Back in August of this year my son was offered his dream job of working as a senior programer for Microsoft out in Redmond, Washington. And while my son showed much more interest in computers than fishing and plus just having gotten married 4 weeks earlier he agreed to go on a brook trout fishing trip to a well known stream in north central Wisconsin with me. Some of the pictures may give the location away. This would be my son's first fly fishing trip for trout. He was always too busy with college and working on different computer projects to bother with fishing. Lately however, he decided that maybe fishing with dad wasn't a bad thing.
So I gave him a few lessons and after 30 minutes he was laying out 40' casts pretty consistently but, since this stream was fairly narrow it was more about pinpoint casting than distance. So I would have cast to different targets and he got the hang of that pretty quickly and after I told him he was ready to go. We decided the best way to catch trout on this creek was with swinging wet flies. I find this works the best for beginners because they can feel the strike and line control isn't as critical compared to nymphing or dry fly fishing .
Our trip was planned for late September and the morning we were to go fishing the temperature had dropped to below freezing. However by the time we arrived at our destination the frost was gone and it felt rather comfortable. The one thing I didn't realize was how many people would be out fishing that day. It seemed like at every crossing there was car parked there. Some may have been there the opening of grouse season but, I didn't want us to crowd any anglers in case they were fishing instead of hunting. Well finally we found a parking lot that was unoccupied. Before going out we both put our game faces on. First Scott;
and then me.
If you'll look at the back of the picture you'll see a trail of what I thought was leading to the stream. But, all it did was lead to a swampy area that bordered the stream. Rather than hack our way through the vegetation we decided to walk downstream and find an opening to enter the creek.Eventually we found a path leading to the creek and hiked on down. This was our first view of the creek
As I mentioned previously our plan was to fish wet flies down and across. I rigged Scott up with a local pattern called a Pass Lake wet size 12 and I tied on on a size 14 partridge and herl. I started taking the lead to show Scott how to fish the better holes. Fishing was slow and all we caught were shiners and a few chubs. Finally I broke the ice with this monster.
Meanwhile Scott on his first time out was learning about how to be careful with your backcast.
He was starting to get the hang of it but, he had to remember to watch his line.
By George I believe he's got it. Now I'll let him have first crack at the good spots.
For those who may be curious on this stretch of the creek the road runs right next to the creek and the house was on the other side of the road. Oddly enough this stretch of the creek was one of the more productive areas that we fished. It was here where I drifted my partridge and herl downstream not really paying attention when I heard splash and felt a tug. I thought at first it was decent size brookie but no, it was just this aggressive little guy.
Shortly after I caught this guy a white colored midge hatch started. The strange thing it was only the shiners and chubs coming up for them. However, the trout started really going after wet flies especially if we let them swing in the current. These a few of the trout that we caught.
Eventually the hatch died down and the temperature had warmed quite a bit so we decided to hike back to the car for some lunch.
It was about 3 pm and I was hoping maybe some other areas might have opened up. So we drove up and downstream looking for empty access finding points and still not finding area we decided to try one more place (my favorite) and to my surprise the parking lot was empty.
Here's a view of the stream from the bridge.
This picture gives you a better view of the swampy nature of the creek.
This is typical of north central wisconsin streams. As you can see stealth is of the utmost importance here.
As the sun began to set the trout came out to play. Not much size to them admittedly but, for a young man who had never caught a trout before this was paradise.
To be continued.