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Afraid of the dark?


LHarris

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Note the gap of that size 2 bunny leech is a little open.

BigBunny.jpg

I wonder why that is?

Writing story....

will submit story to couple magazines before I share it.

PS:

Ever fished at 4:11am in fog and not know what was on end of your line?

The only thing we knew was it was really big and skied a couple times and the splash sounded huge.

Len

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Dun Dun...

DUn Dun DUn Dun...

AHHHHHHH!!!

GET OUT OF THE WATER!!!

It's F'n big Brown trout week on FM

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Is the story going to be posted on here or do we have to go get the magazine...and if so, what magazine? It sounds like it should have hit newsstands already...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Would it be in MW Outdoors by any chance? I think I've seen you down as the author in there for a couple articles.

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I write monthly for MWO.

That story will hit it that magazine later.

Last I heard the magazine it is in should be on newstands next week.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Quote:
the big one? you figured her out?

Well a rainbow brooder is one thing. How about a 32" female brown named Lightening. No, he did not figure her out. She is still there. I had her hooked the longest so far. Come with at least 15 lb test. Len recommends 20 lb.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got an envelope full of Midwest Fly Fishing Magazines last week.

Page 5 for my article. That is the second time in that publication.

The cover shot is awesome. Wished I would have taken it.

Cover photo was taken by Mark Dvorak.

Took Joe *dirt* Chadwick a magazine and stopped over at his mom's and gave her one.

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Len congatulations on Midwest Fly Fishing Magazine. That is a HUGE acomplishment! You and Joe "Dirt" Chadwick have had an amazing summer to say the least. Cheers

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Amazing how many emails I have been getting about this article. The article has my email address in the end of the story.

I have received 34 emails now. 20 were attempts at booking me as a guide next year. I had to decline those. I sent emails back to them and gave them 2 or three good guide names in the area.

ALL but one of the emails were congratulatory. One jealous emailer said he was certain that the big trout Joe caught was not caught on a fly. He said that that big of trout in a small stream would be impossible to land with a fly rod. In the final part of the email he said..."where did you guys release that trout?"

I haven't answered him yet.

Don't think I am going to.

Fruit cake in every bunch I guess...At least a couple.

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Amazing how many emails I have been getting about this article. The article has my email address in the end of the story.

I have received 34 emails now. 20 were attempts at booking me as a guide next year. I had to decline those. I sent emails back to them and gave them 2 or three good guide names in the area.

ALL but one of the emails were congratulatory. One jealous emailer said he was certain that the big trout Joe caught was not caught on a fly. He said that that big of trout in a small stream would be impossible to land with a fly rod. In the final part of the email he said..."where did you guys release that trout?"

I haven't answered him yet.

Don't think I am going to.

Fruit cake in every bunch I guess...At least a couple.

so do we get to see a pic?

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was asked to limit exposure of the story and photos.

The story and photo will be coming later as the magazine runs its nature course.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Are You Afraid Of The Dark?

kickapoo.jpg

It was the 20th of December 2008. Wisconsin small stream trout season has been closed since September 30th. I had some time so I decided a scouting mission was in order. I like scouting during the closed season due to the weeds being down and it is much easier to walk along the streams because of it.

I was scouting a very small stream in Southwestern Wisconsin. Almost all of the streams in the area dump in to the Kickapoo River. I was very close to where it went in so I decided it warranted a look.

The Kickapoo River was quite clear and I could see the structure at the confluence. There was a prominent step drop as the stream emptied in. I stored the information away for another day. It looked like "Big Trout" water.

Season opened like it always does on the first Saturday of March. I had so many different places to check out from winter scouting that I did not make it back to this promising water until late May.

My buddy Joe *Dirt* Chadwick and I fish a lot together. I had him in tow this day and he is in really good shape so a jaunt through the tall weeds to the promising water was a 15 minute walk. We usually take turns on holes. It was Joe's turn to hit this hole first.

Joe's second offering was taken by a 16ish inch brown. Joe and I jaw at one another a lot when we fish. It is friendly banter. He was talking smack and looking at me while he battled the trout. All of a sudden the water next to his trout erupted and his trout was pushed sideways about 14 inches. Joe saw from my stare and expression that something odd was going on in the water. Joe adjusted his view to the trout on his line. The intruder was gone and Joe saw nothing. The trout was still flailing away and Joe continued his

landing of the trout. We have an unwritten rule that when the other has a trout on that needs netting the other takes care of it without needing to be told to do it.

