Offseason Explorations: Part 2
May 22, 2014
My girlfriend Elsa and I always take some time each fall to visit family in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. Similar to this area, it can be cool there that time of year; however, fall seems to hang around a bit longer in that area than in the mountains. While on one such visit last fall around Halloween, Elsa’s dad Rockie and I decided to take the boat out on Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior for perhaps one last fish before the snow started falling. I brought my fly rod along as I always do if I’m around water; however, we were trolling with big Raps and spoons, which is a great way to cover water and figure out where the fish might be holding. We started picking up very nice sized browns, Coho Salmon, and Steelhead. We were both surprised to see such great action this time of year when Rockie pointed out to me that we were picking these fish up in less than 15 feet of water with relatively shallow lures. I immediately thought about my fly rod and the possibility of getting a few on the fly. We decided to finish the day trolling and trying to locate exactly where the fish were and ended the day landing several more large fish. Before we were off the water, a return trip for the next day had already been planned with Elsa’s brother Luke, and it would be done with fly rods.
The next morning after Luke and I made a brief stop at some sand flats looking for smallmouth bass that were not there, we went right back to the area we had worked the day before. We fished a variety of water from shallow, sandy bottom river inlets, where we found the Coho Salmon to rocky shorelines with lots of structure where the steelhead and browns were cruising. This was not a trip where we boated 50 fish but every fish hooked was quality and the fact that we were able to sight fish for several different species made this a very unique experience for both of us. There we were alone on Lake Superior in late fall hooking fish in beautiful water from a flats skiff, it was perfect. It really does not matter what time of year it is, there are so many opportunities to explore, and I will always travel with my fly rod close at hand.