Stephen Rose and his son Heron (named for a bird that Stephen admires, but also named for Hank Aaron, Stephen’s childhood baseball hero) went out to the Driftless yesterday with a spinning rod and some #9 Panther Martins and got after it, with encouraging success.
They found the stream they were fishing loaded with Brook Trout, and the Brook Trout were much further down in the system than they tend to be during the warm months. It is our suspicion that they’re comfortable lower downstream right now because water temps are still cool enough for them to feel comfortable.
The fish in the photo below has some health issues. Not sure what it is, but it looks like fin rot to me. Has anyone seen this before in trout they’ve caught?
At any rate, It’s gratifying to me to see a young fisherman like Heron get out there with his dad and catch fish, especially on a day that snow fell from the sky. Way to go guys!
A nice-sized Driftless Brook Trout, suffering from fin rot, me thinks.
Heron and Stephen after a successful outing in the Driftless of Wisconsin
Sunday, by all accounts, was a day everyone should have stayed inside. It was 34° and raining. A friend of mine cleaned out his gutters on Sunday, so I suppose you could do worse than taking a hike through the woods.
That’s where our troop was, tromping through the woods enjoying the sights and having a good time.
I hope you enjoy the photos!
Skillet Creek runs through the gorge at Pewitt’s Nest
Pewitt’s Nest pine bough
Water drips off the limestone at Pewitt’s Nest
A crew of buddies in the woods at Pewitt’s Nest
Shepard on the slide at Pewitt’s Nest
Sawyer on the Slide at Pewitt’s Nest
Bode on the Slide at Pewitt’s Nest
Heron and Joe on the Slide at Pewitt’s Nest
Bracket Fungi reaching for the sky at Pewitt’s Nest
The work of large woodpeckers was everywhere at Pewitt’s Nest
Well, John and Stephen and I had a leisurely start to the day on Saturday and got ourselves up to Billings Creek near La Farge (French for “The Farge”) in Vernon County mid-morning. The stretch we’ve fished before made for difficult fishing. John got a couple of browns to hook up on a Marabou Leech and actually lost one as it skittered away under an ice shelf. That was the theme of Billings Creek on Saturday, those ice shelves. In some areas, like the deeper pools, there was ice clear across the creek.
The scenery was stunning, with that beautiful fresh snow and sunshine, so that’s what holds prominence in my mind at the moment. The fishing was difficult and the icy lines and even icier guides made for some tedium. But the beauty of the day made it hard to feel too sorry for myself.
After a couple hours and some hot chili we decided to bug out and go down to Camp Creek near Viola. The water there was much more inviting, with no ice and lots of visuals on fish. The water was very clear and the fish were spooky as always. Camp Creek is all about stealth, whether it’s via the long upstream cast or getting down on hands and knees to do some Czech nymphing. I saw two riseforms, so there were trout eating some kind of bug on the surface. Nothing big enough to see though. I finally caught my trout on a small Pheasant Tail nymph trailing behind a streamer, and I held it up in the sunshine and admired it for a moment, happy to be a trout fisherman again.
We all returned to the city happy and tired, hoping to see spring break out sometime soon, when new plans will be made for seeking trout.
I hope those of you who went out to fish the opener enjoyed the great weather and had some success too. Best wishes in 2013!
Billings Creek, Vernon County, Wisc
Stephen Rose at Billings Creek
John Jackels works Billings Creek
March 2, 2013 on Billings Creek
A great bend pool on Billings Creek, frozen over…
Check out that horseshoe tree!
Look at how clear Camp Creek is behind my head
The spot where a hawk and a rodent met.
John Jackels at Camp Creek
My friend Courtney took the long way to work today, walking along Lake Monona. She shared these photographs with me, because I like lakes and all…
Bad for ice fishing, but beautiful to look at!
Looking southwest from the Monona Terrace, blades of ice piled up alongshore.
Looking easterly across Lake Monona
John, Stephen and I went to Wingra on New Year’s Eve to chase lunkers. Suffice it to say, we didn’t catch any.
John did have a flag go up only to find that his shiner minnow was gone, so that may have been something, but for the most part the experience taught us how nice a shelter of some kind would be to have.
Hope you enjoy the photographs! There’ll be more throughout the winter, hopefully some of which will have us holding some nice fish.
Sunrise on the Ice – Lake Wingra, December 2012
Good Ol’ Beaver Dam Tip-ups
Stephen Rose working the hole
Flag Up! for John Jackels
Gloves off. The worst part of it.
Hook Set – Nothing there.
Stephen Rose considers what it means to be a man.
Waiting for the spool to turn
Six tip-ups marching toward Vilas Park, Madison, Wisconsin
Here we are in the thick of wintertime. I was wondering if it would be with us this year. Thankfully it is, at least in my opinion. We are a family of skiers. Alpine skiers. Nothing beats it. I put it on a very high pedestal alongside fly fishing and a good-value-for-the-money bourbon. Like maybe $20 for a 750ml bottle.
Even though I have so much winter to look forward to, with skiing, coaching the Blackhawk Alpine Racing Team with my friend Brian, and some epic games of Cribbage and Euchre to get through the cold, dark evenings, I can’t help but keep my eye on March 2nd, the early season trout opener. I’m not sure if any of you feel this way. Lovers of winter with an eye toward that first spring creek trout of the season.
But since it wasn’t that long ago, here are a few pictures of Christmas with my family. Enjoy Winter, and look ahead to Spring!
Christmas with the Andersons
Rebecca and Wes
It’s fun to feel this way about Christmas
Don’t be mistaken. These two are hell on wheels.
Here are some photos of the beautiful spots Stephen and I visited on Sunday. Though we didn’t catch any trout, the scenery was very nice.
Flint Creek, Iowa County, Wisconsin, at sunrise.
Sunrise, Oak Tree, Iowa County, Wisconsin
Stephen Rose on Flint Creek, Iowa County, Wisconsin
Driftless Barn, Iowa County, Wisconsin
Conley-Lewis Creek, Iowa County, Wisconsin