Wisconsin Fly Fishing Report
Current USGS Stream Flow - Sheboygan River
Tie 1 On Fishing Update July 25th 2016
Wisconsin summers are HOT... It was 95 heat index over the weekend. With that being said the fishing has been just OK. Water temps are decent but with hotter afternoons please make sure fish are at their tolerable levels if you decide to go fishing. I've been fishing shaded areas and fishing from late afternoon till dark and have been doing pretty well.
Trout throughout the state have keyed in on ants crickets and hoppers. Grasshoppers are out and about already and I will fish hoppers until the end of the season. It should be a great hopper year with all this heat and dry conditions. Hoppers are by far and away my favourite way to fish in late summer. Big fish... big fly... big hit.
Crazy as it sounds the salmon rodeo is right around the corner. Last year there were salmon in the Sheboygan in mid September, which is only a month a half away. Yeah I know, crazy...I'm hoping the salmon run is viable this year. the DNR has lowered the #'s on just about every species stocked, including steelhead and brown trout. However the brown trout fishing last year was epic all season long.
I'm hoping everyone is having a decent summer of fishing and enjoying the nice weather. I have several openings for the salmon run and beyond, but once the first salmon shows up I get busy. if you want to book a date send me an e mail or call me, at least we can get you in the books...if the fishing isn't good we can always reschedule.
Tight lines out there and feel free to call me anytime.
Happy New Year everyone and tight lines in 2016!
Well I sure am glad to see 2015 in the rear view mirror. For those of you that didn't hear or didn't know... I had emergency appendix surgery on October 10th, and for all those that I could not guide and could not get ahold of I greatly appreciate your understanding. I spoke with most of you but once again thank you for all the calls and support, I appreciate it. To add salt to the wound I decided to have my knee checked out as well and low and behold I am now recovering from that surgery to repair a torn meniscus! I have been a doctors dream...but in a few months I will be ready to rock n roll for Spring steel and inland trout!
Speaking of inland trout the Wisco DNR has changed the rules. Early season is now from 1st Saturday in January to opening day and guess what...NO MORE of that 5 day waiting period from early season to opening day! Being the Prez of our local TU Chapter I actually voted for these new regs so I am glad they are now law!
Water has been high for several weeks. I know fish are in the river and will be for quite some time. I haven't fished since Thanksgiving for a few days just to get back out there, browns are still around and steelhead have been caught. Weather is cold so fishing will be pretty sketchy for a while. Cold front this weekend will get us down to about 10 degrees from what they are saying. So unless it warms up spend your time at the vise or in warmer climes and pray for a good steelhead run this Spring.
I am pretty wide open for the Spring run, however once the water is producing fish I am sure I will be getting calls, I'm not saying get on the books right now but if you want to it might not be a bad idea. We can always switch things around.
I wish everyone a Happy New Year and tight lines in 2016. Congrats to all the great fish landed this year, great pics and great times! Some nice fish in here!
Feel free to call me anytime regarding conditions for tribs and inland trout.
Thanks and see you out there.
Sheboygan River steelhead update
Sheboygan River Update 3/30/15 Spring is is here, it's 50 out today and birds and animals are happy! The winter has been long and cold but not much snow so the water levels are in the 200 range which is great for wading but not great for fish...they want 300 and above. But the steelhead run is very early and will only continue in the coming weeks. If we get any sort of rain event hopefully that will have a big push for steel and things will be on. Some hold over fish have been caught and even a few chromers but not many, once again it's early. I am very open as of now, however once the run gets going I will get busy. If I were trying to time it I would say Mid April all the way thru May for steelhead...let's not forget these fish are migratory so things can change very quickly.
If you want an up to the minute report feel free to call me. # 773-308-6156
Tight lines everyone and have a great season on the water.
Gordy @ Tie 1 On Guide Service Florida Trip with The Kid March 2015 I took a fantastic trip with my great friends Thomas and Tom E. to South Florida and Bimini Bahamas in March. For those of you who read my posts I hope you remember a young man I referred to as "The Kid" from one of my very first guide trips many years ago. Thomas aka The Kid is now a young man and very much involved in the salt scene down in Florida where he lives and fishes with his buddies out in the ocean on his boat Inconchnito a 27' center console rocket ship! Thomas and his father Tom have invited me for the past several years and I finally agreed they can guide me, and oh did they ever! I made my reservations for an early AM flight to Ft. Lauderdale so hopefully I could fish that afternoon, and of course we did! Thomas picked me up in his crazy huge truck with these gigantic wheels and we were off to his house and then crank it out Hillsboro inlet to the ocean! Yes the ocean! Thomas said his two buddies Dylan and Timmy were coming, great cuz I have no idea how to catch sailfish in the ocean. We were after sails. So there they are, ready to rock, Dylan is a bright young man of 20 or 21 I think... who just passed his firemans test in Southern Florida, not an easy thing to do...and then there's Timmy. When Thomas told me Timmy all of 16 years old was coming I was like oh gosh this will be interesting, I hope we don't have to baby sit him. Thomas assured me that would for sure not be the case. I was skeptical at best. Well holy cow was I wrong. Timmy is hands down the "fishiest" person I have ever met, hands down. EVER! We stop and pick up live bait ( yes bait) we use for sailfish and other species out in the ocean, hey it's how it works for the ocean, no flies here guys. Ok so we are bombing straight out in the middle of the ocean and it's rough, really rough...like I'm gonna hurl rough. Then all of a sudden I lose my footing and bam I fall and totally wrench my back like an old geezer. Did I mention it was rough? Plus I'm getting seas sick...and I was worried about Timmy. I am ok, icing my back cuz I'm not 19 like these kids and I'm ready to fish. For those of you who haven't fished offshore it's incredibly difficult...so many things to know from rigging to lines to kite set ups and it's amazing. Thomas cuts the engines, and this incredible symphony of these young men begins...it was humbling. Thomas on lines, Dylan on kite set up, Timmy on bait, they all worked like a team I have never seen before, amazing to see. Thomas and his crew use kite rigs for sailfish, essentially it an outrigger that you can control from the boat and have several lines in the water. It's not an easy thing to master, at least from my perspective. Within minutes literally we were into fish, first was a shark, (thank God we didn't need a bigger boat) and he was off very quickly via pro Timmy. There was no lag in action. Fish were really keyed into their set up...all of a sudden Timmy yells we're tight, love it...hoping for a sailfish but it was a nice dolphin (not flipper) which he graciously let me reel in. Very cool. I was feeling a bit weezy from my long day and feeling a little sea sick as well. Did I mention it was rough? Timmy literally straddled me like a pro and I landed a nice dolphin. Then it happened. About 15 minutes later we saw a big sailfish slash at on e of the baits form the kite rig, Timmy was on this so fast it was incredible, they all were but Timmy is crazy fishy...it was pretty cool watch. "We're tight, get em...Thomas watch this line, Dylan do this, I was standing there like a moron about to hurl over the side of the boat. Did I mention it was rough? Timmy gets on this sailfish and it was on! Big fish for sure, he's jumping what seemed like a mile out and he kept jumping, it was epic. Timmy was literally on the edge of the boat and he knew exactly what the fish was going to do and when, it was incredible. After a long battle and countless jumps Timmy leans over the side and hauls in this incredible sailfish, it was amazing. Of course at this point I was wondering if they were going to release it and of course they did. We kept the dolphin (mahi mahi) and Thomas prepared it and it was great.
Fresh ocean fish...nothing better.It was the most enjoyable afternoon to fish with these kids, their knowledge and expertise was sheer magic, they are good, really good. Mr.Thomas The Kid has grown into a wonderful young man and I knew he was going to be a great fisherman from the moment I met him, he's really really good at this. Funny thing is he's always asking me about fly fishing which I think is so cool. Thank you Thomas, Dylan and Timmy, you gents are the best, and thank you for not posting me hurling my breakfast overboard on youtube! Did I mention it was rough?
Best of luck boys and thank you for a great experience, I'll be back!
Bimini Bonefish trip March 2015
I've always wanted to catch a bonefish and I was sure I would get to it at some point of my life but I had no idea when or where...until my dear friends Tom and his son Thomas aka The Kid invited me to Bimini. I was reluctant to be a tag along but I eventually agreed to accompany them this past March. Tom and The Kid are serious offshore guys...these are pro all the way. They know everything there is to know about ocean fishing. Literally. I just wanted bones...I tied up a whole box of flies and already had it in my mind just how and where I was going to catch a bonefish...until Mr. Tom got us a guide and not just some ordinary Bimini guide. The legend himself, Mr. Ansil Saunders world record bonefish holder a man of exquisite history on just about every level. Tom set the trip up for Thomas and I...to say I was excited was an understatement. Seriously? Ansil Saunders? Wow.
Once we landed in Bimini we literally went directly to meet Mr. Saunders at his shop. He is a famous flats skiff boat builder and his boats are works of art, they sell for $40K! I wasn't really caring too much about the boat I just wanted to ensure the fact we were on the books and we were good to go. Meeting Mr. Saunders is like meeting a true living legend. He is 83 years old and looks like he's 50, he is smart, very friendly and without question a world renowned hero in all aspects of bonefishing. We set up to meet at our marina @ 8:30 AM...I told him we would be there at 8:29, ready to go.
