cold that morning, mid 50s.  The water was in the 70s, and as high as it was Monday morning with a similar rate of flow.  It was actually relieving to escape the coolness of the air by wading wet in the warm water.

The wild card seems to be water clarity and multiple hatches.  I'm not sure why the water was cloudier Thursday than it was Monday right after the rain.  Maybe it just takes all the silt that long to wash downstream from the headwaters.  There were little white mayflies and tricos everywhere.  The bass may have fed on the hatches all night.

I found a pool with what I thought were fish feeding on the surface, but learned that they were carp.  I made a few casts into the pool and hoped for the best, but... I continued down to the same spot I caught so many fish earlier but never even had a strike.

I made my way back up and fished one final pool, a pool that is usually good for a fish or two.  On my first cast I had a strike and a good hookset.  But this was a big fish that I never got the upper hand on.  I had a hard time pulling the fish from its lie with my five weight.  When I finally got it out of the pool it rose near the surface.  I saw a flash of green through the cloudy water, so I'm sure I had a decent sized northern pike on.  Once it was out of the pool, then the fish let me know I was not even close to having the upper hand. my reel hissed as the fish peeled off line, making a beeline for the weeds.  My line tangled, the fish broke my 5X tippet easily.

The streams will probably not be great for fishing for a while with the rain we are expected to get over the next few days.  On the plus side, if the weather stays cool, overcast and rainy too much longer, we might see an early salmon run!

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Great Day On The Milwaukee

We got around a half inch of rain last night.  That paired with the change in the weather had dramatic effects of the Milwaukee River smallmouth bass population.  I took my little girl out again this morning so my wife could get some more sleep, and I had one of the greatest days I've had on the Milwaukee.

Here is my highlight reel from the day

Little Cleo loves to pet them

These next three fish were caught on three
consecutive casts!

Probably my nicest fish.

This Mr twister took a royal beating!

What a great way to start the day!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Warmwater Fishing On The Milwaukee

The Milwaukee River is finally low enough for some decent fishing. The past week has been brutally hot, and that probably affected fishing, but I caught fish all three times I went out in the past week.

Last Sunday afternoon I went with Tony, a friend who is more familiar with the Milwaukee north of town.  We fished up in Cedarburg for a while, then came back into town and fished more near the Capitol Drive bridge.  The pressure was high, and the fish had been scattered.  The fish pictured below is my nicest smallmouth bass of the day.

Thursday was my day off from work.  I planned on leaving early to get on the river before it got too hot, but I slept in pretty good.  When I talked about going that late, my wife wanted to come stand in the river with me as a method to beat the heat.  Little Cleo had her first experience in the river, she really enjoyed it.

I caught a couple of aggressive rock bass.  They are always fun to catch.  Little Cleo petted them and said the were nice and told them buhbye.  She called them bluegill, which is close enough for me!

Friday morning, Little Cleo had us up pretty early.  I think she was up around 6:00.  My wife was exhausted and needed more sleep, so I volunteered to keep Little Cleo busy for a few hours by hitting the Milwaukee with spinning gear.  Friday morning was the most productive day of the week.  I caught mostly small fish, but we had a good time. 

Now, Little Cleo pretends she is fishing in a boat all the time.  I gave her the lower section of my broken fly rod with an old spinning reel on it.  She says, "reel reel reel, oh walleye!"  Its so cute, I can't stand it!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An Interesting Yard Sale Find

I picked up this old fiberglass fly rod at a yard sale.  The guy was asking $15.00 but I haggled him down to $10.00.  It is a Martin Reel Company 9 foot 9 weight, 2 piece rod. 

I think the owner did some rebuilding by moving up the reel seat  on the blank and adding a grip below it to make a switch rod or Spey style rod.  But it's only 9 foot.  That is an unusual length for a switch or a Spey.

I cannot find any information on this model number online.  It isn't a wonderfully built rod, but it should be worth the money.

I took it out on the Menomonee river last Friday with my 4/5 weight reel just to play with it. This rod is heavy!  My arm was tired just from carrying it down to the river.  I caught a couple bluegill on nymphs.  My little girl kissed one of them.  It was pretty cute.



I am excited to try this rod out with some rough fish, or during the salmon run.  Maybe I can run across a cheap old 9 weight reel to pair it with.  that would be perfect.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Just Like Old Times

Back in Michigan, I'd go fishing with Josh just about every weekend-- and possibly one or two days during the week after work.  The economy did bad things and we chased dreams in different directions.  Me and my wife went west to Wisconsin.  He, south to Tennessee.  For only the second time in about six years our paths were one in the same for a few days.

We had big plans of spending an entire day on the water, starting at a trout stream, hitting some smallmouth water, and possibly hitting the harbor.  In the end, we were able to scrape up just about 3 hours to fish on Independance Day-- we headed to the Milwaukee River for some smallmouth action.

Josh hasn't fished since he moved out of Michigan, but he got right back into the swing of things by landing a smallmouth on his first cast!  He also caught a crappie, the first one I'd seen out of there. I think he landed one other bass and lost some others, all on curly tail grubs.

Six years between casts

Small crappie

I was more concerened with putting my guest on the fish, but I did manage to land one nice smallmouth and miss several others.  This fish put quite a bend in my 5wt, it's probably the biggest fish I've caught on my new rod.

The water is still high, fast, and dirty from the unusual amounts of rain we got throughout the month of June.  The current almost swept me off my feet more than once.  The fishing should get much better as the water comes down.

On another note, Saturday, I picked up a new toy at a yard sale .  I have to do some research to see exactly what I got, but i'm pretty excited about it.