Tuesday, May 24, 2011

PIPE TOBACCO, Smallies, and me attempting to row

That's just a recipe for a good day, who in their right mind could be stressed out with those simple ingredients. Nate ( yes, THE Nate Sipple) and i decided to light our briar's, make a few casts, and once again coach ME on how to become a better drift boat captain.
He was in total "guide mode" and would even let me tough the oars until I had boated like five fish. i just about had to pry his arse out of that seat, but he was happy that i did, and he caught some fish himself. WE even had a boils from a  few angry Brown trout, which always make this stretch exciting. WE had laughed and mutually agreed that we were the best smelling boat in Wisconsin this fine day, with (two different type of tobacco embers) burning the sweet aroma that even my wife doesn't mind.
A few grouse drummers reminded me what was to come in just four short months, and that they to were SICK AND TIRED of this non existent spring that we've been through.
AS usual we laughed a ton, made fun of our friends idiosyncrasies, and talked about how lucky we both were that our hot wives married us. A brew or two MIGHT have been cracked, but at the end of the day, I think Nate likes to fish more than any man I've ever met, he Literally won't stop until you tell him too.
He's a fantastic Steel head guy and guides trips for migratory browns in the fall. He has a GREAT blog at THE MEANDERING TRICKLE, that I strongly suggest you follow, he has great stories.
thanks Nate, awesome day!

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I finally got my mounts back from the superb artist that is DARIUS out of southern California. He's a true "birdman" and a hunter himself, and he seems to capture the mood I'm always looking for! I've been waiting a while for these but it's well worth the wait!
After all the pain, soreness, and sacrifice it took me to get these guys, they will be protected like Fort Knox. I think a man only has a certain window to chase wild chukar in his life, and with my joint situation, I'm afraid my window is already starting to close. Special thanks to my father in Law Jerry, who said that mountain looks good, lets climb it!
i strongly recommend Darius for your bird work, he's won many national awards, is price competitive, and just simply does great work.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Brookies for breakfast, and the biggest smallmouth I've EVER seen

WHO says fly fisherman are snobs?

I went DOWN AND Dirty with leeches, minnows and night crawlers this past Saturday for the opening of our inland fishing season, and loved EVERY minute of it! I went out with my buddy Steve in his 20 foot walleye boat on X flowage to try and find some keeper walleyes for the frying pan, but that magical 15 inch size limit eluded us on Saturday.
We caught plenty of walleyes, as even a 14 and 3/4 incher ( insert quality dnr fisheries joke here) and had MANY laughs until Steve hooked this absolute behemoth of a smallmouth. It was just shy of 23 inches, and 7 and a half pounds on the scale, when it finally surfaced after a battle of wills, I couldn't believe my eyes, I simply had NEVER seen anything this size.  As the smallmouth season is still closed, we quickly snapped this picture and put her back in the water, but an amazing memory of an amazing fish.
We had a little lunch on the water and decided to try and hit a small stream he knew to see if we could find some Brookies.
it had been a long time since I searched any stream for trout sans fly, so I had to get back to basics and remember how to "Huck Finn" it. We made VERY short order of harvesting a a few trout,(below our allotted limit) the largest of these little gems measuring just under a foot. They taste fantastic with eggs! I don't plan on making a habit of it, but it was nice to eat some trout for once.

WHO says fly fisherman are snobs?
Surely not my stomach

Monday, May 2, 2011



That's the ONLY way to describe the vacation in Great Exuma, Bahamas we just returned from. I cant imagine The quality of Bone fishing EVER getting better , anywhere. I've fished off of Nassau before and this blew it SO far out of the water, it's not even worth mentioning in the same sentence.
We owe our success to Garth Johnson, a Exuma native, and the most patient, skilled, and humorous guide I've ever encountered.
With a population of roughly 5000 people, Exuma is strictly a fishing and resort island. The great thing is that they have direct jet service from Atlanta airport, so It took two flights to get to this emerald/aqua paradise.
I started the day very uncharcteristic of myself, I forgot my reel back at the lodge. Crosby laughed extensively, as he's usually the one behind this type of situation. I have a tendency to be 'ultra" organized, unlike my best friend, so the jabs were flying from the get go.
Upon arrival of our first flat, Garth warned us it was filled with sharks, but eh only ones we needed to worry about were tigers and lemons, as the black tips were nothing to worry about. After wading about 20 minutes with no fish spotted, I was beginning to wonder where he had taken us, Garth replied (in his JAR JAR BINKS esqe) voice, I already know where they are", I was just looking for stragglers", as he pointed about 150 yards away as double digit pods of bones were breaking the surface with their shiny, bright, scissor tails.
Crosby and I were hooked up in no time, and were landing fish in this nirvana aquarium, when my mind started to wander.  Puling me out of this tranquil state were the words from Garth "BIG shark", as he grabbed a handful of bottom, and said "don't move, if he gets ANY closer I'm gonna throw this at him. This is the shark in my video, by the natives estimations, a seven foot Lemon.
"ANY CLOSER?" I thought, he's gonna be eating a size 13 Simms sandal!
Its funny how by the night, and many Kalik's later the heroic tale grew in both size and aggressiveness!
WE had 'fought off' the only known great white in the Caribbean, with nothing but a Sage 8 weight.
If ANYONE wants details on lodging (this is a GREAT PLACE TO TAKE YOUR WIFE), as they have a 5 star Sandals, emerald bay condo's, etc, I'd be happy to help out, as well as Garth's number, he doesn't have a website.
It was THE trip of a lifetime, I can't wait to go back.
i hope you enjoy the video.