Driftless Trout Anglers

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Brookies and Browns in Richland/Crawford County Options
StorminNorman
#1 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 4:17:28 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 9/12/2014
Posts: 60
Hey guys,

I'm heading to the Richland Co / Crawford Co area Saturday and I was wanting to hit a stream where I can catch brookies and browns. I've fished a few in that area but can only find the browns. I've been checking the DNR stream map and theres so many options it's hard to pick one to try!

Not trying to steal spots here, but any input is appreciated!

- Norm
DanE
#2 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 4:25:44 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 9/18/2014
Posts: 1,230
Location: Prairie Du Sac, WI
I've not fished it yet, but Ash Creek in Richland is where they get the brookies for the feral stocking program, so that may be a good option.
William Schlafer
#3 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 5:13:12 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,703
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
I visited Ash Creek earlier this year and couldn't find any fishable water and didn't see any Trout. Very small stream, at least near where it crosses Hwy 80.

Knapp Creek might be worth a look. I haven't fished it this year, but have done well there in the past. Plum Creek (far SW Crawford county) also has Brookies and Browns (and Tigers!) - but can be crowded on the weekends.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
StorminNorman
#4 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 5:15:46 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 9/12/2014
Posts: 60
Sweet! Thanks Bill and Dan!

Bill - I've fished Knapp this year and done decent there. All browns though. I may have to check out Plum!

- Norm
Jimbern
#5 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 5:33:03 PM
Rank: Stone Fly


Joined: 2/25/2012
Posts: 150
Location: Oak Park, IL
I did Knapp a couple weeks ago also. Some decent dry fly action but all browns. Only place I got a 50/50 mix of browns and brookies was the WF Kick.
DanE
#6 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 5:35:27 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 9/18/2014
Posts: 1,230
Location: Prairie Du Sac, WI
This can give you some excellent data to help you find some water too. It's a bit dated, but lots of good info.

http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/...nning/DriftlessStreams/
p_gundlach
#7 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 6:06:11 PM
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/20/2010
Posts: 62
Location: Brookfield, WI
I picked up one or two stray brookies in my one outing to Knapp Creek so far this year, but definitely dominated by browns.

I haven't fished Plum much in recent years, but from my own experience, along with the fish survey data I've seen, the brook trout population in Plum Creek is almost completely gone. Maybe there are pockets where they still reign, or perhaps things have picked back up in the last couple of years -- but I don't think it is anywhere close to the brook trout fishery that it was 10 to 15 years ago. Unfortunately, that seems to be all too common for the Richland/Crawford streams -- places that were go to brookie spots for me in the past have largely become dominated by browns. I'm sure there are exceptions somewhere. Not that there's anything wrong with browns, but it is nice to have some places dominated by brook trout.

A couple years back I did well on Ash Creek; skinny water upstream of Highway 80, but the brook trout were in there for the catching. But Bill has been there more recently, so perhaps it has changed a bit since then.
p_gundlach
#8 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 6:21:11 PM
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/20/2010
Posts: 62
Location: Brookfield, WI
This is a pretty useful tool; I'm not sure how much of the DNR stream shocking data that it actually picks up, but the datapoints can be useful. I'd suggest zooming in on the area of the map you are interested in, search for Brook Trout, and focus mainly on survey data in the last 5 years or so. Many of the streams that show big brookie counts 15+ years ago don't seem to have them now

https://cida.usgs.gov/wdnr_fishmap/map/
William Schlafer
#9 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 6:50:03 PM
Rank: Super Fly


Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,703
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
I just checked a newer sat photo of Ash Creek (2014). It shows some pools further upstream (possible Beaver dams?) that may be where the Brookies live that the DNR used to harvest for stocking purposes. The water I looked at would be difficult to hold Trout of any size. Might be worth a hike to take a look, but you would have to wade, as it's land locked private property. Ash Creek is listed as Class I water all the way from it's headwaters to it's confluence with the Pine River.

The https://cida.usgs.gov/wdnr_fishmap/map/ shows Brook Trout historically in a number of western and northern Richland County streams. But as others have pointed out, things have been changing in recent years, due to various factors.



Melancthon Creek (northern Richland county) might also be worth checking out. But I haven't talked to anyone who has had much success up there.


-Bill

EDIT: p gundlach beat me to the punch with the DNR link!
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
StorminNorman
#10 Posted : Wednesday, June 10, 2015 6:58:36 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 9/12/2014
Posts: 60
Thanks all!

Very interesting to look at the numbers over the years...definitely a decline in brook trout population. Is this happening throughout the driftless or just in these counties?

I may give Ash a try and hike up through the skinny water to the pools. Melanchon was also on my list to try. I've still yet to catch a brookie in Wisconsin (I've caught one in Iowa and many in Virginia/West Virginia) but I need to get one in Wisc! Also, a Tiger is on my bucket list for sure.
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