Monday, March 28, 2011


39 degrees--carp begin active feeding. 41 degrees--carp begin pre-spawn move to the shallows. I'm patiently waiting for the local waters to recede and warm up a bit.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

9' 3wt build

I finished my first build a couple weeks ago. It's a 9' 3wt shown here with my 18month son doing some field tests. I had a blast building this rod. Learned a few things that will help the next build. Like make sure the tip top gets enough cement. I fished this new rod last week in WI and the tip top started to loosen. I kept fishing it and ended up breaking the tip top off. So I lost about a half inch of rod tip. Conveniently I had a larger tip top at home that I was able to remedy. I made the right choice to build my first rod as economically as possible. I found the best deal on a 4pc 3wt blank and the cork real seat is much less than the alternative. Tossing a dry fly with this new 3wt is pretty nice. I doubt the half inch I lost between the first and second guide make a difference. If you think it does, don't tell me.
Shown with new tip top

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Driftless in March

A few fishermen met this past weekend for celebration and fishing. A great time was had by all. Needless to say the catching was good. See Nate's post for more pics. I'm already Jonesing to get back to WI for more.

19" bow on brown samuri

13" Brookie

this brown was a snake, long and skinny

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A year older and not much wiser

A couple friends and I hit the road for a three day fishing tour of the Wisconsin Driftless area. The more I fish, the more I consider it like a bag of skittles. I love all the colors. Red is like swinging a streamer for a big brown, orange is casting little BWO’s to small trout, and yellow is dragging the bottom for something nasty. I love it all, even the yellows. This trip had all of that and a ton of fish.

Below are a few highlights. Johnny will post better photos that he took. Thanks to Dan H and Tim from Riverblends for helping me forget about getting older.

-John, match this up with your photo and see if it was the same fish you caught.
Mouse fishing at night. -Kidding...

Not my photography here, this is all John.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Season Opener (of sorts)

Today is the opening day of the Wisconsin trout season. I am at home with the kids today and tomorrow. But yesterday, I fished in Minnesota. I treated it like it was the opener. Fish were really active, chasing midges on the surface and streamers below the surface. I fished a little creek that has two really deep holes and a bunch of pockets that hold big fish. The stream also has a ton of nice runs, but they all seem to be loaded with small fish. I caught a bunch of fish, but two stand out above the rest.

Frist, I landed a 20”, football of a brown trout (see photo). This was an absolute pig of a fish. I took it from the bottom of a deep and dark pool. I caught it on a burnt orange and brown samurai that Johnny Rotten tied me for Christmas. Merry Christmas eh John. The smuggler performed well on the big fish, flexing completely into the handle, yet maintaining a decent backbone to move the fish around.

The second fish gets overshadowed by the pig brown, but is more meaningful to me. The other fish pictured below came from a corner pocket, about 2 feet deep and with overhanging branches. To get a fly into that pocket, you of have to hit about a 6 inch spot and get your fly under the branches. Typically, I botch the first cast in this spot and watch fish spook downriver. Yesterday, I hit it on the first cast and nailed a nice 14 inch brown.

The trout season is officially open!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Photo Journal

 I use photos to help me time my Iowa fishing seasons. Browns in March. Carp on the small tributaries of the Cedar in April.  Big cats in June. Smallies May-Aug. Here's my calendar for the next 5 months.

I can't say I have a favorite species--I have favorite places. I like a wadable stream without a crowd. On my local warm water streams I rarely see another fisherman. 

I don't catch these brutes on the fly. The trick is 5"-7" live bullheads.