"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The End

For all of my life, the trout season in both my home state of Minnesota and my pseudo-home state of Wisconsin has ended on the last day of September. Up until the last couple of years, that is. At some point  (I don't even know exactly when it happened) the Wisconsin trout season started to stay open until October 15th. This year I finally decided to fish for trout in October, so my buddy Bryon and I headed out on the 15th to see what October trout fishing was all about.
The river looked fishy enough...

The first fish on my new Steffen rod

I'll tell you this much, the trout fishing in October wasn't anything like the trout fishing we had experienced in earlier months, that's for sure. It was hard! We fished as well as we could for several hours, and had very little to show for it. I caught 4 trout, three of which were tiny, and Bryon landed two. He also performed a couple of heart-wrenching LDR's on some big fish that I heard about later. He's a pretty honest guy, so I believe him. Other than that, we spent the day fruitlessly flailing away with all sorts of different flies, to no avail. Let's see, I tried an Elk Hair Caddis, a biot-bodied parachute, a CDC-winged emerger type thingy, a Spearfish Special nymph which had slayed the fish all season long no matter where I was fishing, a Madam X, a Stimulator, a couple of different colored wooly buggers, my rubber-legged prince nymph, and probably several other flies.
Bryon, the man, rigging up

I am not sure what flies Bryon used, other than the X-Caddis he started out with. He's not nearly the crazed fly-changer that I am, so I assume his list would be much shorter than mine. The thing is that we saw fish rising, at least for a while. And quite a few of them. But that didn't mean we could catch them. We both must have been too out of practice when it came to fishing dries. Oh well, we have the winter to practice up...

My newest acquisition, a Steffen S-glass 7' 4wt

The best part about the day was getting to use my new Steffen Brothers 7' 4wt glass rod I recently acquired. If you are unfamiliar with Steffen rods, they are a small company in Arizona that makes some of the best casting fiberglass rods around. This is my second Steffen rod, to go along with my 7'6" 2/3wt. I paired the new 4wt with my Scientific Anglers System 4 reel, and together that combo performed flawlessly. OK, maybe not flawlessly, seeing that I was the one casting them, but they performed very well, especially when I was casting smaller dries and nymphs. When I added a big, bushy Stimulator to my rig to act as an indicator, the Steffen wasn't quite as crisp. It still got both flies out where I wanted them, but it was just slightly more laborious. Later, when the water started to get dirtier from a recent rainfall, and I knew I would need to use some bigger and flashier flies, I switched to my Fenwick FF75 7'6" 5/6wt glass rod.
A dude I met in the woods

My biggest fish of the day...

Obviously, both Bryon and I had a fun day. We were fishing for trouts, after all. But it wasn't the glorious way I was hoping we would end the season. Oh well, if every day on the water was glorious, things would quickly get boring and I would revert back to playing golf...I can't wait until next year's trout season opens!

Gear Used: Steffen Brothers 7' 4wt S-Glass rod; Scientific Anglers System 4 reel; A plethora of flies;
Fenwick FF75 glass rod; Lamson LP-2 reel; Even more flies...
A lovely way to end the season, as we drove back to civilization.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Scott and his Scotts

I have developed a deep appreciation for Scotts. And I don't mean myself, or even other humans named Scott. Despite the fact that I do like myself, and even have a few friends named Scott, those aren't the Scotts I am talking about. The Scotts I am referring to are Scott fly rods, and to be even more specific, Scott fiberglass fly rods. I have owned a few Scott graphite fly rods over the years, and they were nice, too, but at this particular point in time the only Scotts I own are of the fiberglass variety, and they are sweet!

Me and one of my Scotts. Photo by Bryon Tang
As you may already know, my rod arsenal is always changing, but at the moment I own three Scott glass rods. First up is an F754/3, a sweet dark gray 7'6" 4wt. Next up is an F2 774/3, a lovely yellow 7'7" 4wt. Lastly I have an older yellow Pow-R Ply 8' 5wt. They each are their own rod, and have their own individual feel, but I like them all. The two 4 weights are both light and crisp, perfect dry fly rods. The Pow-R-Ply 5wt has a feel all its own. At first it feels quite heavy in the hand, which isn't a feeling that fills me with confidence. But as soon as I start casting it, it comes alive. It can make any cast I want to try with it. I can make delicate presentations with small dries, I can cast weighted nymphs and indicators all day, and I can boom long casts into the wind. It's pretty amazing.
This Scott really loves his Scotts!
The F754/3 with a cute little bluegill
The F2 774/3 on a lovely Driftless stream

The Pow-R-Ply 8' 5wt, after a chunky brook trout flopped out of the photo. I promise, it was a brute...