Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:17:07 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,057
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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This is prime Hopper fishing time. Things are drying out nicely from all the rain we had several weeks ago and the Grasshoppers are hitting the water frequently enough for Trout to key on them. The bright sun is not a factor as the urge for a big meal makes them charge out from their hiding spots along the bank to hammer the hoppers when they splat on the water.

Twenty or so caught today, all Browns. Yellow Hoppers seemed to be the preferred color. Some highlights:

UserPostedImage
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This is prime Hopper fishing water! Just float a cast right up to the edge of the cut bank and be ready to set the hook.
UserPostedImage

The thing to focus on when fishing small streams like this is to make sure you turn the head of the Trout right after the take. As soon as they eat the fly, they will try to turn nose down back into whatever hole they came out of. Let them get back under a rock or a cut bank, and you'll likely lose the fish. Once you have them turned, you can skate them along the water surface to a place where you can safely land them. Great fun!


-Bill

Edited by user Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:17:45 PM(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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NBrevitz  
#2 Posted : Saturday, August 19, 2017 3:21:34 PM(UTC)
NBrevitz
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Excellent as always, keep up the good workThumpUp ThumpUp
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
WI-fly  
#3 Posted : Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:15:07 PM(UTC)
WI-fly
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Bill - What do you use for fishing gloves? I have had two trips to the dermatologist this year and he tells me I need to be more careful. I guess I better take that seriously.

I did buy a sun hoodie this summer from Gander in La Crosse on their clearance sale, but didn't get gloves yet.

Most importantly, NICE FISH!
=============
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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William Schlafer  
#4 Posted : Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:51:39 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,057
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 39 times
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WI-fly wrote:
Bill - What do you use for fishing gloves? I have had two trips to the dermatologist this year and he tells me I need to be more careful. I guess I better take that seriously.

I did buy a sun hoodie this summer from Gander in La Crosse on their clearance sale, but didn't get gloves yet.

Most importantly, NICE FISH!



Curt,

Yeah, I had that visit with my doctor too, and I ended up with a bunch of spots burned off the back of my hands and the sides of my face. Afterwards I looked like something from a bad horror movie. My doc basically said I shouldn't be fishing at all when the sun it out, but we all know that isn't realistic.

As a compromise, I always wear long sleeve shirts, a wide brim hat with a sun gater pulled up over the sides of my face, and these Orvis Sun Gloves. Basically I'm covered from head to toe and look like a doofus, but it's better than the alternative.

The Orvis Sun Gloves were a good purchase. They're light enough that they don't interfere with feel and I can still tie on flies and do other delicate work with them on. They also dry very quickly. The only knock I have on them is that they tend to stain and get grubby looking after a few outings. It's surprising how much punishment the back of your hands take from the sun while fishing. These do a great job of keeping the sun off. I keep waiting for Orvis to send me another $10 coupon so I can buy another pair.

The big Browns really love Hoppers! I wanted to stay throughout the afternoon and fish into the evening, but I ran out of energy and had to come home.


-Bill

Edited by user Saturday, August 19, 2017 4:52:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
shebs  
#5 Posted : Saturday, August 19, 2017 8:47:27 PM(UTC)
shebs
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I love those super dark browns. You know he's been living under the cut bank for his whole life ThumpUp
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"
William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Sunday, August 20, 2017 7:21:28 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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shebs wrote:
I love those super dark browns. You know he's been living under the cut bank for his whole life ThumpUp


He was the last fish of the day caught on the walk back to the car. He came out of here:
UserPostedImage

This is one of a handful of old lunker structures installed by the landowner back in the 1990s. This creek here is 4-5 feet wide but has lots of deep water runs and cuts for Trout to hide in. It's also notable that there is small spring feeding into the stream at the top of the photo with a deep pool just below. I bet this big Trout spends his nights feeding in that pool.

When I fished this spot on the way up I screwed up and didn't make a good approach, probably costing me a strike. On the way back I was fishing downstream with a hopper, which I usually don't have much success with. I decided to cross over to the left side of the bank thinking that if I did hook a fish, it would be easier to keep him out of the structure.

First cast in front of the hole and he hit. It was like a knife fight in a phone booth, and he was angry. I was able to work him away from the rocks and to that little beach in the middle of the photo where I could net him. 3X leaders and tippet makes it easier to horse them out.

It was a nice way to end the day.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
draik11  
#7 Posted : Monday, August 21, 2017 7:40:43 AM(UTC)
draik11
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Bill;

Do you notice any major difference when you stick with 3X leader and tippet? I've been using 7X and 5X leaders lately, however, I just recently ran out of tippet in that size. My plan for this weekend is to use a 5X leader with 3X tippet. That should work fine with hoppers right?

Nice fish and great report as always ThumpUp

Edited by user Monday, August 21, 2017 7:41:15 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

William Schlafer  
#8 Posted : Monday, August 21, 2017 9:56:08 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,057
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 39 times
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draik11 wrote:
Bill;

Do you notice any major difference when you stick with 3X leader and tippet? I've been using 7X and 5X leaders lately, however, I just recently ran out of tippet in that size. My plan for this weekend is to use a 5X leader with 3X tippet. That should work fine with hoppers right?

Nice fish and great report as always ThumpUp


With Hopper fishing, the strike seems to come within moments of the fly hitting the water. The Trout aren't taking time to size up the fly like they do with other patterns. Once they see sufficient Hoppers hit the water, they charge out and hammer them. I think you could get by with 50 pound braided line for tippet when they feed like that. Every now and then you'll get a miss, or a grab and spit, but rarely a refusal. The size of the Hopper is probably a more critical factor than tippet size. Hoppers in size 8 - 12 with Green, yellow, brown and pink colored bellies all seem to work well the last two weeks. Bigger sizes get pecked at by smaller Trout, but the big ones seem to ignore them.

The other nice thing about the heavier leader and tippet is you can rip the fly off of snags without breaking the line. With all the overhanging grass along the stream banks, snags happen frequently. Every now and then you can jerk your fly off the snag, and a Trout will nail it as it hits the water. So cool!

Another deadly tactic with Hoppers is that if you don't get a strike at a pool or deep cut, put your rod tip under water and start stripping the Hopper hard upstream against the current. Half the time this will illicit a strike by the alpha fish in the pool. They simply can't resist what looks like fleeing food.


-Bill

Edited by user Monday, August 21, 2017 9:57:48 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
draik11  
#9 Posted : Monday, August 21, 2017 11:41:55 AM(UTC)
draik11
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Thanks for the advice, Bill. I'm going to give that a try this weekend.
William Schlafer  
#10 Posted : Monday, August 21, 2017 12:14:24 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,057
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 39 times
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Also, I've been told by several long time Trout fisherman that when fishing hoppers you can completely forgo leader and tippet setups and just tie on 6-8 feet of 8-10 pound test mono to your fly line. If you fish small streams like I do, you really aren't making long casts anyway. I would guess that on half my casts on Saturday the fly line barely touched the water.

A Tenkara rig would be another excellent option for hoppers on small streams.


-Bill
“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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