I waded in to the Kickapoo a little ways. I decided it was not a good day to go swimming. That step drop was directly in front of me. Joe started up his banter again. He said: "Old man get your fanny in there and net that fish." "What spooked you earlier?" I reached for my net and started to reach out to net the trout. I told Joe I believe a big northern has tried to eat your trout on the line. The trout was not ready to be netted and made another run. It tired out and Joe had it on its side coming in. The trout was about 15 feet from my net and the water exploded again.

We both saw the intruder this time. It was about a 32 inch female brown. The dominant trout in the hole was pushing the 16 incher sideways. This trout was the deepest small stream trout I have ever seen. I guessed it at 10-13 pounds. The attack ceased as quickly as it began. We tried to entice another hit but it was fruitless.

June came and went. We walked out to that hole a minimum of 15 times in June and never caught another trout. We varied our times of fishing and methods and still no hook ups. We decided to give the hole a 2 week rest and to have at it again. The weather was really hot and the main branch of the Kickapoo River water temperatures were up. We did not want to land any trout and have them die due to lack of oxygen in the water because of the heat wave we had been having.

We met up at the 4th of July fireworks. We read each other?s mind. We were on for the 5th of July. The weather had changed and the air and water temperatures were in a reasonable range now. After a short give and take conversation it was decided I would have first crack at the big female. Joe had caught an absolute monster last July and it was my turn to try for a monster.

I called Joe at 3am this morning to make sure he was out of bed. He was not out of bed so I gave him a hard time and told to get in gear and meet me. I told him to wear drab colors and to give us every chance of catching the monster. Joe got there at 4am. He was dressed in his pajama bottoms. They were brown plaid. He had some odd looking hoody on. He didn't even have waders on. He had white low top tennis shoes on. I asked him if he was in some new type of "Urban Angler" attire. He said he could get wet if it was needed. He told me that the big female had left and we weren't going to catch it anyway.

Fishing in the dark is not my favorite outing. When trout get really large they turn in to nocturnal feeders. Every step in the pitch dark seems labored. Even flat ground becomes treacherous. It seemed like it took forever to get out there. We made it out there in 13 minutes and I was in place and casting. It was 4:13 am and I could not even see the end of my rod. We had picked this morning because of the imminent full moon. There was a full moon but the fog was really thick and it covered the moon. We hoped that would help us see and full moons usually mean primary feeding periods. It was really eerie being out there in the dark. It made me question why we had gotten up so early.

At 4:43 am I had exhausted every option I had planned to use. The tall weeds had made the casting experience less than enjoyable on the edge of the darkness and one step from treading water in the main branch of the Kickapoo River. The weeds were a little more tolerable now due to me grooming the area for a half an hour while casting and the 14 other trips to this area so far this summer. I told Joe he could bat clean up. We looked in my box and there was one big fly in there that was not wet. It was a dumbbell eyed size 2 black bunny leech with red in the collar. He told me to stand back and watch the "Urban Angler" work his magic.

BlackBunny.jpg

The bunny was quite heavy so he decided to make a 2 part cast at it. He got it out part of the way and then kind rolled it out there like spey casting.

Joe was able to get about 5 feet more distance on his cast more than I had been doing. He ripped the leech through the area with long fast strips. The next thing we knew his pole was bent in half and the fish was screaming upstream in the Kickapoo River. All we could do is listen to the battle.

It did a couple jumps and we heard the splashes when it came back to earth. We could not see due to the dark and fog. We were talking as he battled it. I told him big browns don't usually jump like that. They hunker down and do power runs. This one was doing power runs and trying to touch the sky. We both thought he had a northern on. We made sure we had the correct tool for the job before we came. There was a fresh 2X leader on. The Kickapoo is quite wide in the main channel. Luckily there were no down trees in the water. The battle took forever

The battle in the fog was surreal. The line lurched different directions and at times strained and looked like it wanted to explode. Every time Joe gained a little line on the fish, it ran off another length of line in to the darkness. I kept repeating to Joe: "Keep pressure on it." "You have a new leader on and it is holding." Finally the trout tired and came towards us. The darkness and fog parted and the defeated leviathan came to my net. It was not a northern. It was not the female brown we had seen a month before. It was a gigantic hook jawed male brown. We both were giddy with the feeling of a battle won and smiled as we released him. The dark and the fog seemed much more tolerable as we stood there and watched him swim away. God I love trout fishing. There is nothing better. The mammoth female will have to wait for another day.

