As the trout season limps to a conclusion, I’ve come to the realization that there’s only a small Band of Brothers committed to see it to the grand finale. Traffic on internet forums have slowed to a trickle, and my lackluster Google Analytics only serve to support this theory. I’d imagine many have changed gears to other pursuits. A large portion of the populace has shifted towards the upcoming hunting season I suppose. If I had a dime for every time someone mistakenly assumed that I hunt, in addition to fish, I’d be a rich man. But sadly I’m one of those monolithic outdoorsman with a singular obsession, and for better or worse it only includes a rod. I hunted and shot guns a fair amount in my youth, but it never stuck with me the way that fishing has. My Fall usually encompasses football, fishing and finding ways to rationalize my Minnesotan existence as the cold rolls in. There’s really no room left in my pea-sized brain for the pursuit of other quarry. I’m slightly bummed that there are currently no plans to take a shot at some Fall lake-run action, but who knows maybe an opportunity will present itself.
For the three of us still reading trout blogs let’s get on with the show, shall we? I’ve maintained my early morning ritual over the last few weeks without much to show for it. In my last post I used the term “the end of an era” in regards to throwing topwater Duane Arnolds. Quite frankly, I was mistaken in my assessment. The bite has been pretty good on the two creeks I’ve tried. A few good fish, though no true giants have come to hand. I threw streamers a few times only to conclude the the topwater bite was actually better. Just when you think you have something dialed in, the fish throw you a curveball. God I love this sport.
New water is like a first date. It’s a little awkward, a little uncomfortable, but is loaded with big expectations and it’s all new. I’ve paid my dues scouting new locations lately. I can’t say that I’ve been setting the world on fire, but I’ve managed a few fish and I did have a close encounter with an absolute giant. I practically stepped on the beast as it darted out from the logjam I was climbing over. And no it’s not the spot above, I just liked the look of the fishless bend in that pic. It was one of the largest stream trout I’ve ever seen, and it was within spitting distance. That spot has been added to the database for future review. You can bet your ass I’ll be paying that stream a visit early next season, who knows maybe I’ll make the haul back to the spot yet this month.
Who doesn’t like a King’s Creek quickie? I popped in quickly and managed a few beauties “naked nymphing” a large attractor pattern. I was struck with how different this little creek was from last year at this time. Plenty of deep, clear water and a few eager participants.You’ll get no complaints from me. WTF is the deal with the big water drop on the lens anyway? I’ve had a bad habit of not checking my lens while shooting fish pics this summer. The vast majority of the photos I took of the largest fish of the season are garbage due to a wet lens. What did we do before waterproof cameras anyway? Remember the days of toting those shitty disposable cameras around? Those bad boys can’t even be PC anymore, somehow they must be enlarging your carbon footprint.
Speaking of carbon footprint. Sometimes I’m just in awe of the crap that people dump in the woods. Sure this was just a chair, but there was no shortage of other worthless junk on this private stretch of water. The landowner is a super nice lady so I’m just happy she lets me fish, but what good is a chair in the middle of super dense forest anyway? Mr. Farmer must have had grandiose plans of opening a satellite office “down by the river” then stopped short just like the rest of us. The best laid plans, I suppose.
I’ve been light in MPLS city lakes reporting lately so I thought I’d spin this Labor Day yarn. When I first moved to Minneapolis I wise man told me that the key to catching city lakes Muskies was to “fish the beaches.” If you pretty much follow that rule exclusively you will catch fish. Cast your offering anywhere near a beach and you are putting it in harms way. Lifeguards and angry swimmers will tell you to leave, so you have to be resourceful when abiding this rule. As a matter, of fact right after I caught this little guy a swimmer told me to “get the fuck out of here.” Fortunately for me, I didn’t listen to the jackass as he was doing laps outside the ropes, and I was legally floating in “no man’s land.” This first fish was nothing to get too excited about, and I wasn’t even carrying my camera. A few quick iphone pics and I sent it on it’s way. Won’t somebody please think of the children? For the most part I just enjoy the little girl who appears to be perilously close to the toothy grin. This is as close as we get to Jaws in Minnesota folks! No less than an hour later I chatted with a young fella floating is his kayak who proclaimed that the walleye bite was pretty good in the shallow sand. I proceeded to take another float over the area and was greeted with a second and more substantial Muskie hovering around the respectable, but not giant 40″ threshold. My pulse typically only rises for fish eclipsing the mid-forties neighborhood, but my basic rule of Muskie fishing is that any fish is a good fish. As challenging as Muskellunge can be at times, a two-fish in an hour afternoon is worthy of high fives all the way around. The bigger of the two thrashed around on the surface and came unbuttoned before pics could be taken, since I wasn’t carrying a cradle or large net. While a good pic makes for good blogging, it’s the memories that count. As I move into Muskie fishing in earnest this Fall, that day will be stuck in my mind.
The people on the beaches, like those wading trout streams are evaporating like sands through the hourglass. The beach fishing will soon heat up as I put another trout season in the books. But it ain’t over yet. Hello. Is there anybody out there?