4-17-05 - Looperpalooza - Day 3
Waters Fished: Sucker Creek, Bois Brule River
Fish Caught: 0/1 personally
Outing Date: 4-17-05
Weather: Foggy, burning off around noon.
Air Temp: 60's
Water Temp: Brule - 50F
Water Level: Brule- 180 CFS
Water Color: Dirty Brown
Fish Species: Steelhead
Pattern Fished: Egg Patterns
Pattern Color: Orange, Chartreuse, Black
Fishing Quality: Above expectations
After you read my account of the day, I highly
suggest checking out Red
Hat's report on the WWPD
Online! As promised to those on the e-mail list, I was going
to wait until Red Hat posted his report as he had more of the "details"
regarding conditions and the early morning bite on the Sucker.
Which brings me to the fact that Renee and I SLEPT
IN. Yup...it's a vacation, I had my fish, Renee had gotten up at
like 4:00 AM yesterday...what the heck...sleep was GOOD. Meanwhile
it turns out that we missed arguably the best fishing of the weekend.
The crew had returned to Sucker Creek yet again.
FAT landed 5, everyone was hooking up and the pressure
was a bit less than on the past 2 mornings. Of course, as you'll
read in Red Hat's report, they had NO LUCK on the "secret fly"...go
figure. I guess it just goes to show ya that things DO change. Everyone
had a good morning.
Upon the return of our angling buddies, we packed
up and checked out of the cabins. Everyone agreed that breakfast
was required, so we headed into Duluth for some Perkins. I've never
seen a place so busy and yet we got a table in minutes....wow. Even
after brunch, we walked out to find Duluth STILL shrouded in fog.
On tap, we were all in agreement that we didn't
need to stop fishing just yet (heck, Renee and I hadn't even hit
the water) so with little debate, we were on our way around the
western tip of Lake Superior, headed for Wisconsin's waters. It's
been roughly a year and a half...time to revisit the famous Bois
Brule River. Surprisingly close to Minnesota's North Shore, we were
at Brule in under an hour.
After getting licenses for those that needed them,
we headed on north following our trusty leader, Mr. Red Hat, as
he took us to a spot where the fishing had been good in the last
week. I guess I should point out for those who have never fished
the Brule that it's a LONG and relatively BIG river...information
is crucial in helping make your trip successful.
After gearing up, we made the long hike down into
the valley and there before us was the Brule. Red Hat, T-bone, Fat
and Freda got in straight off the bat; Renee and I were in hip boots
so deeper wading was not an option. We headed upstream in search
of a spot to easily access the water and avoid going under....ideally
with good steelhead structure in the vicinity as well.
After spooking a deer and walking a bit I found
the spot we were looking for...a tiny shallow and sandy spot on
the inside of a bend was just the ticket. Renee and I started casting.
Most of the afternoon was uneventful...as has been my experience
with the Brule.
Uneventful, that is, until my line went tight and
started going downstream...wait that's a FISH! My drag was buzzing
and my arms were tired within seconds. Miraculously the fish did
NOT head into the faster water downstream, but instead turned and
bulldogged me at the tailout of the bend pool. Renee was shooting
pictures, I was simply trapped in the moment. I saw the tail all
too briefly...it was STEEL and it was a GOOD ONE.
As I brought it close to shore my heart thumped
and my mind raced at the insignificant yet fantastic feat I was
about to complete - landing a wild Bois Brule Steelhead with a fine
can rod. About the only thing that could have made it any more traditional
was if I had a nymph on instead of an egg pattern. The moment was
now iminent...and then the fish turned and fled from the scene,
my flies shooting back towards my face. Q@#$%E$^Q#$% as any old-timer
might say back in the day.
You just don't get that many opportunities on the
Brule, so even though I had lost this fish, it was indeed a small
victory. Fat and Freda made their way upstream to see what the commotion
was about, and Red and and B showed up far downstream at the bend.
News travels quickly...or rather I guess I shout a lot when I've
got a good fish on!
Things took a turn when Renee hooked into here
own Brule River steelhead...a nice fish around 6 or 7...inches.
Smolts were present in good numbers, and heck, it's a wild trout,
so "technically" she was not skunked. All the same, even
Renee admits that she was really looking for larger quarry that
The evening wore on without much more to talk about...T-Bone
and Neil both got into the smolts rather thick, and as you'll read
they too found a larger playmate. We called it a day...we had to
head back to home sometime. The drive up was rather quiet...punctuated
by some snoring to say the least ;)