Saturday, August 4, 2012

Scaup, 4 a day? REALLY?

Well, my birthday present was pretty much the greatest news waterfowl related since 1995. looks like the powers that be are giving us 4 bluebills a day this year, that along with 2 redheads and the option o1 canvasback. In honor, I'm posting this quick recipe video of my favorite way to cook them. the Chef did forget to add one key ingredient, this pairs VERY nicely with a glass of crown royal and three ice cubes. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A post from late spring

I know, I KNOW, its been FOREVER since I've posted. I hear about, I understand, but sometimes, work, family, health, and just about everything else gets in the way. My buddy Ryan from Boise flew out to experience the DRIFTLESS this late Spring. While the size of fish compared to out west is considerably smaller, the fish in density are not. Its simply the best trout fishing east of the rocky mountains.
We enjoyed  some decent streamer fishing for Brookies, some fantastic nymph fishing for browns, and even a few fish to take some black caddis and olive imitations.

Its been a very busy summer without hardly time to train Duke, and for surely fish, as a matter of fact this late April trip I'm describing was actually the last time I've fished, as sorry as that sounds. One things for sure, I have some vacation time coming up for this Fall, and I plan on using it.
I'll try to take some pictures or video of Duke training coming up soon. he's a fun little bugger. No graceful water entry for this OAF!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Some darn nice work

I'd like to thank Todd Huffman for his beautiful job on a bird that was shot two seasons ago. It was a bird that Dottie pointed, held, and retrieved. It must have been hit by one pellet, because it was in great shape when it came to hand.
Anyone looking for a bird specific taxidermist would be hard pressed to find one better than Todd  "birdman studios" Huffman in Colorado.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Great news for bluebills!

Some absolutely great footage of some research being done on my favorite diving duck! Just a couple of weeks ago!

Just make sure to pause the music on the bottom of my page before you hit play

Waterfowl scientists wade into diving duck study from Chris Young on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Let me first say I'd like to thank Jesus for dying for our sins today,  and that without that forgiveness I'd be one sorry soul.
I got to head down to the driftless (despite my wife's birthday) (she's an angel) for the third time this season already. I had high hopes of some little black caddis action as I had heard they were just starting during the work week (of course). We had left early in the morning after seeing that a pretty hard frost was taking hold on most of the state, and knowing the fish would be totally lethargic and not wanting to be active for the first few hours of daylight.
Arrival approximately 10 am, we got all our gear on, assembled rods, and started our quick jaunt to my favorite stream in Vernon county. As it usually happens, i had line management problems and managed to lose my clippers in the first five minutes. This would have been a prime opportunity for which many of you that know me, to have what most refer to as a "hulking out" moment.
I can honestly say David Banner stayed cool, nothing was thrown, my eyes stayed blue instead of green, and the serenity and song of the red winged blackbird only paces away from, kept me in the calmest state of mind humanly possible.
It didn't take long to get into fish, Caddis worms and tiny black nympth were just what the doctor ordered for this chillier than expected morning. As the day wore on , I found a few fish willing to explode on the surface for my best black caddis dry imitation, but as a true caddis fan, much less than what I had hoped for.

A quick trip with great conversation with my buddy Scott, many tugs on the end of my line, a few organic beers, my sins forgiven, and somehow everything in the world seems right!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Time to take a few fish?

I recieved this from a friend regarding the Driftless of Wisconsin, and sounds like we can help

Gill Lice in the Driftless

All Concerned,

I wanted to bring this up as I'm sure a lot of the folks on here enjoy fishing for trout in SW Wisconsin. Unfortunately, Gill Lice is becoming more prevalent in the driftless area and is taking its toll on the brook trout as it directly affects the respiration, oxygen and carbon dioxide process. Below is a response from Susan Marcquenski, a Fish Health Specialist, to a gentlemen’s email that lives in SW Wisconsin.

I am the Department's fish health specialist and Mike Staggs asked me to respond to your e-mail regarding gill lice affecting brook trout in Wisconsin streams.

