Cry Me A River

(Please fight the urge to scroll down and see the DOUBLE WHAMMY as you read the text below. Ok, fine,  you may scroll! But come back cause we really want you to read this…)

See that face? No, not that one. The one up there. That there is no ordinary face. Oh no. That face says, “Yes, I have caught a fish. Yes, I caught this fish right after my dad cast to the same spot and got nada. No, You cannot have my autograph.” It is never a good sign to find AC smirking in the river. This only means that she is too embarrassed to smile because she feels badly for kicking Dad’s bum in the river.

Yep, that picture up there was the last fish AC caught this weekend. Per tradition, they hit the other side of the river wading back to the car after a long day. Up until that point, AC had pretty much commanded, overruled, dominated (ok, that’s enough) the day. It was her compassion that got the better of her as she slowed to “fix her hair” when in reality she was allowing her underdog patriarch (So getting in trouble for that one) to take the lead and cast to this one spot that mirrored the gates of fish heaven itself.So, he flung the cast and retrieved what the little boy shot at. He walked on to pursue better water. But, AC had a feeling, call it women’s intuition or just a hunch that something big and slimy was hiding nearby. One cast, that’s all it took, to place that lure in the precise spot. Not a second passed between the contact of the lure and the water, that a bass bit and she was reeling him in to the sounds of Dad’s flabbergasted swears and mutters of surprise. 

So, you may be asking, why name this week’s post: “Cry me a river?” Why? Cause we can, that’s why…But, to the creative point, this week’s theme is about starting off on a bad foot. Sometimes, when the day starts out poorly, we imagine the rest of it going just as bad. Want some advice? DO NOT DO THAT! Simple. Projection of negativity is a downer. Cause you might just find $20 in your jeans pocket, or feel good after holding the door open for somebody or realize that you don’t live in the slums of some 3rd world country and life is good.

Whether flying high in April or shot down in May, we try to keep a positive outlook on our fishing expeditions as often as possible. But, there is the occasional flooded river, storm, lightening, tornadoes, and crowds that can put a damper on a trip. However, the act of not catching fish in beautiful weather, clear rivers, and happy days is just plain FRUSTRATING!


Well, that’s exactly what happened to AC on Saturday as the RiverBums embarked on another adventure to the ********* river (You know what we would have to do to ya).  Yes, clear skies, 80 degree weather and fish to boot. What could go wrong? Try 2 feet. 2 feet of flooding from Northern rains could go wrong. And that’s exactly what happened. 

Flooded and Chocolatey

So, with only an hour under our wader belts of desperately trying to cross the river, we hung our heads and walked back to the car. It was disappointing indeed, but not the end. So we drove in the direction of this local fair in when all of a sudden a national landmark jumped out at us. Well, of course Dad turns the car around and we head into a gravel driveway that came to a sudden stop between a large pond and a landmark sign. It read all about a great man by the name of Homme, who was a local hero, ran an orphanage, created a dam and managed many small businesses, blah blah blah blah. Well, he died a while back, but the pond and dam that he created was still there. With that being said, we paid our respects to Homme, unloaded the rods and hit the pond from the shore…

Smallie off the Pond Shore
With that being caught, we noticed the banks of the pond were semi-wadable. So we suited up and walked the perimeter.
First Time Wading a Pond
Boy, do we feel like some “Dam Takeout” or what?!?
Crossing Homme’s Dam…without permission 🙂
Dad caught a few more in the pond until we couldn’t wade it any longer and we walked back. The Embarrass River was the result of Homme’s dam and so we decided to fish it a bit for trout…

Embarrass River-Best for Trout
Embarrass-Cold Creek

On the Edge of Riverbumming
So after a day of 3 different bodies of water, 3 fish for Dad, and 0 for AC, we headed towards the hotel around 7pm. When we arrived in Weston, we suddenly realized we were starved after only 12 hours on liquids.  We decided to try this great restaurant called Basil that had been featured on the Food Network Channel

Shout out to AC’s local friends Johnny and Ben from OshKosh who recommended!


