Southeast Minnesota 5.25.17

Friend and owner of Limit Creek Fishing Rod Company, Jim Wernimont, invited me down to Southeast Minnesota to fish with him on one of his favorite streams. There’s some great big fish potential on this river, so it was time to bring out the Limit Creek 8 wt with a sinking line and the 6 wt with a floating streamer line. Jim used his Limit Creek spinning rod with a gold, size 11 Original Floating Rap.

Jim started us off with a nice 18″ brown — not picture worthy for someone that catches 20-inchers on the regular. I also caught a 13″ smallmouth on a small black Cheech Leech out of the same run.

We kept working upstream through some great water, with Jim picking off multiple mid to high teens fish. I was able to catch my first brown on a yellow rabbit strip streamer (tying instructions in a future blog post!).

Within the next couple runs I was watching Jim retrieve his Rapala when a brown shot out from a rock and smoke his lure. I was able to run over and net this 21″ pig!

We kept picking off a couple good browns in every run. My strategy was casting about 45 degrees downstream to the opposite bank, throwing a big upstream mend in the line to allow the fly to sink, then let the fly swing across the current while giving the occasional strip or jig. I had more success using the 6 wt and floating line with this method, because it was easier to control the line and track the fly in the water. I recently got the Airflo Super-Dri Kelly Galloup Streamer Float Line for my 6 wt and this stuff is amazing!

Using this “fling and swing” method with a tan and yellow mini Cheech Leech, I casted along a cut bank and had a brown shoot out and smash the streamer. After a good fight in some heavy current, I was able to get him in the net.

We worked upstream through some beautiful country, continuing to catch good browns in every run, as well as a few smallmouth, until making our way to the car at the next bridge. We each had a couple chances at fish pushing 20″, but weren’t able to get them in the net. I can’t thank Jim enough for inviting me. It’s always fun to catch big browns with good friends! My second ever 20-incher will have to wait!

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Minnesota Beards and Browns 5.13.17

I was invited to go turkey hunting with my good friend Lucas Mestad in Minnesota and this was the weekend to do it. We met to get a burger for lunch then hit the woods.

After climbing up the bluff to a ridge-top field, Lucas started calling as we walked along the field edge. After the first couple calling sequences, we struck up a gobble in the valley about 200 yards away. We started working into the woods down a logging road when he gobbled again less than 100 yards away, and we quickly hunkered down to get set up.

Lucas kept sweet talking the gobbler, and soon we could hear footsteps around the corner of the logging road. Lucas had a better angle seeing down the road since I failed to stomp down some grass in front of me, so I was surprised when he whispered “There he is” when I still thought the bird was 30-40 yards away. Eventually I could just see the red of his head peaking through the bushes, and then the bird in full strut.

However, I couldn’t find a clear shot through the grasses as I heard “Kill him!” in my ear. Lucas tried to get him a little closer and clear from the grass with a couple more yelps.

I was on Lucas’ left, so the weeds wouldn’t give me a clear shot.

The tom knew something was wrong when he heard the calls from so close but had no hens in sight. I knew it was now or never and pulled the trigger. Turkey down!

To say we were pumped would be an understatement as it took us a few minutes to settle down and get some cutaways. I couldn’t be more happy to get my first turkey on the ground! You can watch a short of my hunt on this week’s episode of Cabela’s Spring Thunder as well!

I can’t thank Lucas enough for guiding and filming me, as well as taking trophy photos after the hunt. It’s definitely a memory I’ll never forget!

The hunt happened so quickly that we had some time to go fishing after taking photos, and Lucas’ lease has a trout stream flowing through it. I tied on a size 14 Copper John and size 16 Euro pheasant tail and made a few casts into the riffles. It was a little bigger water than I’m used to so it was fun to try to break down this stream. In an hour or so of fishing I ended up catching five browns with all but one coming on the Copper John, the biggest being around 14″.

Got him!

Another HUGE thanks to my dude Lucas for guiding and filming me, while doing it all to give me enough time to go fly fishing before dark. It’s always fun to spend good time in the woods with great friends!

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SE Minnesota 4.4.16

Yesterday, Jim Wernimont of Limit Creek Fishing Rod Company invited me down to Southeast Minnesota to join him fishing one of his favorite creeks. Jim got after it with his Limit Creek LCS510 Spinning Rod while I tossed streamers with my Driftless Dream 8′-6″ 5 wt. Last year I caught a 19.5-inch brown with him, and I hoped to join the 20″ club this time around.

Jim got the day started this a 21″ beast. Notice the Rapala he was using — a big lure for big trout!

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We kept working our way upstream, as Jim picked off a few trout between 11-15 inches (not picture-worthy for someone with some half-dozen trout over 20″ already this spring) and I was unsuccessful with only a few follows and one decent 14-15 incher that got off.

Eventually we made it to a long, fast run. Jim had me go about 40 yards upstream while he fished the lower end. I tried many different presentations, and finally just decided to swing the streamer through the run. As the fly swung downstream of me, I looked up and saw Jim reel in another decent trout. Just as I congratulated him, I felt a strong tug on my line directly downstream of me. It was on. After about a five minute fight, with the fish taking multiple runs, I finally had him in the net.

I couldn't believe how big the fish was.
I couldn’t believe how big this thing was.

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We eventually measured him at 20 1/8 inches. A new personal best for me and my first over 20″!

One more photo of the fish.
One more photo of the fish.

We continued upstream as Jim caught an 18-incher and lost another around 20″ when it tangled itself in some grass. In the next run, I pulled out two more fish around 11-12 inches.

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All of the fish were very light colored.

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All three of my fish were caught on a brown and yellow Frick’s Fix. I lost it to a snag later in the day. I’ll definitely be tying up a few more!

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We made our way further upstream into some beautiful water. Jim capped off the outing with yet another 20-inch fish.

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What a day! Thanks again to Jim for inviting me!

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