Stiff Upper Fish Lip

“Well I was out on a drive, on a bit of a trip

lookin’ for thrills, to get me some kicks

now i warn you folks, We cast from the hip

Fish are born with a stiff, stiff upper lip…”

Yes, we couldn’t have put it any smoother than that. Seriously, where would we be without ACDC? No TNT to Shake us all night long. No Big Guns to make us feel Safe in New York City. No Holding me Back on the Highway to Hell. Ok, that’s enough.  We just Can’t Stand Still. Sorry, couldn’t help it.

Yes ladies, gentlemen, and all you readers out there in between. We are in a rockin mood, riding the high left over from spending this past weekend in Northern Wisconsin fishing the ************ River (sorry, would have to kill ya). Not a cloud in the sky, okay maybe one or two, and 70 degree weather through and through. With the sun guiding and our rods leading the way, we left Saturday morning, early of course, on a 4 ½ hour drive to our most prized and privy of destinations.

Toyota Camry Rental- Brand Spank’n New

After filling up for Gas and stopping for omelets and coffee to go at a local Green Bay Perkins, we hustled in anticipation to our fate of the weekend in hopes of small mouth bass and the occasional trout. Cruising to our Early Morning Tunes we discussed which lures we would use and the impact of the rain water in the river.
Due to the most recent Spring rains and Spring Creek Distributions and Run-offs, the river was at a level of 8.20. However, it wasn’t holding, so we knew we would see significant drop of the water line while we were there. When the rain water comes in, the river is warmer, which of course brings the smallies out to feed. However, once the rain water runs out, the river cools down again. And since it is still early in the season, smallies are still on their beds, nesting and recuperating from the excruciating pain of birth and nagging of their husbands to go worm hunting while the female, feeling bloated and ugly stays home to watch the babies and wallow in despair and angst at how her scales will never be the same and…. Whew, I digress.

So after much discussion and deliberation, we arrived in the river just in time after the sun had been up long enough to warm the water. As we waded in, a wave of ease and attainment rushed over us as we lifted our faces to catch the sun and grazed our hands over the water. We’re back. It was like we were thinking the exact thing. We didn’t need to speak or look at each other. It was a mutual RiverBum thing, that can only be experienced in this particular river. Surrounded by nothing but a national forest, rolling boulders, rushing clear water, and rods in hands. Utter Perfection.

So, what could have made the day better? What minute, teensy, weensy detail would have sent us over the top? Oh ya, Reeling in the Bass…
AC Caught this Smallie on Her First Cast…

Like Mike Bass

Who needs a Cameraman?

A Bridge too Far Bass hiding under a boulder

A Fish Out of Water

First Top Water Bass of the year! (Chugger/orange bottom)

Smallie hiding in  a pool outside the weeds of an island.

Pregnant Bass= Hungry + Fiesty

Bass hiding off the eddy of a rapid and big Boulder

AC about to go swimming…

Nothing But Net Baby

Showing Off
Caught in the Rapids
Biggest Bass of the weekend!

A Dark Side Bass hiding in a pool surrounded by boulders and silty bottom
Display in Style
If you haven’t guessed already, we had a somewhat productive time casting. Yes, you can admit it; you wish you had been there.
Hours in the river: 8
Miles waded: 2
Fish Caught: 30
Clear Skies, Clear Water, Clear Mind: Priceless
There are some things money CAN buy and this ain’t one of them.
So we trudged out of the river around 7:00 pm, sore, burnt, and perfectly happy. After de-wading and packing out, AC and Dad rock/paper/scissored to see whether they would be staying in a hotel or a tent. AC had tent, Dad had hotel. Dad won, as usual. So, camping was put on the back burner due to Dad’s real Back burner (old age- and yes Dad, that was a diss.) On that note, we headed over to the Holiday Inn, picked up wraps and a pack of pilsners on the way and were out as quickly as the last beer was guzzled down.
Sunday morning we woke to the sounds of birds humming and…ok, so we didn’t wake to birds humming, more like the sounds of our alarm clocks pushing us to get dressed for church. Mass started at 7:30, so we were up by 6, dressed by 6:30 (AC took a long shower) and down for coffee and fake eggs by 7:00. It took us a while to find the church which is scary because there were only maybe 30 inhabitants in town and the downtown consisted of a DQ and a lantern antiques shop. After mass, we B-lined it to the river. We had a 30 minute drive to this one spot we were looking forward too.
Along the way, we discussed our plan of attack. We had been watching the water level on the DNR USG site through AC’s handy dandy Iphone and noticed the level was decreasing. The rain water was emptying which meant the water was getting colder. Good for trout, bad for smallies. So, we knew we would have to work extra hard today. Casting closer to the boulders, slowing down on our retrievals, and setting the hook harder. This would also mean that we would put the top water lures away (because they are best for hot days and feistier fish) and focus on crawdad patterns, bottom feeders. That way we could slowly drop them up and down off the bottom, enticing the fish low on their beds.
This also meant we could try our crawdad patterns which look like this…
Crawdad Pattern Lure

As we started fishing, we noticed the smallies were sticking closer to the boulders and not biting as well as Saturday. The water was much cooler and so we knew we would have to stay in spots longer, cast more, and slow down the lures so that the smallies would bite…
Bum’s Eye View

This was right after AC lost a rainbow trout. She had caught him in the rapids, which goes to show that because trout are more accustomed to cold temperatures, they can stand the fast rapid water better than the smallies.

Reeling in a Bass on the Flats

AC had run into a hunting decoy goose while bush-whacking it on a small island. The details that follow are a bit hazy, but they look a little like this…
Crouching Bum Hidden Goose

Send us your best caption for this picture and the winner we choose will get a FREE Riverbums Bumper Sticker and their caption displayed in our blog. 

He Walks on Water Too…
A New Friend

Caught along a fallen tree…Wood down!

Dad Casting the Shore

Smallie caught under the boulder

Excellent Coloring
Red-Eye Sally

Where AC wants to get married – No booking fee necessary

Close up!
Saying Goodbye to the River

So after 5 hours in the river, we caught only 10 bass and lost one trout. But, the weekend was immaculate, the river perfect, and the casting was Pro. Yellow twisty tails with yellow jigs did the trick for the smallies on Saturday where as the bottom feeders (crawdads, green tubers) were the likely choice of bait on sunday.

Well, it looks as if this upcoming weekend is going to be sans-fishing. But, don’t worry, we are planning a big Memorial Fishmorgasbord. So Until next time, we’ll see ya on the other side of the river…

Cast Away,

AC & Dad

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