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Have returned to area recently to look for the big female.

She and her mate were there in the confluence sunning themselves.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Hookmaster
      Kudos for doing this. I'm sure a lot of fishermen would not have.
    • MikeG3Boat
      I know it has been raining all week but anyone have any walleye reports?  Heading up for the holiday weekend and want to do some fishing.
    • MikeG3Boat
      Partyonpine, Would you be willing to share in what areas you were getting some nice Bluegills?  I am on the east end on big bay and would like to find some good panfish.
    • partyonpine
      Opener and the week after were good.  Not the numbers we normally get but better quality in the East End.  Not surprised on the weights for the Auto City a.  Usually for us we only catch a few slot fish but we averaged 3 a day for 10 days.  2 overs, biggest 27 inches.     Our best luck was 12-16 feet for quality.  When we went deeper we caught more but smaller.  Bass were really starting to heat up.  For me little earlier than normal.  Found some nice Bluegills the day we went after some panfish.  Dock fishing was as many as we wanted per usual.
    • Shulsebus
      We will be up on June 8th for the week. It will be our 13th year in a row staying on the lake.  I hope the walleye are hitting the bobbers by the time that we get there. 
    • SkunkedAgain
      Those are some fine specimens. Great job
    • gimruis
      I'm quite shocked to hear that a walleye tournament is still doing a live weigh in.  Virtually every event these days around here is doing a catch, photo, and release format.   Regardless, nice work.  Congrats.
    • LakeofthewoodsMN
      On the south end...   A great week of fishing with walleyes and saugers caught in good numbers.   The go-to presentation, again, was a jig and frozen emerald shiner.  Emerald shiners are a staple in LOW and walleyes love them.  Other minnows worked also, but emerald shiners are a favorite of anglers for good reason.   The Lighthouse Gap area, Morris Point Gap and just in front of Pine Island held nice fish in 17 - 21' of water.  Various schools of walleyes and saugers across the south shore.     A quarter ounce jig in gold, glow white, pink, orange, chartreuse, or a combo of these colors tipped with a minnow worked well again.   Some big pike and jumbo perch being caught by walleye anglers. On the Rainy River...  Some nice walleyes were caught on the river this weekend, although most anglers normally head to the lake.  12 - 15' of water is holding some nice fish.   Sturgeon fishing on the Rainy River is closed until the keep season starts up again July 1st. Up at the NW Angle...  Some nice walleyes being caught along with a mixed bag.  12 - 25 feet of water.  Points, neck down areas and bays with warming water were holding good fish this week.    The go-to presentation was a jig and minnow as on the south shore.  A mixed bag as is common around the Angle.  
    • leech~~
      Nice work!   Here's two words you hardly ever hear anyone say anymore.  "grateful and humbled"   
    • Brianf.
      RLG, thanks for the shout-out!     Jeff and I are still trying to wrap our heads around what happened this past weekend.  We are humbled and full of gratitude  for having won 'The Classic' for a second time.     We practiced through all the rain on Thurs and the wind on Friday and found six different spots holding big fish.  Fishing was good on both days with several 'overs' in our catch...but would it hold up for another day?   We didn't know.     On tourney day, we made a long run to our first spot where I lucked out on a 26.5"er on my second cast.  Jeff followed up with a thick 27" er a few minutes later, which turned out to be the big fish for the event at 7.26lbs.  We finished out our limit and weighed-in at 10:30 am for the welfare of the fish in our livewell.    There were some big weights in this event which would have won in most other years, but - for whatever reason - this was our day.  Everything just went our way.  Again, we are just super grateful and humbled by this success.  We also want to congratulate all the other anglers who did well and give a big 'thank you' to the tournament organizers who put on such a great event!  
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