I spent Monday through Thursday on the Brule River in Wisconsin this week. By most all accounts the fishing for Steelhead was slow and sometimes mentally fatiguing. Crowds were sparse for a reason. Few fish were being caught. From reports from a dozen or so anglers we spoke with, the catching part was missing from the fishing reports.

Water was low and clear, A giant sand bar at the mouth of the river had not been eroded by fall rains because their rainfall was sparse in September like much of the rest of region. The weather was bluebird clear each day except for Thursday and we fished in t-shirts most of the time, crazy! I spoke with anglers and guides and the reports were mostly the same. The best luck was had by those who were on the river fishing first light. They, for the most part at least hooked a fish or landed one, but the remainder of the day was spent casting and talking to the fish, asking them if they could please “bite me”. For the old goat(I love third person), there seemed to be an afternoon bite and I managed a fish between 1 and 3 PM on two of the days. You know what they say about a blind squirrel goat.

On Wednesday night about a half inch of rain fell and we thought Thursday would be an epic day. Thursday was rainy, overcast and much cooler. It was the worst day for all those I spoke with. So much for Brule theory 319.

A thought to keep in mind;

Although last years run was a record for returning steelhead, the DNR continues to inform anglers to expect a down year at some point. The recent runs are being dominated (69%)by older fish and eventually that will add up to smaller run sizes unless a higher than average number of youger fish continue to return to the river.

A Memorable Brown- Again!

Was blessed with another epic brown complete with kype and length longer than last years. Could not control this fish. This one ended with my buddy making a wader filling dive to get the angry trout in the net. Only half of him fit in the net. His cantilevering recoil from the bow of the net flipped him into my arms and allowed me one short sweet hug before he thumped my left pectoral so hard and headed skyward. He landed between Kurt’s legs and tore off on a terror run. I remember seeing my large Bentley’s ball lodge squarely in the crotch of my friends waders,,,,,,,and then I heard the snap of the 3x Segar fluoro. Kurt was so upset, and wet. He thought that he had let me down with a botched netting. I broke out in hysterical laughter over how funny, cool and exciting how the whole episode had played out. Pictures are sometimes overrated.

All in all it was an enjoyable trip, no wild and crazy stuff on this outing.

I am heading up again tomorrow for another go at them.