Post Turkey Day Fishing Trip

 

New door mat in front of the home base.

Hello and welcome to the blog!  It’s been a fun and very unpredictable weekend.  Isn’t that the best kind?

The office where I work closed at 2PM on Friday.  Although the weather sounded questionable, I decided to take off and head up to trout country right after work that day.  It was gloomy and rainy the whole time.  We had so much flooding this year that I was concerned about the conditions of the trout streams.  There was no need for worry.

I stopped in Elkader at Pedretti’s Bakery and bought this Snoopy cookie.  It was homemade with a hint of lemon juice in the icing.  Well, Dr. Martinson once told me I could eat some peanuts on the diabetic diet…. Snoopy is part of the Peanuts gang… must be okay.  I’ll die happy.

 

 

Woody hopped into the van like he owned it.

The next stop was overnight at the trout hatchery.  Using the 0 degree sleeping bag I slept like a friggin’ rock.  Man, does it keep a person toasty warm!  Saturday morning I was putting on the socks (quite a feat for a big guy) with the side doors open when a visitor arrived… Woody!  He and his human host, Gary, were on a stroll.  Gary runs the Big Spring hatchery and recently got my vote when he ran for Iowa Governor.  Woody is a long term fishing friend with lots of food benefits.

Woody wasted no time in helping himself to the lunch pail.  I originally had a wonderful idea of making lunch and dinner.  No such luck.  Woody ate nearly all the container of turkey… though I freely gave it to him.  It’s kind of like when Mom gave up her meat so I’d have more to eat at supper time.


The Turkey River was a little high but not too bad.  The river had severe flooding a half dozen weeks or so ago.  Though clearer now, the flow was still pretty fast and the fishing was not the greatest.  I packed up and headed to Bloody Run trout stream about 15 minutes away.

Four nice ones and one for the kitty.

Fishing was fun except for a bout with stomach cramps after the fourth fish.  I held on until the fifth was caught.  But the van was parked at the top of a 3/4 mile steep hill.  There’s nothing like being a heavy guy lumbering up a hill holding one’s insides from going outside in the cold, windy weather.  It was not a fun ascent!  The pit toilet at the other end of the trout stream never looked so good!  After cleaning the fish, it was time to cross the river to Cabella’s in Wisconsin.

Hot sauces at Cabela’s…. I needed the one on the right for that trip up the hill with stomach cramps!

Santa looked in fine shape for the upcoming Christmas holiday. He needs some cookies though!

Being at Cabela’s was like being a kid in a candy store.  I didn’t spend much money although the doormat at the top of the post was something I had to have.

The next stop was at Stark’s Sport Shop and Discount Liquor Outlet.  In addition to all kinds of outdoorsy items, they also have Wisconsin Cheeses and lotsa booze.  I picked up 8 of the little 2/$1 shot bottles (apple pucker, fruit punch vodka, butterscotch schnapps, etc.).  Those things come in handy when camping.   🙂

 

If you look closely, Valley is “approved by the Sturgeon General”

On the way back I was mulling over what to have for lunch.  Instead of a burger and pop and a tip, a nice little snack outdoors sounded like more fun.  I love visiting Valley Fish Market in Prairie Du Chien.  For $8 a pound, Duke got some smoked catfish…  For $23.95 pound I had to try a quantity of Cajun dried perch sticks.  I was addicted instantly.


Lunch was a lot different than planned.  Originally I was going to make delicious turkey gyro sandwiches with homemade tzatziki sauce… until Woody helped me liberate the lunch pail.  Instead, lunch was an assortment of Cajun turkey strips, beef sticks, cheese cubes, and Ritz crackers… and fruit punch vodka.  It tasted so well in the cold, damp, windy weather!

 

Fast forward to Sunday.  We never did get the snow today as predicted at the home base.  That’s okay by me.  As a person who commutes a distance, no snow is good snow on the roads.  Duke and Jenny slept with me last night.  They are quickly becoming best friends.

Tonight Duke and I ate the 16 inch trout at the top of the picture.  I took the other one to fishing buddy Steve.  He was at McDonald’s and wolfed it down.  You can’t beat good clean fish out of cold water.  Duke had his first taste of rainbow trout and the plate is licked clean… both of our plates.  Duke is a fine addition to the family and he’s going to really enjoy some camping next year.  It’s fun to watch him gain a little weight and show so much appreciation for good meals and a warm loving home.

With that it’s time to watch Columbo and start getting ready for the next week of work.  Take care and thanks for riding along as we traveled around northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin.  Happy camping!

Brad, Duke, and Jenny
Jones County, Iowa

About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"
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4 Responses to Post Turkey Day Fishing Trip

  1. Jo Harmon says:

    The mat is great and this fishing trip seems to have been a success, caught some good looking fish. Glad Duke likes your fresh caught fish.

    Stay warm I see you hung your heater on the door good idea. Still looking for a van for me.

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi Jo! I just cooked up the last of the trout for tomorrow’s lunch at work. The smallest one was deboned and I put it on a kitty plate before running to the store. Duke licked his plate clean. He sure fits in well in this house. The little guy is filling out and enjoying life. Yes, the heater works well on the door on low – nothing gets too hot. I use it in the morning when getting dressed before work on those work camping nights. It’s going to be 10 degrees tonight so I opted to stay home this evening! Take care!

  2. my_vantasy says:

    I like your camping snack lunch. I’ve done that a few times, and like you said, it tastes great! Speaking of tasting great, we had Brad’s Tasty Smoked Catfish for dinner again. That is getting to be one of our regular go to meals. Thank you sooo much for sharing! Speaking of sharing, can you tell us what kind of work you do now? Without saying anything to get you in trouble, of course. Keep warm and keep work camping!

    • VanTrekker says:

      Hi! Thanks for the note. I’m glad you like the catfish recipe! Fun stuff! Now I’m working on a marinated turkey breast to put online. It’s similar to some others online with a little twist. I might run to the farm store and get a cattle syringe to inject the marinade. 🙂 🙂 Hopefully there will be a recipe to follow in the next day or so. As far as work, you’ve inspired a new post about temping and the type of work I now do (applying payments to accounts, etc). The post will have to be a bit non-specific (can’t tell company names but money is money any place). Take care!

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