West Branch

I got in late yesterday from a business trip to Atlanta, and so I slept in a little this morning. Luckily, it was overcast so there were fish out even when I got to the West Branch of the White River at 8:30 AM.

I caught a small brown right off the bat, and in a couple of hours of wading I totaled eight brown trout and four rainbows.

As I circled back to the car, I encountered a couple of TU friends getting ready for a youth camp event and had a nice chat. And on the way home, I stopped at Milty-Wilty for my usual vanilla cone.

Radley Creek

Tonight after work I hit a downstream section of Radley Creek. I could tell that someone has been working to keep this stream cleared. The wading was much easier than the last time I fished here a year ago. It was a real obstacle course back then. This year, even in the brushy sections there were gaps between the bushes just wide enough if the cast was perfect.

It was overcast, and the fish were cooperative. I caught seven brown trout in a quick two hours of fishing.

Storm on Willow Creek

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Last night was a chub festival on Willow Creek. I caught five chubs before I landed the first trout. Eventually, I totaled two browns (and eight chubs).

I cut the trip a little short when violent thunderstorms started to head my way. I wasn’t at a convenient exit point, so I had to scramble through a swamp and lots of brush.  The last fifteen feet back to the car went quickly, though, when there was a lightning strike and a loud crack of thunder. I covered that distance with one frightened jump!

The rain started pouring down just as I got safely beneath the raised back hatch of my minivan. Perfect timing!

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More West Branch

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Yesterday after work I covered another stretch of the West Branch of the White River. It was in the mid-80s °F, so I was happy to see that there were some fish that were active.

I waded about a mile in the river and caught eight browns and four rainbows. The biggest was only about nine inches, but that is OK for the middle of the summer on a hot day.

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Willow Creek

It was pretty hot and humid after work today. I fished a difficult section of Willow Creek. The water was a little deeper than usual and even at average conditions I’ve gone under near this location on several occasions. It doesn’t help that the bottom is soft and that brush overhangs many of the deep holes. To top it off, the banks are steep and overgrown, and much of the surrounding land is swampy.

Somehow despite all of that I was able to catch four brown trout and successfully navigate my way out of the swamp.

Pine River

Yesterday was a long and emotionally draining day, so this morning I decided to stick close to home and revisit a section of the Pine that I fished in the early season. This is the first time this year that I fished in the same spot twice, and it worked out very well.

It was sunny and not too hot when I started. Luckily, there were plenty of shady sections for the trout to congregate while the sun was still low. A kingfisher swooped by, always a good sign that there are fish around. He flapped his wings and I nodded back out of professional courtesy.

I caught seven browns and one brook trout. On the way home, I stopped at the Chatterbox in Wild Rose for breakfast and had a nice swim in Kusel Lake.

Chaffee Creek

The weather was a little threatening after work yesterday. I decided it was a perfect time to visit another section of Chaffee Creek. Chaffe is a small stream that packs a lot of good size trout, but you really have to work for them.

The banks are pretty brushy this time of year, there are some deep spots that make wading tricky, and forget casting more than 25 feet. But the trout were there, and I caught and released a dozen browns.

Unfortunately, the two biggest trout I landed were probably doomed. One was hooked through the eye and the other got nicked on a gill. I hate when that happens, and tried to be extra careful with the other fish to make up for it. I also quit a little early to leave some for next time.

Tomorrow River

I’m back from vacation now and was eager to return to my home waters this morning. I picked a stretch of the Tomorrow River that I hadn’t hit yet this year.

The forecast called for mostly sunny skies, so I arrived about a half hour after sunrise to get some angling in before the sky got too bright. The water depth was about six inches above average, and visibility in the water was only about a foot and a half.

The trout were biting, and I caught the first two immediately upon exiting the culvert that was my path under the road where I parked. I landed a total of twelve brown trout before the sun rose high in the sky and the action started to peter out.

I made it into Stevens Point in time to have breakfast at The Wooden Chair and then had a nice swim in Lake Emily on the way home.

Carp River in the U.P.

We spent this week in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan, in St. Ignace at a cottage right on Lake Huron. There were some big salmon or steelhead cruising right up to our beach, but I couldn’t get them interested in taking a spinner.

I did take one morning to go trout fishing in the woods. And “woods” has a whole different meaning in the U.P. I studied the map of the road crossing I had targeted for the Carp River and picked out what looked like a promising trail to hike down and then fish back upstream. When I got to the site early in the morning, I couldn’t even breathe without sucking in mosquitoes. The “trail” petered out after about 20 feet.

So I ended up fishing upstream from the bridge instead. The wading was tricky, with plenty of deep spots and some slippery sections. I started catching fish right away, beginning with a nice 14 inch rainbow (no photo of that one). I fished for a couple of hours and landed six rainbows. I had a couple more big ones on the line but couldn’t manage to land them.

I planned to fish longer, but I ended up going under in my waders and had to hike back to the car to dry out. In that process I soaked another cell phone (I’m definitely losing confidence in those “waterproof” cell phone pouches). But this time, it looks like I was able to dry out the phone and salvage it.

Between the mosquitoes and the soaking, I lost my appetite for any more fishing until I get back home.

West Branch

I picked another section of the West Branch of the White River for my trip after work today. Unfortunately, it was bright and sunny and the trout were mostly in hiding.

Eventually, I caught one on a black spinner, and later, as the sun began to set, I caught three more on a gold spinner. All four were brown trout, of the jumping variety that frequents this stretch.

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