Next morning Thomas and I were very excited, so excited in fact we were 30 minutes early...wondering if we said 8 or 8:30...you know the drill. Is he coming? Did he remember? How will we find him in this massive marina? I said to Thomas let's go to the very end so he can't miss us...sure enough 8:30 here comes Mr. Saunders in his flats skiff with an outboard on the back. Phew! We pile in and off we go. Bombing thru the mangroves taking it all in. Magical...sun coming up, anticipation of a lifetime. We fly thru these mangroves and slow down and we both see a deck in the middle of the mangrove, a real deck above high tide with a platform and benches. I wasn't sure exactly what was going on, neither did Thomas. Then I saw it. In the middle of this glorious mangrove is a statue, not an ordinary statue. This statue is of Dr. Martin Luther King. Ansil Saunders guided Dr. King several times in his life and they were very close friends. So close in fact that Dr. King was with Ansil writing many of his speeches while fishing in Bimini. Ansil created an homage to Dr. King in the middle of this beautiful mangrove and once we stepped on to the platform we had no idea what to think. Thomas and I were speechless, literally speechless. Then there was this eery moment, call it what you will but it was just one of those life moments you really can't explain. While I was in the boat shop I saw a bible, next to the bible were several books, many by the King family. Signed no doubt...anyhow the Bible really caught my eye because it had Ansil's name on it. Then it happened, he asked us if he could recite a sermon he had memorized for years, of course we obliged.
He started by saying look around, look at all this beauty, look at the sky, look at the water, look at the birds, look within yourself...heavy duty stuff and I thought we were just going bonefishing! His words flowed off his tongue like they were literally the words of God. He is a Godly man, very much so and his 20 minute sermon was one that I will never forget, nor will Thomas. The only thing I really want to say is after that moment I felt closer to God, which ever God it is out there, but all I can say is I felt closer to all living things and closer to humanity, not every day you can say that. Ansil's words were amazing and forever a life changer, Thomas and I had no idea this was part of the guide trip, once we got back into the boat we were both speechless once again, a moment hard to explain but a life moment I will never forget.
Let's go fish!
We headed out on these beautiful crystal clear flats. Sharks, rays and the birds were amazing. Thomas and I were just happy to be along truth be told, our 1st hour with Ansil was already life changing. We cruised several flats and didn't see fish...low tide, not good. We raced around for hours looking for tails and schools of fish. It was crazy windy, if it was 20 MPH it was 40...not the best conditions, then it rained 3 times on us. Conditions were really crummy, I wanted to ask Ansil if he could put a word out to the bonefish Gods and ask for a little help. Well he must have felt my wishes because then it changed...we were on this huge flat I was out of the boat with spinning gear because Ansil was unsure of our abilities...I wasn't going to tell him we could cast fly rods and cast well. We were his students on every level. Suddenly Thomas was on point and things happened so fast I really didn't know what was going on...he was into a huge bonefish! Whoa! How did that happen! Crazy! Thomas landed a beauty, great fish. He was elated as was I. I raced back to the boat from my flats location and ripped off a few pictures. Then Thomas said OK that's it, get out the fly rods. Ansil looked at us like really? Did I mention it was windy? I was on it, rigged and set up within minutes and Thomas and I were off on this huge flat. He was on the right I was on the left. We literally left Ansil back about 500 yards because the boat wouldn't make it. We started seeing fish, in these deep "holes" then they would shoot out and you would have seconds to get the fly to them, it was crazy windy. We did all we could but these guys were super fast and spooky like you wouldn't believe. We tried, tried really hard, it was cool just to see the bones cruising to tell the truth. We gradually made our way back to the boat and conceded that flat was not meant to be. Off we went, we had been on the water for about 5 hours and I thought the day was over, not yet my friends not yet.
Ansil took us to a flat very close to the marina, the tide was coming in...and fast. So fast in fact it made a strange hue to the water, almost murky. Ansil told me to fish the seam where the water is clear and joins the murky side. No problem I got this! I was hauling like 50 or 60 feet straight into the wind, really hard casting. It was blowing like crazy. I would watch my sink rate at my feet, make a cast count to ten which was the sink rate for my fly to be on the bottom and hope for the best. Cast count...cast count...cast count. Then on about my 10th cast I felt this crazy unbelievable hit, never felt anything like it before, my rod was shaking, my line was ripping off my reel at an insane speed and I was into my first bonefish. My heart was racing, reel was burning up, and alI could think was if I blow this I'm going to die. I had three runs into my backing! Another epic run...reeling screaming, this fish was so hot and I had him, solid hook up. After several amazing runs I landed my first bonefish, on a fly I tied and with my good buddy Thomas and most of all Ansil Saunders who was amazed at my feat. He didn't think we could cast, Thomas and I continued to fish this flat, Thomas had a few hookups and so did I...all in all it was a day I will never ever forget.
Thomas I thank you for this memory and hope to do it again with you, I'll never forget our day with Mr. Saunders and your huge bonefish! Way to go buddy. Tight lines always.
Sheboygan River Update 10/16/14
The salmon rodeo has been really good so far this year, plenty of big Kings being caught in the past few weeks. We got a ton of rain and the CFS is high right now but once it falls we should be on for steel and browns, and of course the ho's as well. The coho should be in once the river drops back to normal levels.
Very few steelhead have been caught so far but the water is cooling and dropping every day so I am thinking November should be prime for steel and big lake run browns. I have openings here and there but if you want to get on the books please call me with your dates! Sorry for being outta touch I've been on the river!
Tight Lines everyone and good luck out there!
Gordy @ Tie 1 On
Sheboygan River and inland trout update for June 7, 2014
Yes I'm alive everyone, truth be told I am just getting over the reality I missed another steelhead season due to high water. I am going to sound like an old record but this BS is getting old. 3 out of 4 Spring runs have been for naught. Pretty much a bummer across the board, no use in going into it so let's move on to smallies and trout! For all you steelhead freaks out there we have about 4 months till they are back around, and of course salmon too. Sorry to all the people I had to cancel trips this Spring, come fall we will get even!
Inland trout and smallie fishing is picking up nicely. Smallies are done wit the spawn and taking top water poppers which I just love...streamers are working well too. Inland trout fishing is really good now and will be till end of season. The entire state is having good hatches and some really nice fish taking dry flies. It will on till end of season. My local stream has had some great hatches...best I've seen actually. Midges, Caddis, Hendricksons, Crane Flies and of course BWO's are around. That's a pretty good array of dry flies. Anyone interested in a trip any where up by me or over in the Driftless Region let me know. Best plan is to meet over there and we can hammer it all day and night..speaking of night the Hex hatch is right around the corner and mousing should be good about now too. I love mousing, BIG fish always are interested in a mouse pattern, and it's so damn fun!
If you have any questions about summertime fishing please give me a call and we can discuss options for the entire state, fishing is good now so we need to capitalize on it before it's too late!
Good luck out there and tight lines.
Gordy @ Tie 1 On Guide Service
Polar Vortex Update from Gordy @ Tie 1 On...
Where do I start, I guess the weather would be an appropriate place to begin. It has been so cold here !! Frozen pipes, frozen rivers, frozen brain...all not good for the soul. The winter run was shaping up to be awesome, then we got hammered with one week of cold temps right after Thanksgiving and that was it...we never recovered above 32 degrees until just a few days ago, is that not insane? I mean we had a few days when it was 34 or 35 but the rivers were already frozen. Oh well, life in Wisconsin as they say. Next topic.
So as you can imagine I tie a lot during the winter, coming up with some crazy stuff for sure. Bigger is better for a lot of the trout streams here in Wisco so I have been tying some monster huge streamers, big gaudy stuff that will hopefully work. Black is best it seems, leech patterns and some made up stuff that seems to work well on just about anything from smallies to carp. Looks fishy...catches fish.
People have been calling...some from Chicago and further South wanting to fish. Hard to imagine the 150 miles to Chicago can be so drastic weather wise. If it's 50 in Chicago it's still below freezing here in Wisco...for some reason people think it's the same environment, I always tell them to check my local stats and they can tell me when the fishing will be good. Ha ha!
Speaking of good fishing I do think the Spring steelhead run could materialize into something good for a change. The past 2 seasons have been awful. Ok so here's the deal. We need warm temps, the river is still very much frozen and will not be fishable until all the ice is gone...when will that be you ask? I would say 1st week of April if we are lucky, really lucky. However if we do get some major warm weather and some rain that could change it quickly. I think the fishing will be great for steelhead from ice out easily into June, seriously. I have had some great days in June, early June but it's still June! The steelhead run will be fast and furious so timing will be key. One day they are here the next gone. So if you want to chase some steel call me or e mail me for an update, that's the best way to ensure things are rolling up here.
I had a red winged blackbird at my feeder just now, I heard cranes flying overhead yesterday, all good signs of Spring but where the hell is it? This morning it was 10 degrees, go figure. Keep the faith, winter is almost over, or should I say Spring is almost here, I hate using the word winter these days.
On a cool note I finally have an owl in my screech owl box! I put it up 7 years ago and finally have a taker! He's super cool and must have a few places to shack up...one day he's here and the next he's gone, much like steelhead! But I think this owl is really fantastic to have around.
