Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunburn, Poison Ivy, and Mooneye!

Well it was "that time of year again".  Time for another Roundup!  I met up with a few fellow roughfishers on a multi-species fishing adventure down in the driftless region.  Many species were caught, I ended up with 5 species: Mooneye, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, and a sweet Shovelnose Sturgeon.
I saw several snakes and most were large Fox Snakes; heres one of the bigger ones.
A nice Bow for dinner.
The Mooneye are very cool fish and were everywhere.  I swear you could signal a plane with their reflections; very shiny fish.
This is my largest Mooneye to date, a real scrapper.
I love visiting the driftless area.  Theres very diverse fishing and beautiful scenery, all surrounded by beautiful hardwoods.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cyprinus Carpio

Carp are uncommon in my area.  In the last 12 years I have only ever caught one by accident.  On a whim I decided to check a new spot in the hustle and bustle of the city.  To my surprise and enjoyment....
This fish was like fighting a bulldozer.  Its not a huge fish, but a good size.  It took me a good solid 20 minutes or so to land the beast.  I definitively need to find good fly Carp waters!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The place above, and down below

This year has been a bit strange to say the least.  I was only able to schedule one Superior North Shore trip which was a major bummer, but worst of all its already at the tail end of the run, maybe.  I met up with Adam and Derek in Walker, transferred three days worth of camping and Steelheading gear for the three guys into the Tahoe and started our journey.

We got to Beaver Bay around 1am and slept in the truck at the Superior Hiking Trail checkpoint.  7am on Friday we were streamside on the Toxic Cesspool and things couldn't have felt any better.  We fished The Tox for the better half of a day and came up short on fish other than a couple small Brookies.

Friday afternoon and evening was on the Thermonuclear Waste Pond lookin' for da Loopers up in dem streams der. Da Loopers were dare jus not hittin'.  I did however connect with a couple fish from a species not yet caught by me.  Trying to catch da Loopers, I noticed a small pod of Longnosed Suckers milling around the tail of a pool.  I immediately cut off my globug and tied on a nymph and slammo; new species, and actually quite a sleek fish.  I ended up catching 2.
 Their behavior seemed similar to the White Sucker, but these Longnose seemed more agile.  They definitively love flies!

Day 2 saw us heading north; further up than I've ever been.  The lower shore had really low water conditions, so we figured the upper shore would probably have more runoff; and we were right.  We fished the Spittoon in the early half of the day. Derek picked up 2 small Steelhead, smolts.  We did see many nice fish in here, but they've been fished hard and just wouldn't hit.

Afternoon finds us on the Septic Dump.  This is my favorite North Shore stream I've ever fished.  Eddies, current, undercuts, deep pools, riffles, snag piles, and boulders galore.
I found a sweet little trickle of a feeder stream with a narrow canyon and very fairy tale feel.
When I worked my way up it to the headwater pool, it felt like a enchanted place with toadstools, trolls, and fairies.  The magic was in the seven foot diameter pool.  Beautiful little Brook Trout.
Adam caught a nice sized Steelhead, but was alone and didn't get a picture.  Guess, we just gotta believe him!

Day 3 was a slow start as our bodies where wearing badly from the intensitity of our adventure.  Sleeping folded like a pretzel in the truck.  Next night sleep in a fishhouse that leaks and waking up in a puddle of water.  So day 3 we slept in a bit.  When we got up we decided to pound the Septic Dump and work it as hard as we could.  The fish were there, they were just preoccupied with spawning and would pay no attention to flies.

I was happy with my Longnose and the couple Brookies.  I fished new waters and enjoyed the scenery every minute.  I can't wait to get back up there again.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wiley Whitefish

3 years ago I went in search of Lake Trout on a lake that wasn't known for very many Lake Trout.  I got there and started hammering Lake Whitefish.  I had never caught Whitefish before other than Northern Ciscos (Tulibee), and I had a blast.  Every March I can catch alot of Lake Whitefish and today was no exception.  My biggest was a 21 incher that put up a hell of a battle.
I ended up catching 4 Whitefish and missed 5.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Steel On My Mind

It has been a very long winter.  I won't bore you with all the details, but a winter with hardly any snow, no money, no job, and no place to go makes for a very long winter. 

Its March now and spirits are high.  We got more snow, I got a cool new job, and most important of all......Steelhead season is just around the corner.

