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Old 10-05-2013, 12:12 PM
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Default Recent Wisconsin Trip

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.

Click the image to open in full size.

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.
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:37 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

Nice William,

I fish for the pike at the cabin using rods from 5 - 9 weight. You'll figure out why they always seem to hit right at the boat soon enough. I get a kick outta catching them and you will too.

Ard
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Old 10-05-2013, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

Nice report William! Musky have a way of getting into your head. It only takes one of those strikes, and your done for!

First comes the rob building, and then you've got to tie up those big flies. There's a lot to do before next spring!

Who was the guide that you hooked up with?
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Old 10-05-2013, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

Thanks! I will be thinking about that strike all winter

The guides name is Charles Weary, company called Wink's Flies and Guiding. Has some impressive patterns he has developed and is a nice and generous person.
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Old 10-05-2013, 02:27 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

We don't have Muskies here thank God, but there are pike in many places where they are an invasive species. Hewitt Lake is congested with them and I fish some every time I'm out there. So far I haven't caught the duck eaters but many 25 - 32" fish are caught each trip. They are followers; by this I mean that many of them will trail a fly all the way back to the boat before making up their mind to hit. I like flies that I can see, this way I can spot a fish who is trailing the fly and so I know when to let it rest. Many times they will stop near the fly and just hover there studying it. When it moves, just a tad, they inhale it and it's action time.

I like to use my old Far & Fine for them because it'll throw a big fly and makes a 30 inch fish seem like a monster. Using lighter rods can lead to a problem if you get into a really big fish so your choice for heavier is a wise one. My old 9' 9 weight will handle anything in the lake and I never feel under gunned using it. The old McNally Magnum flies are always a safe bet for catching them but I did really well using Whitlock Scullpin patterns this past spring. You'll have to learn to make shock tippets too. I use wier and some made with 40 pound mono.

The wire tippets are tooth proof but the fish have a way of kinking them and that leads to needing a pocket full on a trip.

Go get em,

Ard
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Old 10-05-2013, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

Smoked Pike are fairly decent. Battered and fried, not a walleye, but decent also.
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Old 10-05-2013, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
We don't have Muskies here thank God


Those are fightin' words! !
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Old 10-05-2013, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

I've seen some amazing videos of pike fishing in Alaska, primarily this one which I think has been posted here before


I'm guessing Ard is glad they aren't in Alaska so they aren't preying on trout. I know pike have been reported in parts of the Colorado River and make people pretty nervous. I'm happy to travel to Wisconsin to fish for Musky
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Old 10-12-2013, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

Those are Killer Smallmouth waters! Fished up there many times and wish I was there now!
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:11 PM
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Default Re: Recent Wisconsin Trip

William: Great trip report and photos!

Larry
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