After an unusually long snow breakdown, the landscape of Western Wisconsin is beginning to show its face. Don’t get me wrong the winter scenery and fishing has been fantastic but it seems to have taken forever to reduce the snowpack, find some sunny spring temperatures to bask in. And even more, to fish in.  The best fishing this year came in early to mid March. Moderating temps brought stoneflies and midges to the waters edge and stream side snowbanks. Early mornings fished well with midge larva of all colors, #18 & 20 P.tails, Rainbow Warriors and/or Pink Squirrels. The 11am to 2pm warm-up section of the day showed trout heads taking those bugs in various stages of life and there was some fantastic dry fly/emerger fishing to be had on most streams if you found the sneaky pods of trout in the softer water.  These were not big fish but they were not shy to bite if the fly was drifted correctly. The pull on my rod was stimulating after the long winter drought.

In the last week conditions have gone to pot. Not sure exactly what this means but my Mom used to say it when things went bad. The continual daily melting and nightly freez-ups caused the gullies and lowlands to accumulate standing water/ice. The pouring rain last weekend followed by warmer temps caused the run-off to begin last Monday. I cancelled a guide trip with my longest standing client on Wednesday. The waters kept rising. The Kinni was at 400cfs by Thursday and the Rush River was “Bank Full”. The waters are coming down today but stream temps will be cold and waters a bit angry. I am not expecting the weekends catching to be great but who knows unless one tries.

Last week while guiding I lost my net. The bungee on my magnetic release gave way and my client noticed the net gone when I returned to the truck. The Net is from LDH Nets out of Duluth, MN. They are the only nets I use. On my back for Steelhead, in my drift boat for Smallmouth, and on our streams for trout. I have never seen a finer hand crafted tool for fishing. This net was made from a piece of Cherry from the Kinni Watershed. Clicking the link above will show you a picture of it. I cannot recall if my name was on the net or not.  The location where the net went missing was 570th street on the Rush River, upstream of the Bridge. The net may also have ended up in the water so if you find it, and return it there will be some kind of cool swag reward for it. Lloyd, looks like I may need another net. Special thanks to Ben McKean for some goat Photos in this post.

Last but not least is Me. Pronounced “Eme”. She came to us a week ago and has been a 8 month old handful of puppy. As an old person I forgot how much energy a puppy has. We have been walking and walking and walking. Expect me to look a bit thinner next time you see me. At the very least, my right arm will be noticeably  longer than my left from being pulled toward every bird, squirrel, deer or pile of doodoo in the forest. I am praying for a quick learner to enable my own survival.

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