I just got back from a weekend at Briarwood Sporting Club. I had five guests with me, all of whom I have either guided or instructed in the past. It was a great group. We had many laughs, caught a ton of fish, and in general just had a great time.
Briarwood is a 500 acre private sporting club. The property contains four man-made trout streams and sixteen warm water ponds and lakes for fishermen. The trout streams are stocked with rainbow, brown, golden, and brook trout. The lakes contain bass, bluegill, carp, perch, walleye, catfish, and other species.
|Joe Fortkamp with his first-ever rainbow trout!|
Knowing that folks were wanting to get some fishing time in to kick off the summer, I invited some of my past clients to join me on a non-instruction fishing-fun weekend. We stayed in the Briarwood Lodge. This is a four bedroom lodge that overlooks one of the larger lakes on the property. It is a great sight to go to bed to and wake up too. The lodge can hold 4-6 people comfortably and has all the amenities that are needed for this kind of weekend.
The main room in the lodge provides a great area for people to relax after a long afternoon of casting to and fighting fish.
The trout were a bit finicky but I think all of the guys caught a few. After spending most of the afternoon around the trout ponds the guys were ready to sit for a bit. The guys enjoyed a cold beverage or two while I put some dinner together.
I like to eat an early dinner while at Briarwood so we can fish during prime evening hours. After a relaxed dinner, we headed back out. Most of the guys headed back towards the trout ponds while Joe Fortkamp and I took one of the trolling-motor equipped john boats out on the lake for some top water bass action. The fish were willing and ready and I think it was a really pleasurable experience for Joe to see how eager the fish were to hit top water flies.
I love this type of fishing. As we cruise slowly along the bank about 40-50 feet out, we shoot tight casts as close to the bank or protruding cover as possible. It is so much fun to spot cover, place a accurate cast, and have a fish take the fly.
After dark we all relaxed on the deck until late in the evening talking, enjoying the quiet of the night, and sipping cocktails. These guys were great company.
After a quick breakfast, most of us headed towards the back of the club property to bank fish more of the ponds. We did alright but the bass were definitely a bit finicky.
Soon it was time for checkout and lunch. I served lunch on one the shaded picnic tables and got to hear about how every ones morning had gone. This time also gave the guys the opportunity to pick my brain regarding the property, flies, and fishing tactics. After lunch we all agreed to fish for about another 1.5 hours. Joe and I headed back out in the boats and proceeded to catch a ton of fish on top water. When Joe arrived at the club he was lucky to cast 15-20 feet, and it could go anywhere. By the end of the weekend, Joe was standing in the front of the boat punching out 40 and 50 foot casts into every tight little spot I thought might have a fish. The lakes have wonderful bank side cover, with lots of down timber littering the shore and submerged below the waterline. It is a very easy place to lose flies if your are not careful. Joe didn’t lose a single fly.
I may try to host another weekend like this later in the summer. Contact me if you are interested.
I had a such a great time this weekend and I hope that Joe, Dave, Jim, Sean, and Nael had as good of a time. I look forward to doing it again.