So, we headed to New London where the Little Wolf River awaited our arrival. We had fished the Little Wolf about 6 years back, and caught nothing but northern. So, for the hour drive we had our hearts set on catching northern. When we arrived at the river, this is what we saw…


The good news was they were heading down river and we were heading up. 

But, it was the emerging fly fisherman who passed us on the way out as we were heading in, that seemed to worry us the most. “Only caught  a few incredibly tiny small mouth. Not much left on this river.” Smallies huh? Maybe we weren’t in the hall for northern… Despite the warning, Dad and I just said our friendly hellos and waded in anyways. Ya see, we know these waters and of course, we know small mouth. Fly fishing is fun and all.  And we fly fish almost all fall and early Spring. But, when it’s hot, middle of Summer and the smallies are hitting, the lunkers want nothing more than a casting rod topped with a cherry of a lunker or twisty at the end. 

Seemed the fisherman was right about one thing. There wouldn’t be much left, after the Riverbums fished it. Because within an hour, Dad caught 3 huge smallies…

One Fish…

Two Fish…

Three Fish…

AC was disgruntled, tripped about 4 times, and had some issues with her line.  It seemed all was going down hill for her. She struck out the day before and her smiling face began to fade as her hopes in catching anything were wilting away. Would it be the demise of AC? Would her sulking get the best of her?

We think not…

The Heaviest Smallie She has Ever Held
(Took 5 minutes to get the hook out of it’s jaw)
Had to Get a Closer Look
After a short dry spell, AC was back in the game and leading the race. Turns out a little encouragement from Dad, new lure, and a smile on your face can get you places…

Another One…

And Another…
(With the Backwards Hollywood Pose, of course)
And Another…
Ok, it’s getting ridiculous…

Seriously, it’s just gross now…

But, Dad didn’t stay out of the game for long. No, he made sure to get a few punches in there…

His first River Walleye! Jump’n Wally
Her 10th one caught on top water! 
(White belly with green speckled top and 2 trebles)

AC’s first Northern of the Year…
(Trying to turn around and bite her)

Dad casting the Eddys near a short Rapids
Dad hooked on another smallie…

So, for the moment you have all been waiting for…

As the day started winding down, we began casting towards the shore under the shade. On a particularly hot day like this, the lunkers were hiding in the cool spots. So AC sent a long cast to the other side of the river. In an instant something hit her line. But, this retrieval was…different. That was an understatement; the retrieval was odd as she was being pulled in 2 different directions. Confused, AC let out some line, hoping to tire the individual fish out. But, it was stronger than she thought and with more line, she almost fell forward as it pulled all over the place. Suddenly, she reeled in quickly, only to discover that she was seeing double. Convinced she had been in the sun to long, she pinched her eyes as she reeled even harder.

A sudden “Hey” came from behind her as she noticed her dad had one on the line at the same time. “A double” he said. AC turned back to see that it indeed was a double, or shall we say, a triple. Cause, while Dad was fighting a bass, AC was fighting 2. TWO! Feast your eyes on RiverBum History:

The Double Whammy…

2 for the Price of One Lure!
She Couldn’t Stop Laughing…
(At this point, 2 canoers stopped to take photos too, AC was obliging and turned to pose)
2 Fish in the Net are Better than One

It turned out, that one bass had gone after it and been hooked, then another saw what he was missing and grabbed on too. Only to be hooked by the opposite treble hook. It was a greedy sight to behold.

All that moping and sulking AC had done was just a waste of bum time. Ya see, it’s better to accept failure, laugh at it, learn from it and try harder next time. Realizing that the only way you can fail is if you try in the first place. And you never know, your day may start out pretty bad..but in the end, there is always that possibility, no matter how rare it is or hard to obtain… there is always that possibility that your day may turn out TWICE as good. 
Saying Goodbye to the river
10 hours, 35 bass (AC’s Doing mostly) and 2 miles waded
Until next time, we’ll see ya on the other side of the river…
Cast Away,
AC & Dad

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