Archive for the ‘Lake Wingra’ Tag

Lake Wingra Hardwater   1 comment

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

Sunrise on the Ice – Lake Wingra, December 2012

 

Good Ol' Beaver Dam Tip-ups

Good Ol’ Beaver Dam Tip-ups

 

Stephen Rose working the hole

Stephen Rose working the hole

 

Flag Up! for John Jackels

Flag Up! for John Jackels

 

Gloves off. The worst part of it.

Gloves off. The worst part of it.

 

Hook Set - Nothing there.

Hook Set – Nothing there.

 

Stephen Rose considers what it means to be a man.

Stephen Rose considers what it means to be a man.

 

Waiting for the spool to turn

Waiting for the spool to turn

 

Six tip-ups marching toward Vilas Park, Madison, Wisconsin

Six tip-ups marching toward Vilas Park, Madison, Wisconsin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Rose fishes Otter Creek!   5 comments

A picture says a thousand words. An animated .gif says, perhaps, ten-thousand words?

scr on Otter

Stephen and I went up to the southern slope of the Baraboo Hills yesterday and fish one of our favorite spots, Otter Creek. The fish weren’t cooperative, but it was a glorious morning and we both enjoyed being back in the forest.

As you can see, Stephen’s casting hasn’t suffered at all. He did struggle to remember how to tie a blood knot, but I explained that he had only just learned that knot earlier this summer, and struggled with it then. The hike got him breathing a bit and he told me on the way back to the car that he was experiencing an endorphin rush. Cool!

Otter Creek in Sauk County, Wisconsin

Otter Creek in Sauk County, Wisconsin

 

Jewel Weed blossoms on Otter Creek, Sauk County, Wisconsin

Jewel Weed blossoms on Otter Creek, Sauk County, Wisconsin

 

Lobelia Cardinalis - Stephen told me so...

Lobelia Cardinalis – Stephen told me so…

 

Later in the afternoon a gaggle of friends gathered at Wingra Park for a “last day of summer” picnic. Courtney and Brian, the Balsleys, the Cookes, the Anderson-Browns, and Stephen Rose and his son Heron all got together for grilled sausages, chips, fruit, beers (and sparkling mineral water), and lots of fun.

Brian broke out the frisbees and guess who can throw the frisbee like a laserbeam?

 

Stephen Rose (with his son Heron in the blue shorts) at Wingra Park, September 3, 2012

Stephen Rose (with his son Heron in the blue shorts) at Wingra Park, September 3, 2012

 

 

Summer!   Leave a comment

I live in a neighborhood that borders Lake Wingra, and this summer we’ve taken full advantage of that. We joined Wingra Boats and now have access to all of their canoes, kayaks, rowboats, and stand-up paddle boards.

My buddy and neighbor Stephen Rose has also joined up (he made me do it, actually) and yesterday he took his sons and I took two of mine “down to the lake”, as we say, for some fun in the water. The boys handle the kayaks beautifully, and even though it was windy, Stephen took out a stand-up paddle board. As you can see from the pics, these things make great play platforms. In a word, they are Awesome!

Hope you enjoy the photographs…

 

Shepard loves the lake!

Shepard loves the lake!

 

Good times on Lake Wingra

Good times on Lake Wingra

 

It's summer! Woo Hooo!

It’s summer! Woo Hooo!

 

Bode, Joe, Heron, and Stephen on Lake Wingra

Bode, Joe, Heron, and Stephen on Lake Wingra

 

Fun Factor: Off the chart.

Fun Factor: Off the chart.

 

There's a happy young man.

There’s a happy young man.

 

I'm pretty sure this guy has gills somewhere.

I’m pretty sure this guy has gills somewhere.

 

S.U.P on Lake Wingra

S.U.P on Lake Wingra

 

 

Madison Lake Fishing on the Fly   2 comments

Yesterday evening I had the opportunity to get out on my local lake, Lake Wingra, in Madison. The lake is across the street from my humble abode.

I have a “boat” in the “marina” there. I use quotes here because, while both of those nouns within the quotes are true, the sight of either may not make you green with envy (but, as the local joke goes, swimming in the water would probably make you green).

I have a twelve foot long flat-bottomed rowboat acquired two years ago for free from a guy who had it leaning up against his barn since about 1981. I patched it up, replaced the wood seats and transom, and put a coat of paint on it, and it serves me very well, enabling me to get anywhere on Lake Wingra in about 10 minutes using my 38-lb-thrust Minkota trolling motor (also given to me by the farmer).

