I was MIA. To those of you who inquired, I appreciate your concern. It is nice to know there is love when one goes missing from the world wide web.

Local Waters Update

The waters are flowing with normality in this neck of the woods. Although somewhat dry, rain-wise, the creeks and rivers are remaining at average flows for this time of year. A bit weedy and crystal clear is where we are at. Stream temps run from 58 degrees in the smaller tribs and feeders to middle 60’s in the main stem of rivers like the Kinni and the Rush. Adult insects are a bit thin in abundance, but there are some olive/green caddis that have made an appearance in the last week or so, and there are always midges, tons of midges. Hoppers and crickets have worked on the smaller rivers to pull fish to the top, but overall it has been a bit more difficult to bring the trout to the surface during mid day. A small hopper with a zebra midge dropper has been effective in the 2-3 foot deep slow to medium speed sections of river where a straight dry fly rig has not produced. Nymphing with indicators(Bentleys Balls) in fast water pockets has been effective or actively twitching rubber leg nymphs on the bottom of slow deep pools has worked. Patience is important at this time of year. Weeds have made fishing subsurface difficult which is just plain normal for the time period. The giant water beetles are making their appearance a bit early this year. I am still working on a good pattern for this important food source to our trout in our rivers.

The West

In late July and early August I spent over a week in the mountians of Wyoming riding horses and teaching fly fishing on a private dude ranch. Once again the adventure was incredible. Yellowstone Cutt’s, Rainbows, Brookies and browns were all fat and sassy. Here are a few pics.


Puff Ball


Fly Tying and Brule River Steelhead

The steelhead flies have been jumping off the vice. I look forward to tying each morning as I create this year’s new set of Brule river bugs and re-tie the patterns that have brought me success in the past. You can never have too many bugs on the Brule River. I am told the snag monsters have begun to stage in the river near the favorite steelhead holding areas as I write this post. Make note: after the release of last year’s Brule river steelhead population numbers, this year will probably be one of the toughest on record. Although DNR has predicted a decline in the population for the last two years, this year should be one of the toughest for catching. The population has declined to some of the lowest in recent history and should make this wild fish even tougher to bring to hand. Look for more stories about drinking at the Kro-Bar and socializing rather than fish pictures.

After reading this quote, I have spent a bit of extra time on egg patterns this year. When we get into the topic of “Fly Effectiveness”, I always think of the words of the great Steelhead flyfishing pioneer, Roderick Haig-Brown. He said ” It is good to remember there will be a lot more steelhead caught on a piece of yarn, than all the fanciest flies ever fished” Look for a post to come on egg patternscome on egg patterns.


New products

Look for the juju variety packs that I sold at the Greatwaters Fly Fishing expo to hit my shopping cart. These packs have all of the great colors for tying this popular newish fly. The olive juju soft hackle has been the best new fly of the year along with a few other juju variations. This one is a keeper. As always I have put my own twist on it. I swear I will get the new cart up and running before the snow flies, or maybe before the snow really builds up. These flies, especially in soft hackels, have really been effective for me this year. I believe the steelhead will also like them. More on that later.

Pink Balls! Yes, you heard that right. The Goat now has a limited supply of Hot Pink Balls in 3/8″,  1/2″,  5/8″ and 3/4″ — both the 5/8″ and the 3/4″ are popular steelhead sizes and can be sighted as well, or better, than any other color I stock. Be the first on your favorite river to sport Hot Pink Balls. I have tested the trout sizes throughout the season and customers raved about the ease at sighting this vibrant color.  Shoot me an email if you are interested as these new products will not go on the old cart. Remember part of the fun of purchasing from the Goat is finding something you did not order in the package:)


Over the last month I have received a number of emails. Some wondering if I was in jail, some titled “missing”? Some just wonder what happened to my blog, the stupid stories and the stream updates. I am sad to say that my father recently passed away. He was my rock. I was away taking care of family, my mother primarily, and she is not out of the woods yet. I have been traveling back and forth to Milwaukee and spending a serious amount of time in the truck and keeping an eye on her rehab. My sister Merry has been a great help.  I will be there this week and the closest wi-fi is the Krispy Kreme donut shop. I love donuts.   I am not quite over the mountain, out of the woods or back on the horse yet myself, but I’m getting there.