Tight lines in 2014 everyone...see you out there.
Gordy Martin Owner Tie 1 On Guide Service LLC
Sheboygan River report 11/13/13
Patrick and his Dad had a good day out yesterday. I finally got to met Patrick's Dad who was all over the Coho, and of course Patrick landed some nice ones as well, let alone two primo steelhead! Way to go buddy, nice fishing.
Steelhead and some HUGE browns are around but you have to find them. Fish are in "fallback" mode but we are supposed to get more rain! I think this game will be on all the way till December if you can handle the weather. Fishing is pretty decent in the afternoon once the water warms up a bit.
Gordy @ Tie 1 On
Sheboygan River Update Nov 12, 2013
Sheboygan is fishing really well. Kings are dead and gone except some really grizzly looking ones on their last leg, cohos are around and cooperative if you want to catch them. Some big browns and steelhead are out there if you know where to look. Eggs have been the ticket, fish are more active in the later part of the day or really early.
Have to make it short... I am booked for the next 6 days and I need to tie flies, so if you want an up to the minute update call me or e mail me. Good luck out there.
Fishing should be good for another several weeks, at least until the river freezes up, it would be great if that didn't happen but that's wishful thinking. It was 19 this morning but supposed to warm up later in the week.
Gordy @ Tie 1 On Guide Service
Sheboygan River Report October 12, 2013
The rain we had last weekend really helped with waater flows and fishing. Kings are all over the place, especially in the upper sections of the river. They are big this year again...and there are a lot of them. Cohos have also made their way upstream and even a few small browns! Eggs have been working well and any bright colored streamers for cohos and big King salmon! I've been out every day this week so I have to get back to tying flies!The fishing will keep getting better, steelhead and browns will be next on the list once the Kings are gone. We should have decent salmon fishing for the coming several weeks. Fresh Kings are still making their way upstream every day it seems. This has already been a good run. If you are interested in a trip you need to get on the books ASAP. I have several openings but if the fishing continues like this I will be busy, so give me a call and let's go get some of these big boys!
Gordy @ Tie 1 On Guide Service
Sheboygan River Fishing Report Tuesday September 17th.
The salmon are right on schedule as they are every year...hundreds have made their way into the river in the past 48 hours. Literally saw about 40 or 50 in one pool on the lower stretches of the river. They are on the move, pool to pool. They are not on beds yet, but should be very soon.
Crazy thing is that I saw 3 fish coupled up doing their thing and they were all browns. I let them at it, the water is still pretty warm and I just didn't feel like bothering them. BUT...while fishing for kings in a deep hole I caught a very nice male brown, big kype and all. I couldn't believe it. I have never caught a brown this early. So with that being said I am hoping the Fall run will be one to remember. Supposed to rain later this week, we need the rain. Salmon will come in no matter what but it would be nice to have some better flows.
I do have several days open as of right now, but I will start to get busy soon, so if you are thinking of a time please call me and I can at least get you down on the ca lender.
Tight lines and the fishing is only going to get better.
Local fishing report for Tie One On June 24th 2013
Well contrary to what you have heard I am still alive and still guiding. However the weather and the rain has not made my life easy to say the least. The Spring runoff was horrible, no steelhead and no trout fishing to speak of. Then it started raining every day for what seemed like an eternity. Great for the drought conditions from last year but bad for fishing. It is now June and things have finally made the turn and the fishing is decent for both trout and smallies. Trout are on terrestrials already. Hoppers, ants and beetles will take the larger fish out there looking for a meal. Smallies are on the move and it can be hit or miss as always...but once found they are a blast to catch on poppers. The trout fishing has been clobbered by all the rain all across the state, not a good thing. Even the almighty Driftless Region has been either really good or really bad. Quite honestly I am sick of this unpredictability for fishing, clients call and I have no answers for them other than we have to wait...it is frustrating beyond belief, but hopefully that is all in the past. Crazy as it sounds we are only a few months away from salmon season. With all this water around I am hoping this will be a great season for salmon, once again we are dependant on the DNR for stocking and the weather. The dredging is done in the harbor, so that is another reason to crack one open and celebrate, that just sucked for fishing last Fall. Those who fished it know what I mean. I hope everyone is having a great summer now that it is finally here. My schedule is pretty wide open until the Fall, if you are up for a smallie trip or trout trip let's do it! Tight lines.
Sheboygan River update April 19th 2013
In case anybody was wondering how the fishing is? These pictures sum it up pretty well. The rain/runoff has pretty much killed any shot at any steelhead fishing for all and I mean all of April. May might have an opening but I wouldn't count on it. The smallmouth bass season might be worthy but the CFS is at 2700 today and rising...again from all the rain today. This is getting very old for all of us that I am sure. If you want an up to the minute update please call me.
Keep the faith as they say...I'm considering building an ark.
March 19th 2013 Sheboygan River Update
Winter is still here in full force in Sheboygan County, last week it was warm and we did get a ton of rain, but then it snowed and got brutally cold again. It pains me to write these reports because I am so ready to fish like all the rest of you out there.
So here's the deal...river is high, super high. Flood stage last week after we got 2-3 inches of rain. All good news. The water levels are really rocking right now, I would say at least 2000 CFS...hard to tell cuz the gauge is frozen of course. But the river should be fishing great in the coming weeks. The dredge work is completed, all things are pointing to a decent Spring steelhead run. If this run isn't good then we all need to find new water to fish because we will have no excuses once the water is fishable. If you are asking me that question I would say 2 or 3 weeks from now we will be in the zone, but once again we have a ton of snow on the ground, and once that melts we are looking at more water in the rivers, so it might be late April??? Who knows. But I do think we are going to be in good shape once we get to fishable levels. If you are thinking of coming up or booking a trip call me first, things can change super fast in the Spring, but right now we are still in winter mode.
However the trout fishing on the local streams has been OK...of course when it's above freezing and your guides and the rest of your body doesn't freeze up. I have seen some LBS (little black stoneflies) out there and I thought I saw a BWO go past my head the other day, so that's a good sign. Trout fishing is still early as well, tons and I mean tons of snow out there.
We are getting close everyone, but we are just not there yet. Hang tight, it is coming, I have seen cranes in the fields and the cardinals are doing their mating calls, so we are getting close!
Feel free to call me any time for updates.
Tie One On Report January 2013
Happy New Year everyone, yes I am still alive but haven't fished or guided since we are in this round of unending Arctic freeze! Holy Crap it has been cold up here, below 15 degrees for the past few days and wind chills in the -10 range. That is cold. Where the hell is all this global warming everyone is talking about? I could use a dose about now! Just kidding, but it is really cold up here, yah yah yah it's Wisconsin in the winter blah blah blah. Crazy as it sounds opening day for early trout season is 36 days away! Yes in 36 days till we can freeze our butts off while trying to catch trout in a small stream! Guiding in Belize is sounding better and better as I write this!
In all seriousness it's nice to have a break and recharge the battery. I have been tying a ton, filling boxes and getting ready for the season. Funny how the longer you tie the more creative you become. My friend Erv Gep from Orvis is an amazing tyer, he made me a great shadowbox of poppers that he ties for me. Thank you Erv, you are the man. His poppers are amazing, he is always so modest with his flies, their not this their not that...to me I think they are amazing, and they are. He uses specialty nail polish, has his own method of tying his flies etc...and that is what tying should be, your very own creations. Sure you can tie the "classics" Royal Wolffs, Adams and hoppers, but if you tie make up your own stuff, tie something with your own signature. Fish can be picky but if they see something totally different they may just hammer it like it's something new they haven't seen before. It's worth a shot!
I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone on the streams and rivers. Last Fall was a weird season for browns and steelhead, those that fished with me know that for sure. Typical one day good next day horrible. I am hoping that the snowfall and the rain we have had on the warm days has raised the water table a bit and helped the rivers as well. The drought last year was bad for the trout streams. The Sheboygan was doing remarkably well water wise but the lack of fish was concerning. A whole host of factors were in play and hopefully the Spring run will turn out to be a good one. If anyone has any questions about anything feel free to call me. Happy tying and look forward to seeing you in the Spring.
Tight lines if you are off to fish in warmer climes and happy tying.
See you all soon.
Sheboygan River Report Nov.16th
My friend John from Denmark finally made it back to Wisco during the prime time for lake run migratory fish and did very well. We fished for trout on the local trout stream a few years back and he can fish very well...so I knew that if he were to ever be back in during the Fall for migratory fish he would most likely have a good day. And sure enough he did! John is form Denmark, yes Denmark, and he fishes a lot in Norway and other exotic destinations. I find it hard to believe he "enjoys" the Sheboygan but it's all about the experience as he says. To me it's all about the fish of course. People pay me to get them into fish, bottom line. Anyhow, John shows up with his own gear from Denmark, rod reel etc...and we were off. As usual John was doing everything right and I knew it was just a matter of time before he got into a fish. The conditions were perfect for him and he was only one King away from the Grand Slam! We decided to stick to browns and steelhead... Congrats John! That Carlsberg direct from Denmark was well deserved!
