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Old 11-03-2014, 09:06 PM
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Default Muskies on the small end of a big Wisconsin river

Back on 10/23, two of us embarked on a day trip with Brad Bohen of Musky Country Outfitters. We met at a cabin Brad has on a flowage...I fished the flowage by myself a little, with some basic guidance from Brad on where to try and what to throw...

Other than beating up a prop on my boat a little, it was a good three hours in late fall on the water...I had follows from two muskies, boated a high 20s pike, and a couple of smallies.

Brad provided dinner at the cabin...if you're offered this option on a trip you book with Brad, take it...Brad's a good cook.

We kicked around the idea of fishing the river we were on, but brad thought that since we really wanted fish contact to help us learn about what we might be doing right and what we might be doing wrong...we opted to go about an hour to the narrow end of one of the bigger Wisconsin rivers.

We jumped in Brad's venerable Toyota Land Crusher and drove a ways...the trip was interesting, the scenery typical for northern WI, with rivers, lakes and the occasional elk as distractions.

Getting to the launch, we were entertained by a male ruffed grouse strutting his stuff for his true-love-of-moment. Full fan, ruff puffed up to maximum effect...I wished I hadn't left my camera in my truck...

The weather was cold, damp, fairly calm...not too cold, but cold enough to be happy I learned how to dress for this weather a long time ago...it poured rain off and on on the way to the launch...but stopped just before we got there and stayed that way except for some sprinkles. Good Musky weather.

We launched Brad's Towee skiff - if you haven't seen one of these, look them up - great boat - and he ran us up-river on the jet-converted Merc a ways to lake in the river that was maybe 30 acres.

Conversation was great, as was advice; "Short accurate casts are better than long wild-*** casts!", "Quit setting the hook with trout-sets! Strip set!". I found the 2nd bit of advice more useful than the first, though both improved my skills considerably.

It was a while - I couldn't tell you how long - until my first missed fish...and a while longer until the first one I had on but lost...and then a while longer until we put one in the boat...and I might even have that out of order...but it doesn't really matter that much...we caught fish, 5 in the boat, two lost with LDRs and we had a great time. Learned a ton, too...

One of the fish we caught had what looked to be about a 12" walleye in its gullet - the tail was still visible in it's mouth...pretty cool, considering the enthusiasm that he clobbered the fly with.

We fished that "lake" for a while, the Brad rowed us down-river to another wide spot where we fished some more...i forget when and where we caught fish...that's not really important...I know I flubbed one that made a pass at my fly right next to the boat because I forgot my figure eight...

The last fish of the day was maybe two hundred yards from the take out...not a record breaker, but decent - somewhere in the low 30s - but fun on the fly. Brad's coaching paid off as I was a convert to the strip set by this time as my 4th fish of the day worked exactly like he said it should...Strip set (no trout set!), keep the rod tip in the water and the pressure on the fish and we were good to go in a few minutes.

Pretty, pretty fish...I offer the pics not as proof we caught anything, but to show off the colors - I thnk of muskies as more silvery...these were a greener silver, not tarnished, but alive with color...fast, strong fish that were fun to catch, even more fun to let go to grow for the future...

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...psdeaecd47.jpg

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps35ecacb0.jpg

We pulled out, and ran back to Brad's place...more Northern WI scenery, more elk, good conversation...when we got back we raided Brad's stash of Primo Tail...if you haven't tried his bucktail, do so. Best I've seen and I tie more big flies than little ones. Good color, long hair, not brittle at all...

Brad is a great guide - quiet when quiet is good, talkative when that's good, knowledgeable, patient, more than willing to share...and he put us on fish and showed us what to do to catch them...good stuff...no...great stuff.

I'm a better fisherman today than I was before I fished with Brad. I like that, a lot.

If you get the chance to spend a day with Brad, do it. It's worth it.

http://i189.photobucket.com/albums/z...psbd5d8068.jpg
Primo Tail..and the shirt to go with it....
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Old 11-04-2014, 03:16 PM
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Other than the fly rod, sounds like fun.

Al
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:31 PM
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Flies are just one more way to catch fish - sometimes it's the best way, sometimes not. You can do stuff with a fly you can't do with a lure...add current like we had, and yu can really show fish things they've seldom if ever seen.

It's just one more arrow in the quiver, to steal a cliche.

...that said, the takes on the flies were pretty darned cool...think of a smallie blowing up on a popper...then make the fish three feet long...
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Old 11-05-2014, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Further North View Post
Flies are just one more way to catch fish - sometimes it's the best way, sometimes not. You can do stuff with a fly you can't do with a lure...add current like we had, and yu can really show fish things they've seldom if ever seen.

It's just one more arrow in the quiver, to steal a cliche.

...that said, the takes on the flies were pretty darned cool...think of a smallie blowing up on a popper...then make the fish three feet long...
I don't fish smallies either.

You know I'm just teasing don't you?

Al
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Old 11-06-2014, 09:14 PM
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You know I'm just teasing don't you?

Al
Of course.

Did you know you can troll with flies?
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:36 AM
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Wow, Sir, you do have a mustery of words, respect!
Sounds like you hit the Midwest Trifecta
1. Beautiful scenery (Elk though!?)
2. Knowledgable Guide (A true treasure to cherish as they've really become numerous these days so the choices are hard)
3. "The Ultimate Esox" Seen (√) Caught (√) Remembered (√)
Very beautifully told thank you for making us a part of such a memorable experience!
Here is a recap of our Wisconsin River Fishing"A Fantastic Muskie Fishing Season" [Castle Rock Dam 2014…]: http://youtu.be/z7X_5OpFSnU
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Old 11-07-2014, 04:39 AM
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(√) - was meant to be (Check sign)... lol
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Old 11-13-2014, 09:24 AM
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That's great country up there. I have done some drift boat fishign in many of the same rivers that Brad guides out of and there are some fairly unpresured fish in very beutiful scenery.
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Old 11-14-2014, 06:59 PM
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Those are just beautiful fall pics. Nice fish too!

That pic with the old school train bridge looks like absolute bliss. Thanks for posting.
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Old 11-15-2014, 08:57 AM
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Of course.

Did you know you can troll with flies?
No, how to you get the flies to stay on the hook??

Ok, I'll go ultralight spinning and you use that fly rod next spring, and we'll get out and see what happens.

We try for Musky's and I'll have to upgrade a bit though.

Al
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