Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Thursday, September 6, 2018 3:03:00 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Here's a message Mat (from the Driftless Angler Shop in Viroqua) sent out today regarding the recent floods in the Driftless Area.

-Bill


The rains have finally stopped!

The Driftless has endured some catastrophic flooding once again.

The Timber Coulee and West Fork of the Kickapoo took the brunt of the high water and our communities are digging out and picking up the pieces. As of today we are looking forward to some drier weather and creeks are already dropping and clearing up. If you are in the area the next few days, please reach out to land owners and see if you can lend a hand in helping with the clean up!

What happens to the fish during a flood?

Trout are used to living in a moving and dynamic environment. Even during heavy flooding, they know what to do. We're lucky in that a summer flood is the easiest for trout to survive as the young of the year are large enough to make it through. Trout will 'hunker down' on the bottom of the stream bed, or move out into the flood plain where water flow is less severe. Yes, the floods will drop the total population, but there is a silver lining.

The scouring of the stream bed means better spawning habitat for fish for the next couple of years. Studies have shown that populations bounce back fairly quickly after flood events. Flooding hits the smaller fish hard, but the larger fish survive better. This helps as the larger fish are capable of spawning and boosting the population for the future.

The same goes for the insect population. While major floods can reduce populations to as low as 8% of pre flood value, they bounce back quickly over the next season.

What does this mean for the rest of the season?

We are still asking anglers to avoid the Timber Coulee and West Fork until at least next week. The impact of the floods was devastating to property. We do encourage you to pitch in and help clean up if you can though!

Fishing wise, think larger, attractor patterns on the surface, and heavy big profile bugs subsurface. Fish will be looking for quick and easy meals over the next week or so until things get back to normal. On the murky water, a San Juan Worm or large scud can be deadly!

As things normalize we should see the return of midge and small mayfly hatches. Keep an eye on our fishing report for specific updates!

Ways to help in the flood relief.

If you are in town September 7th, check out the Flood Relief Concert being held at the Temple Theater just down from the shop. You can also donate to the relief effort without attending.

There is a facebook group dedicated to the flood clean up. A good source of information on who needs what.

While you are in the area, stop and ask! If you see someone cleaning up, lend a hand or ask how you can help. A little effort in helping landowners goes a long way right now.

Finally, please be safe out there.

There are still roads and bridges out, and if you are on the creeks, wade cautiously. Barbed wire fences, pieces of buildings, metal fence posts and more have washed downstream and can litter the banks. Pick up what you can and put it roadside, and watch where you walk!

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 4 users thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
Buckman on 9/7/2018(UTC), stan b on 9/7/2018(UTC), Pete on 9/7/2018(UTC), hougie on 9/8/2018(UTC)
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trapper  
#2 Posted : Friday, September 7, 2018 12:38:49 AM(UTC)
trapper
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,169
Location: West Fork

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All true
The total devastation in many areas is sad but true
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