5-29-04 - MP gives SW WI another shot.
Waters Fished: Black Earth Creek, Bohemian Valley
Creek, Timber Coulee Creek, Rulland's Coulee Creek, B&T's Secret
Fish Caught: 12/20 personally
Outing Date: 5-29-04
Weather: Rain all morning, nice during the afternoon & evening.
Air Temp: up to the 70's
Water Temp: didn't bother to take them
Water Level: All streams were high
Water Color: All except for Rulland's were muddy; Timber was the
Fish Species: Brown Trout & Brook Trout
Pattern Fished: Chicago Leech and Tucker Nymph
Pattern Color: per the patterns
Fishing Quality: as the day wore on it got better.
Saturday morning found me driving west...mostly
IN THE RAIN, but I new the rain was COMING from the west. If I was
lucky, I'd punch straight through it and come out on the other end.
While enjoying the rain, I stopped at Black Earth
Creek. Thought I might even give it a few tosses, but it's high,
stained, and my real distination was at least an hour and a half
further. I was due to meet Tim & Brennon; this is Tim's last
trip to SW WI before he moves to OHIO (and becomes one of ASM's
posse). There was also talk that I'd meet up with Frank,
but conditions suggested that he probably wasn't where he thought
Well I couldn't get anyone on the cell phones....as
I drove down out of the hills by Westby I found myself back at Timber
Coulee Creek. My first glance did suggest it was muddy; Tim had
told me that wind or muddy waters would put them into the feeder
coulees, either Rullands or Bohemianum Valley.
I continued to drive along Timber Coulee; man I
didn't remember it going on for that long. Certain stretches had
TONS of people out in them...I mean there were groups of 4-6 people
all standing in a clump....yeah, I guess it was Memorial Day.
Eventually found my turn off for Bohemian Valley
Creek....I was pretty much ready to fish. While I was getting ready,
John Kruguer returned my call
(afterall, I almost forgot to let him know I was in his neck of
the woods). If I was unable to find B & T I knew where he'd
be fishin, just up the road a bit.
Time to put another stream on my "been-there
done-that" list....spent about 45 minutes working a Chicago
Leech and Tucker Nymph in Bohemian. Well, found a deep shady spot
and had a nice hookup...almost had the brown in but again, fish
off. I REALLY hate the barbless hooks....so many fish get off so
close to landing them when they're already in that first "take
a breath phase". Yeah, you know those propontents of barbless
hooks who say they work every bit as well as a barbed hook, well
they also happen to be the same folks who say you can release a
fish just by putting your line slack LOL....sounds like a whole
lotta spin to me. Yes, barbless is easier to unhook, yes it's better
for C&R, and yes, sometimes it IS the law.
NO, it does not keep as many fish ON the hook.
I continued to work Bohemian until I had lost all
3 of my Chicago Leeches on branches and underwater debris. Back
to the car, 0/1 on Bohemian. I ended up tying in the car so I had
a few more leeches to work with.
On to Timber Coulee, muddy as heck, found a quiet
public access pasture section and worked my way upstream. Undercuts,
pools, you name it, I hit them. Never say squat of a trout until
I turned around and simply drifted my line in the water as I walked
along side it...was rewarded for my efforts with a fair Timber Coulee
Brown that smacked the Chicago Leech in the FAST water.
Admittedly a short time spent on Timber, I was
really looking for B 'n T. Well I had basically been up and down
the Timber Coulee and didn't think they were very far up on Bohemian....Rullands
Coulee was my next guess before I had to start thinking they were
not in this area.
Well, 2nd spot on Rullands I found Tim's minivan
so I parked and started fishing. It was now only a matter of time
before we'd find each other. I went down as far as I could on Rullands..man
it's structured like Spring Branch (IA) around the Hatchery; Deep,
Rocky, Clear! However, not a single fish was to be seen!!!
I worked up and still, not a single fish seen.
But apparently I had been seen, as B & T came down from upstream
just to say high. This was great, I'd get to fish with Tim at least
one more time before he's off to OH...doesn't mean I won't fish
with him AGAIN, but it does mean that it probably won't be in WI.
