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Archive for June, 2009

Fish Lake

jiffy pop and smoresWe made plans with the Larsons to take a trip to Fish Lake together.  After Church Sunday the 28th, we loaded our final items in the camper and drove to PV to pick them up.  By 2:00 we were on the road to Dubois.  We made it to our camp at the lake by 7:30.  No one was camped there, so we got the best spot on the lake and it was plenty big enough for our 3 campers.

Only a week ago it was impassible by truck, but the last of the snow was gone from the roads on the way in.  All the trees have started falling since the fire (2004/05?), it is a different world on the way in now.  It was really too early in the year for good flyfishing at this lake, although we were able to help the kids catch a few on bait.


Monday night we were pushed indoors by a thunderstorm.  When we re-emerged we watched a cow moose swimming across the lake to feed on the other side.  It was nice visiting with friends and touring Fish Lake Mountain and beyond.cow moose

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walleyeJust enough time to recoup at home and we are off again.  We picked up Chad and left for Glendo around 3:15pm.  We were fishing our spot in Muddy by 5.  The bite was slow and it was HOT(92º).  After only a few minutes the wind came up quite strong, so we decided to anchor to stay on our spot.  Michelle started fishing a smaller rod under the boat for perch and did well.  Moving to another spot didn’t prove to be any better fishing.  But we persisted in the heavy winds and it paid off.  By 8:15pm the fish really turned on!  We picked up 13 fish within about a 45 minute period before it got dark and we packed it in for the night.  Our walleye ranged from 16-20” and the perch were 10 and 11 inches.

We were back on the water by 5:15am and back at the sunken island.  Only needing 7 more fish, the morning was short.  Erik started us off with 3 fish in a row, two being walleye.  Michelle put one in the cooler and Chad put two in and one back.  At 6 Erik and Chad had a double putting us at our limit.  We fished for another while until a Colorado boat with two dogs pulled up 20 yards away from us and right into our casting hole.  Since we were limited out we took off for home.


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Outlaw Canyon

brown4 am is early!  We picked Erik’s dad Gordon up at 4:30 and left Casper, bound for the Middle Fork of the Powder River near Kaycee.  We arrived at our destination just in time for the sun to be high enough to keep us warm in the deep canyon.  The water was just the right height and just milky enough to offer spectacular fishing this warm sunny day.  We hiked a ways before beginning to fish so as not to worry about running into other fishermen, although the middle of the week usually fixes that little problem. rainbow

The day was absolutely wonderful!  The temperature was perfect and the fishing phenomenal.  Each of us caught dozens of rainbows and browns on medium weight fly rods with leach flies.  Every hole, every glide, every riffle had a trout lying in waiting for us to float that fly past their nose.  Each fish was fat and healthy and put up a good fight.  Click here to watch video!


Dad and Erik


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Tongue River Reservoir

Sunday after church we packed the camper and loaded the boat to head out for Tongue River Reservoir.   Coming in on a Sunday afternoon we see a mass exodus out of the park!  We chose a camping spot near Sand Point where we could safely leave the boat in the water over night, something we rarely do.  We decided to eat a dinner of pork ribs before fishing for the evening.  When we got on the water our favorite island near the dam was first on the agenda.  It wasn’t producing and the beaver lodge we’ve been so successful around was gone.  So, we headed to a bay with quite a few private cabins to fish their docks.  Bingo!  We first tried the dock that floats out in the middle of the bay.  we hammered several right off the bat.  After that slowed down we started working from the middle shore dock toward the back of the bay.  More of the crappie were black, but we caught many white crappie too.  The biggest fish were 11”  and most of the bigger ones were 9 1/2-10 1/2”.  It was a very good first evening.hookedbring it in

Monday morning we got up expecting the fishing at the docks to be equally as good.  We were mistaken.  Although we caught quite a few and by most people’s standards great fishing, it just wasn’t as fast as the night before.  After some time we started working our way around the lake slowly, trying different types of terrain: rocky, brushy and river channel.  We headed for a culvert having heard from a friend that he had some good fishing near one a couple years ago.  Erik caught a nice small mouth and a nice black crappie, but no other fish were brought in.  So, we headed back to camp for a light lunch and a nap.  After we ate Erik decided to throw  a jig off the back of the boat.  Michelle followed along with a book.  It was the best fishing of the day!  Soon both of us were bringing in fish, although not keeper size.  When this slowed we got back in the camper and decided to wait until evening to try our luck again around the docks.  We had steaks on the grill before heading out for the evening.  The docks proved to be better that this morning, but still not quite as good as yesterday, strange fish those crappie.  We were able to catch 10 keepers(10” or bigger). very black crappie

Over by the dock labeled rattlesnake way, Michelle hooked a decent walleye.  Erik decided to get out the net since it was on 2lb line.  As we watched the walleye near the boat a HUGE northern came up from the depths and attacked the walleye from its side.  It must have been 20lbs!  The northern started taking the walleye to the depths on that light line, and then came up just enough for Erik to see him drop the walleye and try to turn it before retaking it.  Down again we went, this time when Michelle was able to pull the line to the surface, the northern was gone leaving a marred walleye on the hook.  We kept the walleye and will never forget the excitement of seeing that pike rise form the depths and clamp on to that walleye with such ferocity- oh, if only he had held on!  We stayed out until after sunset.small mouth

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Jan Lake

Deafening quiet, calm waters and pine- Breaking the silence by casting a line.