Later in the week my buddy George from Florida finally made his annual pilgrimage to try his luck...last year he did very well on Cohos but this year we were after big browns! And sure enough he timed it perfectly again. His son Brian joined us. Brian was doing very well but the fish were breaking him off here and there, he is new to the sport and he did an amazing job for his first time out. His Dad George is a little more seasoned so suffice it to say it was George's day for sure. George caught several beautiful browns, world class browns, just amazing. Great to see you George!
My week was toped off with a trip from my Madison buddy Dan. Dan has been fishing for many years and has never fished for migratory browns. Thanks to George I knew exactly where to take him. Dan got into a glorious fish within five minutes. Epic fish, the pictures say it all. Dan went on to go 9 for 14 on monster browns. The casts were very precise, it had to be perfect every time to get a good drift etc...he did it every time and was rewarded with some fantastic trophies. At the end of the day Dan lays it on me that he is going to Tierra del Fuego to chase their legendary big brown trout...I was like huh? Are you kidding me? Big brown trout...how much bigger do you want them to be? I mean seriously. But then he told me it was on his list of things to do, and hats off to him, the food, the wine, the scenery and of course it's Tierra del Fuego for God's sake! I told him to show the guides down there the fish he caught here in Wisco and see what they say. I guess it's all relative but Dan has some trophy browns already in his hat. Way to go Dan, congrats to you.
I know there are some huge fish and good stories in this report but the fishing has been very challenging to say the least. One day can be unreal and the next nothing. That's why they are migratory...they move. if you are up for giving it a shot let me know, but please call me to try and time it right, it's all about timing right now. Timing is essential to getting into these fish, they can literally appear and disappear overnight, kind of like a college girlfriend!
Weather is looking to be decent in the coming two weeks, I think we can be fishing until mid December at the rate things are going. Steelhead are around and will hopefully be getting better as the season keeps rolling along.
Hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving and tight lines.
Sheboygan River Report from Tie One On October 31, 2012
River is in great shape, CFS is 220 and water is looking very good. We got almost 6 inches of rain in the past few weeks and the water has basically been unfishable until this week. Good news and bad news. The King run is all but over, it was good just not great. Last year was insane, fish were huge and a lot of them, this year was nice but not one to remember. Fast forward. All the rain has washed all the stinky dead salmon back to the lake but with all the high water the browns, cohos and a few steelhead have made their way into the system. Browns are on beds throughout the river but you need to work for them. Water temp is great, in the 40's and the fishing is going to be good for quite a while in here, I would say all the way through November for sure. The rain we got was exactly what we needed, the fishing should be good for a while in here. I have been targeting browns with clients and some have had some pretty good luck, key is to get the flies down deep and get a good drift.
My schedule is very busy this time of year...if you are thinking of getting up here for a shot at a trophy lake run brown call ASAP. I have several openings in mid to late November which is prime brown/steelhead time so call me ASAP to get a date in the books.
Tight lines everyone.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Sheboygan River - Lake Run Brown Trout have been caught recently. Report to come ....
Sheboygan River Salmon Fishing has been very good even with the low water we are experiencing. Kings are basically all over the river. On beds, in holes and fresh fish are still coming in every day it seems. This should continue for the next several weeks, so if you are up for the salmon rodeo now is the time. I have a few openings for the week of 10/22, so if you are thinking about it I would make plans ASAP.
The cohos and browns won't be too far behind and of course steelhead will cap off the fall run but we are a long way from being over in here. Rain is forecasted for the next few days, let's hope that happens! It could be a game changer on the good side!
Back to the river...tight lines.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Hello everyone, gotta keep it short, the salmon rodeo is in full swing. TONS of fish everywhere in the river, on beds, in holes, on the end of the line. Basically all bright colored flies are working well. Speaking of which I have to go tie some more right now! If you are waiting for the salmon run don't wait any longer. Now is the time. I have very few days left open for the salmon run, if you are interested in a date please call me ASAP.
Tight lines out there, be safe...these beasts are big again this year.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service LLC
Sheboygan River Report September 24, 2012
Salmon are in! First wave of salmon entered the system in the past 72 hours and more are moving up every hour it seems. Some are already up on beds and others are moving upstream very quickly. Strange as it sounds the salmon and smallmouth fishing is great right now. The smallies will hit a streamer down deep while fishing for salmon, always a fun bonus this time of year. A client caught a small brown trout as well this week, so fish are moving into the river for sure. Call me for an up to the minute update.
October is generally a very busy month, so I you are planning a trip please call me ASAP and I will get you down on the books.
Thank you and tight lines. Have fun during the "Salmon Rodeo" as I call it....
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Ph # 920-876-3510
What a summer it has been! For those of you that live here in Wisco you know it has been hot and very little rain, so the fishing has sort of taken a beating, but recently the weather has been relatively normal and the fishing has rebounded pretty well. We had a hot spell for about 2 or 3 weeks it seemed and it just put all the fishing on a holding pattern, but like I said it has gotten much better recently. Trout are keyed in on hoppers, ants and beetles as well as small BWO's and even some tricos are around some of the Spring Creeks. I always use a hopper this time of year, even if you don't see anything rising. The big browns will always be tempted with a well presented hopper pattern. It's just too big of a meal to let slip on down the river. So if you are into hopper fishing give me a call, every year I inevitably catch my biggest fish of the season on a dry with a hopper pattern.
Bets and I took a road trip to Colorado in late July to the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers in Aspen area. Those of you that read my posts know that I am out there quite a bit with my brother in law, yah the one who taught me how to fish...Jeff. He is hands down one of the best fisherman I know and our trip only confirmed my notions. He and I fished for 8 days straight, all dries, we never even use a nymph except for one day when I of course got desperate because I was fishing like an idiot. I was pretty tired form driving 1400 miles, I was on the river but felt like I was still doing 80 on the highway. Those of you who have driven straight through know the feeling...let alone the altitude and a possible hangover, but either way I was not fishing well. Of course I hook a HUGE brown on a nymph and he proceeds to break me off instantly. 6x was the norm out there, of course Jeff was having more luck on 7x, can you imagine 7x all day long? That's pretty intense no matter where you go. Jeff had a great trip, he never put on a nymoh or streamer the entire time, I nymphed for about 2 hours then back to dries. The fishing was great outside of the bears, yes bears. Last winter was very mild in Colorado and the bears are having a tough time finding food etc...so there were a lot of bears around, blacks obviously but they can still rip you up if you are confronted by a mother and cubs. Betsy is deadly afraid of bears and they are not to high on my list either. Several sightings were reported and as you drive into Snowmass Village there is a big sign "Beware of Bears" etc...only adding fuel to the fire with my wifes intense phobia of getting eaten by a bear. It's plain and simply not going to happen but until you see Yogi out there crusing around it maked you think twice. We saw a "yearling" male, guy was probably a year old and weighed about 200 pounds or so...even a little guy looks daunting, nice to see but better to see his ass get back in the woods!
Jeff and I ran into some unbelievable hatches, one day on the Frying Pan around the 11 mile marker we hit a pool we had never fished before and we caught tons of fish. I let Jeff have a pool that was just boiling with fish...I went upstream caught a bunch and came back and he was just giggling. I watched him land 4 fish before I even got within earshot of him, it was pretty cool to see. We ended up catching about 35 or 40 fish, maybe more maybe less, I'm not a numbers guy but it was pretty epic. We both agreed it was one of our better days ever. The hatch went from emerging PMD's to full PMD's...then caddis back to PMD's again, it was pretty cool. We had the flies too, Jeff tied up some stuff the night before and I had some stuff that I tied as well. Great trip for sure.
Back to Wisco...salmon are right around the corner, hard to believe but it's true. Michigan already has salmon in the PM we are not far behind. It's raining out right now, we need a good 1 or 2 inches of rain to have anything happen. Mid September will be a good sign to see how things are going to shape up. Late September we should see a decent amount of fish in the river, always best to call me for a report and if you want to schedule a trip we should get you down on the books, I am getting calls already and have been for several weeks. Prime months will for sure be October and November. Until then the smallmouth bass fishing has been heating up big time...and pike as well. The trout fishing is only going to get better, cooler nights, warm days, perfect for terrestrial fishing from here out, season closes at the end of September, so if you would like to do a trout trip in SW Wisconsin now is the time.
Carp fishing has been unreal once you find them...while fishing for smallmouth one day I ran across two really big carp feeding, I was using a "Tequilly" fly which looks like a big crayfish and I gave it a shot, well Mr Carpe Diem took it and ran. It was a very spirited battle on a 5 weight rod, I heard it "creak" several times and the fish got me into my backing very quickly. He was pissed. I was very lucky because the pool I hooked him in was wide open and he headed straight for the opposite bank, after about a serious 15 minute battle and several runs I finally landed without breaking my 5 weight. You really need a 6 or 7 weight while fishing for big carp, they will put a pretty big hurt on you with a 5 weight, no matter what rod you are using.
Good Luck to everyone out there, feel free to call me any time.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
The best fishing days are ones that have no plan, no agenda, no meeting at specific time, no new flies to try, and so on. Yesterday was that day. It rained pretty well on Saturday afternoon, a quick good hard rain, prefect for streamer fishing on our local stream for big trout that will ONLY come out during a high water event.
