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6-15-03 - Ha! A nice little turtle was swimming around in front of me; he kept getting tangled in my line! Last thing I wanted to do was try to land a turtle on 7X!
A typical small brown; these strike more aggressively than the larger fish.
My FIRST Paradise Springs Brook Trout. Look at the STUNNING color. Better than most fish on a coral reef!
Another shot of this STUNNINGLY colored brookie!
Another shot of Paradise Springs from just above the falls.
A shot of Bluff Creek looking upstream from County P. Downstream the pool was totally overgrown both above and below. Upstream was choked with algae. If there are any other good holes I don't know about them (yet).

6-15-03 - Gotta love those smart trout!

Waters Fished: Paradise Springs, Bluff Creek
Fish Caught: 2
Outing Date: 6-15-03
Weather: Sunny
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: Forgot to take it, probably 60F
Water Level: Normal
Water Color: Crystal Clear as always
Fish Species: Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: Griffith's Gnat, FlashBack Midge Emerger, Soft-Hackle and several others. Towards evening tried Whitlock's Hare Sculpin and a Deer-Hair Mouse as well.
Pattern Color: as per the respective patterns
Fishing Quality: Tough as always

After one hour of fishing on Saturday I was ready to dig in hard-core on Sunday. My father was in Indy so I thought I was "off the hook" for Father's Day, but it turned out he was coming home in the early afternoon! I love my Dad, so we were going to have a family dinner (Beer Can Chicken...I'll explain more later).

Of course, I was totally exhausted from the night prior, so I slacked and slept in...probably didn't even get up before noon. Didn't really eat, I was late for FISHING so I did what I needed to and hit the road. There wasn't going to be time to travel far (as I had planned) so Paradise Springs popped into my head. Considering I paid the $30 fee for an annual nonresident Wisconsin State Parks Parking Permit, I better use it, no?

I got onto the springs at about 1:45, and as usual there were plenty of fish milling around. Most were not actively feeding at this time, although a couple of brookies and browns were hovering below the surface, casually sipping something, probably little tiny insects that were blowing out of the trees. Most of the fish were concentrated in the shade on this sunny day.

To make a long story short, I tried a LOT of offerings and what worked the best was a flashback black midge nymph, probably size 20. I went 2/4 on this, first landing a small brown and shortly thereafter followed up by my first Paradise Springs Brook Trout. Absolutely gorgeous.

Towards 4:00 another angler showed up and we chatted briefly; he apparently fished SW WI and I was trying to explain to him what Iowa was like. I kinda laughed when I showed him the picture of the brookie and he commented, "That's a good-sized brookie!". Then I motioned out the rough length of the IOWA brookies and I think he got the point ;)

At about 4:15 I decided to head out and maybe get in a quick run at Bluff Creek. No such luck. I probably made all of 6 casts and within those 6 casts I lost 4 flies (do the math). Everything was so overgrown that the good hole was basically off limits. I figure I'll give Bluff Creek one more shot when I have the time and patience to really scope it out, but then again why bother when Paradise Springs is right down the road. Still, Bluff does deserve another look (if you have any experience you're willing to share drop me a line at matt@cichlidrecipe.com)

Got back home around 5:30, just in time for Beer Can Chicken. Funny thing though, my Dad's grill has a warming rack that comes down, so you can't stand the chicken up! So we basically ended up with Cherry & Beer Smoked Chicken, which was totally juicy and delicious, nice crispy flavorful skin, a lot of the fat cooked away, just perfect.

After dinner things were going to be quiet around the house, so I made another run back up to Paradise (aka. Trout Hell). 0/2, this time one fish took a Griffith's Gnat on the surface. This brookie (or brown) was cruising the surface, sip, swim, sip, swim. When he got to my fly he looked, turned away, swam down, came back up FAST towards the surface to strike, then stopped about 2" underneath, and then FINALLY took the fly. For whatever reason the hook didn't stay in past that first couple seconds of initial thrashing. Darn!

As evening became dusk, I tried out a size 2 Whitlock's Hare Scuplin. As usual, it got a lot of looks, even from the HUGE browns that are down there, but NO STRIKES. Just a lot of follows. By the time it got dark, I tried tossing a Deer Hair mouse just to see what would happen. And what do you think happened? Let's just say if you find a deer hair mouse enjoy it 'cause I don't have it anymore. And one word to the wise, at night the skeeters start biting fiercely (and they normally don't even like me). 2 days later and I'm still itching, but at least 1/2 of that is from what happened on MONDAY ;)

  MP 

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