Days worth remembering

Live is filled with platitudes.

“Every day fishing is a good day”

“Its just good to be out on the water”

“Good things come to those who wait”

“It was meant to be”

“Early bird gets the worm”

“If you’re lucky enough to be (Insert item here), you’re lucky enough”



Tonight, I find myself thinking of another, equally annoying and overly positive one… “every day on the water is worth remembering.” Ugh. Give me anything and I can romanticize about it.

That being said, I was lucky enough last Monday to do everything right. I hit perfect stream conditions. On a stream that, when fished in the afternoon has you constantly casting more shadows than flies and is also almost ALWAYS running clear, we found a milky stain. And, as a fly fisher who always seems to pick the wrong presentation tactic, I was handed a fly after mine broke off and just decided to dead drift the streamer. Something I almost never do because nymphing is one of my worst skills (in my mind, at least).

I was rewarded right away. I brought several browns to hand. This, in itself, was unique to me as I had thought this upper section of the stream was primarily brookie water. Major flooding at the end of last year had totally transformed this stream, however.


Then things began to get strange. Confidence started pouring into me. I knew I had the right tactic. It was only a matter of putting the fly where I knew there would be fish. I couldn’t see them of course due to the stain, but fish live in predictable places.

Watching my line stall and dip on a drift, I lifted my rod up in case it was a light take and the line began to pull. It began to move harder. My eagle claw featherlight was all of a sudden a Godsend when a 21″ (which I was sure was more like 30″) began jumping out of the water. 5 times she extended her full body.


Rainbows in the driftess are almost alway stockers and when they are this big, presumably brood stock. Either way, this was my first 20+” trout. I had joint the club. After a few photos and a quick release, I thought I should just quit.


The thing is, I knew there were brookies in the stream. We were moving up and my chance and a brown, bow, brookie day was almost a reality.

At a fmailiar hole, my buddy and I took turns, and, again, with the same lazy presentation, a subtle take turned into the biggest brookie of my life. Maybe another brood stock. Who knows. She was hefty and gorgeous. I let her go and for sure called it quits.


Sure, sometimes it is just good to be out on the water. Many days are worth remembering. I think we might be more grateful if we felt like every day was worth remembering.

But last Monday was truly a day to remember. Walking back to the car, we joked, I should probably stop fishing for the year.

That won’t happen of course. So maybe, I will make a conscious effort to be thankful of every time I get on the water for the rest of the year. I’ll think of it as a delayed New Years resolution.

So raise your glasses to day worth remembering. Hopefully at least a few of them on the water.

Out with the family

Mother Nature says its official. Winter is gone. It is funny how, just a week ago things felt apocalyptic and people were really stressing out about the snow. And just like that, it is gone and the temps are in the 70s. Turns out we really weren’t as scarred by it as we thought we’d be.



The gorgeous weekend inspired a short afternoon trip to Beaver Creek Valley State Park outside Caledonia, Mn. It is a gorgeous park with nice trails and great hiking options for kids. Level pathways that meander alongside a trout stream. There is ample opportunity for rock throwing and bug digging.

I brought the tenkara rod and was lucky enough to find an eager trout right off the bat. David netted the fella and we were able to talk about what makes a stream clean and healthy enough to let fish live there. We focused on bugs under the rocks. The fish eat bugs. If the stream is healthy, bug can live there. If bugs can live there, fish might be able to as well.



He seemed to grasp the concept because he brought it up while walking along the Black River last night on our way to the La Crosse Soup outing.


img_8965-1┬áSpring really does seem like it is here. We found plenty of green peaking up through the forrest floor, birds abound, and even found a bat. This was great as David has a fascination with them currently. Anna even got her hands dirty. It is fun seeing the little ones enjoying an afternoon in the woods. Here’s to many more.