As I was cruising around checking out the water levels and off color water conditions I see a familiar truck headed my way, low and behold my good buddy Herb. Herb is the best because like I said... sometimes the best plans are to have no plans at all...however I knew that once Herb and I saw each other we would fish together because we haven't seen each other in quite some time. He already caught a few and he knows I love to fish streamers in high muddy water. We decided to fish big gaudy streamers and we were off. Suddenly I had a plan and I was so excited to fish with Herb because he is a very good fisherman and knows what he is doing, that is for sure.
I was geared up and ready to go in a matter of minutes and we were off, trekking way upstream where we both know some big fish live. Let me just say this, it was Herb's day. We would split a pool and he would say he missed one, another hit etc...I was of course getting skunked which is quite honestly just fine with me. While fishing a primo hole with a huge lunker structure Herb yells he missed a beauty...usually you only get one shot at a big fish, Herb said he was big and he is not one to BS anyone. Mind you this is after I fished his exact spot with no hookup, like I said he is good. Anyhow he swore it was all of 14" which is a decent fish on this stream. I guess "no" is not in Herb's vocab because he kept fishing that exact same spot...when all of a sudden he yells he got him! Wow!
His rod was bent over big time, he was yelling, I was yelling, I was running back upstream as fast as possible to land this beast, falling over myself like an idiot etc...meanwhile Herb had his hands full. It was a big fish that just hammered his conehead black wooly bugger. This fish was big, Herb did a prefect job and low and behold we landed a 15+" beautiful brown together. How about that for having no plans? Herb was elated that I was there not only to witness the beautiful fish but also to take a few photos.
Way to go Herb, beautiful fish, and of course if you ever want to go fishing again, let's not make any plans...I'll see you out there buddy! Congratulations on a great fish.
Tight lines everyone, feel free to call me if you would like to make plans for guiding, that I will definitely do! Fishing is good and hopper season is right around the corner! Feel free to call me anytime for an update.
Gordy Martin @ Tie 1 On Guide Service.
Tie One On Fishing Report for May 25, 2012
Summer is finally here, it's 78 degrees outside as I write this. It's nice to have warm weather for sure. Thanks to all those out there that were so close to pulling the trigger on the steelhead run this year, in case you didn't know... it was terrible. The rain and the water levels were high all Spring and the fishing was good for just about a week or two, tops. We need to move ahead and wait till fall for salmon and steelhead.
However the trout fishing has been great with all this warm weather, and of course the warm water species are picking up as well. The local streams have been producing some decent trout with some hatches which do I dare say are "predictable" Midges have been insane every day, Caddis and Hendricksons have been out in full force. Some very nice fish have been taken on Hennies and caddis too. Believe it or not but ants, beetles and even a hopper may get the attention of the big boys. I have moved some very big fish on terrestrials this year already, big fish big flies. Those of you that know me will attest to that! During high water never be afraid to use a big black streamer and hold on. Big fish will be aggressive during high water and a little murky water.
Smallmouth bass and pike have been very active, water temps are perfect and the spawn is just about over for the smallies. Some very big smallies are around, especially in the Sheboygan. A friend of mine caught a beauty 4 or 5 pounder while fishing for steelhead, that is a trophy smallmouth. The pike have been great too, always eager to take a fly.
If anyone is interested in a trip to the Driftless Area it is really fishing well. Very predictable hatches and big fish are eager this time of year. I know the area streams very well and will accommodate anyone that is willing to make the trip over there. Plus it's a beautiful time of year in the Driftless Area with plenty of trout streams to explore.
As always feel free to call me for an up to the minute report on what's going on, tight lines to everyone and hope to see you in the future.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Timing, it's all about timing. Life...love...fishing...it' all timing. Well let's just say the timing for this Spring run of steelhead has been off just a little, well actually alot. March was downright HOT! Literally hot, I took a quick trip to Colorado (awesome by the way) to gear up for steelhead season and it was scorching while I was gone. 80 degrees every day! And of course rain on top of all the runoff just made me freak out that the run was going to be over, well thankfully global warming took a respite and we are back in "normal" weather patterns for early April. Steelhead are in the rivers big time, thing is the water has been high for weeks, way above 400-500 CFS which is my barometer for decent fishing. Right now we are at 649 and falling like a rock, so things may get super crazy super fast. Steelies will get in and do their rituals very quickly, not to say we won't have fish in the river, just that the run may change very quickly as it usually does in the Spring...remember timing? Once the CFS is below 500 and you are looking for steel that could be it, so keep that in mind. barring any more rain we should be in business by the end of this week April 5th or so.
Back to timing. Spring in Wisco is great, I have the best of two worlds. A class 1 trout stream nearby and steelhead within 15 minutes of both. Point I am getting at is that the trout fishing has been awesome. I rarely say that but yesterday I got into an Olive hatch that was fantastic, just great. #22 BWO's were the ticket. Once I figured out what they wanted it was all over. I had a day to remember. Rose about 60 fish and landed around 25 or 30, lost count. Nothing huge just nonstop action, all day. Biggest fish was 14" but on a 4 weight and 6x tippet that is what it's all about for me. Trout were rising everywhere and it was just loads of fun, if you want to try it some time give me a call. I guide the whole state for trout, and the Driftless Region is great, but my local waters are getting pretty good to use as a warm up for any trout fishing you do, wether it be Driftless area or Montana, my local streams will test your skills that is for sure.
Back to steelhead...the coming weeks will be key, barring any more rain I think we are good to go for all of April into May. If we get deluged at all that may change things and we may have to wait till things get back to normal but I think the steelhead run will be good all the way through April, so give me a call for current conditions and tight lines!
Gordy @ Tie One On
Sheboygan River and Spring Creek Update 3/2/2012
Tomorrow is opening day of early trout season and of course we are getting pounded up here in Wisco. Supposed to get 8 inches I guess then warm up next week...fingers crossed.
Good thing is all this snow/water will eventually get into the system and bring in some steelhead. The Sheboygan is still iced up in many spots and dangerous if you do not know the river all that well. Be careful if you do choose to go out there with ice shelves. I am hoping next week will be the turn for the weather. We need a good rain event that will officially start the Spring Run. Steelhead are in the river and can be caught but they are mostly hold over fish from the Fall. Some will be dark cheeked and colorful for sure. Keys are to get the flies down deep in the slow holes and put the flies right in front of the fish. Water temps are still pretty cold, low 30's at best. Next couple of weeks will really get things going, patience is key right now.
Tomorrow is the start of early trout season here in Wisconsin, the majority of streams are open to fish but some do have special regs, so be sure you are fishing legal waters. Early season is a great time to streamer fish, trout haven't seen a fly or anything else non natural all winter and will be aggressive to any decently presented streamer. Of course nymphs will work as well but I really like throwing big streamers this time of year, those who know me will attest to that. Nothing special, just really big stuff. See pics below. Nymphs will also work of course, PT's, hares ears, the fly I love to hate...the Pink Squirrel etc...I never use a Pink Squirrel, isn't that some foo-foo drink old ladies drink? I just can't do it sorry. I stick to tried and true patterns that I have confidence in, maybe I need to catch a 18" brown on a pink squirrel then maybe I would fish it, but like I said I just can't do it. Little black stoneflies and midges will be your best bet with dry flies, later in the day of course. Depending on the stream but BWO's will also be an option.
I look forward to meeting my new list of clients, I have been getting a lot of phone calls so I appreciate that very much. And of course I look forward to seeing my clients from prior seasons, your business and friendships are greatly appreciated!
Note: WI Licences EXPIRE on March 31st so be sure to renew.
A few pictures of flies and fish to get everyone in the mood!
Tight lines and good luck out there!
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Sheboygan River Report 1/1/12
Happy New Year to everyone out there in cyberspace! Hard to imagine it's 2012 but it's here. I have a ritual of fishing on Christmas Day and a self proclaimed mandatory outting on New Years Eve, no matter what the situation. A few years back I fished for about 10 minutes because it was 10 degrees...I do have my limits! But I do make an effort every year to fish New Years Eve wherever at all costs.
The fishing has been surprisingly good. Browns are still in the river and the steelhead fishing has been remarkable if I do say so myself. The only problem is that this time of year it really is a crap shoot, it can unbelievable or it can be just awful. Obviously the weather and water temps are the main issue. The key is to get flies down deep and get them right in front of the fish. Eggs have been doing well in all colors. The browns were really keyed in to chartreuse eggs the other day, I went 4 for 4.
If anyone out there is willing to make a go of it I am pretty wide open for winter trips, I would ONLY fish on a day that is above 32 degrees, frozen guides are just a royal pain in the ass, and the fish will be more receptive if the water temps are going up even one or two degrees. The Spring might be amazing with all the fish I have seen in the river, so once again believe it or not it's right around the corner. March is generally when I start to think about Spring steel, and it's only 60 days away!
Feel free to give me a call to discuss a winter outting or if you would like any info about Spring dates etc...
A big thank you to everyone who visits my site and a huge thank you to everyone that booked a trip with me, I very much appreciate it and look forward to seeing you in the Spring!
Happy New Year and tight lines in 2012!