After snacks, and some other general BS that guys
so often do, Tim suggested going down to the confluence of Timber
and Rullands. We started just upstream of Timber on Rullands and
worked the holes but I'm telling you, I never saw a SINGLE FISH
in this stream. Brennon said he thought he saw a couple in one hole.
Many other folks have told me it's quite a good stream. HOWEVER,
I think the fish must all just tuck away on a weekend or something.
Well Tim had some spots upstream on Timber he wanted to check out,
B and T totally disappeared into the forest leaving me going...um...OK
guys...I'll see you later...So I took a lot of pictures 'cause the
area was really pretty but then turned my thoughts to downstream.
Now this is the point in the report where the text can't possibly
keep up with the pictures...the day just started looking better
for all of us. First, I went down to the actual confluence of Timber
Coulee and Rullands Coulee. As mentioned prior, Timber was flowing
like chocolate whereas Rullands was CLEAR.
Just below the confluence I got 2 hits on the Tucker, both off
(barbless sucks). I continued to plunk pools and runs until I made
it back to the limestone wall...slow water with lots of overhanging
trees meant more challenging casting. A RISE was all it took for
me to que in on where to put my fly....nailed that fish with the
Tucker. It was of course one of the many dinks that run around Timber
Coulee. So I'm up to 2/5 on Timber Coulee...better than the skunk
my first time but definitely NOT sold on this being better than
IOWA. 2/5 in Iowa they'd both likely be 12" stockers I could
creel ;) I moved back up to find T & B coming down from the
woods...Tim's secret honey hole had given up a 13" and 14"
We all decided we should hit some new water; B & T had picked
this one out and man, I don't know if they had read something somewhere
or what, but they were DEAD ON. Enter B & T's Secret Brook.
Not sure what to say 'cause all the fishing was done within one
little pool riffle pool riffle stretch of the stream, right downstream
of our access point. B was the first to hook up and land a nice
brookie. Before we knew it, he did it again. I was bouncing around
and ended up nailing my first brookie at the tail of a large pool;
it hammered the leech. A few casts later, I'm snagged on a log and
out of leeches...back up to the car to tie sans vice again.
So I'm sitting in the car TYING when B starts shouting like I've
never heard him shout before. I come running down and it turns out
he has this nice Brown somewhere between 12-14"..it jumped
twice in water the size of a bathtub and well, B couldn't be more
thrilled, and I couldn't be happier to capture it on fill before
he released it.
Tim is downstream just a bit, and he's shouting
up "Get down here, my first 3 casts I got 3 brookies!".
Well I had a bit more tying to do, but eventually made it down there
to bat cleanup for the B 'n T team.
Cleanup I did...first with the most outrageous
CHUB I've ever landed. I had cast upstream, the leech hit the water,
there was a hard hit and I totally thought I had another trout until
I got the fish within visual range. Gorgeous little fish all flushed
with red spawning coloration...man let me tell you that fish TOTALLY
INHALED a #6 leech. What's the state record on Creek Chub anyway????
Oh what I didn't mention is that periodically throughout
the evening the Tucker would work too...4 dink browns came to hand,
ALL having nailed the Tucker. Meanwhile, with the water clarity
being less than ideal, the leech was more productive for larger
So I ended my day like this...5 more brookies (6
total) and 4 browns to go 10/15 on this new stream. I brookie took
the Tucker but the other 5 hit the leach.
I remember towards dusk, sitting on the pool where
I caught my first brookie, and with the same twitch retreive I hammered
another one, probably the biggest brookie of my life. It was dark,
Brennon TAPED it at 13" but now HE is saying 14"? Whatever,
it was a big female brookie and there are likely more.
Everyone got fish here, no one got the skunk, and
the water clarity was poor. Tim and B had two more days of fishin'
ahead of them...I gotta say I think their first turned out quite
alright! Will be missin' ya Tim, but I'll be out to PA in Nov...TWICE
;) Won't be long.