Tuesday, November 23, 2021
I Headed North in July with three good friends , a couple of rafts and a plan to fish as many of the amazing smallmouth bass rivers in the area as we could in seven days. The amount of water available within an hours drive of Hayward is pretty amazing , and that's not including the real gems that visitors like us never get clued into. We tried to keep our options open and see as much new water as we could, not wanting to end up with tunnel vision and fish the same river and stretch of water all week. To that end we fished multiple stretches of four different flowages in the week we were up...Namekagon , St Croix , Flambeau and the Chippewa. This was a "No Mercy" fishing trip...the average day consisted of getting up with the sunrise , driving an hour to the days chosen fishing destination , shuttling a vehicle to the takeout spot and then floating anywhere between 10 to 15 miles of river and ending the day as the last vestiges of light disappeared (or several times by flashlight well after). After picking up the second vehicle and loading up boats and gear it was approaching the midnight hour more than once by the time we pulled back into the little motel parking lot. No complaints here , Wisconsin is a great state and I love cheese curds and beer as much as the next guy. That being said , I can get both of them 500 miles South in the state I reside in. I wouldn't drive 9 hours to wash down greasy cheese curds with the best beer in the country , but the chance to catch football shaped smallies on topwater bugs that resemble an overgrown salmonfly is a proposition that I just can't say NO to. Not much else to be said...Beautiful country , good company and topwater smallies. Pure Nirvana!
Thursday, November 18, 2021
One last three day float trip chasing smallies before Mother Nature crashes Winter down upon us with a vengeance. Luckily flows were good or the shortened days and recent time change would have made the 20 miles a little optimistic for a 3 day float. The fishing was definitely on the slow side , probably brought ten fish to hand and none were over 14". Not sure what the water temp was running but those little guys felt like you'd pulled them out of an ice chest when releasing them! On the bright side the Fall colors were beautiful and I had the river to myself for the entire three days , didn't see a soul on the entire trip. Nothing like three days of river solitude to put life back in perspective and energize the soul until the next trip.