Wisconsin St. Croix River Smallmouth Bass  Day #30  State #33 July 12, 2009 06/13/09 Pennsylvania
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Wildwood Float Trips & Outfitters LLC
Guide: Kip Vieth
6220 Balder Lane
Edina, MN 55439
Phone: 612-72-DRIFT
Email: Kip@wildwoodfloattrips.com
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I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.  You see the St. Croix River in western Wisconsin is one of the original eight National Scenic Riverways established by Congress over 100 years ago.  It is also a smallmouth bass haven.  Put those two together and you’ve got a trophy water that you need to experience once in your lifetime.

Our guide Kip Vieth of Wildwood Float & Outfitters and his family made an already special day – a day of fond memories.  Kip and his family decided to make the most of the weekend by camping on the St. Croix and inviting us to a camp-side dinner the night before for a wonderful home cooked meal – something that a month on the road makes you really appreciate.

After a four hour night of sleep the previous day in Minnesota we were exhausted and looking forward to a full night of rest before we tackled the famed St. Croix the next morning.  We had a tough time getting out of bed this morning – our bodies were finally in a deep sleep that we desperately needed.  But the smallies of the Croix were calling and Kip was on his way.  Kip rolled into our RV site at 7AM sharp.  His children, Grace and Truman were along and curious to the workings of an RV site breakdown.  If you’ve ever seen the movie “RV” starring Robin Williams you can see why they wanted to be in the audience for this one.  Although the visual I provided didn’t stand up to the movie the smell did a good job to send them running back for the truck.

We launched the driftboat around 8AM and we were off.  Kip rigged up a fly rod and within 5 minutes I had my first smallmouth on a popper fly – pretty special.

The skies were threatening rain and although we did don the rain jackets a couple of times under some drizzles we declared that we still have not experienced rain, in 33 States now.

The highlight of the morning occurred around 10AM after we had landed many nice smallies.  Taylor asked Kip if there were any muskies in the St. Croix.  Kip rigged up a heavy spinning outfit with a 10” topwater musky lure and Taylor went on the hunt.  Ten casts later a huge musky came crashing down on Taylor’s lure – stayed topwater for several seconds giving full view of his awesome power – and then with insulting distaste for wood – spit out the lure only to leave Taylor standing in utter amazement with a racing heart rate.  Wow!!  From that point on I was fishing for smallmouth alone as Taylor had the musky bug.  He didn’t raise another one but in some ways it didn’t matter as that 3 second experience consumed our conversation for the next two hours.

By noon we were saying our goodbyes but not before Kip revealed the famed cheesehead hat that one of us would have to wear for a picture.  I quickly established the criteria of having caught more fish than Taylor so that he could become an honorary cheesehead for the day.  Kip also sent us on the road with a huge venison summer sausage log and some Wisconsin cheese – a wonderful gesture of hospitality from the people of this great land.  Thank You Vieth Family!  Next stop – Clear Lake, Iowa.

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"Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight,
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Fish    Last Updated July 12, 2009  - Copyright 2009