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Showing posts from April, 2015

Iowa Hawg Hunt 2015

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For the last 6 years I have attended the Iowa Hawg Hunt.  It's not an actual "Hawg Hunt," it's a musky outing put on each year by the Capital City Musky Club of Madison, WI.  The event is held at the beautiful Pleasant Creek State Park in northeastern Iowa.  It makes for an early opportunity to get out and try your new fishing gear before the Wisconsin musky season opens.  It always has great anglers in attendance, and the fact that the lake is just down the road from my parents farm, I get to enjoy a low cost weekend away.  I have fished the event a number of different ways in the past.  From inside buddies boats, in a borrowed canoe, from the shoreline, and even chest deep in a pair of neoprene waders.  Despite the myriad of ways I've employed to catch muskies in this little man made lake, I had never caught a musky during the actual event.  This year though I knew the outcome would be different.  I was gonna spend this year chasing the top predator in the lake…

Orvis Fly Fishing 101 Class

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Want to give fly fishing a try?  Not sure where to start?  No problem, all over the country Orvis stores are giving free beginner fly fishing classes.  The classes are called Fly Fishing 101 and they will teach you the basics of casting, gear selection, setup, and where to find the fish in your area.  Also they're FREE!!!
Orvis of Madison is currently offering free Fly Fishing 101 classes on the following dates. May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23, 30June 6th, 13th, 20, 27thJuly 11thClass size is limited to make sure you get the best 1 on 1 instruction possible.  I recently attended one of these classes and I can honestly say that my fly fishing would have advanced much quicker had I attended one of these classes when I was first starting out.
To sign up or get more information about the Fly Fishing 101 classes call Orvis of Madison at (608)831-3181 or email retail-madisonstr081@orvis.com, they will help you get signed up for a class.  Better yet stop into the store and say hello, careful though …

Native Watercraft Slayer Propel Walk Through

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Tight Lines.

Slayers with Assistance

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While fielding questions at both the Madison Musky School and Canoecopia, I noticed that a lot of paddlers wanted to know more about my stand up assist bar.  Most of the questions started with how the kayak they had bought didn't come with one, then quickly turned into asking where they could get one and have it installed?  I could relate to this since neither of my boats had one when I picked them up.  I first saw a stand up assist bar on a Hobie kayak at the Madison Fishing Expo, then I saw one on a Jackson, and a Wilderness kayak at Canoecopia.  Long story short I decided that I wanted, no needed an assist bar on my Native Watercraft Slayer Propel.  I headed down to Rutabaga Paddlesports to ask the all knowing Scott Hamstra about his thoughts on the use of a stand up assist bar.
Arriving at Rutabagas I quickly found Scott and mentioned wanting a stand up assist bar, a big smile filled his face.  You see Scott is like me in that he likes to outfit and tinker with boats.  He quick…

Driftless Perspective

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"This is a better fish!" he says as the hook set lifts the trout from the water.  I've learned to take fish size with a grain of salt as we wander the streams of the famous Driftless area.  The little trout was to be fair a bit bigger, but not really what I would call better.  I'm on the water with Tristan, author of the blog The Caddis Hypothesis and fishing manager at Orvis of Madison.  Getting a whirlwind tour of some of his favorite Driftless streams.  I am once again ill prepared for our trip.  I still never seem to have the right flies with me, and I'm sweating bullets due to an over analyzing of the mornings weather report.  It's currently 67 and sunny and I'm wearing neoprene waders, long underwear, and heavy wool boot socks.  Add to that the fact that I'm a moderate to heavy smoker and it's all I can due to keep up as we cover mile after mile of class A trout stream.
As we meander through countless riffles, pools, and undercut banks I get …

Walleye Karma

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Let me start off by saying, I am not much of a walleye angler.  I don't really have anything against the species per se.  I just don't spend much time trying to catch them on purpose.  Sure, I sometimes catch the occasional lone walleye. I've just never been able to catch multiple fish in a single outing.  Even this post isn't really about catching walleye.  I just wanted to try and catch a few walleyes this week to break up all the months of panfishing through the ice in Madison.  Still I didn't technically catch any walleyes on this trip.  What I did get though was a crazy story, and it goes something like this.
While lounging about at work last night I shouted over to my buddy Richard, "I hear they are catching tons of walleyes below the Jefferson Dam."  I wasn't sure if this was really true, but I did see a picture of a guy with a walleye in his hands on Lake-Link.  "Who's they" he yelled, "Nevermind! I'm down" he said. …

May Fly Madness at Orvis of Madison

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Mark your calendars and get ready for a night of fly tying and fishing tales.  Orvis of Madison will be hosting May Fly Madness, a late night fly tying event on May 1st from 6:30-8:30pm.  Come meet up with other local anglers and get an inside scoop on the hottest patterns on your home waters.  All popular species will be represented with a list of guest tiers that is sure to excite.
 As always you'll be able to see some of the best rods and reels in the industry, and it's your last chance to grab the accessories you need to enjoy the May 2nd opener.
So be sure and make plans to attend what is destined to be an event to remember!!!
Tight Lines.

Hawg Trough Tune Up

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Being new to this whole kayak tournament thing, I've noticed that almost all of the events approve of the Hawg Trough as a measuring device.  This makes a lot of sense since they are easy to find, fit on a kayak, and eliminate all of the arguing and guess work that goes into judging an event that rewards points based on total inches of fish.  Since I'm already signed up for this years Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament Series I jumped online and ordered one from the fine folks at Cabelas.  Once it arrived I opened the box and was shocked at how hard it was to read.  Looking at pictures online I noticed that many of the Hawg Troughs I saw in tournament photos didn't look like the one I had bought.  After sending out a few emails to some friends in the Florida kayaking scene, I found out that since mine was stock I would need to customize it a bit to make it easier to use in a tournament application.  The changes they recommended are easy to do and the end results are defi…

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