5-08-04 - Can the Southwest Wisconsin Streams show
me something better than Iowa has?
Waters Fished: Black Earth Creek, Ash Creek, Willow
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
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
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"!