Month – August 2011

Door County 2011

Just got back from a week long trip to Door County, WI.  For the first four days we primitive camped way up on the tip of the peninsula. The salmon fishing was amazing, but we didn’t catch any smallmouth. I caught one small perch on the way there, but that was it. The smallies were just too deep to reach without a boat. We enjoyed some mountain biking and spectacular sunsets.

A cottage in the middle of the peninsula was our home for the rest of the trip. Our salmon fishing trip was on Thursday with Why Knot Charters. We awoke at “dark thirty” and began the fourty minute drive to the marina. By 4:15 we were on the boat. Our captain, Zach Burgess, set up about seven miles out. Just as he set the last rod the fish started hitting. I lost one, but Braden boated the first fish, a nice 10 lb. king. I was next, and caught one about the same size. For the next hour we were four for twelve, a very bad percentage. However, the fish started sticking and we landed most of the rest. I landed a 37″ king estimated at 15 pounds after an impressive battle, and Dad got a 39 incher. Braden and Noah each caught 4, a mix between kings and rainbows. Mom got two kings, and Dad also got two. I ended the day with three fish, two kings and a coho. A nice total of 15 fish. Our guide was great, and put us on lots of fish.



37 inches

Braden fighting a nice salmon

A monster!


Braden and a nice rainbow

Dad sticks a bow

Mom catches a big coho

A bit bigger than the last bow Noah caught

On the way home we stopped at a trout stream in Shawano County, WI. There was a lot of great habitat improvement and lots of willing brookies to slash at our hoppers. Unfortunately, we did not land any, but had lots of fun with the aggresive dry fly action. Everyone had lots of hook ups. Noah pulled one to the rocks, but it popped off just as he went to grab it. Hopper time is such an awesome time to trout fish. A few chubs also came to hand.This weekend we are headed up to our cabin. A camping/trout trip is also being planned for few weeks.

8-5-11…Green Sunfish

I went out to the stream today and caught some beautiful green sunfish on a brassie. They were a little finicky today (if sunfish are ever truly finicky), but I managed to catch two in the half hour I fished. All the fish in this stream are small (under 6″), but they are very fun to catch. Wild, native fish in crystal clear water.I’ve been tying lots of crayfish flies for an upcoming trip to Door County, Wisconsin, one of the premier midwest smallmouth destinations.We will be hunting smallies, carp, whatever else will bite in the shallows, and salmon on a charter boat. I’m getting really excited.

Tight Lines,


Last Chance -Day 4

Around 10:30 a.m. all three of us paddled out in the canoe. The fish were really biting, and we all caught some small bass and some nice-size perch. I cast out a Noah’s minnow, and let it sink. I stripped it a few times, felt a tug, and set the hook. The fish took the loose line right out of my hand, and I pulled in a feisty 1lb. 10″ bass!


My 10" bass

We ended the trip with some nice bluegill.

Later in the day Braden and I took the canoe out. We caught some small bass, decent bluegills, and more perch. 16 for Braden and 15 for me! A total of 31 fish!

Tight Lines,



Canoeing and Catching-Day 3

After an awesome pancake breakfast, Braden and I launched the canoe at a lazy 10:00. We came across lots of sunnies in the weeds. The fish were chasing minnows near the surface, a perfect scenario for the fly fisher. Braden would cast his blue/white clouser into a school and his rod would double over almost every time. I managed to catch a few too.

Bluegills love Clouser Minnows!

Later in the day, Noah and I went back to the same spot. We hammered the little bass, catching around 15 each. The big bluegills came out, and we decided to keep a few for dinner. Braden joined us, and we caught half a dozen seven to nine inchers, and lots of smaller ones. They sure tasted good fried in butter.Just as a thunderstorm was rolling in Noah caught his first crappie on a fly rod, a feisty 8 incher. He was using his “Noah’s Minnow“.

Noah's first fly rod crappie

Tomorrow is the last day we will be at the cabin. Looking forward to another great day.

Tight Lines!


Quarry Park Bassin’- 7-29-11…Day 2

The bass fishing was alive at Quarry Park on Friday morning. To make things even better, we got it all to ourselves.


After paying a small park fee we hit the trail. With a few bug bites, we arrived at the first quarry. Before the rest of us could even set our stuff down, Noah was already pulling in a 1 lb. bass, his first on a fly rod. This is the first fish Noah has caught on a fly he tied. It ate a bunny bugger, basically a rabbit strip tail and palmered rabbit strip body with bead chain eyes. I bushwacked to the other side of the quarry and pulled in a nice bass. It wasn’t huge, but it put up a great fight.Braden stayed in pretty much the same spot catching as many little bass as he wanted and taking tons of pictures……


After about two hours of fishing and a picnic lunch, we headed to the quarry we fished on our last trip. The hike was about a quarter mile, and we soon arrived. Noah picked up some small bass on a “Noah minnow”, and I got some on a brown flash bugger. Braden caught a few, too. It is lots of fun to sight fish to these bass, and occasionally you will see some rush from the other side of the quarry to devour your fly. After a few fish I decided to walk to the other side and try to catch that big bass I had seen last time I was here. The same scenario played out. I hooked a smaller one while fishing from a ten foot dike, and just as I pulled him out of the water, he popped off. A splash the size of a bowling ball erupted as this huge bass engulfed the little one. He was there, and he was hungry. I hollered to Braden to grab the 8 weight I had hauled along to chase this pig. I rigged with a 4″ Bunny Bug (Barry Reynolds) and 25 lb. shock tippet. I was ready. I crawled down the steep, boulder strewn bank, and waited. The bass was making circles around the edges of a deep hole with some timber and rock piles. I threw the fly to a spot where the bass had passed a few minutes before and let it sink. Sure enough, two minutes later he came to the spot I was at. My heart started pounding. When he was about three feet from the fly I picked it up and gave it two deliberate strips, and paused. He finned over, and stuck his nose to it for what seemed like eternity, and BANG, he sucked it in. It is amazing how quickly a 4″ fly can disappear in a large fish’s mouth. I was not in a great position to set the hook, but managed to get a firm hook up. I was stoked! The fish turned as soon as he felt the hook, and dove along a rock, making the reel scream like crazy. There was no stopping him, but he stopped me…. He pulled out line, dove quickly under a rock, and cut the line! I screamed in dismay. I was heartbroken. Man, that was a nice fish. He put up a great fight for the short time he was on. There was not going to be a second chance today, so I grabbed my other rod and made my way back to the others.


A five pounder lives in the back left corner

A nice park worker directed us to another quarry where he had seen some sunfish on his break, so we decided to pack up and head over there for the two hours we had left. This quarry was a little smaller than the other too, and had a steep rock slope on one side. A cable from a derrick that had once hauled granite stretched across the quarry. Noah immediately caught a decent sunfish, and so did Braden. Then Noah pulled in a bass just as Braden caught a nice sunfish for a double!


Grandpa also nailed a few fish…

Grandpa gets a nice one!

All of us caught a few more, mostly sunnies and small bass. Around four we packed up and made the short hike back to our car. An amazing day of fishing!

Up at the lake- Day 1

The fishing was awesome this weekend at our cabin in central Minnesota. We got there on Thursday afternoon and Conner wet his line immediately. He pulled in a few small perch and bass. Although the lake is green, weedy, and not good looking, it holds a nice number of decent sized fish. Small bass, perch, and gills scatter around the weed lines, with a few pike and walleye here and there.

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