Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 8:37:55 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,553
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 200 times
Was thanked: 207 time(s) in 159 post(s)
Got in a two-day fishing trip this last weekend in Iowa, Sauk and Vernon Counties. It was a contrast in two days: cool wet and windy on Saturday, warmer and bright sunshine on Sunday.

The drive in on Saturday was cool and windy with intermittent rain and drizzle. The prevailing 25 mph NE winds made it pretty much impossible to stay dry – driving the rain into any opening in the clothing.

I drove past a number of streams and rivers along the way in that were completely blown out and running muddy. However, my destination stream was running only slightly stained, but definitely up a good six to eight inches. The fish didn’t seem to mind too much. The bite wasn’t strong, but enough good sized Browns were put in the net. Buggers were the default lure of choice this day as the wind made casting anything without some weight an adventure.
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By mid-day I was soaked through and the temperatures were slowly falling, so I retreated to Spring Green for some hot lunch, a dry shirt, and a check of the weather radar.

My overnight stay would be in Reedsburg, so I decided to check out a stream along the way that runs along highway 23 called Honey Creek. This is a class II stream in its upper reaches that has some habitat improvements, but is limited by a large impoundment (White Mound Lake) that empties warm water into the stream degrading Trout habitat. A few small feeder creeks push colder water into the stream further downstream providing enough for some Trout to persist. I fished it once a few years back with limited success.
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The lower sections were running the color of chocolate milk and higher than normal, due to heavy rain the night before. But the upper section looked a little clearer so I gave it a try. The stream is pretty narrow up here and the wind was playing it’s tricks with my casts. Caught a bunch of chubs, but was finally rewarded with a pale looking 16” Brown that put up a big splashy fight.
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I checked into the hotel, cleaned up, and ran over to North Freedom to check out FryingPanDan’s band “Say It Ain’t Soul” playing at the Fireman’s BBQ and Softball Tournament. The band’s groupies seemed to enjoy themselves, despite the cool and soggy conditions.
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Be sure to check out "Say It Ain't Soul" if you get the chance: https://www.facebook.com/SayItAintSoulband
Come for the funk, stay for the soul.

The next morning I stopped by Dan’s place and enjoyed a hearty homecooked breakfast while we waited for the temperature to warm up a bit. Blues skies, bright sun and lighter winds greeted us as we drove over to Vernon county to one of our favorite streams. The bite was off compared to previous visits, probably due to the cold front, the chilly overnight temps and the blinding sun. But things seemed to pick up as the day progressed.

Dan working a tricky approach.
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And is rewarded with a fine fat Brown Trout.
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A number of strong and healthy Browns fell victim to Dan’s Caddis Emerger hopper-dropper setup. By late in the day we started to see finally see some risers and was able to catch a few on surface dries. Not the best day numbers-wise, but quality fish that fought hard. We fished the shady spots hard, but most of the Trout caught were ambush strikes, darting out from under cover into the daylight.
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I finally saw the light and abandoned my sub-surface bead heads for a Elk Hair Caddis. A moment after Dan snapped this shot this Brown flopped free and back into the water. Vigorous, strong fish on this stream.
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It was a great day overall and I was happy to finally have a chance to fish with Dan and to steal some of his secrets and fishing strategy. I’m sure we’ll do it again soon.


-Bill

Edited by user Monday, June 1, 2015 9:59:19 AM(UTC)  | Reason: damned typos

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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FryinPanDan  
#2 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 8:49:26 AM(UTC)
FryinPanDan
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/9/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,174
Man
Location: Sauk County

Nice report and thank for the plug! ;)
"My position is, we should have a clean, healthy, diverse natural environment so I can go fishing. Because fishing makes me happy." - John Gierach
BRAUNTRUTTA
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DanE  
#3 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 8:56:23 AM(UTC)
DanE
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 9/18/2014(UTC)
Posts: 1,239
Location: Prairie Du Sac, WI

Nice report Bill. If Dan had told me they were playing in North Freedom, I would have come over and joined you! They didn't announce it on Facebook either.Confused Looks like Honey was about a foot or 2 higher than normal. That 16" is a quality fish for that water, nice job. If you stop there again, walk downstream from that bridge access to the tree line and fish it back up to the bridge. Probably my favorite and most productive stretch of water.
MikeJuran  
#4 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 9:03:22 AM(UTC)
MikeJuran
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 2/13/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,016
Man
Location: Chaseburg, WI

good pics, fish, story .... all that was missing was an mp3 of Dan's band ....

mj
Fly Me A River
William Schlafer  
#5 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 9:25:26 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,553
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 200 times
Was thanked: 207 time(s) in 159 post(s)
FryinPanDan wrote:
Nice report and thank for the plug! ;)



Dig that avatar photo!


