Driftless Trout Anglers

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OTC_MN  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, February 8, 2017 12:18:34 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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So, the BOSS is thinking she wants to go to the Galena, IL area for spring break this year (early April).

I know it's not far from the southern edge of the Driftless. Anyone know...anything...about the area they'd be willing to share?

Not likely to be doing a ton of fishing, but I'll definitely be trying to get out a bit somewhere, for something.

Thanks in advance.
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
Pete  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, February 8, 2017 2:13:07 PM(UTC)
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I fished for smallmouths on the Sinsinawa (sp?) River near Galena some years ago. It was scenic enough, there were some biters, but even without having fished just across the state line in Wisconsin, I can say with certainty that you'd be better off fishing in Wisconsin (if you have the time to make the short drive from Galena). Access is rough in Illinois; nothing like it is in Wisconsin where if you keep your feet wet, you'll be alright. I've hunted some of the state parks and other public land in the area and the site superintendents and their staff were very helpful: they explained to me that there are a lot of people in the area accustomed to getting things their way; what that means to you is don't get caught wading on their property or the police may be called. I fished right under the Route 20 bridge which is public property and avoided problems that way, but it doesn't leave a lot of water to fish.

The Apple river is a pretty decent smallmouth stream, but I think you'd have to travel a little bit to get to the public water; probably much easier to drive north a few miles across the state line, step into flowing water at a bridge and keep your feet wet. Probably better fishing too.

Sorry to be discouraging, but access is such a problem in this state.
OTC_MN  
#3 Posted : Thursday, February 9, 2017 8:36:44 AM(UTC)
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Yeah I kind of figured I'd have to cross into WI, which is fine - have a license there anyhow. Did find out that the IL DNR apparently stocks something in one of the state parks by Galena? Will have my 11 year old with me so that might be fun. We'll be there right after IL opener I think.
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
madguy30  
#4 Posted : Thursday, February 9, 2017 12:24:45 PM(UTC)
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Not sure what you're targeting but if it's smallmouth I think only the Pecatonica would allow for that in April. I'd have to check the regs.

I think some of the feeders of those types of rivers may have trout in them though.
OTC_MN  
#5 Posted : Thursday, February 9, 2017 2:28:59 PM(UTC)
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madguy30 wrote:
Not sure what you're targeting but if it's smallmouth I think only the Pecatonica would allow for that in April. I'd have to check the regs.

I think some of the feeders of those types of rivers may have trout in them though.


I was thinking more trout than smallmouth. When you live between the Mississippi and St. Croix, it's hard to get too wound up about fishing smallies when you go somewhere else...
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
madguy30  
#6 Posted : Thursday, February 9, 2017 7:07:00 PM(UTC)
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OTC_MN wrote:
madguy30 wrote:
Not sure what you're targeting but if it's smallmouth I think only the Pecatonica would allow for that in April. I'd have to check the regs.

I think some of the feeders of those types of rivers may have trout in them though.


I was thinking more trout than smallmouth. When you live between the Mississippi and St. Croix, it's hard to get too wound up about fishing smallies when you go somewhere else...


Valid point.

I'm from Iowa originally and miss the smallie streams that I used to roam. I've yet to really uncover anything similar in my experience in SW WI. Not saying they don't exist...just hasn't been as consistent.
OTC_MN  
#7 Posted : Friday, February 10, 2017 9:05:24 AM(UTC)
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madguy30 wrote:


Valid point.

I'm from Iowa originally and miss the smallie streams that I used to roam. I've yet to really uncover anything similar in my experience in SW WI. Not saying they don't exist...just hasn't been as consistent.


Depending on where you are in SW WI, might be worth the drive to hop across the river to the Cannon, Zumbro, Root... The main stem, Middle and North Branches of the Root has a good 50 miles of smallie water. Plus you can also fish the S branch for trout obviously so easy to make a weekend of it.

Fishing is always better on the other side of the river. That seems to be true regardless of which side of the river you're on to begin with... BigGrin
"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
Seabee1  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:06:17 PM(UTC)
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I have a lot of fellow brothers and sisters in arms ask me if the driftless portion of Illinois has trout ? Good portion of my former unit was from Illinois and I can't answer there question being from Minnesota do they have Trout in Illinois driftless area ?
Pete  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:23:18 PM(UTC)
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Seabee1 wrote:
I have a lot of fellow brothers and sisters in arms ask me if the driftless portion of Illinois has trout ? Good portion of my former unit was from Illinois and I can't answer there question being from Minnesota do they have Trout in Illinois driftless area ?



There are stocker rainbows planted in the Apple River, but those don't count; that's not what you're asking about. There are a lot of tiny tributaries of the Apple River flowing through private property that have conditions in which trout could survive and reproduce, but as they are private, no one really knows. Or if they do know, they're not talking. Let's put it this way: the presence of wild brook trout in Illinois is suspected, if not confirmed.
Seabee1  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, February 15, 2017 12:41:50 PM(UTC)
Seabee1
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I take it that it gets to warm in the bigger streams to support trout after may ? Just wondering if there is any attempt of the Illinois DNR to try to reclaim some of the streams to support trout
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