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Rush River Tenkara

March 26, 2017

March 26, 2017

Unfurled the Tenkara rod on the Rush River to see if I could replicate last weeks success, this time on a different river.

First cast, bingo. Just a little guy, but a nice way to start the day.


A midge beneath an indicator was the ticket, at least for me.  The water was low and clear, so good thing it was overcast.  Amazing how well the fish conceal themselves along the bottom.  Looking down from above you see nothing but rock and other sediment, and then from between the rocks, a fish and the fight is on.

Caught lots of  fish varying in size up to about 11″ but I did have a large one on that just slipped away at the last minute.  I can still feel the give of the rod as the line pulled loose and then watched as the fish triumphantly swim back to the boulder from which I initiated contact.  Next time.  I know where you live.

Lucky Haiku

The freedom to fish

rod, fly, clear water, and time

Lucky, yes we are.


Monkey Around

March 20, 2017

March 19, 2016

Today seemed liked a good day to monkey around on the Kinni.  Another breezy but relatively mild spring day on the water.  32 degrees when I arrived and about 48 degrees when I left around noon.  Enjoyed a few bites of Monkey Bread from Honey and Rye before hitting the water and thus the inspiration for the title of this post. Although for reasons you shall soon read, I thought about calling it “Look Ma, No Reel.”

Monkey Bread

Caramel pillows

Warm cinnamon and honey

Gooey Monkey Bread


The last time I was on the Kinni I found my self tangled in the shrubs, branches, etc. and thought about dusting off the Tenkara rod that I acquired several years ago.  Come to think of it, I’d never used it to fish for trout.  I think the only time I’ve used it previously was to catch bluegills on Hyland Lake.

Turned out that the Tenkara rod was a perfect tool to use on a small stream such as the Kinni.  Using a Frenchie/Pink Squirrel, with a red midge as a dropper, I caught numerous fish of varying sizes.  Probably a few more on the midge but the bigger fish on the Frenchie. Missed many more that jumped or spit the hook.  Saw only a handful of rises as a stiff breeze was ruffling the water pretty good.

I will definitely use the Tenkara rod again.   Can’t wait to try it with dries.  No tangles.  Handled the larger fish well.  Didn’t miss the reel.

– Hats


The Kinni

March 6, 2017

March 5, 2017

A little chilly and breezy when I hit the Kinni this morning but nonetheless another relatively mild spring day above River Falls. Upper fifties when I headed for home a little after noon..  Had the river to myself, well at least the stretch I was on.  No other cars in the parking lot. Peaceful.  The smell of thawing muck and the sound of returning geese in the air.

Caught an equal number of small browns on a red midge and a “frenchie” nymph.  Four on each pattern. Nothing huge. Bigger than last year though.   Saw some small noses breaking the surface and switched to a “Griffith’s Gnat” and caught three and missed at least that many.  Switched to nymphs again and had a really nice fish on that broke me off.  Bad knot. By far the biggest I’ve ever come across on the upper Kinni, 14″ plus.  Roll of yellow and brown, a shake of the head and the sick feeling of your line snapping.


On the end of the line

A child’s dream cast, piscatorial palette held fast

mouths open in wonder, we gasp.

– Hats

In A Rush

March 6, 2017

February 18, 2017

Spring, it seems, is in a rush this year and thus I headed to the Rush River with a buddy for a little trout fishing. Sixty degrees.  T-shirt weather for one spin fisher dude.

The action, like the weather was hot.  Little browns, 7-9″ inches.  Brought ten of them to hand and missed twice that many (a little rusty I guess). All on a woolly bugger.  My buddy caught a dozen or so, mostly on a red midge nymph.  Surprisingly, very minimal surface action.  Lots of fisherman, at least 4 or more cars at the three spots we visited.  Can’t blame a soul for wanting to get out on an amazing day like today.


Barren fields, blank corn

a rivers soft bends and curves

thaw thy pen, thy soul

Sorry about the blurred photos.  Something smudged the camera lens.  Fish, rod, woolly bugger, and camera.  Two things too many for two hands.  The blurriness though gave me the idea for an “Imagist” poem, a style of poetry  that I recently read about in the Wall Street Journal of all places.


False Casts

Knee deep in the river, life

False casts, strikes, hopes and dreams, a blur

Every once in a while, magic.

– Hats

A New Year

January 2, 2017

January 1, 2017

I’d heard about the smallmouth bass fishing opportunities on the Mississippi River near Monticello as a result of the warm water discharge from the local power plant.  Some of the YouTube videos are impressive and so I decided to start the new year off with a fishing trip on open water,  a rarity in Minnesota at this time of the year.


I must admit I was very surprised to see a Skeeter boat trailer at the access.  Those are some hardy souls who decided to launch their boat amidst the floating ice. Not that it was necessarily warmer along the bank or wading.  I threw Rapala Husky Jerks for the first half-hour or so but felt that I wasn’t getting down deep enough and it just seemed too fast.  Switched to a tube but that didn’t generate anything.  Switched again, this time to a Zoom fluke that netted a scrappy smallie on the first cast.


Thought I was on to them but that was it for the day.  Interesting experience. Worth another shot.

23 Degrees

Twenty-three degrees

Fishing the Mississippi

A Happy New Year!


Purple Clowns

Chasing smallmouth bass

With purple ghosts, olive clowns

Dodging the ice floes.

– Hats


Crystal Lake

October 22, 2016

October 22, 2016

This was my first proper fishing trip on Crystal Lake.  I barely scratched the surface a couple years back when I launched the Pelican Bass Raider so it was nice to see the whole lake.  A beautiful fall day.  Sunny.  No wind. Not much structure but the lake is reputed to have a healthy bass population and is regularly stocked with Tiger Musky.  I wanted to warm up by catching a bass or two so I was  throwing a Wiggle Wart along the weed edge (milfoil) in about 10′ of water.  Lo and behold, no bass.  Rather, a 30″ plus musky completely inhaled the Wiggle Wart at boat side and bit me off.  Close again but no cigar.  Maybe next year.

What Else

What else should I do

Sixty degrees and sunny

One last fishing trip?

– Hats

Bryant Lake

October 21, 2016

October 21, 2016

Two hours throwing large crank baits resulted in an 18″ LMB and a 31″ pike.  Caught a 2nd pike that was about 30″.  Water cooling at about 55 degrees.

– Hats

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