You are right, gill lice (a parasitic copepod called Salmincola edwarsii) can cause significant physical trauma to the gill filaments, causing deformities which affect respiration and the efficient uptake of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide, ammonia and other metabolites. Fish that are heavily infected cannot obtain sufficient oxygen when they are exercised, such as when they are caught by angling.
Gill lice have a direct life cycle- when the egg sacs release nauplii, they immediately molt and become the first copepodid (larval) stage and they have about 24 hours in which to find a new host and anchor onto the gills and continue their development. After several molts, the copepods reach maturity and remain permanently anchored in the gill tissue. This is a significant stress especially when more than one parasite is attached to a gill arch.
In streams with dense brook trout populations, the success rate for the larvae to attach to gills increases due to the greater chance of contacting a fish within the 24 hour "post hatch" period. Streams with faster water flow (velocity) can make it harder for the larvae to successfully attach. So fish density and water velocity are two factors that affect the prevalence and intensity of infection by Salmincola edwardsii in a stream. A third factor that may play a greater role in the future is temperature trends. Gill lice are invertebrates and therefore their development is proportional to the water temperature of the stream. If water temperatures increase, the parasites will develop to maturity faster and will then be able to reproduce one or more extra "generations" each year. Because the copepods remain on the fish, the affect of more generations of parasites is cumulative and we may see far higher numbers of gill lice on individual fish in the future.
So rather than not fish the streams where gill lice are present, I would encourage people to fish and take fish home (reduce the density of the fish) as long as the fishing regulations allow this. Anything that can be done to keep water moving (faster velocity) may also help reduce the probability of larvae to successfully attach to fish.
It would take a special study to do this, but it would be interesting to compare the prevalence (percent of fish infected) and the intensity of infection (number of gill lice per fish) of gill lice in brook trout streams that have high densities with those that have low densities; those with faster velocity vs those with slower; and slightly warmer vs colder streams.
Thank you for taking the time to share your concern with us, and please let me know if you have any questions.
Susan V. Marcquenski
Fish Health Specialist
WI Department of Natural Resources
Box 7921
101 S. Webster St.
Madison WI 53707

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Return to the "Driftless"

It's been too long, a year to be exact. I certainly wont make that mistake again.  I went back to an old stretch of river that I've fished many times, and like welcoming home an old friend, it was bliss from the moment I walked through the door.
I picked a rock to see what was going on for bug life, a few crawler mayfly nymphs , midge larvae all over the place,  a few sow bugs, and a freshwater shrimp. This made my selection of 'old reliable" fairly simply. I tied on my olive tungsten scud trailed by a juju midge, and by my third cast, I had already hooked into a plump little foot long fish.
This could have very well been the theme of the day. It seemed like we couldn't go five or ten casts without hooking up, and we weren't complaining, but yet we were a bit puzzled? This river had normally housed at least a few line breaking , muscle bound Browns, that made you realize the need for fluorocarbon a few times during the day. Where in the world had they gone?
Was it simply this crazy warm spring, and they weren't up in the normal holes? Or, was it simply that our cast, mending, and acumen wasn't up to par with getting the right to hook one of these fish yet? My guess is it's a combination of the two. A quest to the DRIFT LESS ANGLER afterwords made me feel a little bit better about the lack of larger fish. Matt had said this particular river had been fishing that way this season, and he had no idea why? Could it be there were to many takers last season, or a fish die-off, to many little guys for competition? I had no idea why, but to put that many tugs on the end of my four weight was just too great to put into words.
Nothing was truly "coming off" today except for a few sporadic egg laying black caddis, but I suspect that the next coming weeks it could really go off down in SW WI. I plan on being there when it does!
So for you readers of the blog, I'm always looking for fishing partners. It seems we all get way to busy in life, whether that be because of work, kids, yard chores, etc etc, DON'T LET THIS SPRING AND EARLY SUMMER GET AWAY! I let ALL of last year get away, and I'll never forgive myself!