Saturday, October 20, 2007

Reel seats

I got hold of some nice reel seats for my current and future rod-building projects. Pictured on the left are Struble D-2 and D-8 models, with blued and bright nickel silver hardware. My original plan was to bronze-tone the bright D-8, using the bronzing solution, but I decided to use it as is, for my half-finished McFarland blank.

I have also recently made this all cork down-locking seat, pictured on the top. I used some leftover parts, including the stainless steel ring, as well as the combination of Copano burl cork and the regular cork. It will probably be used in the upcoming months, perhaps for some short, light line glass rod.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Waterloo in the Fall

Amy and I hit the Waterloo Creek on Saturday (10/13), on our way up from Decorah. The weather was perfect, with the very light wind. This was her first outing on this water, and we decided to fish the wild fish section of the stream.

We found two typical Fall hatches on the stream-very small olives (Plauditus punctiventris) and larger Baetis sp. hatching sporadically. Around 1:00 PM we found a bunch of rising fish, who took BWO imitations in sizes 16-20. Little Rabbit Foot emergers and duns got the job done and my Country Gentleman Variant dries took fish successfully. Amy stayed with the surface flies for the entire afternoon, while I fished Buggers upstream, throughout the quiet pools, where there would be no apparent activity on the surface. I managed one nice 15' brown on the hopper pattern. Bugger produced in the riffles, too. Grasshoppers were active on the banks and they can be productive on this stream well into November, depending on the weather.

We didn't get any giants, but enjoyed the steady action, finishing near the upstream bridge around 4:00 PM, tired and happy. I will try to make another trip (depending on the weather) in the next week or so. My plan is to test the new McFarland Dry Fly taper glass rod I am working on right now.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Another season winds down...

This last weekend of trout season 2007 in WI and MN wasn't particularly eventful, due to the stormy weather we had. Nevertheless, the fishing has been great for the past couple of weeks.

I made a trip to the Trout Run and although it survived some serious flooding, it was in a great shape. The fish took BWO emergers on the top, and small PT nymphs took care of the subsurface feeders. I wasn't able to locate some large fish in their usual spots, but there were plenty of trout around. The recent bank improvements were not damaged during the floods. I expected to find some hopper action in the lower stretches, but in spite of the fact that it was windy and grashoppers were plentiful, the fish did not respond to hopper imitations.

Rush River had some localized but intense BWO hatches and you had to walk to find a good action. I was able to find it each time I visited the river. I didn't get any giants but found some nice, hard fighting, but often tippet shy fish who would smash BWO imitations in sizes 18-20.

Pine Creek improvement in the lower section of the stream has been finished. They have built a nice parking lot with the inscription dedicated to Amy's grandparents (picture on the left.) I fished the creek several times during the past ten days and the fishing has always been exciting. I did not get many large brookies in comparison to the last September, but enjoyed the consistent action. The stream is becoming more popular and that is my only complaint. You can see the pictures of the same stretch of the creek taken last September (left, below) and several days ago (center, below). The bank improvement looks great and should increase both the numbers and the size of fish.

I finished the season with the side trip to the Kinnie, two days ago. The stream was slightly stained, but I found some fish on the top, feeding on small olive duns. Each time I fish this stream I remind myself that I really should fish it more often, since it takes only 30 minutes for me to get there. Here are a couple of pictures of the stretch I fished (below), taken in the late afternoon. (I decided not to take any fish pictures, anyway.)

I will be waiting for some warm days in October and November to visit streams in NE Iowa.