Archive for December 2010

Good Fishing on Hard Water Today   1 comment

My son Bode and I went out to fish our local lake (Wingra) today. Actually we first headed to Monona Bay, but we didn’t catch ANYTHING and didn’t see anyone else catching fish either. So we decided to go to Wingra. We had a good time, catching about 14 in an hour, 6 of which were keepers.

I’m digging ice fishing.

Bode's Wingra Perch

Bode's Wingra Perch

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Posted December 31, 2010 by troutseeker in Ice Fishing, Kids, Lake Wingra, Winter

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Black Earth Creek in Winter   Leave a comment

Here is a shot of beautiful Black Earth Creek I took on Monday near its headwaters.

Black Earth Creek, 27 December

Black Earth Creek, 27 December

Fishing Through the Ice   2 comments

My 8-year-old son is crazy about fishing. Even more than I am. He’s been bugging me to get out and try ice fishing for a few years now, ever since we walked around on Monona Bay and talked with the ice fisherman.

So, today I went out and bought an auger and some ice fishing rods and wax worms and we gave it a try. Plenty of success. In 45 minutes we caught about a dozen bluegills and perch. Mostly small, but fun none the less.

Bode with a Bluegill

Bode with a Bluegill

I paid $1 for each of the jigs I bought today, and thought that seemed a bit steep. I looked up ice fishing flies and found this video.

Why not try to tie some flies for ice fishing? I’ll do just that and post some pictures, and hopefully stories of good results on the lake.

If you haven’t tried ice fishing, you may be surprised at how much fun it is to pull a fish up through a hole in the ice. The kids were pretty happy with the holes themselves…

Making a hole on Lake Wingra

Making a hole on Lake Wingra

Merry Christmas   Leave a comment

Merry Christmas to all our readers. Site traffic has been up lately and I find myself amazed that anyone is interested in reading about trout fishing in the cold, frozen days of winter. Perhaps you’re like me, longing for the time when you can step back into that flowing water and feel it pushing against your shins, hoping to spot a fish darting past, looking for a hole to make a perfect presentation.

I got some fly tying materials from my family for Christmas and can’t wait to tie some more flies. With each fly I picture the fish I will fool with it. Incredible that something I craft with my hands could be used to create a connection between me and a beautiful wild creature.

Get out and enjoy the beauty of winter. It won’t last long.

Trout Creek, Iowa County

Trout Creek, Iowa County


Into the Wild

Into the Wild


Love Creek, Iowa County

Love Creek, Iowa County

The beauty of Winter | Waiting for Spring   Leave a comment

Trout Creek in December   1 comment

Trout Creek, Iowa County, Wisc.

Trout Creek, Iowa County, Wisc.

Winter Longing   1 comment

I usually take the bus to work, but on Tuesdays I get to use the car (the one car we own) to take care of personal errands, etcetera.

On this very cold day, with ice-covered roads and bright winter sun, I was heading west on Madison’s Beltline wishing I had time to go look at a trout stream. Perhaps Mount Vernon, the West Branch of the Sugar, or Vermont Creek.

I picture myself tromping through the snow away from the road, in my jeans and shoes, tracking to the sound of flowing water. I feel with my mind the snow entering my shoes and my ankles getting wet and then cold. I can see with my mind’s eye the sun reflecting off an ice cold riffle where spring water washes over rocks in the current. And I study the washed-out hole, about 5 feet deep, where several dark brown trout are holding near the bottom, avoiding the cold surface water, looking for absolutely anything to eat.

The trout lay where the sun hits the bottom of the hole, their dark backs absorbing whatever energy the sun might provide.

One of the trout sticks his nose into the silt along the cut bank to stir up insect larvae that might be hiding, and, finding one, sucks it up with quick efficiency. No wonder trout are so voracious come springtime. With so little to eat it’s a wonder they make it through the dark frozen winter.

A Spring Creek in Winter

A Spring Creek in Winter

In my mind my eyes follow the creek upstream to the next bend, but my feet complain about being cold and wet. So I carefully turn around and retrace my steps back to the shoulder of the road, where my car sits, motor running, heater heating. And though my feet begin to thaw out as soon as I sit down and close the door, my curiousity about what lies upstream remains.

And there I am again, driving west on the Beltline, nearly to work now. My feet are totally dry and pleasantly warm, my cup of coffee warming my right hand, and I’m pulling in to work now, right on time, because I never did take that detour to go see a troutstream on the fourteenth of December.

It was just a daydream, a wish that springtime was already here, that opening day had arrived and me and my dog and my fishing partner were out in that meadow, fooling fish once again.