On The Creek

I had an opportunity to visit & fish with Nick Volk from On The Creek fly shop ( in Cross Plains, WI. Let me start by saying that it always makes a big difference to go out fishing with the pros. Nick is a Orvis Endorsed Guide who has extensive guiding experience all over the US, including West Coast & Alaska. He is a native to the Midwest region and knows each of the creeks up here like the back of his hand. I first heard of Nick through our friend Lee. The shop is relatively new but is very well organized & a rich source for information on the best local waters. They guide in trout fishing throughout the regular season, but also Steelheads, Small mouth, and Muskie trips are available.

I assumed Nick would get me onto some good fish, but I quickly sensed that it will be a GREAT day when Nick had me onto a good sized rainbow after a 5 min walk from the truck. He guided me through several different sections of the river, and with each section, I was happy to find different type of water & fishing. By noon, I had plenty of fish hooked and most of them landed … the rest of the afternoon was simply a bonus in terms of catching more fish. We took it easy, fishing casually, enjoying a smoke on the banks of the river. Nick is a soft spoken character, down to earth, and an excellent company to spend the day with.

I’ve visited some of the creeks in this region before, but Nick got me onto bigger & more fish than I have ever caught up here. The region is beautiful and surrounded with a refreshing scent, which I soon found out was the scent of the wild mint growing all around us. I was able to learn a few tricks from Nick on how to fish stained water. In fact, some staining of the water made it easier for us to sneak up to fish, and the fishing was even better. On this day, I was introduced to John Bethke’s pink squirrel fly , a favorite of the locals here. This fantastic bead head nymph fly worked like magic all day, in many different types of waters. I wanted to buy some but they were completely sold out, so I had to confiscate a few from Nick’s private stock. This is a must have fly for Midwestern waters.

This was one of those relaxing days where that distinctive smile appears on your face during the drive back home… you know, the same smile that shows up again just before you fall asleep. I know that each of our club friends have a lot of responsibilities to fulfill, work to deal with, and serious life things to worry about… and I have my share. All I can say is, I hope each of us are able find some time to go stand in the creeks, and worry about the not so serious things in life. Life is better with fishing.

Nick - Thank you for a great day, see you again soon.
Lee – Thanks for the intro to Nick. We should go up together next time.


  1. Awesome man! Glad you could get up and meet those guys. was this right before wisco closed? lets go get em in Iowa this month. need to hurry probably moving to Korea in November.

  2. p.s.- pink squirrel works nowhere else. i don't know why. but i've never been able to raise it anywhere else.

  3. It was a great day. Yes, Nick let me know that Iowa trout was not too far, somewhere just across the Mississippi. Let’s figure out a time to go soon, as I am also expected to travel much of Oct. I’ve also heard that about pink squirrels… which makes it even more interesting. I tied a bunch anyways, and will have to try it out if different waters.