Pierce County 6.25.17

My dad and I hit a smaller area stream tonight from about 6:30 to 9:00. We were happily surprised to see a slight stain on the water when we got there. We began the evening nymphing — myself with a Tungsten Torpedo and a Red and Black Midge, and dad with a green Copper John and a Zebra Midge.

We caught a few fish out of the first couple runs, but after noticing a couple rises, we switched it up to terrestrials. I went with a purple Hippie Stomper and he went a Stimulator. I ended up catching 8 or so browns on the Hippie while dad caught one on the Stimi, with both of us missing plenty more.

The Hippie Stomper is my favorite summer attractor pattern. Red, or as tonight, purple, are great colors to tease trout to the surface when there isn’t a major hatch.

Terrestrials are a great option right now, especially on the smaller creeks. I didn’t cast to specific rises as much as just good holding areas near rocks, cut banks, and fallen trees, where the fish can quickly swoop out for an easy meal. We were too lazy to tie on droppers, but I imagine tying a small Pheasant Tail or Frenchie 18-24 inches below would make for a killer combo.

This cooler weather has made for some really pleasant summer fishing. Get out and take advantage of it while you can!

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Pierce County 6.3.17

I fished a new-to-me section of an area stream this evening from about 6:00 to dark. The stream had a little stain on it from last night’s rains, which was a welcomed sight. I began the outing nymphing with a size 14 Tungten Torpedo jig variation with a size 18 Red and Black Midge. I quickly plucked five browns out of the first run, with one around 13″.

I worked upstream for another half-mile or so, with almost every riffle producing a couple fish. Once the sun began dropping below the horizon, I decided it was time to turn around and start walking back to the car. I tied on a black leech pattern and swung it through the pools and riffles on my way, and managed to bring two fish to hand, with a few follows and misses as well. There was also a pretty good sulphur hatch right at dusk with quite a few trout rising to them. It was just getting too dark for me to switch from my streamer rig.

With the hot weather we’re having, the fishing will be better in the mornings and evenings. The mosquitoes were pretty thick tonight too — remember that bug spray and/or a buff!

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Pierce County 5.29.17

I fished a short section of an area stream tonight from about 7:00 until dark. Midges were the ticket, as a Red and Black Midge caught all but one fish on the outing, with the other coming on a flashback pheasant tail. I ended up catching about a dozen total, all between 8 to 12 inches. I did have one around 15″ on but he fell off as I was reaching for him with the net. The streams are definitely higher than normal, but plenty clear.

Great place to end the long weekend.

Aric also fished the Kinni on Sunday evening from about 4:30 to 9:00 and caught about 35 fish, all 12″ and under. He began the outing using a Pheasant Tail and Zebra Midge but noticed quite a few fish rising to sulphurs, so he ended up catching 10 or so on top using a size 16 Sulphur Parachute.

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Pierce County 5.7.17

Beautiful weather and opening weekend of the catch and keep season brought the crowds out to the popular streams, so I hit a smaller area stream to find some solitude from about 3:30 to 6:00 pm. I began the outing with a black leech streamer I had success with at this spot before, but was unsuccessful this time around. After a couple runs, I turned to nymphing with a size 16 olive Euro pheasant tail and a size 18 standard Euro PT below. I seemed to be a tree magnet — this section has a lot of overhanging limbs — today, but when I did manage to get my flies in the water the fish seemed to be willing to eat. I ended up with seven or eight fish in the two or three runs before I hit my takeout point, including this one around 12″

Fish were also rising a bit to midges, but I didn’t bother tying one on. The stream was also low and crystal clear, making stealth very important as I approached good holding spots. A little rain would be a welcome sight!

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Pierce County 4.8.17

Thinking the Kinni and Rush would be pretty busy, I chose a to fish smaller area stream from about 10:00am to 4:00pm. I began the day nymphing with my tried-and-true Euro pheasant tail and zebra midge, and caught around 25 browns with them.

There were quite a few fish rising to BWOs, but I failed to bring floatant, so I thought I’d try my luck with a foam hippy stomper. The fish didn’t seem to mind that I didn’t quite match the hatch!

I eventually got to a deeper pool and decided to tie on a streamer. On my first cast with the black rabbit strip leech, the biggest fish of the day slammed it!

