Fly fishing Upper St. Croix River

Talk about a great phone call! Mark gives me a heads up that he got a new Stealth Craft from Baldwin Michigan and is wanting to float the Upper St. Croix River for some small mouth. If I wasn’t free I sure as hell was now!! After making phone calls to the inlaws for some baby sitting time I started packing up the gear. Another text message from Mark ” I got everything don’t worry about packing. Be at my place at 6:30am. ” Damn, now the guide in me is getting spoiled.
Upon arrival and eye balling the new stealth craft my mind was racing at the chance to row that boat. Met Marks family and off we went headed north on the Wisconsin Minnesota boarder. After racing through farm country and ghost towns we arrived at the pull out and dropped my truck. On to the put in and we were rigged up in no time.
Now I see why he told me to leave my stuff at home. This was a whole new ball game. 4 rods rigged with either sink tips or big bass leaders. 7 and 8 wt. rods with great action. Mark jumped into the captains chair and told me to start casting. Damn, I get first shot to. What a trip!! 2nd cast hits the water with a nice take and a swing and a miss on the hook set. I will have to shake off the Minnesota winter I guess. A few hundred yards down stream on this 9 mile float and we find the rocky banks we were hoping for. Believing that the smallies were pre spawn we targeted these areas close to the bank. After casting and stripping with no fish I landed my fly just an inch off the bank let it sit and popped it over the top of a piece of log structuring and watched it disappear SET! And boom the line took off down the bank. A nice small mouth hit the net a minute later. Then 2 more takes and fish. After missing a few we switched out and we started cracking the code down stream. Rocks, structure, close to the bank as you can get with a nice slow strip and let it die.

I was so stoked to be out and drifting in a kick ass boat down a section that I had never been before. Bald eagles, osprey, deer and some nice fish to keep ya excited all day! Totally changes my perspective on fishing in my area. That was some fun shit!

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Have rod will travel

There are so many times that i sit and my mind just drifts to the places I want to fish: Alaska, Patagonia, Pacific North West, Florida and the Bahamas. So many places to cast a line and find myself at peace again. Where do you want to fish?

Back to the Kinni

Water was a bit higher as expected. Lots of fish rising with sloppy takes. The tenkara rod worked great today. Easily reaching across stream with no drag was key. Para Adams with a emerger behind was great. I even went double dry at one point and was hoping for doubles! Didn’t happen but worth a shot. When the wind picked up I switched to size 18 princes and black Beauty in size 18. Got some and lost some. All in all it was a good day.

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Big is sometimes not “Big” enough

I became a competent fly tier about 7 years ago. I began tying for myself and then for my clients and fly shops. Everyone wanted size 20-24 midges or emergers so my skills as a ” small” nymph producers were always put to the test. Now I am tying for rivers and lakes in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Talk about a change. From tiemco 2488 size 24, to 5/0 salt water hooks for Musky! Small and annoying to basically tying a Sasquatch onto a hook! Got to love a good challenge

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