It has been some time since we last wrote on the blog. You would be surprised to learn that we do have jobs other than fishing. Yes, we know it may be hard to believe that someone would hire a Riverbum to work for them. Don’t they get distracted on an hourly basis? Day-dreaming about bass, cool running water, and the smell of fresh cigar and pine trees? Well, yes, but just don’t tell our bosses!
But despite our grueling work schedule and daily responsibilities, we still found time to cast away and fish the Midwest In the first week of November we found ourselves on the road to Michigan in the White River. A good 4 hour drive from home, this particular day was probably one of the coldest in November. By 8 am it was 34 degrees and arriving at the river we quickly hopped out to check the water level and then hopped back in the car. For there is something you should probably know about us RiverBums. We don’t mind the scorching heat, blinding sun, and occasional bugs. Because we are always prepared with water, sunglasses, hats, and of course, every outdoorsmen’s favorite tool, deet. But, despite our winter waders, wader jackets, wind breakers, wool socks, and sweats, there is no proper warming apparel for the HANDS. Surprisingly the main apparatus of the human body for fishing is the only thing that freezes in the winter due to the lack of proper patented apparel lines of gloves. What we are trying to say is, you can’t cast and reel with any glove or mitten on the market today. It’s just too damn hard and you’ll probably lose the fish or not catch one at all while wearing a pair.
So we braved the cold on this fine Saturday in November and fished the day with hundreds of casts and 0 fish. Our conclusion: This river is rarely fished in the Fall. Typical trout season for the White is early Spring. So you may ask, why did we drive all this way when we knew we weren’t going to catch any fish? Because, it is a beautiful river and we enjoy hoping that there just may be a trout waiting for us…
AC on the White River
Huge Mushroom on the White River
(A great source of protein had we been stranded. Shroom salad)
Dad casting on the White
The next weekend we visited our close and personal friend, the Milwaukee River. Just an hour drive from home, we made it to our usual late fall, early winter spot at 11 am. We read in one of our trout fishing magazines (The Angler) that trout and steelies don’t usually start hitting until mid day, when the sun has had some time to hit the service. Despite the trout and steelies liking cold water, they still seem to respond to the rays of the sun and enjoy their meals most likely around noon. Thankfully, the salmon fishermen were no where to be found as the salmon had died off and the weather was getting colder. We had the river to ourselves for the rest of the day. However, the water was about 3 feet higher than usual. So, we stuck close to the banks, as the Milwaukee is a fast moving river, even when low. And although AC is really quite tall for her gender, she was cautious and made sure to cast close to branches in case of a quick undertow…
The next weekend we decided to try 2 new rivers. So we packed up early on the last Saturday of November and headed to Two Rivers Wisconsin to fish unfamiliar and uncharted trout waters. Their names, Two Rivers. Man, that took a lot of effort on the first settlers. Well you can’t blame them, it isn’t like there is a river naming book or something. These Two Rivers, excuse the pun, were situated in the back farmlands of Eastern Wisconsin. Deer, fox and hunters are prominent species found in these lands. We ran into dozens of orange clad, gun hugging, packer fans with one thing on their mind. Venison! Unfortunately, we came unprepared as we geared up in our green and black apparel. Yes, folks, we meshed right in with the scenery. Every minute or so, we would hear a gun shot and the Riverbums would hit the ground like Tom Cruise jumping out of a car just about to blow up. Mission Impossible Riverbum.
We had learned of these Two Rivers from out fly fishing Wisconsin book. But, we should note that this book as written in 2000. Therefore, as it had been about 11 years since the authors expeditions around the country and research on the rivers, not all the information is still relevant. The rivers have gone from a reported sandy, stone bottom to muddy and shallow. Seems that after many a dry summers in Wisconsin, these rivers suffered major blows and were unable to recover properly. While there may be some hefty amounts of bass still lingering in these waters during the peaks of summer. The trout have all but packed up and moved on to bluer waters. Once a bountiful trout haven, now a barren wasteland. But, it was worth the try. At least we know that there are smallies in these waters. And you know what that means. A return visit from the Riverbums, in June…
Dad casting in one of the Two Rivers
Snow falling on Ac’s line as she casts for a trout
Old bridge from the 19th century. Then, used for farming. Now, perfect habitat for hiding trout.
Possible Hunter Victim-Dad fishing among the brush.
Riverbums do not partake in. No friends, we do not camp out on frozen lakes, in heated tents, with 4 inch rods, and stand over a foot wide hole, drinking beer. We will just leave that to the residents of Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
So, until next time… We’ll see ya on the other side of the River!
AC & Dad