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Fly-Fishing the North Country

Shawn Perich
Illustrated by David Minix
Copyright Date: 1995
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 160
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  • Book Info
    Fly-Fishing the North Country
    Book Description:

    If you enjoy the challenge of deceiving wary trout with wisps of fur and feather tied to a tiny hook, fly-fishing is for you. Fly-Fishing the North Country offers experienced anglers and novices the information they need to catch north country fish including feisty Bluegills, beautiful Brook Trout, and even monstrous Muskies. Shawn Perich has gathered the secrets of fly-fishing including tips for purchasing tackle, learning to cast, selecting the right flies, and finding fish. The book concludes with patterns for tying more than sixty flies specially designed for fishing success in northern lakes and streams. “Fly-fishing is the most artful expression of angling--a celebration of fishing.” from Fly-Fishing the North Country “If I were fishing the north country for the first--or the fiftieth--time, I’d want Shawn Perich at my side, providing counsel and giving me the benefit of his knowledge and experience. And if I couldn’t have Shawn himself, I’d want to read his book first.” Jim, Butler, Editor, Fly Rod and Reel “Fly anglers throughout the Midwest have hungered for a book like this. Shawn Perich is an insightful and honest writer who lives in the north country he writes about. In Fly-Fishing the North Country, he delivers pertinent information on equipment, tactics, fly patterns, and strategies for a variety of warm- and cold-water fish.” Tom Helgeson, Editor/Publisher, Midwest Fly Fishing x

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-9981-0
    Subjects: Physics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-vii)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. viii-x)

    In this busy, noisy, impatient world, faster often seems better. Many of us wear stress like a badge of honor and take pride in exhaustion. Rising for work before dawn and returning home after dark—rarely taking time to enjoy the world around us—we easily lose touch with nature and with ourselves.

    Perhaps we won’t solve these problems by going fly-fishing. But I like to think it can’t hurt. When we fly-fish, nature sets the pace. We can’t program mayfly hatches nor can we force a fish to bite. Stream levels and weather conditions are out of our control....

  4. The First Cast Fly-fishing made easy
    (pp. 1-10)

    Want to bring a north-country fishing conversation to an abrupt end? Start talking about fly-fishing. It’s a subject sure to silence even the most rabid leech wrangler. Why? First, most northwoods anglers know little about fly-fishing. But perhaps more important, this wonderful sport has long been stereotyped as only for highbrows. Too often anglers stay away from fly-fishing because they assume you need a six-figure income and a master’s degree to enjoy it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Fly-fishers come from all walks of life. About the only trait they share is an intense love of fishing. Fortunately,...

  5. From the Dock Bluegills and other panfish
    (pp. 11-16)

    Most north-woods fly-fishing careers begin at the end of a dock. New fly rod in hand, the beginner invariably heads to the nearest dock (you’re never far from a dock in the north country) and hopes no one is watching. Like a baby bird learning to fly, the beginner flaps and flails. Then magic happens. Somehow, amid the tangles and other troubles, a pint-sized sunfish takes the fly, transforming the clumsy new fly rod into a quivering wand. The sunnie is landed, admired, and released. And fly-fishing gains another new recruit.

    Some fly-fishers, especially summer-cabin owners, never go beyond the...

  6. Bold and Brash Smallmouth and largemouth bass
    (pp. 17-28)

    “I like it best when it’s humid and 90 degrees,” said Greg Breining. “It can be as steamy as aTurkish bath, and I don’t mind.”

    Those rainy-day musings or a smallmouth bass fisherman came as we floated an eight-mile stretch of the upper Mississippi River. A steady rain had begun just minutes before we launched the canoe, and it showed no sign of letting up. For a fly-fisher like Breining, the stable weather associated with a heat wave means the smallmouth will be active and eager to take popping bugs. Unstable, rainy weather usually translates into slower fishing.

    We got...

  7. Up a Creek Brook, brown, and rainbow trout
    (pp. 29-46)

    The sun hung low and the mosquitoes were friendly when I waded into the upper end of the beaver pond. My fishing time was limited, so I planned to reel up and leave before darkness fell—highly unusual behavior for this fly-fisherman.

    The pond was still but no fish were rising, so started casting a #8 Opossum Nymph in the current where the stream entered the pond. Nothing stirred, so I switched to a #14 Professor and promptly lost it by overreacting to a savage strike. Unfortunately, it was the only Professor in the fly box. The closest pattern was...

  8. Elegant Giants Fishing the Hexagenia hatch
    (pp. 47-58)

    It’s midsummer in northwestern Wisconsin. Daytime highs reach the eighties and thunderheads rumble across the afternoon sky, threatening to rain out the evening. Listening to reports of a nearby tornado touchdown, we fret about the weather over dinner. Despite the gloomy sky, we go fishing. Just before sundown, we slog into the swamp, armed with flashlights, fly rods, and bug dope. At the river we wish each other luck and separate to stake out promising holes and alder-canopied bends.

