Friday, August 25, 2006

my boss takes bees home in his trunk from work

"Finds the queen bee, puts it in his trunk. All the other bees follow her. He shuts the trunk and drives home to Ohio."

Or so R tells me.

There's a lot of corn in Illinois. This is the password. Don't forget it. It will become very important as the weeks wear on. Trust me.

So I have thusly returned from my circumnavigation of the upper midwest, or at least the portion that I was interested in. I suppose I actually circumnavigated some spot in NW Indiana. From Bloomington to Lafayette to Chicago to Madison to Dodgeville to Fennimore to Coon Valley to Madison to New Glarus then south through Bloomington ILLINOIS and east to Indy finally arriving back in the liberal bias of southern Indiana around 10:30 your time last night. I'll be honest with you, it was touch and go at times. When I accidentally put skim milk in my coffee in Lafayette I almost called it all off right then and there to flee back to my Bloomington cocoon.

But I perservered and it was well worth it.

I will here recount only small bits and pieces of the 6 day adventure because I am writing a three part piece for to which I shall dutifully link when they are posted on aforesaid website.

OK then. Chicago was great. Tracy is the hostess with the mostess and the little buddy Mia. I should have taken pictures of that little buddy. We drank a lot of beer and saw a lot of things to see including a really sweet Marching Band of street performers. I have video of it and will hopefully post it soon. I like Chicago a lot. My first trip there. Tracy is so urban.

Then I went fishing in the driftless region of Wisconsin. This place is called driftless because the last continental glaciers never touched it and thus never left glacial "drift" there. The driftless watersheds are tributaries to the Wisconsin River east of La Crosse. Kind of superficially looks like central PA what with the ridges and the farm land and the trout, but it is actually very different. All the relief is caused by erosion not acutal mountain building. Also, while all the excellent trout streams in the area are limestone spring creeks, like central PA, they have a much much lower gradient, flow through very large, flat bottomed, intensely farmed valleys, and have mostly silt, sand, and mud bottom substrate. They are also narrow, deep creeks. There is a TON of plants and algae in the stream as well. They are very hard to fish. The wading is difficult because of the soft bottom, deep water, and tangly aquatic plants. The casting is difficult because the rivers are narrow and the grasses and plants come right down to the water; no nice rock banks. The water is also crystal clear and the wild brown trout are wary and very selective so a perfect presentation and fly choice is necessary. This is very technical fishing.

But very good fishing if you can hack it.

I fished Mt. Vernon Creek, Big Green River, and the Coulees area. I only fished for an hour or two on the Mt. Vernon and Big Green. I spent most of my time on the Timber Coulee and it's tribs. The trout populations are very large in the Coulees. I saw more trout than I've ever seen anywhere. 50 trout a hole. Big trout too. Saw some 20" inch fish. The biggest one I caught was probably 14 or 15". The vast majority of the fish I caught were between 8-10". But I caught a lot of them. They are beautiful wild brown trout. I also caught one big brook trout the first night on the Coulees.

The big brook trout:

Click to enlarge:

Click to enlarge:

This is all for now. The first Indianabeer piece will hopefully be posted in the next day or two.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think that i should stop drinking. those drunk pictures of me are terrible!