An Angry Fox Snake Takes an Aggressive Charge

by | Jul 3, 2024 | eastern fox snake | 0 comments

WisconsinRiver fishing so far this year has been a task.  Yeah, the Brule was a blast two nights ago.  What I’m referring to is chasing warmwater species.  My friends and I have nailed some nice smallmouth bass and the occasional toothy one (walleye included) but we have not had that break out day with a dozen decent smallies, a few pike and maybe a musky tossed in for good measure.  The bottom line is, it has rained so much that the rivers are running higher than high and finding fish has been no less than a test.


creek-chubBob and I hoped to see change today on a river that exactly a year ago produced excellent numbers of everything only to get our butts handed to us yet again.  We landed a total of four smallies, only one was of size and this creek chub.  I must point out that this four inch long chub took Bobs mouse pattern!


But every day on the water has a highlight – a memory you take home.  Some memories last through a few days and others stick around a long time.  Today’s encounter with and angry fox snake will stick around awhile.  Bob spotted the snake swimming the river.  Wet, the snake was shimmering hints of yellow and sharply contrasted dark blotches on its back.  This lengthy reptile was an eyecatcher to say the least.  As it weaved through the water it left its own wake.  And it was fast.  You now me, I shouted “Let’s check him out!”


foxsnakeWe happened to be talking snakes earlier.  I saw two dead ones in the road on the way to the Brule the other day.  One was a hognose snake flat as a pancake.  The other was a large foxsnake I just missed saving.  His head was flat but body still moving.  Gross but also sad.  Well, this was another fox and alive and well.  We couldn’t get downstream to it in time but I suggested the snake may be cold and tired and would stop on the bank.  It did.


With strong current and wind it was hard for Bob to make a soft landing on the particular spot where the snake ended up.  We bounced to the bank about ten feet upstream and sort of bounced the bow with me leaning forward down to the snake.  When we arrived we did not receive the welcome mat.  Instead, Mr. Fox greeted the side of the boat with three aggressive strikes that sent me backing up to the opposite side of the bow in a hurry.  If the snake could have reached me I wouldn’t have had a chance!


foxsnakeFrom what I have read tonight about fox snakes, they aren’t usually so angry.  It says they can be but its not normal.  Well, who knows what this guy’s day was like earlier, but he was three steps beyond mad.  It was difficult for me to get this photo because each time I tried he struck at me at the speed of light.


The snake had a couple additional specialties of notice.  Though not a rattlesnake, he rattled the tail against the grass.  It sounded legit.  No doubt most predators would give up with that sound alone.  He also puffed way up to double his girth.  That was intimidating.  And he made a gurgling sound breathing.  I guess you could call it a snake’s way of growling.


WisconsinOur encounter lasted about three minutes.  After a minimum of 8-10 strikes the snake finally retreated through the tall grass back to land towards a distant farm.  Hopefully his day got better and he found a rat nest and enjoyed a well-earned feast!




smallmouth-bassThe nice sized 17” smallie came at the take out.  Always remember, bridges and boat launches often hold the best catches of the day.  This is twice now in as many trips on this river that it did.  Time to get ready for the 4th of July!




Warmwater-Fly-Fishing-bookI’m offering a special on my Warmwater Fly Fishing book.  The book is normally $27 plus shipping.  The SALE is $25 including shipping.  Send me a check for $25 (P.O. Box 1084, Hayward, WI 54843) and I’ll send you an autographed copy.  Be sure to include who to sign it to and your mailing address.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


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Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!