February 25, 2013 at 2:16 pm #4326
I’ve been tying a lot lately — as I do every February & March waiting for trout to open.
Steelhead should kick in sometime in the next few weeks and counting the days to my May trip to MI.
Here are some some soft hackles from the weekend:February 25, 2013 at 2:33 pm #4331
“February flies”…..little early for flies so call in the exterminator for crissake.
Yo Webbie…..forget MI. You can do as well, prolly better, on the WI side of the Pond and it’s closer to your home. Ya wanna know where to go? I got a great spot and it’s just a few miles from a great tavern that makes outstanding chili, pizza and burgers. Catch an AM limit, stash the fillets, have lunch and a dz brews and couple snowshoes at the tavern and then go getcha a PM limit.February 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm #4334
I fish a lot of the spring creeks in WI and the tributary streams of the big lake for steelhead. The spring creeks are small, tight water and it’s fun finesse-fishing but the MI rivers are larger and you can run a drift boat on them.
The only rivers you can drift in WI are mostly small mouth fisheries. Given a choice between a 5 hour drive in to MI or a 5 1/2 hour drive to MI — I’ll take MI tailwater fisheries.February 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm #4337
Nice pic Webster! Yeah, the WI tribs to the Pond are not really boat driftable and the erratic rock bottoms and fast water make for some dangerous conditions. Ya need to fish from shore which isn’t exactly how the fairy wand guys like to do it. It’s pretty much spin fishing from shore standing in 2′ of snow and on hookup racing along the bank and trying not to go tea cup over kettle as your dodging the blowdowns.February 25, 2013 at 4:06 pm #4339
JC — a lot has changed in the WI steelhead and salmon tributaries since you probably last fished them. Most are very wadable and very shallow in the riffle areas. The Root, Sheybogan, Milwaukee, Manitowoc and even the Peshtigo Rivers have improved access areas with very wadeable areas.
Some dams have even been removed and the fish can travel even further than they have in the past.February 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm #4340
Webbie, I have about a 1 gallon zip lock bag of wood duck feathers. I have been collecting/keeping them for the last 4-5 years. Probally 30-40 drake wood ducks or so in there. I only keep the side feathers and prettier tail feathers. Would you have any use for those, or some of them? I was saving them for a guy that wanted to do a trade and he ended up quitting his job, got a divorce and has gone crazy. I don’t think he is tying any flies any more. Maybe you share some of your Wisconsin hot duck holes/lakes and I can hook you up on some feathers? 🙂February 25, 2013 at 6:26 pm #4342
DU870…..the Mastuh wants lemon feathers….not blood n guts encrusted anus feathers for crissake.
Yeah, I remember those rivers, especially the Peshtigo and Manitowoc and the Marinette. Also, my favorite smelt netting beach was near the Marinette.February 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm #4343
Oh yeah, the last time I fished those rivers was in 1982, a mere 31 yrs ago so I suppose some things have changed(ie. like my dick which is bout 4″ shorter).February 26, 2013 at 12:20 pm #4350
DU — I’ll never refuse good drake wood duck flank feathers. I use them all the time tying. The ones I use are the barred, lemon flank feathers on the sides.
I always have a ton of mallard feathers. Each season I try to get at least one snipe and a woodcock but I’m going on two season’s now without shooting either one.
WI hot spots:
WI has the best online tools for finding new hunting spots and the new land owner program the started has opened a ton of new spots. These spots take a bit more legwork to map borders so, like most places in WI they are under utilized.
Pheasants – why join a hunt club when WI stocks areas 1-2 times a week for the cost of s pheasant stamp:
WI Open Lands Program:
Online Open Lands Mapping:
West of Janesville there is over 8,000 acres of quality pheasant areas. I can PM you the links to maps of places I’ve been that are great.February 26, 2013 at 12:25 pm #4351
Here is a sample of the quality maps the DNR has online. This one is of Avon Bottoms:February 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm #4353
Thanks for the info Webbie. I am a big fan of the Wisco DNR online mapping. I have found a few good spots using that tool. I print the map off and carry it with in case I get lost. Came in real handy this year for dove hunting. I have looked into the private land thing and it is confusing. The land owners that are getting federal and state money for the goose problem hardly ever call you back or if they do, they have someone hunting the land already…normally family.
If you make it up to the wisco area, let me know and I can show you the feathers. I am pretty sure the ones I saved are the ones you use.
I don’t hunt a lot of pheasants but it would be worth a shot to give it a try. Is that the Bond area you are talking about?February 26, 2013 at 10:47 pm #4361
For the pheasant land — Footville and Evansville areas. In the last 3 seasons I’d say I visit those areas 3-4 times a season. Rarely ran into another hunting party and never came home without birds.
Keep in mind those fields are also open to goose hunting — check areas nearer the Rock & Wisconsin rivers.
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