The ‘2010’ Rush River Rally

This week I am writing to you about an annual trout-fishing trip on the Rush River in Pierce County that is always a blast as well as challenging.

Friday, April 30

High 62, Low 35

Rain and wind were just abating as my stepson, Joey Dushek, and I pulled into camp, which happened to be a combination of tents and a motor home located in a horse pasture on the banks of the Rush River.

This annual weekend of fun and fishing is enjoyed by 14 people and organized by my buddy Kiril Kustief and his wife, Kelly, of Mauston.

What began 17 years ago as a weekend trip for some college buddies who were avid trout fishermen while attending UW-Stout has blossomed into a really cool adventure for those same college friends, family members and additional friends.

The Rush River, at least from what I have seen, is a place where if you fish, you will catch trout!

Each year, to make life in camp a little more interesting, we have a contest for the longest trout of the weekend. Along with a five-dollar-per-fishermen chunk of change comes the prestigious traveling plaque with each year’s winner’s name and the size of their winning trout. Everyone in camp wants to win!

As is always, the case for some of us in camp, particularly Jason Morlock, Tim Baumann, Joey Dushek and myself, the campfire kept us on the short end of a good night’s rest.

Saturday, May 1

High 68, low 35

Everyone in camp was sitting at his/her favorite fishing hole on the banks of the Rush River at 5:00 this morning. It was cold and damp, the brookies were biting in the rapids and the big browns were not so aggressive.

About 8 a.m., Joey began fishing next to me as he was out of night crawlers. The kid could catch fish in a toilet, and within minutes had a 14-inch brown and another one that was just shy of 15 inches flopping on the riverbank.

Yours truly lost a true pigasauras that stayed at the bottom, made a hard run upstream and broke my line.

We have an annual trout fry that begins at 10 a.m. and is an awesome meal. Joey’s trout was leading the contest and I tried taking a snooze afterwards until strong winds blew the tent that I was inside, over.

Though there are several skilled trout fishermen on this weekend adventure, including the Kustiefs as well as Pat Wilson and his dad, Wayne Wilson. I believe it is safe to say the two guys that are really into the sport are Jason of Spooner and Tim of Eden Prairie, Minn. These guys had made close to a half a dozen trips fishing this stretch of the Rush River during the early season and truly love the river and the sport.

This afternoon, Jason and Tim made an executive decision and decided to travel further down river by vehicle and try to find a brown to top Joey’s.

The duo returned after dark and had two stories: one that was about a very negative property owner and the other was much more positive and was about a 16-inch brown that Tim had caught and would win this year’s contest.

The following morning I caught a brown over 15 inches long and tried to get Baumann’s trout disqualified due to the possibility it may have been caught in another stream or possibly removed from a freezer. Even though I offered a financial bribe to anyone that would join my side, I had no takers.

This group of fishermen and campers really knows how to have a good time and catch trout. Once again the campfire pulled some of us into a hypnotic trance where we told awesome stories and laughed a lot.

Thank-you to the property owners once again this year!


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