    My spot is a sweeping turn where a spring creek enters the river. Just downstream in a tangle of brush and...

  9. Still Water Runs Deep Trout in lakes
    (pp. 59-72)

    It is a privilege to fish in the company of loons. On still evenings, they serenade fly-fishers with a weird, primal laughter as ancient as the northern lakes. Sometimes loons swim close and then dive near the canoe, gliding beneath you with an elegant grace. Fly-fishing, by comparison, is a clumsy way to fish.

    Some anglers say that loons on a lake are a sign of good trout fishing. Their logic is sound, although it probably isn’t scientific fact. Loons eat fish, so a small lake inhabited by loons probably contains a healthy supply of trout and baitfish. Although loons...

  10. Fishing for Rough Fish Whitefish and herring
    (pp. 73-78)

    Sometimes you’re there when it happens. Such was the case on a cold Memorial Day several years ago. For three days we braved wind and rain to troll for lake trout. On Monday afternoon the wind suddenly died and the sun came out. As we trolled across the lee of a rocky island, we saw fish rising where the subsiding chop met the quiet water.

    We had a fly rod in the boat, so we reeled up the trolling lines and went over to investigate the rises. The warming sun had triggered an intense midge hatch among the shoreline rocks....

  11. Maverick Sport Northern pike and muskie
    (pp. 79-84)

    Eric DiCarlo is a maverick. In northern Ontario, everyone has a V-hulled boat. Not Eric. He runs a sixteen-foot flat-bottomed johnboat. Around his home in Wawa, on Lake Superior’s northeastern shore, most anglers fish for walleyes and brook trout on inland waters or troll for lake trout and salmon on the big lake. Again DiCarlo departs from the norm. He likes to fly-fish for northern pikr. And he finds the johnboat’s open deck is an excellent casting platform.

    We’re drifting in Eric’s boat along the deep edge of a submerged weedbed on sprawling White Lake, near the northern Ontario town...

  12. When Opportunity Knocks . . . Walleyes, lake trout, steelhead, and salmon
    (pp. 85-92)

    Fat Hexagenia duns were disappearing in quiet swirls. Were the walleyes rising? Supposedly they were the only game fish species in the lake. There was only one way to find out. Although we were fishing with leeches on spinning gear, I’d brought along a 5-weight outfit and a box of flies. I reeled in the leech and rigged up the fly rod. A few minutes later, my Hex imitation disappeared in a rise. Soon afterwards, I was admiring my first walleye caught on a dry fly. Before darkness fell, I caught three more.

    Bottom-dwellers such as walleyes are not typically...

  13. Wader Wisdom The art of staying dry
    (pp. 93-100)

    Fly-fishing can be a miserable sport. Just ask anyone who’s ever spent a blustery morning standing hip-deep in icy water while wearing a pair of leaky waders. At first you feel a cold wetness. Slowly or quickly—depending on the size of the leak—your boot fills with water. The initial surprise of a wet sensation becomes a sorry soaked feeling most of us haven’t experienced since we were potty-trained. If you stand still long enough, numbness settles in, and when you try to walk, your legs feel like clubs.

    Leaky waders can ruin a north-woods fishing trip, as can...

  14. Staying Afloat Float tubes, canoes, and boats
    (pp. 101-110)

    Reuben Swenson has good advice for anyone planning to use a float tube in the north woods: Beware of bull moose and beavers. Apparently, Reuben once attracted the attention of a friendly bull. It was an experience he doesn’t care to repeat. On other occasions he’s found himself in the company of beavers—and the flat-tails didn’t seem friendly. He says you feel somewhat vulnerable when your legs are suspended beneath a float tube while swimming and diving beavers circle around you.

    But ornery beavers haven’t deterred Reuben nor dozens of other north-country fly-fishers from float tube fishing. In the...

  15. Feather Wisdom Getting started in fly tying
    (pp. 111-116)

    One winter, a few of us had an informal fly-tying club that met every Thursday evening. We were a “salt of the earth” group that included sawmill Workers, a logger, a waitress, a newspaper editor, a retired railroader. No one spoke Latin or traveled to New Zealand to go fishing. But we all had fun tying flies and later using them to fish.

    If you fish with flies, sooner or later you’ll try making your own. Don’t make the mistaken assumption that you need the artistic talent of Van Gogh to wrap feathers on a hook. Nothing could be further...

  16. The Best Patterns A north-country fly box
    (pp. 117-140)

    The following fly patterns were recommended by north-woods fly-fishers as flies that catch fish. Some are original recipes, others are standard patterns or modified versions. Regardless of the origin, the patterns listed are as tied by the angler who suggested the fly be included in the book.

    Some patterns suggest using lead wire for weight. However, the federal Environmental Protection Agency is in the process of restricting the use of lead for fishing. In most instances, you can substitute copper wire for lead.

    The Adams is one of Karl’s “deadly dozen” flies for north-country trout. It’s a favorite of dry...

  17. Index
    (pp. 141-145)
  18. Back Matter
    (pp. 146-146)