Fishing Update November 30th 2011
I truly think I have reached guiding nirvana. It happened a few days ago with my good friend and client Steve Flood and his buddy John. Those of you who read my posts know how I feel about Steve, he is the man, bottom line. Great fisherman, great guy, and just a ton of fun to be around. Did I mention he's a good fisherman? Well Steve travels all over the world fishing, but for some reason he keeps coming back for his Sheboygan fix whenever I give him the thumbs up...he has been asking me for months when he should come over from Iowa and I have been telling him to wait. I have to make it good for Steve, he has fished some great rivers and I want to do al l can to have his experience with me be above all else. Long story short I told him to get over here ASAP and sure enough he did. The fishing as of late has just exploded, especially in the past week. Steve and his friend John caught at least 35 browns on their trip, it was just amazing. Steve is a world class fisherman and his buddy John isn't far behind. So this is how it went...
They arrived Sunday and were fishing for two days, I knew they would get into fish but I didn't expect guiding nirvana. Steve was his usual self and getting great drifts and landing some really nice fish on the first day, nothing over 30" but some really nice fish on day one. The following day things just "clicked". Steve and John were so in the zone it was truly amazing. I had my first double brown ever! That being both clients had a brown on at the same time! It actually happened twice! That's just guide heaven, bottom line. I was spotting fish all day long and Steve was really in the zone when I saw a very big shadow in a dark pool behind a bed, I knew this fish was big but I had no idea. I rigged him perfectly I must say because it was a very technical drift and it had to get down fast and be seen by the fish etc...Steve was getting a really good drift but no hook up. I told him to take one step out and do his exact same cast and all of a sudden his line stopped with an abrupt halt. Fish on, big fish on, huge fish on! I was holding my breath, we were using 8 Lb. maxima and this fish was really big, World Class big. Steve did everything right, played HER perfectly and after a lengthy 10 minute battle we landed a female brown trout that was 36" long, 24" girth and weight easilly in the 25 pound class. We were just astounded. I told Steve this was a world class fish, he agreed. I have never seen a 36" brown that size, you tell me if you have...it's really an amazing accomplishment. Hats off to you Steve, you are the man. Guys are guys so the ever present battle of the biggest fish was on. About 10 minutes later John starts yelling downstream to me he has a "contender"! I was just losing it. Sure enough John has another monster hooked, just huge. We landed her and she came up just about an inch short, a beautiful 35" female. I thought I was in Patagonia or something! Two worldd class fish in a matter of minutes? You have to be kidding me! That is when I officially reached guiding nirvana.
There is no way I will ever forget that day. 25 fish total, several in the high 20's 8 over 30" and 4 or 5 in the 32" and above range. It was simply amazing. Steve and John will remember it for sure, they were just in awe as was I.
Steve and John... I thank you very much for everything, I was happy to be part of such an epic day.
I guess it's safe to say the fishing's good. If you can handle the cold give me a call for a seriously legitimate shot at a fish of a lifetime.
And oh by the way there are steelhead in the river too...but right now they are almost an afterthought if you can imagine that.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service.
Sheboygan River Report Nov 9th, 2011
It's official, the King salmon run is over...and hats off to all those who fished it, what a great run of some truly memorable fish! Conditions were close to perfect for several weeks, the Kings were huge and the fishing was great. I thank everyone who went out for the "rodeo" with me and caught their fish of a lifetime! Including you Andy,what a fish! Nice fish all the way around...but its over and time to focus on steelhead and big lake run browns!
My brother in law Jeff was up last weekend and as usual we fish every second we can. I feel bad because Jeff hasn't had that epic day of steelhead fishing...yet. For once his timing was good, we got some rain last week and the fishing improved greatly for steelhead and brown trout but the river was crowded and the fishing was just good, not great. We caught fish, I had the Sheboygan Grand Slam one day...King, Coho, Brown, and of course a steelhead to make the list! I will admit I was lucky for sure, and don't repeat this but the King was basically a dead fish swimming...dead salmon swimming! Swimming the mile...sorry for the Green Mile reference but the King was really pretty well done. However the Coho, browns and steelhead were very lively! Jeff caught a beautiful brown swinging eggs and also had several hookups with Mr. Coho! So all in all the fishing was good, not great like I said. Jeff and I always have a good time and joke about fishing and all the things that can and do go wrong when fishing. Those of you who read my reports know that I hold my brother in law in the highest regard as far as fly fishing goes. He is by far and away the greatest fly fisherman I have seen and the most innovative tyer of flies ever. He always shows up at my door with a box or two of tube flies and says, ahhh, Mr. Gorgy, check this out, this will mess em up! I agree and say give it a try. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Either way his flies are beautiful and very worthy in all conditions. I on the other hand am a creature of habit...steelhead...eggs, browns...eggs, and just about everything this time of year equals EGGS! Get the picture? If you are fishing try an egg! Streamers are working too, key is to get the flies down deep and get a nice long drift. Let the flies swing all the way through the main part of the pools or riffles you are fishing and hold on!
We got pounded with a decent storm in the past 24 hours, the river is not fishable and won't be for a while, at least a few days. The CFS is at 400 and still rising, so once the river gets on the downside of things I think the fishing will be great. All this rain and water should bring in a lot of fish. Finally we have a lot of water in the river and the fishing should be very good for the rest of the season.
Good luck and tight lines.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Sheboygan River Report October 27, 2011
The "salmon rodeo" has just been unbelievable this year, those of you who fished it know exactly what I am talking about. Huge fish and a lot of them. I haven't seen a run like this in a very long time. The guiding and fishing has been very fun, people love big fish and the fight of the salmon. Speaking of which, I have had 2 gentleman down on the books for quite along time and they had to fit in some time fishing around a conference here in Wisco, long story short I was rather concerned about the salmon run being over. They only had one day and it was yesterday...that's it.
Dan and Paul are the greatest, they did their homework, called me a few times, got as much info as they could from my reports and were very enthused and ready for fishing. Being a guide is difficult at times, I can't make the fish bite, I can't control the weather, I can only do one thing, teach what I know and pray for the best, that's it. Paul and Dan have been fishing for a long time and know fishing can be tough at times, I was thinking in my mind that the day wasn't going to be all that great, just one of those days, the run is slowing down and I just wasn't confident we were going to do all that well. Boy was I wrong. Paul just got back from a trout fishing trip out West and he was "on", man was he on. Dan did very well too, but Paul was lighting it up, right out of the gate he caught a 40/20 (40 Length -20 Girth) ~26 pound male King that was FRESH! I couldn't believe it, I told him he take was very "soft" and the fair hook ratio was around 50 percent, tops. Well he blew that theory out of the water too. He was really doing well. Landed 3 and hooked 6 or 7 in a matter of the first hour or so. He was beaming as was I. Dan did very well too, and of course they were best friends and giving each other the business on who is catching more and bigger fish, it was classic. Paul was hysterical, I am a big advocate on the angle of the flies getting right in front of the fish, get a good swing and hopefully the fish will take it. I was explaining it to Paul and he got it right away as did Dan , but then Paul says it's just like that video game Angry Birds! I thought that was hysterical, but the thing is, he is right, get the angle correct and hold on.
Paul and Dan went on to have an epic day, of course Paul put the hammer down and landed some real beauties, classic fish and classic pictures. There is truly no greater compliment than a client saying they had a great day and it was everything thing they had hoped for, but the ultimate is when a client says he "dreams about a day like this", that my friends is the ultimate. Paul said it, and I truly believe he meant it, dream day on a whole host of levels, it was fishing for Paul and Dan, but for me it was personal. Paul and Dan...I thank you both for making it a memorable day, way to go!
The fishing has been great, Kings are slowing down but obviously some brutes still around, the cohos are in the river now and they are big this year too. I have seen some steelhead and brown trout in the faster water behind the beds and holding in deep water, the fishing will only get better as time goes on. It can change very quickly so call me if you want an up to date report.
Tight lines out there.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Sheboygan River Update 10/3/11
I finally get to do an update with a some great photos of my good friend Andy! Finally! For those of you who don't know Andy he one of the reasons Tie One On is out there on the web for all of you to enjoy! When I first started Tie One On I did one of those generic web sites, it was ok but basically it stunk. I told Andy about it and he said he could "do some work" on it, an hour later I am looking at the coolest website ever, pictures, logos, graphics, links and everything that is on there now! I knew Andy was the man but he really went over the top with my Tie One On site, I love it and get a lot of comments about it, either way I owe it all to Andy. Speaking of which if you need any web design or have any ideas for a site you should give him a call. He is creative reasonable and very good. I'll give you his #...Ok back to fishing!
Andy was in town (lives in Michigan) and we fished for a few hours before he hit the road back to Grand Rapids. Andy is by far and away one of the better fisherman I have met, he is like me a tried and true trout guy but will chase salmon and prefers steelhead and big lake run browns. He told me he had never caught a really big salmon before which was hard to believe, but his rivers in Michigan are full of obstacles and they will break you off very quickly. I told him he had a very good chance at catching a gigantic salmon, well sure enough it took him all of about three casts before he was into Godzilla...a huge male that was just kicking his butt for about 15 or 20 minutes. This was a very big fish. Of course Andy did everything right and we landed him a big male... 40" long and had a 22" girth, fish was probably around 25 or 30 pounds. Just enormous. It was great to finally get Andy into some big fish, we were both very happy to say the least. Like I said Andy is good, very good...so it took him about another three casts before he was into another nice King. Same drill...he did everything right and we landed another beauty. I could see this was going to go on for a while so without kidding we fished for about 3 hours and I would say we were hooked up for almost the whole time. Andy is the man, check the photos below if you don't believe me! He landed not one but two fish in the dark! Pitch black! These are not little fish here, it's not easy to catch a King in the dark, at all. Way to go Andy, you are the man.