The marina is dreadfully shallow, even for a boat with a flat bottom, and it looks more like a lily pad water garden that it does a proper place to navigate a boat. The local boat house rental place owns and operates the marina and a couple of years ago they had the whole thing dredged so their rental customers could take boats in and out of the marina without trouble. When I say they had the whole thing dredged I actually mean everything except the area around where people store their own boats. We are left to deal with water depths of anywhere from twelve to twentyfour inches and choked with thick-stemmed lily pads.

Oh Well. I have a boat on a lake and I can go from my front door to my favorite fishing spot in about fifteen minutes, and that includes the walk. It could be worse. A lot worse.

 

Madison - A city surrounded by water

Madison - A city surrounded by water

 

 

So, as I was saying, I went out yesterday evening at about six o’clock with my ten-year-old dog and my three-year-old son, both of whom are excellent companions and friends of mine, always up for just about any adventure. I’m in the mode, now that autumn, and then winter, are on the horizon, that I’m looking to get fishing in just about whenever I can. It will be cold soon, you know? So out we went, crossing from the north shore to the south shore of the lake, over to that spot where the bluegills are always hungry.

I rigged up the fly rod as we motored across and by the time we were in the vicinity I was ready to throw that bug out to those waiting fishes.

There were fish rising everywhere, slurping bugs off the top of the water, and somehow you think those big ripples in the water that are made when fish rise can only be made by pretty big fish. By the look of it there are nothing but twenty-inch largemouth bass in the lake.

About every third cast I had a fish on. A bluegill, of course. And they weren’t large, either.

But once I did get something larger on, probably a ten-inch largemouth, and I decided to ask my son to help me reel it in.

Well, a three-year-old doesn’t turn a fly reel crank very quickly, and the fish dove for the weeds and stayed put. Some gentle pulling, followed by forceful yanking did not produce a fish, but instead produced a fly with a broken hook. I feel better about that than I do thinking about a fish swimming around with a full fly or lure stuck in its mouth.

Then the sun was setting and my wonderful son was yawning, so we headed back across the lake to the north shore, struggling to plow through the weeds in the marina. Boat tied up, dog and kid safely back on terra firma, and back home for bedtime. Another great fishing experience.

Posted September 1, 2011 by troutseeker in Boats, Fly Fishing, Kids, Lake Wingra, Wisconsin

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Lake Wingra – The Boat’s In!   3 comments

Our fine little rowboat is back out on the water. I paid the fees for docking it at the Wingra Boat House a couple weeks ago and put it in the water on Thursday night with the help of my dad visiting from Cedarburg.

My three boys and I went out last evening and fished “The Lagoon” at the insistence of a man in a kayak who’d just come from there. There were certainly lots and lots of fish in the lagoon, and we all had some luck.

This morning we were at it again and I had the opportunity to row around the entire lake. I’m feeling it a bit now in the upper back. My oldest son, Bode, got several panfish on tube jigs, and we made our way around to the Vilas beach and the Zoo, where we spent  some time playing on the big zoo playset hoping for the rain to stay away.

Well, the rain came after a little while and I called up my wife and asked her to come pick up the boys to take them home, while I rowed the boat back to the boat house in the rain. On the way back I took the opportunity to use some panfish popper flies along the cattail reeds and got lucky about 10 times. I missed another 10 at least, either because the realized they were being duped or because I pulled the trigger a bit early.

I also saw what looked like some carp making big ripples in the water. It’s my goal to catch carp on a dry fly, so I cast the popper toward the ripples, but no dice.

Below is a shot of the prettiest fish in the lake, the Pumpkinseed. The cool factor of a fish rising to the surface to slurp a fly is definitely present with these panfish, and they put up a good fight on a 3-wt rod.

A Lake Wingra Pumpkinseed

A Lake Wingra Pumpkinseed - Copyright Tom Anderson-Brown, 2011

I arrived back home sated for the day, having got my fly fishing in, however brief. There was a noted change in my level of stress (or relaxation, for those of you who like the glass half full). Incredible how fooling some fish can alter your mood.

Tomorrow it’s back to the trout stream with Stephen. I hope to get the dry flies out tomorrow to see some beautiful trout rise to take them

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