Driftless Trout Anglers

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#1 Posted : Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:06:26 AM(UTC)
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/30/2011(UTC)
Posts: 582
Location: Far west suburbs of Chicago

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Probably my last trout trip of '13, certainly the last over nighter. I spent the weekend in Black River Falls and it took some moving around to find fish. I got nothing other than a few taps on a streamer at dawn on Saturday. Then the afternoon and evening were more productive, thanks to some help from a DNR biologist who told me about an easment nearby BRF. It was tough walking in the heat and dense overgrowth, but I found a mixed bag of brookies, a small brown and the first tiger trout I've ever caught. I also got a thrill when a deer drinking from the stream and I surprised each other after rounding a bend.

I moved to another public access area right before sunset and caught several more brookies, including my largest ever, which isn't saying much. He was 11 inches measured against my rod. I'd have guessed a couple of inches longer, but nothing makes a fish shrink faster than being accurately measured. All the brook trout at this easement were caught on a hopper pattern (no dropper). Thanks to Bill Schlafer for mentioning how effective hopper fishing can be-it gave me the courage to try something different and with this being in a meadow full of hoppers, it was just what the fish wanted. Takes were aggressive.

I spent the next morning on the North Branch of the Tremp and found a huge and deep pool. The sun was already up and I only hooked brook trout, but if there are any big browns in this particular stream, it's likely they're holding in this pool: much of this stream can be stepped over or is shin-deep with a sand bottom. I'll be back next Spring, before sunrise or after dark, to cast a mouse near a downed tree that lies across most of the pool or rip some streamers. The water seems too cold to hold chubs or shiners, but any big browns in there could make a living on the small brook trout. Maybe struggling and experimenting to tie a streamer to mimic a brook trout will make what will likely be a long and depressing winter pass more quickly.

Not another angler seen over the course of the weekend. A farmer even stopped to tell me that no one trout fishes in that area. Not sure why; maybe the muskie and smallmouth fishing on the Black River is so good that no one bothers with brook trout.
William Schlafer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, September 10, 2013 9:35:51 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,441
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 143 times
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Well done Pete! I'm still waiting to catch my first Tiger.

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
#3 Posted : Tuesday, September 10, 2013 7:14:16 PM(UTC)
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/29/2011(UTC)
Posts: 502
Location: River Falls, WI

Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 2 post(s)

Congrats on the nice brookie and the tiger! Sounds like a very successful trip. Good job for fishing less unknown streams.

Pete wrote:
nothing makes a fish shrink faster than being accurately measured.

Isn't that the truth! Those fish sure do shrink right before they are measured.
What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, p. 40 (Oxford University Press, 1949).
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