Blog: Midwest & The Rest

Photography, experiences, and essays about conservation, restoration, ecology, and all things nature in the Midwest and the rest of the world!

June outing at Whitewater Fish Camp

Fly fishing at Laughing Trout „Whitewater Fish Camp“ 

Randy, Craig, Chip, Rufus, Rich, Bob Trevis, Steve W, Jason, Larry, Dick, Tom, Al, Joan, & Grace

Weather  Forecasted to rain the entire day, but it held off until we ate dinner! Remarkable. Air temperature in the 60’s, partly cloudy with gusts of wind topping 20mph here and there in the morning. Sunny afternoon with calm breeze.

Fishing Arrived at the fish camp around 09:30 and ate breakfast whilst preparations for the day were being finalized. Craig and Steve left the area for hope of clearer, more productive waters. Fished river from Randy’s towards Chip’s until Randy was ready to begin. No luck with soft hackle, but found tiny mayfly larva, size 18ish. First walkie talkie transmission of the day was hard to hear over the toppling wind. Passed Chip, Rufus, and Rich before meeting Randy in his Jeep. Al was watching from his camp.

 Al onlooking as we passed his abode.

Al onlooking as we passed his abode.

 Chip mending his line, trying for trout.

Chip mending his line, trying for trout.

 Rich loading his line to cast to a new spot.

Rich loading his line to cast to a new spot.

 Rufus walking upstream before giving it another go.

Rufus walking upstream before giving it another go.

Two of us made our way to Joe’s cabin through Loyd’s pasture. Randy informed me of 2007 flood and relevant stories, how the river changed course, and how they had to move camp locations. He’s been fishing here since 1965, first years were spent in a tent. Cow city! Parked at cabin and fished first downstream, then up. Tied on black woolly bugger given to me by Arthur, coworker and mentor, per Randy’s suggestion given the murky water clarity. Fished the banks. Foam is home, wood is good. Was not long before landing 11“ brown at the head of a pool. Later brought a 7.5“ brown to hand from the following pool. Fishing upstream, Randy connected with a decent brown that packed a punch for his 2/3 weight rod. He was fishing an „old 56“ fly (could be mistaken on exact name) and then a chartreuse woolly bugger. Landed a 12“ brown with same tackle but as I pulled it out of the water, the barbless hook came out and fish flipped out of my grip. So it goes. Randy said it counts because it was brought to hand, even if for a second. Randy landed another fish or two before departing area.

 Cow City!

Cow City!

 Randy fishing downstream.

Randy fishing downstream.

 Throwing a loop!

Throwing a loop!

 Caught and released promptly to river home.

Caught and released promptly to river home.

Made way back to camp. Randy tended to thawing fish filets, told me to fish more. Not about to argue. Entered river near Mike Tanguay’s camp as Dick was leaving for graduation party. Told me that he found the „Stop & Go“ to be successful. Suggestion taken to heart. Headed upstream to fish riffle with larger boulders. Ted on a size 16 or 18 nymph. Convinced I caught one of the boulders, but it did not look to be such as it jumped out of the river! First fish ever caught hiding out feeding at the head of a boulder. Had to trot downstream to follow fish instead of overpowering it. Brought it to hand. Solid 13“ brown. One for the highlight reel.

 Definitely not a boulder...

Definitely not a boulder...

Followed river downstream and noticed a mayfly falling. And then another. Then a third! Spinners! Before reacting to the sudden event, rises were left and right of me and quite consistent. Cut off nymph, traded for a sulphur dun made with deer hair and observed rises. First hook ups were downstream approaches and either hook was pulled away from fish too soon, or hook set was off from being upstream from fish. Changed placement stealthily to be downstream and instant tight line! Others did not believe me, but radio batteries died out by this time in the afternoon, so this event was enjoyed alone. Lasted a good 30 minutes with many connections. Simply marvelous.

 A day in paradise.

A day in paradise.

By 16:00 or 16:30 returned to camp and met Craig and Steve. Started dinner preparations and soon others trickled in. Chip, Jason, Tom, and maybe a fourth chef fried up about 70 crappie/sunfish and we feasted under a large tent and maples as it began to rain. Randy said two prayers, we all talked smart, and Craig gave me one of his home-brews, and American Wheat, the ones with his face printed on the bottle cap. Could not imagine a more desirable place nor friendlier folk. Surely this day will be recollected time and time again. My sincerest thanks and good wishes to everyone involved. Wish I could stay longer, but it’ll do.

 Talking smart during happy hour. 

Talking smart during happy hour. 

Yours,

-M-