Driftless Trout Anglers

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danny boy  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:07:31 AM(UTC)
danny boy
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/20/2015(UTC)
Posts: 8
Location: Madison

Long time fisherman here (bass, musky, northerns, walleye) just now getting into trout fishing. Live in Dane county and dont have access to a boat around here to fish the lakes everyday, plus very interested in the aesthetic allure of stream fishing. Seems like living in Dane county on the edge of the driftless is not a bad spot to get into the sport. Also, seems that this blog is full of some great wisdom, etiquette, and community. Probably going to start heading to the closest streams first - sugar, BEC, badger mill, and mt vernon - to get my bearings. Dont really plan on doing any angling until A. I get my trout sticker and B until I am confident with the area. One I am ready I will probably just start with my spinning gear. Would really need to learn from someone in order to hop on the fly train. Would love to tag along with anyone who hits these areas up regularly. Tips, tricks, and concerns are welcome!

Fish on.

DD
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DanE  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:57:19 AM(UTC)
DanE
Rank: Dragon Fly

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

Welcome! I don't get down that way to fish very often as I usually head west instead. In my experience, getting out toward Viroqua will offer you less pressured water and typically more fish to hand. I would recommend 3 baits for starting out with light spinning gear in my favorite order. Take a small box with these 3 baits and start exploring and catching fish.

1) 1/16 oz jig with a 2" Berkley power minnow. You can fish it fast in shallow water, slow in deeper water. Works well when fish are not aggressive. Can fish all day without changing to a different bait.
2) Blue Fox vibrax size 2 spinner. Great bait for covering water and getting aggressive strikes.
3) Rapala Husky Jerk. Smallest size available. Will get a lot of exciting strikes.
danny boy  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:09:33 AM(UTC)
danny boy
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/20/2015(UTC)
Posts: 8
Location: Madison

DanE thanks for the quick reply and the great info. Just from reading this forum I can tell the most scenic and productive fishing comes from going farther west, where you recommend. For convenience sake and since I am a noob, still going to start out with the streams by my house. I am sure it wont be long before I make it out that way.

Any good bait shops you recommend in the dane county area? Some of the big box stores usually have the a decent selection, but i'd prefer a local joint.
shebs  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:19:00 AM(UTC)
shebs
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I'll second what Dan says - the jig/minnow setup is productive all year long. But I fish a #3 Vibrax (or a #9 Panther Martin) except for very early in the year when the water is still cold. Even small trout will take a big spinner, so go big or go home. The only time I'll go to a #2 (#6 PM) is in very shallow riffles where I find myself snagging a lot of rocks or weeds with a heavier lure.
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
briz  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:22:14 AM(UTC)
briz
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Man
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Lots of good water in the DA. The stamp can be purchased easily online. If you are heading out might as well wet a line. Spinning gear and bait work. I agree with Dan and if you have time its nice to head west and quality fishing can be more plentiful but I've also been having a good season in Dane and Iowa Co. The streams you mention are a good start. Also keep in mind that some of the closer smaller waters get tough to fish with all the weeds. It is also a positive in that if you are determined a short hike in chest high grass or in the stream (depending on location) can get places where people stopped going in late summer because its such a pain in the ass.
DanE  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:24:55 AM(UTC)
DanE
Rank: Dragon Fly

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

Dorn Hardware has a decent bait shop on the west side in the shopping center where Midvale blvd and the beltine meet. The bait store is on the lower level, accessed from outside the building. D&S bait & tackle on the east side on Northport Drive right by Warner Park is good too. Cabelas in Sun Prairie works if those 2 don't have what you are looking for. If you want an exercise in futility, head to Gander Mountain. If you are like me, they will have everything but what you need.

When fishing locally, don't get discouraged if you success isn't great, it may not have anything to do with your ability as it can be tougher fishing than further west. If you wade in BEC, make sure you clean your gear well as there are new Zealand mud snails there, which are an invasive species.

Edited by user Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:27:12 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

EddieRivard  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:30:42 AM(UTC)
EddieRivard
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danny boy wrote:
Would really need to learn from someone in order to hop on the fly train.


Danny Boy, Well the advice you have been given about spinning gear is good advice I would advise you to skip that step in the process. Let me tell you a story about a good friend of mine named Shannon. Shannon started out spinning for trout a few years back and really got hooked on the sport. Last winter he expressed a little interest in learning how to fly fish and soon after he was given all the tools he would need to get a good start. Last I checked he is still spinning his life away. After all that spinning you think a guy would get dizzy. It's a tough jump to make going from spin to fly so my advice is to skip the spinning all together. You will thank me in the end. ThumpUp

-Eddie Rivard
DTA Moderator
danny boy  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 11:55:31 AM(UTC)
danny boy
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/20/2015(UTC)
Posts: 8
Location: Madison

Wow. First of all. Thanks for all the replies. Have never encountered a fishing community like this one.

Great call on Dorn Hardware - that is right by my office.

Also, EddieRivard, I appreciate the thoughts. If you're ever in there area and want to take a noob out fly fishing give me a shout! I already have some spinning gear and from what I heard it is pretty difficult to find the right fly setup unless you go to a class or guided tour where you can try a bunch of stuff out. Any suggestions for how to get into the right fly gear for a beginner? I am pretty good at learning from youtube videos and talking to people so once I get into the right gear I could be well on my way.

Thanks again everyone!
shebs  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 12:33:11 PM(UTC)
shebs
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EddieRivard wrote:

Danny Boy, Well the advice you have been given about spinning gear is good advice I would advise you to skip that step in the process. Let me tell you a story about a good friend of mine named Shannon. Shannon started out spinning for trout a few years back and really got hooked on the sport. Last winter he expressed a little interest in learning how to fly fish and soon after he was given all the tools he would need to get a good start. Last I checked he is still spinning his life away. After all that spinning you think a guy would get dizzy. It's a tough jump to make going from spin to fly so my advice is to skip the spinning all together. You will thank me in the end. ThumpUp

-Eddie Rivard
DTA Moderator



you just haaaaad to go there, huh?
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
StorminNorman  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, July 21, 2015 12:43:14 PM(UTC)
StorminNorman
Rank: Midge

Joined: 9/12/2014(UTC)
Posts: 60

danny boy wrote:
from what I heard it is pretty difficult to find the right fly setup unless you go to a class or guided tour where you can try a bunch of stuff out. Any suggestions for how to get into the right fly gear for a beginner? I am pretty good at learning from youtube videos and talking to people so once I get into the right gear I could be well on my way.



I taught myself the ways of the fly a few years back, you def don't need a guide or a class. I would suggest a full setup (rod, reel, line, leader) from cabelas to start. A 9 ft 5wt will be good for almost any species you fish for. Their Wind River setup is about $120 if I recall correctly.

The key is casting. If you cant cast well and put the fly in the right spots, you're probably not going to have a ton of luck. So I would start by fishing panfish and bass and work in your casting in a nice, open area. Get the hook set down, etc.

- Norm
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