April 9, 2014
Air Temp (mid-day): 64 deg
Water temp (mid-day): 44 deg
I find it somewhat appropriate that baseball and (Wisconsin) trout seasons accompany one another. Walking through knee-deep snowdrifts in below-freezing weather in search of trout ranks right up there with the smell of tailgate brats and Bob Uecker’s voice on the radio as heralds of spring.
That being said, I can confidently say that I’m still in pre-season form, the kind that screams “I gave up five runs over two-and-a-third innings but that’s okay because I’m still figuring out my split-fingered fastball.” Every one hits a slump now and then, and sometimes they come early in the season. I mean, if I wanted to make a comparison between myself and Ryan Braun, at this point in April we’re hitting (or hooking up) at about the same rate. (Though, to be fair, I should probably compare myself to Craig Counsell instead).
(Also, insert your own steroid joke here).
On a day like today though you can’t worry too much about catching fish. It’s just too damn nice not to enjoy it.
I did catch some fish, though.
If it exists, I have fishing ADD. I can’t seem to focus on just one species of fish, and I inexplicably transition from one to another in a heartbeat.
Last night I attended the Southern Wisconsin Trout Unlimited “Trout Stew” event, which differed from a normal chapter meeting by having numerous speakers and topics instead of one, and you had the option of milling about from table-to-table following your own angling whims.
So first I stopped to listen to Dan Jensen talk about fly fishing for muskie, and I was like Aw, yeah!
Then I found my way to John Harrison, who quickly turned the switch from bluegills (Let’s do this!) to smallmouth (What are we waiting for!) to northerns (Didn’t we just talk about… oh wait, no that was muskie… yeah, baby!).
Finally I made it over to my final table of the night to glean some wisdom from Jim Bartelt, which brought me full circle back to trout.
So I guess it wasn’t much of a surprise that halfway to Black Earth Creek I decided to make a detour up to the Wisconsin River and go another round at walleye. I just so happened to have the 9-weight with me (not for trout, I assure you!). Water tems were still a frigid 41 degrees, and the spill gates along the dam were roaring. Water level was up considerably since last week, and the nice weather drew quite a crowd (I would estimate at least twenty anglers between those along the shore and those boating), but after slinging the big rod for about a hour and getting blanked the ADD kicked in again and I began to regret skipping Black Earth Creek in favor of this.
As I headed home my mind was already back to trout, thinking of next week’s venture. Coming back full circle, you see.
…then, as I sat at home later, my mind wandered to the “Up Nort” cottage and the lake, and I began plotting against pre-spawn bluegills.