Polar Vortex, Shmolar Shmortex

Well, as I sit at my computer writing this at 1:00 PM on a Thursday, it is 0 degrees with a wind chill of -19 outside.  I have given up on my goal of catching a steelhead on the swing this year and have been forced to remain indoors.  This is not a complete loss though.  I have used this time of sequestration sharpening and broadening my fly tying skills.    I have watched tutorials.  I have read step by step instructions.  I have learned that no matter how hard you try or how much care you take, no fly is the same.  So, use your imagination.  Use established patterns as a reference but don’t be afraid to put a little bit of yourself in the creation process.

Now onto bigger and better things.  The Wisconsin early season trout opener is just around the corner.  The ever reliable extended forecast is calling for temperatures in the 40s and sunny.  This would be a giant removal from the past several opening weekends.  So, fill those boxes, dig out the sunscreen and keep your fingers crossed.


I have lost track of how many years it has been since I brought a stealhead to hand.  I have caught my share of brown trout in the Lake Michigan tributaries but just one stealhead.  I received my first two-handed rod for Christmas last year, but, with the polar vortex and all, I did not get to use it once.  I have made it my mission to not only use it but to catch a stealhead on the swing if it kills me.  That being said, I have already fished more this winter/fall than in years passed to no avail.  So, here’s to warmer weather, tight lines and hot fish.




Learning To Tie

First of all, please excuse the lame Tom Petty song title reference in the title of this post.  Second of all, It has been a while since this blog has been active.  I hope to remedy that over the next few weeks; but that is not why I decided to resurrect my (virtually non-existent) blogging career.
Now that winter is upon us and there is nothing but arctic temperatures in our future, it
is time for me to hit the vise to feed my desire for fly fishing related activity.  While
perusing the internet searching for new and interesting patterns and materials, I came across www.flyfishfood.com.  I’m sure that some of you have seen some of what they do,  they are not exactly a secret.  Fly tyers of all skill levels will benefit from watching the tutorials on their YouTube channel.  Here are a few of the flies that I have tied recently using some of the techniques and patterns from flyfishfood.  Enjoy.


Big Water Bassin

Big water is a whole different ball game.  This was the fourth time that I have floated and fished the Wisconsin river, and I can say without a doubt that each time I have floated it I have learned something new.  Last weekend there was a shortage of sand bars to camp on as the water level on the river was higher from all the rain storms that have hit the Midwest recently.   Our “normal” campsite was completely under water and that left us scrambling as the sun was rapidly setting while we searched for a piece of dry land to call home for the night.  We were informed that they would be releasing water from the upstream dam and that we should expect the water to come up a bit over night.  It did, and the mix of all the warm water and the cold air overnight had us fishing in a thick fog the next morning.  The fishing was slow and the river was fast, the fog was unforgettable, and truly a once in a lifetime experience. I love this trip.


Proposed changes to inland trout regulations in Wisconsin

I saw this article flash on my Facebook feed the other day and I thought it was worth sharing.  There is a proposal to make some pretty dramatic changes to the inland trout regulations in Wisconsin.  WDNR is currently holding public meetings all across the state to get angler and citizen input. There have been three meeting already but there are still quite a few still to come.  Check out the article and let us know what you think of the proposed changes.  Maybe even attend a meeting and let the WDNR know what you think.

Proposed inland trout regulations





Colorado Family Vacation

Aaron and I are out in Colorado right now enjoying the last few day of a family vacation to Rocky Mountain National Park. We have both had the privilege of visiting this beautiful park multiple times throughout our childhood and were both taught how to fly fish here by our Dad.  We have fished everything from meandering meadow streams to high mountain lakes to highly pressured tail waters in a tourist town.  Even though this is technically a family vacation, Aaron and I have found plenty of time to wet a line, and the fishing has been phenomenal. 


Wisconsin Hex Hatch, Blanket

This year’s Hex hatch on the Mississippi River formed a bow echo on the radar and caused a car accident. I wonder how the fishing was…


More Boundary Waters Fish

As always, the fish were big. This was trip number thirteen for me, I was waiting for bad things to happen. They never did and I can’t wait to go again.

Boundary Waters, Fish

It had been five years since I was last in the Boundary Waters, but the fishing was just as good, if not better, than I remember. The smallmouth were post spawn, and fish were shallow, chasing and rolling on bait balls all over the bays and flats of the lakes. It was incredible to watch, and fun to chase. It was good to be back up there, and it certainly won’t be another five years before I go again.

Driftless Dry Flies (Mostly)

It has been almost two months since Matt and I made the trip to the driftless for some dry fly fishing and I have finally finished the edit.  Please enjoy.