The salmon fishing has been ridiculous. Huge fish and a lot of them. Some are getting dark and crusty but there are some fresh fish around and even some browns and steelhead mixed in too. The browns and steelhead are hanging in the deep holes and behind the salmon if they are up on the beds...hard to see through the masses of salmon! Hopefully the steelhead and brown trout fishing will be like the salmon run, one of the most memorable in years.
Feel free to give me a call for an up to the minute report and good luck out there!
Gordy @ Tie One On.
"In the last week Gordy has put me on the best brook trout fishing of my life, letting me in on a secret sweet little gem of a brookie spring creek in the Southwest Wisconsin Driftless Area (the coulee region), just before the inland trout season closes in the state. That area is undeniably a World Class trout fishery. You could never fish every spot in your whole lifetime. Then only a few days later, I had the best King Salmon fishing of my life on the Sheboygan river with Gordy. Those chinooks are truly monsters, what a blast ! The Sheboygan river is just a fantastic fishery for Kings, Steelhead, Cohos, huge lake-run Brown trout, and from what I hear the occassional lake-run Brookie. Have Gordy show you how to hook up and do battle with some real brutes, or show you a few secrets in the coulee region. He has a real passion for everything fly fishing, and nature in general.
Thanks man !
Goodbye to the colorful brookies, until next spring !
It's hard to imagine another trout season is almost over. The fishing this year was some of the best I can recall. Southwest Wisconsin was just amazing, great weather, great hatches and great fishing. Speaking of which... my wife and I have an annual trip to the Viroqua area during the Vernon County Fair which is usually the last week of trout season, so we check out the fair and do a ton of fishing. The fair was last weekend and it was highlighted this year by the "Mini Van Demolition Derby". For those who have never seen a mini van demolition derby it is a must, so wrong on so many levels. Ok, back to fishing. There are ten more days to fish the inland streams in Wisconsin, all I can say is get out there and do it! The hopper fishing was just insane, huge flies and huge fish. My biggest of the weekend was an 18" brown that just hammered my hopper on a slightly twitched drift along a nice deep hole with a crib on the outer edge, it was epic. B and I did very well all weekend.
Life is funny. My wife who fishes basically once a year inevitably will catch the biggest fish of the trip one way or another, last year she caught an 18" brown on her third cast or something stupid, this year she caught a huge 13" brookie and a little brook trout stream that was just amazing. I kept telling her that people don't catch 13" brookies with regularity, she finally realized I was wasn't joking with her when a few friends of ours were in total awe of her fish, maybe she should guide, she would be good at it for sure! All in all it was great trip, I caught over 50 fish in 3 days, some were big, some were small, but the action was just great so get out there if you have the time.
It's official...the salmon rodeo is back in town. I checked out the Sheboygan before our trip last weekend and saw no fish at all. Got back Monday and guess what, salmon! I was pretty excited to say the least but I wouldn't say there are a ton in the river just yet. It will only get better as time goes on. We do need rain...the water levels is very low. Like 75 CFS or something ridiculous, but the salmon don't seem to mind. I am getting a few more calls now that the first salmon have been seen and caught, so if you are suffering form big fish fever the time is at hand. The fishing will only get better in the coming weeks, and of course the browns and steelhead will be right behind the salmon.
If you would like an update that is current feel free to call me anytime!
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Fishing report 7/28/2011
Summer is in full swing and the fishing has been pretty good aside from the heat wave we had last week. Hoppers and terrestrials have been raising some big trout throughout the state. Hopper season is upon us...ants and beetles have been doing well also. Key is to hit the bank and get their attention, things will only get better as more naturals make their way into the tall grass and fall into the river. Late summer is truly my favorite time of the year, hoppers are big and easy to fish. Bash the banks and get ready for the classic hopper attack from the big browns!
Warm water fishing has been decent too! Smallmouth bass and pike have been very cooperative on the Sheboygan. Streamer patterns and top water flies have moved some big fish lately. I am not a pike fanatic but I am slowly turning into one. I have found some decent pike in the Sheboygan while fishing for smallies. It's always a shock to be fishing for a 16 or 17 inch smallie and have a 25" pike hammer the fly! Always fun for sure, but be careful they are pretty toothy! Back to smallies...classic holds have been moving fish, look for big boulders and nice current, get a good strip going and hold on. The smallmouth hit is pretty nice on a 5 weight rod!
The coulee region in SW Wisconsin has been off the chart pretty much all season long, and now is really the time to hit it for hoppers and terrestrials. If you have never fished the coulee region I highly suggest that you do. The area really gets hit pretty hard during the classic mayfly hatches early in the season then all the crowds seem to disappear. I'm not saying you will have all the streams to yourself but the crowds really do taper off during the latter part of the season. I have been guiding a lot more in that part of the state and have been doing very well with all my clients that have pulled the trigger on the coulee region. It's not a bad drive from either Chicago or Milwaukee, even the Twin Cities! I am more than willing to meet anyone over there and show you the streams!
Tight lines everyone and as scary as it sounds salmon season is right around the corner!
Fishing Update June 3, 2011
The fishing is in full swing here in Wisconsin. The trout fishing has been off the chart pretty much all over the state. All the water from the Spring runoff has made the trout fishing very reliable. Hatches of caddis, craneflies, and midges have been very reliable...the fish are looking up!
I have a client who lives in Iowa and I convinced him to fish the coulee region in Southwest Wisconsin so we met up a few weeks ago. Steve needs me to guide him like a hole in the head...he is a great fisherman and this time he showed up with an arsenal of rods that would make anyone drool. He was intent on using his Sage 2 weight which is really one of the best rods on the market, he casts it like a pro. Our first day we moved two or three really big fish, easilly in the upper teens. These fish are smart, they will give you literally one chance and that's it. If you don't hook em move on...which is what we did. Moved on. Steve was having great fly placement and great luck, he probably caught 25 or 30 fish the first day and like I said moved a few big boys. All on dries mostly caddis and we switched it up to a Griffith's Gnat to to see how finnicky these fish are, we caught a few then went straight back to the classic EHC.
The final morning was not on our side, sunny, windy, and things were not looking good. We both knew it and decided to only fish for a couple of hours, fish were not rising and to be honest we were both pretty tired from the previous two days.
I know Steve had a few scores to settle and I would have been bummed if he packed up and went home, he was good for a couple hours but beyond that was really going to be pushing the envelope. We started on some bigger water and saw nothing, no fish, no bugs, nothing. I said to Steve let's go back to where we had a few good fish from the previous day and let's just try...just try it then hit the road. He agreed and thank God he did.
We were fishing a small stream that I know holds big fish, but the sun, the wind, etc...was going to make it a challenge unlike any other. Steve had his 2 weight and was doing a masterful job of casting and I knew it was going to happen, I just didn't know when. We came up on a deep dark run that looked perfect. I tied on a # 14 Elk Hair Caddis with a red "spot" basically a hot butt caddis if you know what fly that is. That fly moved some really big fish and I was thinking if Steve gives this fly a chance it might happen. First cast in the prime spot of this pool a huge brown comes out of his lair and hammers the fly! It was a classic take and en epic battle. The fish was big and Steve did a prefect job, after a short and well fought battle we landed the fish of the trip. After a few pics and a few laughs I looked up at Steve and he was reeling in. He was done and so was I. What a great way to end a trip, no words, no maybe's, no anything...Steve caught his fish and that was it. A prefect way to end a trip.
So the fishing is good, the catching is good, and the weather is good. I think we are finally out of the woods as far as weather, water and all my previous reports when I was complaining about everything.
Tight lines to all.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
This nice brown took a size #18 pheasant tail emerger, dropper off of an elk hair caddis.
Well I'm alive everyone...people have been sending me e mails wondering why no reports and to be honest the fishing has just recently improved. The flows are close to normal and things are looking up in my neck of the woods. The smallmouth bass fishing should be gearing up very shortly, I have been chasing trout all over the state it seems. The trout fishing is getting better every day and the mayflies are starting to pop. Blue winged olives and some other big mayflies were hatching last week. I think they were Hendricksons or Brown Drakes. I didn't capture one but they were big and some of the fish were keyed in on them. Of course the size "million" cream midges were hatching too. Good luck trying to fish those things, they are about a size 28 or 30, just to damn small. I have been having luck with a small sparse caddis either size 14 or 16. It's a classic fly that will always get some rising fish interested.
