A unique trout fishing trip
An Outdoorsman’s Journal
Hello friends, This week’s column is a pretty cool and off-the-wall story. Here goes.
Every spring I go somewhere in Wisconsin for three days, camp and fish trout. I make a wildlife adventure out of it and this year I chose the Clam River, which is in northwest Wisconsin and flows through Burnett and Barron counties. The beauty of this location is that much of the land is in the Clam River Wildlife Area, public land, that would be very cool to explore for hunting as well.
Sunday, May 14 High 73, Low 34
I am currently on a run where I am over-scheduled and much of it is physical. All of this is my own doing and what I am doing is very positive! I fished the Clam River last May and did very well on brook trout, but not so good on browns. This year, I would be hiding out in a new section, one that I had never seen. Today when I arrived in the late afternoon, I decided when I die, my ashes can be spread here, Burnett and Barron counties are beautiful.
So here is a side note. On the way home from this expedition I am going to stop at Premier Livestock and Auction in Owen-Withee and hopefully buy three calves in the 200-pound range. I would be sleeping in the trailer, I would haul calves in and the day after I got home, I would be moving my daughter Selina with that same trailer.
I find a place to hide my trailer and catch massive trout where no one has ever fished, I am super excited. I gear up including chest waders and go exploring. While crossing the Clam River I once again realize that when walking on slippery rocks in a hard current, my 165-pounds could easily be swept away. I see lots of deer sign, I fish hard for four hours, I have only one bite after working five pools and that is a brook trout that I released. I found a bear stump that had been washed down stream, is very waterlogged and full of mud. It is the perfect stump. I try lifting it and blow out my knees, back, hips and get a hernia. I must get the stump!
Monday, May 15 High 72, Low
I am on the Clam at 5 a.m. and very excited. I am using a small gold hook with a number 5 split shot and a night crawler. I fished hard for three hours and only had one hit which was an 11-inch brown.
I have no worries. My pickup has gas and I am going to explore. First, I must get the stump across the river and haul it about 500 yards to my truck. This was a four grunts kind of journey, and that stump is going to kill me a bear some day. I explore and fish hard on the Clam and catch nothing. My mind says, “travel” and it is telling me to go to the Rush River in Pierce County.
The stump is in the back of my truck, I slept in my makeshift cattle trailer, my window switch does not work, my heater is stuck on high and life is excellent. “Mothers don’t teach your boys to be outdoor writers!”
I know the hole I want to fish on the Rush. I think the ridges are limestone, the pools are deep and I love it here. I am set up with five hours of daylight and about a half mile from my truck. The trout are hungry. This pool is about 40 yards long with a rapids above it and can be very challenging to negotiate. My first fish is a 15-inch brown trout and I now feel super smart. I fished until dark, forgot my headlamp, caught 11 browns of which I kept a 15, 14.5 and a 14.
The following morning, I limited out, drove to Premier by 10 a.m. where it was determined that I smelled worse than the cattle I was hoping to buy.
After a full day I could not find any calves that I could afford and homeward bound the Chevy Hotel took me!