I fish Steelhead on the streams of my home waters of Lake Superior.  Not the glamorous west coast, but still a rugged and beautiful place full of awesome fish and awesome scenery.  Our window for quality Steelheading is very narrow, about a month or less.  The fall run is all but non-existant and the spring runs are dictated solely by spring melt run offs.  If we don't get much snow or spring rains, our Steelheading sessions are very poor to dismal at best so the recent snows we've had have made the upcomming season very promising.  Our streams are very narrow, shallow and sterile so without the snow melt and rains there is no water and the fish stay in the lake.

Every year around the first of March I get the bug.  All I can think about is getting out after some chrome.  I must say that it is very hard living in MN when you are in love with native Pacific fish.  Thank God that states surrounding the Great Lakes have been introducing these fish to our waters. 

The hardest thing is the small window of oppertunity.  With only about a month, it really makes the other 11 months drag on.  I do fish other species and have other hobbies and activities to pursue, but nothing in the world could have prepared me for what happened 4 years ago when I became lovestruck with the chrome sided beauties I encountered on a secluded North Shore stream.  That day my life changed forever and I will never be able to turn off my obsession until the day I die.

Hopefully someday I will be fortunate enough to move my family to more stable and wild Steelhead local.  Maybe someday I'll at least be able to visit them more often or for longer periods of time.  For now all I can do during the lonely time waiting for those chrome beauties to show up, is fall more deeply in love, yearning for the next chance to caress those babes again and continue to stock my boxes with eggs.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Bushman Neck Knife

I've recently gotten on this home made weapon tangent and here's my latest creation.

The blade is hacksaw blade and is very sharp.  The saw toothed back will come in handy for trimming branches and stuff while hunting.  The sheath is made from African Impala, hence the term bushman.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Water Boatman

Been wanting one of these in my box for awhile now, should do the trick.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lawn Mower Knives

Well it happened.  I have the bug.  I've always been interested in doing and making things with my hands; I guess thats why I like tying flies and such.  Well I recently made my first longbow and now have decided to venture into other primitive weapons.  I just happened to have a couple old rusty lawn mower blades laying in the garage and decided to try my hand at knife making.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Devil Grub

I've been hooking a few Hellgramites this winter while ice fishing a new river backwater. A very cool insect that is eaten by all species of fish.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Finished er' up!

Finally got a string figured out today and my first longbow is ready for action. I can't wait to take it for a trial run in the woods tomorrow. Chad at Holm-Made Traditional Bows gave me guidance and is a true bow master!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Self Bow

Wow February 1st already! I've been extremely busy, not being busy. I've been in the job hunt for awhile now and have had a huge lack in fishing due to spousle respect since shes now the bread winner and I'm stuck at home searching. I did manage to add a new passion, hobby, and skillset to my portfolio recently. I've been an avid bow hunter for over 20 years and have always had a fascination with traditional bows and methods. I had been using modern compound bows mostly, but have always wanted to start building my own "stick bows" and use them in the most traditional ways and supply food for the family in the ways it was meant to be done. I am in the process of my first ever self bow and thought I'd post it up. I made it out of red oak and I think its turning out well. I still need to make a string for it and stain/wax it, but you'll get the idea. I may even pull out the wood burner and do a little work to it. Thats whats fun, each creation is unique, artistic, and functional. I'll maybe post some pictures of it when its finished as well.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hard Water Wonders

I scouted out a new lake today.  Actually it is a hidden river backwater way out in Bigfoot's back yard.  The waterway is quite unique and full of giant panfish.

A pair of 13.5" Black Crappies

Besides big Crappies this lake had huge Bluegills in it as well; some of the biggest I've caught in many moons.  Most averaged between 8-9", but a friend of mine lost one in the hole that was seriously 1.5-2#, a true Bull Gill.

A average Gill for this spot

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Lovely Lawyer's

Its been awhile since I've been able to get out.  I surely couldn't miss my annual migration to a secluded stretch of a Lake Superior tributary known only as "Gooseneck Bend". 

Its a beautiful and rugged river full of snags and holes galore.  Every year about Christmas time, mass schools of male Burbot ascend the riverway in anticipation of the secretive mating dance.  Males show up first all pumped and ready to get it on.  Huge females start showing up in the first week of the year.  Once they meet, they form a ball of whithering, sqwirming Pout in a massive orgy whose soul purposes are to propagate the species by spreading the eggs along the rugged confounds of this protected tributary.  Me and a small group of hardcore Lingist's gather at the site at this time every year and give proper respect for these creatures.
Me with one of many males
Corey with a huge 13.5# female
Mitch with a nice female
A collection of males for the dinner table; we let all the big females go
The beautiful spot