Monday, December 31, 2012

Hard Water continued....

The fishing trip was a success. It was a great way to kick off the season and get me excited for a lot more ice fishing to come. With 6-8" of ice and temperatures well below freezing, there was plenty of safe fishing.
The pan fish made us work for them, but through patience and persistence, drilling lots of holes and probing the entire water column with my jigs, I was able to find a depth and bait combination that worked. I don't fish with electronics yet. Every time I go out,  I convince myself I am going to buy a flasher. I still haven't pulled the trigger on that investment. If I can find vegetation, take the time to fish the entire water column, it usually produces. Along with starting small, and eventually working my way up to the biggest bait fish willingly take.

We put  nice Bluegills, Crappie and Perch on the ice. Enough for a solid meal or two with the family.

Some of the Crappie were pushing 14 inches. Unfortunately the largest caught was lost at the hole, but it didn't matter. We got what we came for, and had a great time.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Hard Water

Well, I can't think of any better way to end the year and cap the holiday season off than an ice fishing trip with my Dad.
Tomorrow we will be headed North to Vilas County to do some much needed relaxing. Recent reports have us excited for Pike and Walleye on a strong bite as well as gills and crappie still feeding strong.
I have the tip ups ready to go, fresh line on my jigging rods, and plenty of new colors sizes and styles of jigs to try out. 

 A soldiers row of Beaver Dam tip ups ready for action.

My little box of new stuff. I assembled this one tonight.

The weather is looking pretty good for a long weekend on the ice. Reports to follow, and maybe some recipes too....

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Things have been pretty dead here.  I've been working a lot and trying to get an m.Arch at the same time so needless to say fishing hasn't been possible.  I did get a new toy that finally arrived in late August after waiting for a few months (this was my pre-marriage final splurge).  Being limited on time and water availability due to this great drought, I hit up the Des Plaines to give it hell.  I quickly realized the Watermaster was the best fishing related purchase I've made next to a good jacket and pair of waders.  I did a solo float which meant I had to hike to get to the drop in so I would have my car where the pullout is.  Thankfully this boat fits in a large backpack and weights about 45lbs so I walked about 3 miles up river and put in.  The fishing sucked and the bass was all that I found but that has been par for the course this fall.

And I leave this post with some seagull dinner and a summation of the fall run.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Got 25 minutes?

Searching for West from Helio Collective on Vimeo.

With both the Steelheading and Bow Hunting season fast approaching, I too find my priorities shifting. This short film was not quite what I thought it would be, but a great clip none the less.
I think no matter whether your target is Steelhead, Whitetails, massive Elk or all of the above, Outdoorsman, Hunters and Fisherman alike can all relate.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

North of Milwaukee

These are some shots from this past weekend.  Karsten and I got out on some water north of Milwaukee looking for smallmouth.  The hot weather really seemed to really throw things off and had the water flowing VERY warm.  Karsten got into a small bass and we both missed quite a few working the far bank with poppers.  I tied up a crayfish pattern about 4" long and got hammered throwing to some downed branches.  I figured it was a pike but then the fight just kept on going and going and going.  When we finally got the fish to surface we saw a ok sized carp which was awesome because of how hard it hit.

Big fly little mouth.

Until next time...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Great read - "Thoughts about the rod"

I found this article on the Clan Rods website and really enjoyed the thoughts that it shared.  It gives a very traditional take on the incredibly popular use of "short" spey/switch rods as well as short lines that have taken over the 2-handed market.  It's interesting to read the perspective of a master rod builder who speaks only of rods above 15' all the way to 22' in length.

Being as that I'm really on a "traditional" trip and really enjoying casting longer rods (13-15') with lines of 55-100' in length, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this.

Follow the link for the reading:



Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

O Canada! Ontario Fly in

I returned last night from my 1 week stay in Ontario. I am excited to share some of the photos I took during my adventure. We flew in to Highrock lake with Gordy of Melaire Ltd. A well experience bush pilot with a 1960's Dehavilland Turbo Beaver. We promptly unpacked our cargo and he departed with a wave. 
So there we were, 4 men with a lake all to ourselves. One week deserted on an island in Ontario, no communication with the outside world and nothing to do except fish. 