My brother in law was in town and I insisted we fish the SW part of the state, he is from Indy and has never been over there. So we fished for 2 days last week in the Coon Valley area, it was amazing. Those of you that read my reports know my brother in law is a great fisherman, he gave me my 1st fly rod close to 20 years ago, and he has been at it for almost 35 years now...he is a great fisherman. He certainly needs no guiding, just me to tell him where I have had luck before etc...we fished Spring Coulee, Timber, and some other local streams north of Viroqua and the fishing was off the chart. I am not a #'s guy, so I won't tell you how many fish we caught, but we caught alot, a real lot. None were huge trophies, most in the 10-14 inch range but they were very aggressive to our presentations. All fish were caught on dries. EHC's were working very well and some caddis emerger patterns size 14's and 16's were raising fish consistently. If dry fly fishing is your deal now is the time. The evening hatches were incredible. Fish rising all over the place, literally. The fishing is so good right now I am back to SW Wisco this weekend to guide a client from Iowa.
Speaking of guiding in that area, I guide the entire state and meeting clients in SW Wisco is no problem for me. If people are in Chicago, Iowa, or even Milwaukee it is such a beautiful area over there the 3 hour drive is really worth it. I know pretty much all the lodges, hotels, and cabins over there and can arrange accomodations for anyone that is interested. If you have never fished the driftless region I highly suggest you do, it is classic spring creek fishing with some beautiful scenery and great fishing. Feel free to give me a call to discuss any questions you may have.
For all you steelheaders out there, I really didn't want to discuss the Spring season because it was so awful, the only thing I can say is I hope the Fall run will make up for what we lost in the Spring...keep the faith as they say.
Tight lines everyone. I uploaded some of my fishing buddies over there, they were following me around!
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Happy April to everyone!
Usually April is the "turning point" for some predictable fishing...but the weather has been downright awful around here lately. The Sheboygan is at 1300 CFS as I write this. That is very high for those of you who haven't seen the Sheboygan at 1300 CFS. I'm glad the water is in the river...it brings high hopes for everybody, this amount of water should bring in the fish big time. Steelhead have been caught with some regularity but truly nothing to write home about just yet. It's a lot of work out there right now, even to wade the river is a challenging proposition. Water temps were in the high 30's and low 40's...still very cold. Ideally the rivers need to be in the 300-500 range and a little warmer for the fish to become active and on the bite. I think the prime time for this years Spring run will be mid April all the way till the end of May. Spring is making a late return this year and that is basically putting us in wait and see mode...but that can and will change very quickly. Only advice I can give is to be patient. I have had many calls and even postponed trips because the water is really ripping right now on just about all the rivers in my neck of the woods. Mainly the Sheboygan and the Pigeon. The Pigeon will be prime this week, the Sheboygan should be fishable within a week or two, barring we don't get a blast of rain, which can happen in April at any time.
Be patient, the steelhead fishing will happen, it's just not on right now...call me or e mail me of you want an up to the minute report on water levels and conditions. I am always up for a good conversation about steelhead fishing. In the mean time tie a few more flies, scout a few new spots and keep the faith.
It's right around the corner... Tight lines and good luck to all..
Early trout season opened last Saturday, of course it was windy,cold and snowy. I am beginning to wonder if Spring will ever return! However it is supposed to get warm mid week, they are saying in the 50's! It will feel like a heat wave compared to what we had for the past few months, but in Wisconsin that's the deal.
Trout fishing has been remarkably decent if you are patient. I have been using big black streamers and moving some nice fish on the local streams. Key is to give it a nice little twitch and entice the bigger browns to go after your offering. PLEASE put your barb down while fishing streamers, main reason is that sometimes these bigger fish will "swipe" at the fly and sometimes foul hook themselves in the tail, doesn't happen much but when it does it's much easier to unhook them. Plus you don't want to rip their mouth apart with a big barb. I put my barbs down on all my trout flies, I have found no difference in my hook sets or landing of fish, it just seems a bit more humane???
Yesterday was warm so I decided to hit the headwaters of the local springs and go after some brookies. Sure enough I had a nice little midge hatch with some rising fish! I decided to try an elk hair caddis and show them an offering to big to refuse. Brookies are notoriously easy to catch, not the smartest fish on the planet, but they sure are pretty. I know everyone has big fish fever, but sometimes I would rather catch a 7 inch brookie than a 7 pound steelhead, call me crazy, but those brookies are just so cool.
Speaking of steelhead and big fish...it's coming and coming soon. Next week it is supposed to be in the 50's. The river is still frozen in parts if you can imagine that! The weather needs to be consistent and the river needs to be clear. It is right around the corner. Last April was epic, and I am hoping that this year will be the same. Count on April being prime time. We have snow on the ground still and the water levels should be good, if you want an up to the minute report call me. I am always up for talking about fishing!
Tight lines to all, and get ready for steelhead action in the coming weeks.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
March 1st...the wait is almost over!
Well it's finally here, the final week of waiting for early trout season here in Wisconsin. This coming Saturday is the opening day for early trout season. I noticed on the DNR website that barbless hooks are no longer mandatory. I guess they did a survey and found that mortality rates were not impacted that heavily from barbed hooks, I don't agree entirely. I have very rarely deep hooked a trout, but I can tell you it's much easier getting a de-barbed hook out of a fish than one with a huge barb. Plus barbs are just nasty...I always put the barb down on all my hooks, they can really rip apart a fish's mouth. I would encourage everyone to put the barb down while trout fishing. Steelhead and salmon fishing is a totally different deal, but for trout give em a break and give yourself a little peace of mind for not ripping apart a trout's mouth. Furthermore it will help the whole karma thing with the trout gods.
We had a nice warm up a few weeks ago, I was skiing in Colorado (didn't break a leg thank God) and all the snow melted. I got back and we got another foot the very day I am back. I am beginning to wonder if Spring will ever come! Speaking of Spring...the steelhead fishing should be decent once the ice and snow melts. Last year was stellar, and I am hoping that after such a dismal fall steelhead run the Spring will make up for it. My fingers are crossed.
Spring is really a great time of year in my neck of the woods. I don't know many places you can steelhead fish in the morning, then go to some of the local creeks and fish dries to rising trout, and if you really wanted to mix it up you can fish for smallies or pike...all in the same day! There are a host of opportunities in the Spring, so get your gear ready because it's just around the corner.
My schedule is wide open at this point, but I am sure things will pick up very soon. The ice and snow should melt within the next few weeks which will get the steelie thing rolling. Last April was fantastic for steelhead. Those of you that fished with me knew it too! Water levels and temps will be the triggers, so check back often to my site or give me a call for an up to date report.
Winter's almost over everybody, so get ready for some decent fishing.
Tight lines to all and thank you for reading my posts.
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service.
1/18/2011- Winter update at Tie 1 On Guide Service
Well it's January 18th and cabin fever has set in pretty hard! It has been below freezing for quite a while and it's supposed to get even colder this weekend! A high of 5 or something crazy is set for Friday, that is cold! I am sure some of you that read my post are thinking why not go ice fishing? A couple of reasons, one major reason I really don't need ANOTHER excuse to go and drink beer while a bluegill or Perch will inspect my offering with absolutely no hook ups. I have been ice fishing a few times and not only did I get skunked every time... I came away feeling as though I just don't get it! Some people love it...they have the satellite TV, the "mobile Kegerator" filled with beer and all the gear for a rip roaring time...I on the other hand prefer to be inside tying up some new creations for the coming season. Don't get me wrong, I have a few friends that are into ice fishing, and I am sure that I will attempt and succeed in my 100% lack of success ice fishing but it usually doesn't kick in until I have basically gone "REDRUM" crazy from cabin fever and it is my only option...ice fishing that is, not pulling the old "all work and no play from the movie The Shining" scenario!
YouTube - The Shining - RedRum Oh yah, it's that creepy..
On to better topics!
Winters in Wisconsin can be challenging...but we do have options!
I did keep my tradition of fishing on Christmas Eve...again. It was warm and I wet a line at the dam in Kohler with absolutely nothing going on. Didn't even see a fish, I hope it gets better in the coming months, because last Fall was just awful. My fingers are crossed like everyone else.
Part of the other option is tying flies. Tried and true patterns are always in the mix, but sometimes if you let your mind go a new hot pattern might just evolve at the vise. Only time will tell if it's a winner, but it never hurts to try something new!
I broke out the snow shoes and hiked the Onion a few days ago, I am pretty sure I spooked a very nice brookie. The fish was classic brookie colors, reds, orange, white fins and it was big for a brookie. Maybe 8 or 10 inches, which is always cool to see. I hiked the mid river area and also a little while on the Mullet River, just a nice day to be outside.
Spring fishing and early season March rates. Early trout season opens on March 5th and with any luck the Sheboygan and surrounding rivers will be "ice free", but who knows. I have done an early season for the month of March 2011, Half Day will be $125 / Full Day $250. Sometimes the fishing can be good if we time it right.
Last Easter was an amazing day on the Sheboygan...I guided Jack S. in the morning, he had several great fish landed...the pictures are in my photo archives. My only point is that April will hopefully be another great month for steelhead. Not only will we have steelhead but the trout and smallmouth fishing can be decent as well. I am literally counting the days...as I write this we are looking at 46 long days...tick tock.
Ok everyone, Happy New Year and good luck ice fishing to those that do it..and if you are in my neck of the woods give me a call, I am always for keeping my skunk going... Spring is around the corner, happy tying and stay warm!
Gordy @ Tie One On Guide Service
Fishing Report - Archives
Tie 1 On Fly Fishing Guide Service LLC
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Elkhart Lake, WI. 53020
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