Driftless Trout Anglers

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#1 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:02:37 AM(UTC)
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 9/30/2013(UTC)
Posts: 23
Location: Madison, WI

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Hey Guys and Gals! It's been a while since I've posted on here. That's not to say that I haven't been lurking here every other day for the last 4 years, but hell, who's counting anyway. And there nothing wrong with lurkingBlink So with all that being said, hopefully I can get some posts up of some of my best catches over the last few. I've managed to catch some hogs, and have had some great days recently(100+ fish to hand days).

All that will have to wait however....

On Sunday of last weekend, 4/23, my buddy Josh and I were in Crawford county fishing as we always do on the weekend. Not sure about you guys, but we were getting our butts kicked on Sunday. Full sun, warm, water was high from the recent rains, and the trout where not cooperating...it was tough going. We had been on the water for about 4 hours, had about 6-8 fish to hand, when something awesome happened!

We had just arrived at another nice pool, one of probably 50+ nice pools that we fished that day. Josh had gear issues and was f***ing around on the shore, so I figured this one was mine to fish. I walked up to the ideal casting spot and took a shot. First cast goes in and WHAM, a 10-12 brownie was on my line a fighting me hard. After landing the brown, I took a few more casts around the pool, but nothing was having it. Josh was still a mess, so I stood there for a while, probably heckling him with something like "can't catch trout holding your d**k on shore all day". To be fair to Josh, he is awesome but he needs a little encouragement once in a while. Well I took another cast, dragged my panther martin to the edge of the shelf, pulled it off and let it sink. (there has been sage advice given over the years about letting that motha f'er sink, I defer to Trapper and Eddie for that)
Well, I let it sink and the result was a monster Rainbow!

I'll spare you the long fight story and just say that the fish didn't even know he was hooked, or he was so big he didn't care. He nearly swam right up to me before I had to put much fight on him, but holy cow, when he did see me he went crazy. I netted him once, he fell out. Netted him again, fell out again. Finally I got his head in the net and pretty much dove in after him.

The fish measured 31.5 inches. 20-20.5 girth, and I am estimating 15 lbs. (I had originally thought it was probably 14 lbs, but I put the measurements into some salmon and trout calculators and the average seems to be 15.5+)







The fish was released safely. We beat him up a little for pictures, but he was otherwise taken very good care of. Here's the bitch of it. The current state record for inland Rainbow Trout is 29.5 inches long and 12.3 lbs. This fish was clearly longer and no doubt weighed more. I talked to the DNR and the long and short of it is "too bad". DNR is implementing a new Length Record system May 6th. I will likely register this fish for the record on May 6th. If someone catches it again after May 6th and registers it, it will likely be the state record.(weight record) DNR confirmed with me.

News 3 out of Madison picked it up. Here's the link:

As for where this fish was caught...for those of you in the know, it was not from the Petting Zoo, aka Jurassic Park, aka Da Bridge...but it did come from the area. ThumpUp Think Kickapoo valley, North, South, East, West I can't say..

Edited by user Tuesday, May 9, 2017 6:54:01 AM(UTC)  | Reason: I spell like a 3rd grader apparently

#2 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:16:35 AM(UTC)
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 9/19/2015(UTC)
Posts: 521
Location: La Crosse, WI

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 31 time(s) in 23 post(s)
Whoa. That is an amazing fish. Great write up too. Congrats.
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:40:37 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,501
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 185 times
Was thanked: 197 time(s) in 151 post(s)
Well done! Too bad the new regs for the state record aren't in effect yet. But you know you caught it, and you have the photo evidence as proof. You will probably win the "who caught the biggest Trout" argument in the bar every time with that one.

Judging by the healthy looking condition of the fins, I'd say that Rainbow has been in the river for awhile. Possibly a holdover stocker that has done very well for itself.

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
stan b  
#4 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:48:24 AM(UTC)
stan b
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 11/29/2016(UTC)
Posts: 241
Location: New Berlin, WI

Thanks: 128 times
Was thanked: 22 time(s) in 16 post(s)
That is just plain SUHWEETNESS!
"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
#5 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 7:54:41 AM(UTC)
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 1,348
Location: Madison

Thanks: 129 times
Was thanked: 167 time(s) in 130 post(s)
Good God!

I'm afraid to be in the water with that thing.

Fins all intact, so not a brood either.

Great fish!
“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
vmthtr in Green Bay  
#6 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 10:16:49 AM(UTC)
vmthtr in Green Bay
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 3/6/2012(UTC)
Posts: 424
Location: Green Bay WI

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 3 post(s)
AMAZING fish, great catch
#7 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 12:10:14 PM(UTC)
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 6/25/2013(UTC)
Posts: 443
Location: Wisconsin

Thanks: 21 times
Was thanked: 26 time(s) in 24 post(s)
You're gonna be famous!
#8 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:31:01 PM(UTC)
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 9/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 418
Location: ...upstream, wisconsin...

Was thanked: 16 time(s) in 12 post(s)

ThumpUp ThumpUp

that fish is AMAZING!!

Woot Woot Woot

what a catch!!

...and lettin that phucker sink is always the way to play!

Edited by user Saturday, April 29, 2017 1:38:13 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"...let that phucker sink for awhile..." ~sasquatch~
Mark Dahlquist  
#9 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 2:54:24 PM(UTC)
Mark Dahlquist
Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/27/2010(UTC)
Posts: 4,903
Location: Minnesota

Thanks: 8 times
Was thanked: 29 time(s) in 21 post(s)
Dude you should submit that to the Panther Martin trophy contest with the lure, small write up and a few photos. Just submit a couple of times with photos and see what happens. You could get $50 in lures.
Board Owner
#10 Posted : Saturday, April 29, 2017 3:28:04 PM(UTC)
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/16/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,529
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

Thanks: 56 times
Was thanked: 70 time(s) in 57 post(s)
Amazing fish man, congrats! I wonder what that bad boy has eaten over the years.... Small Beavers?Laugh ThumpUp
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
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