Riding Shotgun in a Turbo Beaver

See you in a week!

Home sweet home

First Canadian Smallmouth... on a topwater. Bob Ross Approved, Happy Trees, Happy Fish

18+ inchers all day long\

 Different fish, seriously

 Toothy Critters


 The crowning glory of the trip. Closing day, I managed to boat this Walleye. Measuring in at nearly 30 inches this is by far a personal record for me. On a inland lake none the less. If it weren't for my good friend Eric who netted this beast for me, I never would have landed her. My 6lb test line popped just as the fish hit the net. 

 The Duke watched over us every night

Atop a "High Rock"

 Lady Slipper

This trip was one of a lifetime to say the least. Hopefully it is the start of a lifetime of trips just like it. My experiences in Ontario far surpassed my expectations. Ontario offered some of the best warm water fishing I have ever experienced to date, not to mention I was among great company as well.
A midst the double headers, bent hooks and broken lines,  I managed to pull off what I ended up calling "The Ultimate Ontario Grand Slam". One fly rod, one fly, one day, 3 species: Walleye, Smallmouth and of course our toothy friend the Northern Pike.
I never anticipated catching so many Walleye on the fly rod. What a feeling that is. 
I hope you  enjoyed the photos so far. I will get some photos up of the most successful flies during my stay.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Hoh River Steelhead

My cousin Adam, who lives out in Washington was fortunate enough to get out for a late birthday camping/fishing reatreat. He swung  these beauties up fishing the Hoh. I have taken the liberty of sharing these great photos. 
(I think I smell a small family reunion in the works)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Slammin' Fatties

Some recent pics of some fish I landed the other day.  With the hot weather the carp are getting into the shallows and starting to do their thing, however, they do feed while they breed.

A tip for anyone out there who cares...make sure your line is CLEAR of any hazards prior to hooking into a freight train.  I did not follow this advice and had stepped over mine line and upon hooking the fish in the second pic and watching the line burn out through my hand and hearing my drag start screaming only to suddenly have my fly line slam up into my boys.  (This was NOT a pleasurable experience and fish apparently can't hear you say "timeout") Anyhow, after some pretty sweet gymnastic moves on my end I was able to get the line untangled without taking a swim.

Way cooler than the carp was catching  a freshwater drum.  It was a nice surprise and was the first one of that kind I had caught.

Til next time....

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Some recent fish and randomness

I was able to get up to the Northwoods last weekend and fished the Cisco Chain for Walleye but didn't come up with any.   We then switched over to smallmouth and started crushing it but have no pics of course.  The lake our house is on produced some fantastic popper fishing with good size gills and crappie and even a nice largemouth which was a good time.

Also had the chance to capture some loons and almost got them in the boat thanks to the "Loon call app" my brother installed on his droid phone.  We literally had them 5' from the boat and watched them diving and saw one come up with a crayfish.  It was way cool. 

I also managed to grab a long exposure of the northern lights which was cool considering it was my first real attempt at night photography.

More recently,  I headed out to a small creek near my place here on the north shore and was able to grab this little carp.  It was without question one of the lamest carp I've hooked and only took a couple  5' runs.  Still fun none the less.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Filmmaker Mark Titus asks the question “Have we learned enough from our past mistakes to save the last, great wild salmon runs on the planet?”

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Fishing for me has been non-existent lately which has been a bummer but it's insane how much other stuff I have gotten done!

Anyways,  I've been out once for some largemouth and did pretty well for how early it is for them in the season and yesterday I blew 2 chances and some actively feeding carp.  Things should get better as I'm heading up north this coming weekend to fish walleye and pike on the Cisco Chain.

A buddy of mine informed me that he blasted a turkey about a week ago and I quickly jumped on the opportunity for a hoard of free feathers.  I grabbed the entire tail spread and all of the wings as well as a good amount of breast feathers that I plan on burning into spey hackles.  

We may be gone as of late but we will hopefully not be forgotten.  Things should start heating up here for us in the coming months.

Dee flies anyone?????

More spey wings!

Here are a few photos that pretty much wrap up our spring steel heading....

Anthony giving the local tress the business

And last, but certainly not least....

Milwaukee River Still life.