Thankfully Greg has kept the blog afloat as I’ve been MIA dealing with much more mundane life things than fishing. But luckily I was able to sneak away with a little babysitting help from my parents (thanks Mom and Dad) and get some fishing in with Greg and Josh over the weekend.
Somewhat serendipitously I discovered a spot on the Wisconsin River that was actually wadeable, so Josh and I skipped our plans to float the Rib River and instead decided to hit the Wisconsin in hopes of landing some smallies.
Despite living a block away from the Wisconsin river for a decade and a half in my early years, I’m not a terribly experienced WI River fisherman. Most of my experience was confined to Oak Island Park in the middle of Wausau, and that fishing was when I was a kid and was pretty clueless about what the hell I was doing. So when I happened upon this spot, I was quite pleasantly surprised. Most spots I’ve fished on the Wisconsin either required a boat or casting from shore. But here, we were able to comfortably wade quite a distance out from the Eastern bank of the river. The bottom was a nice gravel composition and seemed perfect for smallmouth.
Add to that the fact that the river was literally teeming with crayfish (I mean a silly number of crayfish), and I thought we had hit the jackpot.
Despite how great the section looked, the fishing was a bit tough. A series of islands allowed the river to split, making some nice riffle-run sections and giving some good structure for fish. But all of the fish we caught were limited to a single spot with an undercut bank with some deadfall in the water.
I struck first on, appropriately, an Alters Rusty Crayfish. The 16″ smallie smashed the fly and bulldogged down to the bottom. For a moment, I thought maybe I had snagged.
Josh was the next to catch a fish as a somewhat clumsy pike missed the first strike on his popper by literally two feet before successfully hitting on its second pass.
We explored a while longer before hitting the same spot once more on our way back, at which point Josh caught a nice 15″ smallie on a white and red streamer.
It’s always great to find new, promising spots, and I think we’ll definitely head back here in the fall or spring when the fish are more likely to be in the shallower water.