Spent a wonderful week near the end of September up in Northern Wisconsin at a family cabin on a lake. The colors were starting to turn and the weather was perfect having just rained before we arrived. Was up there with the family but got some fishing time in. I've only fished the area late May - July so it was a different experience for me. For one thing most of the bass seemed to have moved out of the rivers and down to lakes for the winter, or at least they weren't where I expected them to be. The upside of this is that I explored some new water and found a couple new spots I'll definitely hit when I'm back in June. Did get into some fish.
The first spot I hit was along a river near the cabin. For the past years I've found a lot of bass in the river. This shot shows a deeper section with a lot of rocks that usually holds some nice bass, but I only saw a few.
There is one particular spot that has always held two large bass. It is off to the side of the main current and below a spot that holds a lot of little fish. I think the big guys hang out there looking waiting for a juvenile that got caught in faster water. It is under the tall birch trees in the center right of the picture.
Each time I've been up there I've landed one and lost the other. Either my knot fails or my line breaks when the bass gets into some faster water and logs just downstream. This time I came prepared with my 8wt, 1x tippet, and very careful knots tying. Even though the smaller bass where nowhere to be seen, swinging a black wooly bugger through the slot yielded a violent hit, hard fight downstream that ended with my bead-headed bugger flying back at me when the bass threw it. Toss it up and swinging through again brought on another hit and after a good fight I again landed the second. Unfortunatley I had my camera zoomed when I snapped the pic, didn't notice it till I got home. Tried to go back and catch them again but their either moved on or their mouths were still hurting.
As I walked back to the car I passed a couple guys putting in a drift boat. Turned out to be a guide on his day off heading out to musky fish with a friend. They invited me to join them and I couldn't pass up the chance to at least fish a spot just upstream. He gave me a massive fly (I didn't have anything big enough) and pointed out this fallen tree on the outside of a slow bend in the river.
I slapped my fly down and gave it a twitch and the water exploded. The fly had weighted eyes and foam which held it just under the surface so the musky came out of the water a bit on the strike. After a brief fight it became clear that I hadn't changed from my 1x tippet and she cut my line. The strike was incredible so I let my wife know I wouldn't be back for dinner and joined them
Once we entered a small lake I switched to his 10wt and sinking line (fun to cast) and got some nice follows, it is heart stopping to see a musky appear, but no more musky strikes. Did land this nice, little pike though.
He hit right as the fly got to the boat. Also heart stopping. Now I'm looking at 10wt blanks and looking forward to linking up with the guide next year and hopefully landing my first musky.