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 9:57:05 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,553
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 200 times
Was thanked: 207 time(s) in 159 post(s)
DanE wrote:
Nice report Bill. If Dan had told me they were playing in North Freedom, I would have come over and joined you! They didn't announce it on Facebook either.Confused Looks like Honey was about a foot or 2 higher than normal. That 16" is a quality fish for that water, nice job. If you stop there again, walk downstream from that bridge access to the tree line and fish it back up to the bridge. Probably my favorite and most productive stretch of water.


I started out fishing upstream from the Hwy 23 bridge - which technically isn't Honey Creek. Looks great, fished lousy. Went down to Valley View Road and fished back up to the bridge. The water from the Valley View Bridge down was chocolate milk colored, so I didn't bother going downstream. Although I've fished that stretch in the past, and I remember some good pools and runs there. I might go back there again this summer for hopper fishing.

It would be great if Honey Creek would improve as a Trout stream. You can stack up a full day of fishing with Honey Creek, Bear Creek, Willow Creek and the Pine River by ridge hopping towards the west. I've talked to the DNR's Sauk County fishery guy (Nate Nye, I think) about Honey and Bear in the past and the work they hoped to do there. But alas, he's probably out of a job now.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
FryinPanDan  
#7 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 9:59:13 AM(UTC)
FryinPanDan
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/9/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,174
Man
Location: Sauk County

DanE wrote:
Nice report Bill. If Dan had told me they were playing in North Freedom, I would have come over and joined you! They didn't announce it on Facebook either.Confused Looks like Honey was about a foot or 2 higher than normal. That 16" is a quality fish for that water, nice job. If you stop there again, walk downstream from that bridge access to the tree line and fish it back up to the bridge. Probably my favorite and most productive stretch of water.


I am not responsible for the bands PR Sad

Dan, it was cold, and we were playing next to the porta-johns.... We have another show at the Varsity Club on 7/17 and some Dells gigs in Aug, including 2 at the infamous Bronco Billy's.

The possible scene at Bronco Billy's will be this:
"My position is, we should have a clean, healthy, diverse natural environment so I can go fishing. Because fishing makes me happy." - John Gierach
BRAUNTRUTTA
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trapper  
#8 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 10:02:14 AM(UTC)
trapper
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,262
Location: West Fork

Thanks: 7 times
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Hmm...
Get Reel
William Schlafer  
#9 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 10:03:41 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,553
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 200 times
Was thanked: 207 time(s) in 159 post(s)
FryinPanDan wrote:
DanE wrote:
Nice report Bill. If Dan had told me they were playing in North Freedom, I would have come over and joined you! They didn't announce it on Facebook either.Confused Looks like Honey was about a foot or 2 higher than normal. That 16" is a quality fish for that water, nice job. If you stop there again, walk downstream from that bridge access to the tree line and fish it back up to the bridge. Probably my favorite and most productive stretch of water.


I am not responsible for the bands PR Sad

Dan, it was cold, and we were playing next to the porta-johns.... We have another show at the Varsity Club on 7/17 and some Dells gigs in Aug, including 2 at the infamous Bronco Billy's.

The possible scene at Bronco Billy's will be this:


Don't forget your whip. Chicks dig the whip. Wink


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
FryinPanDan  
#10 Posted : Monday, June 1, 2015 10:03:45 AM(UTC)
FryinPanDan
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/9/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,174
Man
Location: Sauk County

MikeJuran wrote:
good pics, fish, story .... all that was missing was an mp3 of Dan's band ....

mj


"My position is, we should have a clean, healthy, diverse natural environment so I can go fishing. Because fishing makes me happy." - John Gierach
BRAUNTRUTTA
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