Driftless Trout Anglers

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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 7:37:35 AM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
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Man
Location: Madison

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Life is about to get busy… really busy.

Have a graduating senior and with his ceremony & party and many of our friends’ kids and his team mates also graduating, weekends will be quite busy with parties for many weeks to come.

Add phase 2 of the deck replacement (which needs to be done before the grad party), a Canada fishing trip, several weekend concerts down in Chicago and all kinds of other stuff and yesterday was my last opportunity for at least the next month or more to take a full day and get away to trout fish outside of my home streams.

Decided to hit a couple that lie west of F-more. Hadn’t been to the big one since February (iirc) and had never fished the little one, but always wanted to.

Started with the little one.

The fog that was prevalent up on the ridge was simply cloud cover when I got down into the valley. Found a bridge crossing where I could get down to the water. There was a deer wading just upstream… idyllic doesn’t suffice although I was hoping that the deer wasn’t ruining the spot. Smile


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The water was slightly stained… combine that with the cloud cover and conditions were perfect. On my first cast under the bridge, I got this…


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Cool! Good start. Cast a few more times in the adjacent area and could see what looked like some good holes downstream, so went to put my waders on.

Went back down and even though I “knew” that I wouldn’t get another fish from under the bridge, I cast anyway and got this distinctive looking brown…


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What a start! Could be a big day.

Slogged to the holes downstream and while this hole…


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…and the next 2 looked like a Driftless wet dream, they only produced 1 more fish, albeit another nice 15+ incher.

Headed back to the vehicle as I was getting close to someone’s house/farm and couldn’t really keep boots wet through this section.

Found access where a big spring crosses under the road* and joins the stream and also at the public fishing area. Both of these stretches had great looking water with nice riffles, runs, pools and structure. Unfortunately, many of these great looking spots didn’t produce any fish and the ones that did yielded 9-11 inch fish. Got 5 of these marginal browns and decided it was time to head to the big river.

* The bridge under the road held the largest swallow colony I've encountered and as I approached it through the stream, literally hundreds of swallows exited their nests and flew up to circle above. It was like one of those videos of bats exiting a cave at dusk and I couldn't believe that there could be that many swallows coming out of those nests. They just kept coming and coming. Pretty cool sight/experience.

Anyway, overall, the little river produced pretty well and I’m glad I checked it out.

I won’t ramble on about the big river as many of you have probably fished it.

Some highlights though…

• First off, I had the river to myself other than 1 access point at the bottom of the valley. Pleasantly surprised (shocked?) by this.

• At one point, was walking up a steep bank and was about to grab a branch and at the last second it registered in my head that the branch had an eye. Was a snake on a branch that startled when I startled and dropped out of the tree and slithered away. I laughed pretty hard at myself.

• Hit one of the meadow sections to fish the riffle>run>pools and caught a bunch of browns – mostly more of the 9-11 inchers with 3 or 4 up to 13-14 inches. It was sunny by this point and the fish were sitting deep.


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• A bull snake swam by at one point. All told, saw 4 snakes with another swimmer later in the day.

• Hooked a fish pretty close to shore and it was good sized, so I was worried that it would get off if I didn’t play it a bit. Actually reeled in reverse to let it take line as the drag was set too tight.

As I’m battling it, I start to think that it holds itself an awful lot like a brook trout… could see the white front fin edges, but many browns have those too. Plus, there aren’t brook trout in this river and it would be a pretty big brook if that’s what it is.

Couldn’t be.

But something about the forward reaching posture of its fins and the arch in its back made me think… brook trout. As I got it close enough to see clearly, sure enough. Nervous now, fought it and landed it and it’s a new personal best at just over 14 inches.


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Really pleased with this fish...


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Moved up the valley.

• This horse stood and stared at the same spot in the stream for the entire time that I was on this stretch - well over an hour.

On my way out...


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On my way back...


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Not sure what was up with that. Confused Maybe he's a "pointer" and there was a 20+ sitting right there. Laugh


• Spent the rest of the afternoon fishing my way up the valley and got mostly 10-12 inch brownies until the final fish of the night right below the last bridge.


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Somewhere around 30 fish on the day with at least another 10 getting off by flipping through the air or getting into shallow riffles. None of those were large though, so didn’t mind. Feel like I would have gotten even more had it stayed cloudy.

All and all, another wonderful day in the Driftless with many great vignettes that make what we do so much more than just fishing… deer, swallows, snakes, frogs, mama & baby cows, road side springs to cool off at the end of the day...


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Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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William Schlafer  
#2 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 12:02:34 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
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Nice Brookie Gruth!

I'm surprised you found one there too. I've fished "that river" many times over the years and only caught Browns.

Well done!


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Gurth  
#3 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 2:21:47 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 761
Man
Location: Madison

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I looked it over and didn't see anything that made me think it was a brood stock as the fins were all intact and the fish didn't have any scars or other markings that made me think it had lived in a tank.

I checked the database for stocking though and they have put adult brood brookies into the river from 2012-2016.

They also put fingerlings in there in 2012.

No matter. Still a nice surprise and a nice fish.

Someday I'll get a native wild brook that's larger.

Until then, I'll just assume that this is the offspring of the fingerlings. Flapper

BigGrin
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
shebs  
#4 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 4:15:13 PM(UTC)
shebs
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 5/12/2014(UTC)
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Location: Mpls

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I love the jaw on those big brookies. Something primordial to it ThumpUp

Come up for troutstock and I'll point you to where you can find some wild beasts Razz

Edited by user Sunday, May 28, 2017 4:17:03 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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"
Gurth  
#5 Posted : Sunday, May 28, 2017 4:30:29 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 761
Man
Location: Madison

Thanks: 34 times
Was thanked: 54 time(s) in 41 post(s)
shebs wrote:
I love the jaw on those big brookies. Something primordial to it ThumpUp

Come up for troutstock and I'll point you to where you can find some wild beasts Razz



I'd love that.

Hopefully next year. That's graduation weekend for my son this year.
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
EddieRivard  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, May 30, 2017 7:40:01 AM(UTC)
EddieRivard
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/26/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,173
Location: New Brighton MN

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Great report! I declare you DTA member of the month for May 2017. Enjoy it while it lasts. ThumpUp
Gurth  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, May 30, 2017 7:42:17 AM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 761
Man
Location: Madison

Thanks: 34 times
Was thanked: 54 time(s) in 41 post(s)
EddieRivard wrote:
Great report! I declare you DTA member of the month for May 2017. Enjoy it while it lasts. ThumpUp


Ha ha. Thanks!

Does that come with one of those stickers for my van? BigGrin
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
EddieRivard  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, May 30, 2017 7:47:41 AM(UTC)
EddieRivard
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/26/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,173
Location: New Brighton MN

Thanks: 59 times
Was thanked: 18 time(s) in 11 post(s)
Gurth wrote:
EddieRivard wrote:
Great report! I declare you DTA member of the month for May 2017. Enjoy it while it lasts. ThumpUp


Ha ha. Thanks!

Does that come with one of those stickers for my van? BigGrin


Sure why not. Whats your address?
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