There are many different ways to catch a chub

Nov 11, 2014

Musky or Bust

Driving through a snowstorm at 2am on October 4th my esteemed fishing partner and I had high hopes for catching Musky on the fly.  Despite many attempts the two of us have not had the best luck Musky fishing.  Before this trip I had only caught one, while I was smallmouth fishing, and it was about the same size as a smallmouth.
  Mr. Ded Fish aka Chub timer had never caught a musky, after years of trying.  We each have had our missed opportunities, we have each brought a friend musky fishing for the first time and watched our so called friends reel in multiple muskies in the same day while getting skunked ourselves.
 This time felt different, we felt we had a solid chance, but after "sleeping" in the car for 3 hours followed by 2 days of camping in wind/rain/snow and no fucking fish our hopes were running a little low.  If I've learned anything from reading about musky fishing (other than apparently I suck at it) it is  you have to keep the faith. 
On our final day we had about 4 miles of river to cover before our take out.  Our plan was to fish every corner of the 4 mile stretch, and strip set everything and anything that moved.  This day was different than the previous two, the sun was out, and not quite as windy.
Mr. ded fish has a well documented problem for losing fishing gear, and while casting I noticed a strange stick floating in the water past the boat, that upon further inspection had a reel attached to it, fortunately we recovered the rod.   I took it as a good luck sign.  
Casting to the mouth of a small creek I felt a bump, strip set and wound up with this guy, not a monster by any means, but my best musky to date.
 About an hour later ded fish got his as we were cruising in the current past a small point.  
 Both fish were landed in the last 2 miles of our float. 
How your fingers look after 3 days of stripping musky flies

The heroes of our trip

Oct 23, 2014

Northwoods short

Two members of the Chub crew tried to hook up with some Wisco musk action in early August. Muskies were seen, some even ended up in the proximity of our flies, but the esox proved to be too elusive for our crew this time.
Our attempt to keep the blood suckers away was futile 

We only eat the finest processed meats and mass produced beer

 It can be tough to admire a fish when a mosquito is biting your face
Love the Northwoods

Sep 8, 2014

You boys ever been carpin?

While suffering from a deep, dark state of PMD (Post Montana Depression) a month or so ago, I wandered into the woods alongside one of my favorite hill country rivers in search of salvation.  My quarry for the day was the exotic Cyprinus carpio.  Aside from a monster grass carp out of our neighborhood pond when I was 12 (still the 3rd largest fish I've ever caught) and a few accidental catches while smallmouth fishing, carp are not a fish I've targeted much.  In the mid-july heat in Texas, the bass are lethargic and the stocked trout in the Guadalupe most likely belly-up so there aren't many other options.  

I had previously been to this spot to fish for white bass in March and accidentally caught my first carp on the fly on a wooly bugger dropped right at my side while stripping line out to cast.  This time when I showed up, the water was chocolate milk colored with visibility down to less than 6 inches but man were the carp active. I could immediately see silt clouds and fish wallowing in the shallows.  A recent rainstorm had dumped 4 inches of rain on the Hill County and pools that are normally connected by a trickle were really flowing.  Carp from the reservoir below the river  took advantage of this to get to new waters (see video below).  They were working their way up riffles half as deep as their body and sometimes hilariously rolling over and tumbling back downstream.

 Where the carp flock like the salmon of Capistrano

 I began casting to some silt clouds in a deeper pool when all the sudden, as I stripped my rubber legged wooly, I felt resistance and watched a gar roll on my fly.  Half of the fight consisted of me trying to get a hold of the thing as he flung mud everywhere and managed to tangle my tippet in the worst possible snag in his teeth.  After I let him go, I found my self breathing pretty heavily so either I'm really out of shape or gar are an exciting fish to catch.

I moved down the river a couple pools until I found one where there were at least 30 carp with their backs out of the water rooting around in the muck.  I managed to fool a few before the heat got too stifling.  Carp seem to be the en vogue fly-fishing species lately. Although it's not quite the same as catching wild cutthroat in freestone streams in Montana, rolling around in the muck with the carp and gar was still pretty damn satisfying.

Fog over Driftless

For work I have to travel from Chicago to St. Paul. I fly directly over Driftless country and its a damn good thing I'm flying otherwise I would never make it to St. Paul. Though they don't do it justice, I was able to get a few photos of the fog filled valleys.  

Aug 28, 2014

What wt. rod and fly would you use to catch this beastly chub? 


Catch of a Lifetime

Unfortunately I will never again catch a 200lber on a dry fly in skinny water

Check out the markings on its face, its easy to tell this is a wild bred non hatchery catch.

Aug 26, 2014

Fuckin Montana

Three of our CUMs made it out to MT to celebrate Independence day.
This was our tentative schedule, with sporadic feeding mixed in between.
Coffee. Beer. Fish. Beer. Fish. Sleep. Repeat 

 I could go on for pages about fish caught and lost, but frankly I is not the best writer.  We camped in a different location every night, and fished new water everyday.  I was told by a few locals, that when I return to the Midwest, not to tell anyone how great Montana is. Honoring that request, here are a few photos from the trip of a lifetime without any words of praise behind them.  Montana is a wild place. 

Jul 22, 2014

Memorial Day Northwoods

Our crew headed to the northwoods for Memorial Day to get out chub on, hard.  We hit both lakes and rivers. The water levels were high, and they may not have been the only ones. Our buddy who hadn't fished for musky very much ended up with two nice ugly pike on day one.  I've been trying to catch these things for years and have solo uno to show for it. We were able to see a few muskie spawning in the shallows, but they didn't care for my streamer. 

Just a nice quiet place in the northwoods.
The fish of 5 casts off the dock.
Sometimes you drink too much, sometimes you drink so much you pass out and fall out of your canoe .
Man make fire
 If you think smallies aren't pretty you are dead wrong

May 30, 2014

Driftless Spring

 We visited the driftless area mid April and early May, there were sparse hatches, but winter was still holding on.
 April dry fly trout seemed like a mini miracle after last winter

The fires of Mordor have reached the Driftless 
 After all those boring trout, finally a fish worth catching

 Camp Coffee
 Camp Breakfast