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5-8-04 - I fished this lower-mid section for a bit while waiting for CS to come out of the woodwork...

What is it with me and reptiles lately....looks like a young watersnake but honestly, I don't have a clue.

Ash Creek = TINY!

Deep holes were the obvious first spots to look for...

Nailed 5 more little brookies like this one...

Even this early in the season, last year's brush gets in the way.

Bart made maybe 5 casts in the rain and got two hits at our last-minute stop at Willow Creek.

5-08-04 - Can the Southwest Wisconsin Streams show me something better than Iowa has?

Waters Fished: Black Earth Creek, Ash Creek, Willow Creek
Fish Caught: 6/13
Outing Date: 5-09-04
Weather: Hazy most of the day, rain in the evening
Air Temp: 70's
Water Temp: didn't bother
Water Level: both Black Earth & Ash were a bit low
Water Color: Black Earth was stained, Ash was pretty clear, Willow was murky
Fish Species: Brook Trout, Brown Trout
Pattern Fished: Tucker Nymph
Pattern Color: as per the pattern
Fishing Quality: all right

Things were up in the air...more house cleaning and rod building...Chromeseeker was gonna commit suicide if he didn't fish this Saturday...weather was really a gamble. And yet once again we end up with a subtle breeze and sun for most of the afternoon...why am I sitting at home?!

Bart and I talked much of the morning about our options...he ended up deciding he wanted to chase inland trout so I should meet him at Black Earth Creek. Many cell calls later I'm there, kinda wondering where he is (even though I've now found his truck and he knows I'm here) so I start fishing.

Now, to be fair this isn't exactly a stretch of productive water, but you never know...that 7pc 4/5wt. can really put the fly onto the other shore no problem, so I work the far bank while waiting for CS to show up.

Along my short time there I step over a puddle and notice something that looks rather like an elongated pinecone in the water...after a second I realize it's no funky pinecone..it's a half-burried snake and I'm looking at it's tail. I don't recall water moccasins being present in this area, and there are no rattles on the tail, so I go for it. Cute little thing really, and Bart has just shown up to watch this Jeff Corwin (yes, again, MP and snakes..I used to raise them as well as the whole fish hatchery thing).

Oh, Bart when 0/1 at BEC, so we both headed to Ash Creek...what was potentially going to be a productive spot.

UM, can you say TINY?! Yes, there were fair amounts of fish in the fly only section, but not only was the stream tiny but most of the brookies were too...averaging maybe 7".

I landed several as Bart put me on pools and then would fish the next one up. Kinda getting frustrated with the slow action, I stopped looking at the pools...these are afterall brook trout..they like COLD, well oxygenated water.

Turns out that skating my now shaggy Tucker Nymph in the riffles on the surface was simply irresistible to a few brookies...and one MONSTER brown trout. It went down like this; there are several easily visible bank hides along this stretch of river...one that held a smallish brookie (about 6") had fast current in front of it...I figured there might be more than one fish here and boy was I right.

I got to see the WHOLE thing...as I'm skating a good sized inland brown came out from under the bank hide and without hesitation NAILED the nymph on the surface. I'm fishin' 4lb right now so I can afford to play him good. He does get a bit of a run and takes some drag...saaawweeeeet..can't say too many inland trout will get on your drag!

The fight ends with two rolling thrashes about 10 feet away from me in a muddy bank....the water turns to chocolate milk and my fly simply shoots out of the water. If I had just been able to get to the fish in time there'd be a picture of a 14-15" brown right here!

I must admit that after I hooked into this guy I wasn't really interested in bothering with the dinker brookies...I fished all the undercuts until the lightning started...time to go!

Somehow Bart and I decided we'd take a quick look at one other stream, just to see....so we stopped at Willow after having first read Motovilof's description of it. I shot pictures in the low light & rain while Bart got out the spinners...produced something like 2 hits (no landed) in 5 casts...not bad! The water was indeed murky...this is good spinner water. Maybe I'll head back with some big black wolley buggers sometime down the line.

Overall though, my third trip to BEC and 2 new SW WI streams, one that Bart totally RAVED about, and I'm still not convinced that SW WI is better than NE IA. Afterall, I can go to Spring Branch and pull the same numbers as today, but the brookies will be 10-11", not 6-7"!

  MP 

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