  • Whizz of the rod
  • Splash of the jig
  • Rippling the surface
  • Hope for fish big

See the pike in the shallows, eagles nest high above- Try to catch that large northern with streamer or buzz.

  • Screech of the eagle
  • Hum of the motor
  • Teeth of a gator
  • Ripping steel leader

Don’t anger the beaver, too close to his lodge- Fishing his waters trespassing you pause.

  • Swimming for you
  • Slapping his tail
  • Causing commotion
  • Comical trail

Hear the drum of a ruffed grouse, a bear strolls on by- The cranes are a whooping as the sun sets this night.

  • Croak of a frog
  • Darkening sky
  • Too many fish
  • Don’t want to good-bye

Watch the video:

Jan Lake pt1

Jan Lake pt2

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Canada 09 day 7

A great ending to a great trip!  First thing when we got to the back of Harper, we started catching walleye.  A black bear came out on the rocks we had lunch on a couple days ago early on as well.  We stayed on a good walleye bite all day long with very few pesky little northerns trying to ruin our fun(the little ones are a pain to catch and release).  mary with her big northern

After lunch we realized the walleyes had moved into the bay for the evening.  One after another!  Storm clouds kept growing all around us and the skies grew dark.  But, all the heavy rain seemed to split and move to either side of us without ever opening up overhead.  Just before we were heading back to camp a cow moose came out of the woods just long enough to say hello.20" walleye

Thanks for another great week of fishing, Jan Lake!!!

Jan sunset

Until next year……….

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Canada 09 day 6

21" walleyeThis was a great day!  We did have to work a little harder than we like for our fish, but we did just fine.  We caught a couple dozen walleye that were 19″ or better and several big northerns.nice jack

The wildlife viewing today was extraordinary.  We normally see all the animals we viewed today, just not always up close all in one day.

First thing entering the big water from camp we saw a pair of loons out in the deepest waters of Jan.  As we headed through the narrows we caught an eagle fishing from a tree.  Many geese came our way just before a big rain storm passed through.  And on the way back to camp there was a beautiful black bear foraging by the shore, and this one stuck around for a few pictures!loons

bald eagleThen to top it all off, it was one of the most dazzling sunsets we have witnessed here….. or anywhere.

black bear

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Canada 09 day 5

You know, there are really 2 reasons for these yearly trips to Canada.  This is our 9th year in a row. The fishing is amazing.  Hundreds of walleye a day, looking for that 23 plus incher.  Giant gator like northerns in shallow bays on sunny warm days, snatching your lure like a ferocious monsters.  It doesn’t get any more exciting than that!fresh catch

But the second reason is the shore lunch.  It seems a small insignificant part of the day.  A necessity of sorts.  But, think about the joy of eating fish YOU caught just minutes before.  So fresh.  Providing sustenance for yourself.  5 and 6 days in a row fresh, scrumptious fish.

Each day trying new batters.  Maybe beans as a side today, or throw some onions in the hot oil.  Fresh fruit cut on shore.

cooking over a fire

We chose one of our favorite spots today for lunch.  Just across from where we saw a small black bear foraging by the shore earlier in the day.  He gave us only a glimpse, not even sticking around to pose for one picture.

The fishing was good today.  Although we found far more pockets of northerns than walleye, we still managed to catch enough to make our arms sore.

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Canada 09 day 4


We started this morning at Brock.  We spent about 30 minutes jigging along the reeds in the furthest part of the bay and decided this just wasn’t going to do for today.  The Sandy Narrows has always been one of our favorite spots over the years, so we headed that direction early in the morning.  At first we struggled to find the walleye, although for most people’s standards we did well as we easily caught 5 nice ones for shore lunch by 11:00.  During the process of looking for walleye, however, we kept hooking into northerns.80cm northern pike

So, Michelle rigged up her favorite pike rod with a big spoon and started casting toward shore (her absolute favorite type of fishing in the north).

We stayed in the narrows until 5:30.  We met two very nice young game wardens (the first ever).  They checked our licenses and fish, gave us a nice sticker to measure fish and went on their way.

eagle with his twigThe craziest eagle kept circling us today.  It had a branch in it’s talons and must have flown around the trees we were fishing near a couple dozen times, landing two or three times and taking off again.

I hope he or she finally figured out what to do with that branch- maybe it was a magic branch.

By the end of the day we had kept 8 very nice northerns for Erik to fillet.nice northerns

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Canada 09 day 3

Jan LakeIt was a cold and stormy night(Calvin & Hobbes, for those who may not get it), I mean day.  Wow, wiiinndy and coooold most of the morning.  We really had trouble holding our drifts and staying on good spots today.  The fishing really was just as good as yesterday, we just had to suffer through the weather to catch fish.  Early in the day we got to see a pair of whooping cranes and their chicks come to water near where we were fishing.  The adults kept the youngsters back and we only got a glimpse of them.

By lunch the wind let up just a bit and we were able to enjoy our fish in a cajun batter and cook potatoes and onions in the coals.  doubleAround 3:30 the clouds started to roll away, however the wind continued to persist- until we got back to the cabin for the night, of course!  On the way back to camp we missed a great photo op.  A seagull was in hot persuit of a bald eagle with a fish in it’s talons and the sun was perfectly behind us.  They came within a few dozen feet of the boat- of course the camera was put away for the ride back.

Kabobs on the grill (with walleye cheeks) for dinner, yummy.  Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny calm and warm………. we will believe it when we see it.  keepers

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