When it comes to bass action, bigger is better. I met up with an old friend of mine, and we spent some time to catch up & then catch some bass. I caught this girl today on a spin lure, 10 feet from the banks of the lake. She hooked, she jumped, she gave a run, and then she was in my hands. She is the largest bass I found this season, and it was a blast to bring her in. I let her go quickly, in hopes that we might meet again when she is fatter and bigger later this season. My friend also caught a few good ones today and that was an awesome way to spend the afternoon. Even the bluegills that came up were bigger than normal. It must be that good time of the year. Anyways, there’s a good chance I will be out on the water again tomorrow morning, and hopefully I’ll watch the sun come up with a similar size bass in my hands.
Many anglers will tell you that fishing in the rain is better for various reasons, changes in pressure, the washing of food into the water, surface breaks… so on. I don’t know for sure if fishing for me is BETTER, but I don’t mind some rain when I fish (as long as no lightening). There’s a calmness to fishing in the rain, once you’ve made the decision to stay in the rain. Although I am not submerged in water, there is something conceptually connecting in the fact that there is a lot of water in the air around me.
My close friend Jonathan went out with the Rainbow Fly Fishing Club in Korea to Kang Won Do and caught a few local Cherry Trouts (aka Masou Trout). He’s been fly fishing for only a couple of years but has taken it on with a fury. I could tell by his first casts of the fly line that he’s got the “rhythm”. Both he and I used to break dance (specifically popping) when we were younger (and a lot thinner) and I am strongly convinced that this has something to do with the way we casts lines. There are other factors such as that we are both designers, with understanding of how a line should flow, but I still think that popping has more to do with fly fishing. Popping ain’t going to work for us, and the last time I tried a back spin, the fat on my back brought the spin to an sudden halt(I got a quarter turn...). We better stick to fly fishing, Jon.
This weekend was one of those weekends that deserves to be called great. First my best friend Charles flew over from NY on Thursday afternoon, and with our plans to meet some brown trout, we drove up towards the Driftless Areas of Wisconsin (Western Upland).
It was a long drive in the late hours of the night, but it was just enough time for us to get caught up on life and our strategies for the next few days. And during this drive time, we found ourselves slowly travelling back in time, to our roommate days of college in Brooklyn. We knew that for the next two days, we would be fishing from crack of light to basically when we could not see our lines. Then we will top off each day with as much beers as we can drink, or just enough that we will be able to get up for fishing the next day. It was nice driving into the rural areas of Wisconsin … light from electric bulbs slowly dimming, while the moon light gradually grew brighter. It was almost a full moon, and when I mentioned this, Charles got into another one of his stories about barometric pressure, and feeding patterns of sea creatures. See, Charles is a salt water angler, and when he says light tackle, he means anywhere from 10-20lbs fish. I didn’t mention this, but I was curious to see how he might react to chasing & catching smaller fresh water fish. He’s fished fresh water plenty of times and owns a home near a lake, but this time was going to been different, it was going to be small creeks, the kind where your body takes up half the width of the creek. Sometimes big fish hold there, but it’s the smaller ones that we were likely to meet. Crap, we pass a deer that’s looks exploded on the hi way … must have been a big truck.
When the first morning arrived, we saw what beautiful landscape we drove through the night before. With only little more than a couple of hours of sleep, we were out the door with waders and rods in hand. We grabbed some coffee on the way & drove with excitement into the beautiful town of Viroqua to meet our guide at Driftless Angler Fly Shop (http://www.driftlessangler.com/). This town of Viroqua is a beautiful town, and I felt that the name fit the town perfectly. As we waited outside the closed shop, Matt the founder and owner of the shop came to open the shop, exactly on the dot. I like the shop before I entered it, and when I went inside, I liked it even more. The perfect selection of things, cool shop stuff, and of course a perfect selection of flies for the local waters. In fact I liked their logo so much that the logo became the first sticker I applied onto the back of my car (and I am not a sticker kind of guy). A few moments later, Drew walked in, our guide from Iowa (recently). Although I will never know, I bet Matt and Drew were both a little surprised to see two Korean guys all pumped up to fly fish in these rural parts of Wisconsin … I would have been. And so we were off to the spots Drew knew, and the lessons in creek fly fishing began. Fishing a small creek is different, it requires shorter but tight, accurate casts. There’s a lot of awkward casting positions that you have to get yourself into, and some of them, not graceful at all. Since we were beginners, Drew recommended that we fish nymphs with indicators, and this worked. There’s a lot of walking through thick (I mean thick) bushes and up and down small valleys.
In a nutshell, Drew taught us how to cast in these tight spots, what part of the water to cast into (this was different than what we expected), and how to sneak up on some nervous trout. We didn’t end up catching that monster brown that lives in these creeks, but did manage to catch a few, with and without our guide (Drew taught us well, Thanks). We know the big trout lives here since we saw a couple sprint off when spooked by our shadows. Charles landed the first fish, and I followed soon after. I hooked many, but only managed to land several smaller ones. And of course the largest fish I hooked manage to spit out my hook (in the air), but that’s a story too commonly told to be believed. I know that the sighting of those two larger fish is what will keep me coming back to these creek, year after year. And eventually, I will meet those larger fish (and their friends). For anyone going up to these parts to fish, I highly recommend stopping by the Driftless Angler Fly Shop, it’s one you don’t want to miss.
The term "driftless" indicates a lack of glacial drift, the material left behind by retreating continental glaciers. The creeks here are spring fed, ice cold all year round. There’s browns and brookies there, and some creeks that will take your breath away. It’s remote enough and so far, not as popular as the western spots, so you can fish privately. I only saw one other angler during the whole time I was up there, and I know he was a local. There’s a lot of nature there to explore, besides the fishing, and it’s an opportunity to see beautiful farming towns. During the drive back, we saw a few good sized lakes and we contemplated the opportunity to catch small mouth. After two days of climbing & crawling through tight bushes, we had a desire to stand somewhere wide open, and to whip the hell out of a heavy lure. So we did that at a local spot near my home, and it produced several good sized largemouths. What a way to top off a great weekend of fishing. Naturally, the drive down was also a time for us to plan out our next couple of trips :-)