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Wendy Berrell has managed to describe perfectly the situation I found myself in yesterday, the doldrums of summer. Hot and humid, taking perhaps fewer fish due to a handful of botched casts and hooksets. I’ll blame the casts on the weeds, the hooksets are all my problem. I managed roughly a dozen on Bitch Creek, a favorite spot of mine that I’m giving this name because it has truly gone downhill in the last two years and it’s dis-heartening bordering on disgusting. Holes that once contained large 16-18inch Browns have been silted in, I walked over one with less than a foot of water covering what was once five feet deep easy. Instream vegetation slows the water down allowing it to warm and put the trout in a state of lethargy. Not good, for me or them. Everything in moderation, lots of good comes from the instream veg. but when it gets to the point of backing things up and nary a seam to drift a fly can be found it has become an issue. Weeds crowding the handful of approachable lies complicated the matter of hooking a trout during the lull of the summer months. Flies that worked: #8 Hairball, #10 Tan/Brown Hopper and the #16 Free Range S.H. The best moment of the [singlepic id=2773 w=320 h=240 float=left]day came on a hopper rise. I love landing a long cast to be rewarded with a shadow charging from the depths.

Wendy has it right, January is much more productive and frankly enjoyable than July or August. I’m not at the point where I’m praying for snow or anything but I do love the winter season. AM Tricos should be on your list, they are at the top of mine. Water conditions around here are decent, water levels are about par with this time of the year if not a bit higher than normal due to frequent rain. I fished in gin clear water but drove past some that was chocolate. With the rain being semi-constant and random you may have to drive a bit to find what your looking for but be assured… it is out there. Fall is fast approaching, just two more months then I’ll be making the trip to Iowa. Looking forward to Iowa. Thinking a camping trip is in order.

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Also, two relatively lame videos for you to enjoy. 1st: Trying to get close to a pod of Brown’s. Not gonna happen man. 2nd, chasing a swarm of grasshoppers after they scared the crap out of me when the weeds behind me kept moving for no apparent reason.


  1. Sorry Bitch Creek has gone to hell on you. My fave little western WI creek is currently doing that to me and I don’t think I will be paying it a visit until next spring’s higher waters.
    Your hopper video gets my blood pumping. I am planning to spend some quality time plopping hoppers on my favorite pasture creek this weekend. Plop! Strike! Yes….love the sound of them hitting water…

    be well,


    1. Right on Paul, digging the blog. Keep at it. I’ve been meaning to get back to you regarding Tricos. I’ll try to do that tomorrow. I’ve never seen so many hoppers, man were they thick. Pastures are awesome hopper hot spots. Especially pastures that contain large numbers of brook trout. The beautiful but perhaps a bit eager brookie should readily crush hopper after hopper. If you can find rainbows they are even more gullable. I sat on a stack of 30 stocked rainbows my first summer fly fishing and took over a dozen without moving a foot, what an awesome time. I’ll never forget it.

  2. Keep bloggin, Love it
    Its weird I would take July/August over january. Terrestrials(Hoppers particulary they’ve been hammering them lately), dry and dropper, night fishing, Tricos versus dredging the depths slogging through waist deep snow.

    And I love weeds they offer fish cover and bug habitat they can be a pain to fish around but I know of at least one spot where the channels between the weeds are thick with fish. Cattle or poor farming practices are more detrimental to a stream than weeds.

    avatar Shane
    1. I’d agree with you on 90+ percent of our creeks Shane but here on this particular creek there are sections a hundred yards long that are so thick with vegetation that there is no channel to speak of. I worry a bit about the lack of oxygen when the plants begin to die off but I haven’t noticed any fish kills in the past.

      As for January, I gotta say I’m in disagreement here. Personal preference I guess. I love snowshoeing, the lack of weeds, the midges, the winter season is just so cool down here. That’s me anyways, I do like fishing hoppers and tricos. I should work on some later evening fishing as well. Thanks Shane.

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