I spent the last half-mile or so of the outing stripping the streamer through pools with a couple follows and a few misses, but none to hand. It was definitely nice to catch fish with nymphs, dries, and a streamer all in one day!

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Pierce County 4.7.17

I fished a new-to-me section of an area stream today from about 3:00 to 5:30pm. The whole outing I used a Euro pheasant tail with a black zebra midge, and caught about a dozen browns with about half on each fly. There was also pretty consistent rising to BWOs throughout the afternoon, but I never switched it up and stuck with the nymph rig. It’s always fun to explore some new water, and I’ll probably be doing the same tomorrow as I’m sure all the regular spots will be packed!

This butterbelly was the biggest of the day, probably around 13″.

 

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Pierce County 3.25.17

Aric and I fished a smaller area stream yesterday afternoon from about 1:00 to 6:30pm. We fished a variety of nymphs with a zebra midge dropper, but the top performer was the Euro pheasant tail with a pink hot spot. The zebra midge caught its fair share as well. We caught about 40 fish between us, with quite a few over 12″ and one around 15-16″.

I caught one around 13″ on a streamer as well.

There was a good number of BWOs on the surface from about 2:00-4:00, with plenty of fish rising to them, but we stuck to fishing subsurface.

Overall, a great day on the water that gets us even more excited for spring!

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Pierce County 6.10.16

With the Driftless Trout Anglers’ annual get-together (named “Troutstock”) this weekend, Driftless Area fly fishing legend Bryan “Trapper” Voldahl arrived early and invited me to join him on a smaller Pierce County stream this morning. We decided to fish a shaded stretch of stream because of the hot weather.

After nymphing for the first few minutes, we noticed a couple good rises and switched it up to dries. I tied on a variation of a parachute adams I’ve been tying lately and Trapper went with his favorite dry, the hippie stomper. It is basically a beetle attractor pattern.

Trapper's fly of choice was a red hippie stomper in a size 16.
Trapper’s fly of choice was a red hippie stomper in a size 16.

After having a few swipes and misses on the adams, Trapper stepped up and quickly had one take the hippie. We continued up stream switching off and picking fish off with the hippie stomper. Most were about 8-inches — this stream should have plenty of nice-sized fish in a couple years. The biggest of the day was this 13-incher that just poked his nose up to sip the fly off the surface — one of the prettiest rises I’ve seen.

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The second biggest was this 12-incher. We caught about 30 fish total from about 9:00 to 11:30 am, all on the hippie stomper. It’s always fun to watch fish take your fly off the surface! I will definitely be tying up a dozen hippie stompers in the near future.

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Pierce County 4.10.16

We fished the same stretch as last weekend from about 1:00 to 5:30. We ended up catching about 25 fish between the two of us, and missed a bunch more. Many were between 11 and 13 inches. All fish but one were caught on a Euro pheasant tail and zebra midge rig, with about an even split between the two flies. The other fish was caught on a Frick’s Fix that Aric stripped through a riffle. We drifted the Fix a few more times throughout the day and had a few follows as well as a few that got away, but that was the only fish to hand on the streamer.

The water was very clear and fish were rising sporadically throughout the afternoon. BWO’s, midges, and a couple caddis were in the air.

This 13.5-incher was the biggest on the day, although we missed a few that might have beaten it..
This 13.5-incher of mine was the biggest on the day, although we lost a few that might have beaten it.

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Pierce County 4.3.16

Aric and I again explored a new stretch of water in Pierce County from about 11:30 to 5:30. I let Aric fish the first couple runs, and he started us off with this nice 12″ brown.

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The first fish of the day.

Soon we began pulling a few browns out of every riffle, fishing with a size 16 Euro pheasant tail and size 18 black zebra midge. Aric caught this dark-colored brown in a riffle just a foot deep.

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Many of the fish we caught were about this size, between 11-13 inches.

We ended up with around 40 fish to hand between the two of us, the biggest being about a 14.5-15″ brown I caught, but slipped out of my hands before we were able to get a good picture. Fish were also taking the size 16 scud and size 18 WD-40 we threw as well. We saw BWOs and midges in the air, as well as the occasional stonefly, but very few rises throughout the afternoon. Rocks were covered in cased caddis, baetis nymphs, midges, and a few stoneflies.

Aric had a nice brown break him off in one of the last riffles of the day. We will be back.

Today was also a filming day. Check back soon for a new video!

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