Driftless Trout Anglers

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 2:09:27 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,758
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 4 post(s)
A Tale Of Two Tigers

It was the best of times, it was the worst of... no wait. This isn't a "Tale of Two Cities" - but rather a tale of two Tiger Trout, and the lessons learned from catching both.

Each of these Tigers were unique and exquisitely colored. One was caught in early June and the second in late fall. One was caught on a hopper and the other on the venerable Pink Squirrel. Both were found in unlikely places in their streams.

The June Tiger was a complete surprise. I was finishing up on a stream and was going through the usual end of the day ritual of "just one more cast." It was warming up quickly in into the mid 80s on this day and the sun was beating down. The fishing had slowed down with the sun and I was about to quit when I came to a shaded section of the stream.

I was working my way up to a hole beneath a partially fallen tree, casting along the bank for any Trout that might be lurking under the overhanging grass. This stretch was shallow and had mostly an exposed sand bottom offering no cover at all. I was just idly chucking uninspired casts thinking about the hole ahead and how I would approach it, when a flash and splash along the bank startled me.

For some reason my hopper, and my fly line were flying downstream at a high rate of speed. I raised my fly rod and a bright flash of gold appeared at the end of my line. What was this? After several aggressive runs back and forth across the shallow water I finally subdued the fish and pulled him into my net. A muscular golden Tiger!

UserPostedImage

I had never seen one like this before. The color transitioned from Brookie red in the belly to bright gold in the mid-section, to light brown along the dorsal. The picture doesn't quite do the colors justice. He was also a very powerful fish. At first I thought I had hooked a large Brown Trout based on the weight of the pull and the anger at the end of the line.

The lesson learned here was to always fish all the water in the stream. Skipping over unlikely looking spots may just cost you a memorable fish. I could've easily missed this one.

I couldn't possibly top this fish so I didn't bother fishing the hole. I packed it up right after taking the photo and made the long sweaty hike back to the car. While breaking down my rod, I was startled to see the hook on my hopper had been bent back by the strong Tiger. I was lucky to get him in the net!

UserPostedImage

Tiger number two came on my last day of fishing this season. It was sandwiched right in the middle of a seven week long (no shit!) business trip to Boston that stretched from early September right into October. I was pretty burned out from travel, but had a weekend back home and decided to run up to the Driftless, knowing it would be my last chance to wet a line this year.

I arrived on stream to absolutely perfect conditions. Great water level, cool water temps, a slight stain from an overnight rain, overcast skies, light winds and no annoying bugs. I was determined to use hoppers, although it was pretty late in the season for them.

I caught a few on the hopper, but soon realized my best bet for the day would be sub-surface patterns. I came to a place in the stream with a deep hook pool and a submerged stump at the top carving out the pool. Just above it is a riffle section with a two foot drop over about a 30 foot run, but only about four feet across.
A couple decent holding spots each about the size of a basketball broke up the shallow fast water.

There are always fish to be caught in the pool, but I had also spooked Trout out this riffle several times in the past as I walked by. Trout will move up out of the deeper water into these shallow sections to capitalize on the larvae hatching in the rocks. The advantage to the fisherman here is that the Trout will be attacking anything that looks like food, and the chaos in the water will cover the approach as the Trout busy themselves with dealing with the current and striking out at passing meals.

This day I skipped the pool and sized up the riffle section. There was no way to approach it from below unless I got into the pool - which would easily overtop my hip waders. My only option would be to walk above the riffle and sneak down low behind some tall grass to cover my approach.

I tied on the Pink Squirrel and bounced it down stream through the shallow fast water to one of the holding spots behind a rock. Suddenly a colorful Brookie exploded right up out of the water with the Pink Squirrel snagged in the corner of its mouth. I skated the fish back and forth across the narrow stream and tugged it into the net.

I was admiring the Brookie when I noticed the vermiculation lines. This was no Brookie, it's another Tiger! Just like the other one, this guy fought well above his weight. A very aggressive and strong fish. When I released him he charged right back to the same holding spot he came out of. I made note of that and will be sure to hit that spot again next year.

UserPostedImage

So, the lessons learned from these two fish: always fish all the water, you just never know what's hiding in the unexpected places.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Mark Dahlquist  
#2 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:28:00 AM(UTC)
Mark Dahlquist
Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/27/2010(UTC)
Posts: 4,827
Man
Location: Minnesota

Thanks: 4 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 3 post(s)
Sweet tigers Bill. Too pretty to eat? Do those tigers taste just like eagle? Just razzing you

Edited by user Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:29:09 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

-Mark
Board Owner
UserPostedImage
Gurth  
#3 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 4:28:53 AM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 478
Man
Location: Madison

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)
Nice read and beautiful fish.

That second stream looks familiar.
Your mother had a tongue like a trout!
William Schlafer  
#4 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:15:54 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,758
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 4 post(s)
Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post


That second stream looks familiar.



Oh yes, you've fished it. I've love to show you the spot where the Tiger came out of. I'd bet 9/10 fishermen would walk right by that spot every time. I really like that stream. Just needs a little TLC to bring it back to first class status. The 2012 flood, and subsequent over-grazing just about destroyed it. But it's bounced back nicely.


-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  
#5 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 7:39:17 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 478
Man
Location: Madison

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)
UserPostedImage
Your mother had a tongue like a trout!
William Schlafer  
#6 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 8:53:31 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,758
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 4 post(s)
Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post
UserPostedImage


BigGrin


-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  
#7 Posted : Thursday, November 9, 2017 10:13:48 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 11/7/2016(UTC)
Posts: 478
Man
Location: Madison

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 5 post(s)
Cool that you got one there.

I'm not surprised though considering that both species are healthy and robust and live in the same spots there.

Can picture the type of spot that you describe and I try to make a habit of not skipping anywhere.


Imagine if my wife had gotten that when I took her there.

First trout a brookie, that fat pig of a brown and a tiger all on her first day?

I would have left her for the hill people. Laugh
Your mother had a tongue like a trout!
NBrevitz  
#8 Posted : Friday, November 10, 2017 12:02:21 AM(UTC)
NBrevitz
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/16/2013(UTC)
Posts: 1,161
Man
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 8 time(s) in 7 post(s)
That first Tiger just looks incredible, nice job Bill. ThumpUp
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
thanks 1 user thanked NBrevitz for this useful post.
William Schlafer on 11/10/2017(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#9 Posted : Friday, November 10, 2017 12:34:59 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,758
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 5 time(s) in 4 post(s)
Originally Posted by: NBrevitz Go to Quoted Post
That first Tiger just looks incredible, nice job Bill. ThumpUp


I really wish I could've gotten a better photo of that Tiger, but it was eager to get back in the water and I didn't want to drop it. It really was bright golden in color. The sun kinda washed the shot out. I'm happy to report he shot away like a bullet as soon as I put him back in the water. I'm looking forward to searching for both of those Tigers next spring.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
lightningo2  
#10 Posted : Friday, November 10, 2017 12:53:52 AM(UTC)
lightningo2
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 1/11/2012(UTC)
Posts: 260
Man
Location: Wausau

Awesome report Bill!!! I have found out exactly what you have described. Usually I end up spooking the fish because I overlook the less likely( or so I think) spots and hit the holes. I know I have missed fish. Thanks for the report. I still have to get my tiger some day.
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2017, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 1.001 seconds.