Driftless Trout Anglers

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chiflyguy  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 1:32:57 AM(UTC)
chiflyguy
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This past year was my first fishing the Driftless.
Opening week, I got a guide from the Driftless Angler. Learned a lot about emptomology, flies, casting and so on. Caught a lot of fish, well over 30.
Next two days was on my own and went to a different Creek and using what I learned did very good.
Did 5 more trips until September, over nighters and fished the same Creek, same pools and still caught fish. I caught 28 in2.5 hours on my last trip of the season.
Now as I think about the upcoming season, I picture the same Creek, pools and so on.
How do you break out of this habit?
Keep in mind, I live 4.5 hours away from Viroqua so I can’t fish every week.
William Schlafer  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 1:51:56 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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I fell into that pattern too when I first started out with a fly rod. It was just too easy to go back to the same spot I had success with before. Only way to break out of it is to force yourself out of your comfort zone and explore new places. In particular, I would avoid all the popular or well defined Trout streams and look for unheralded waters. When you find fish in new and unlikely places it will change your perspective of what a good day of fishing is. When you can figure out a new stream and find where the Trout hide - using the trail and error skills you've learned - the sport will take on a new attraction. Instead of gauging your success on numbers caught, you'll find rewards in solving the puzzle. And exploring new streams is always interesting and fulfilling.


-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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tenkara_guy on 1/2/2018(UTC)
stan b  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 12:48:25 PM(UTC)
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I have not been doing this long enough so every time I go out to the driftless is a new adventure.

I have been out there about a dozen times, almost always hit a new stream.

I do have 1 in particular I really like, but my field atlas tells me I have just scratched the surface.
"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
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tenkara_guy on 1/3/2018(UTC)
Guillermo  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 1:55:02 PM(UTC)
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Google maps....Plat books...the possibilities are endless.

I doubt any of us could fish even 5% of all the water in the Midwest over the course of a lifetime. Pick one, any one, and fish it. Worst case scenario it didn't pan out fish-wise but you still got fresh air, raised your heart rate a little and (hopefully) learned a thing or two.
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wibirdhunter on 1/2/2018(UTC)
weiliwen  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 2:38:47 PM(UTC)
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A friend of mine gave me good advice: Buy a Wisconsin Gazetteer, and mark all the spots you've been to. It's also a great tool to find where roads cross streams in places you've never been to. A bit of cross-checking with DNR river easement maps will help you find new spots.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
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stan b on 1/2/2018(UTC)
stan b  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 3:30:12 PM(UTC)
stan b
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Originally Posted by: weiliwen Go to Quoted Post
A friend of mine gave me good advice: Buy a Wisconsin Gazetteer, and mark all the spots you've been to. It's also a great tool to find where roads cross streams in places you've never been to. A bit of cross-checking with DNR river easement maps will help you find new spots.


I have that Gazetter, it is great.
Plus I use the "OnX" app.


Like I said, I ain't seen nothing yet.
"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
WI-fly  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 3:32:11 PM(UTC)
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I find myself doing the same thing, fishing the same spots. Mainly this is due to proximity to these streams and trying to be efficient with my time while balancing rec time with work and family. I think I should pull out a map of La Crosse County and try to fish as many of those sections as I can this spring and summer. I've never fished Bostwick and that is about a 10 minute drive for me. I know it isn't blue ribbon water, but there are fish there.
=============
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Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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William Schlafer  
#8 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 3:49:56 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Originally Posted by: WI-fly Go to Quoted Post
I've never fished Bostwick and that is about a 10 minute drive for me. I know it isn't blue ribbon water, but there are fish there.


Yup, I've been eyeing that stream up too for a couple seasons now, mostly due to it's proximity to the Timber Coulee. According to the DNR, a good chunk of it is Class I water, but that doesn't always indicate if it's fishable or not. I've also been meaning to try the Little La Crosse River.


-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  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 3:58:44 PM(UTC)
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I don't find the gazetteer to be all that useful. I have it in the car with me, but the level of detail isn't what it needs to be for me other than in finding my way to the next valley coz my phone is useless due to poor reception.

When I'm looking for new spots, I look at the online trout maps and choose an area I want to check out and then start researching through Google.

Any info I can find whether it be DNR, this site, bloggers or local chambers is combined to help me decide if a spot or stream is worth checking out.

I usually have a backup in mind in the form of a familiar place in case the new spot doesn't pan out.

After a few years of this systematic approach, I have good, safe bet spots pretty much within 10 miles of anywhere in the SW corner of the state that I can fall back on to salvage a day if I want to.

Many times though I just grin and bear the poor day and chalk it up to crossing a place off the list although obviously you don't want to be too hasty in that regard.

The long and short is (and I have to remind myself of this all the time) that this isn't a sprint. The streams will still be there next year and the year after that and so on.

Nothing substitutes for time on the stream and when you're ready to look for new places, you will.

Enjoy the hunt.


In that regard, I'm in that pickle when I go to Sand County streams…

I don't know where the good spots are (and there is no SandCountyTroutAnglers that I know of) and I don't know the optimal way to fish those waters as they are quite different than the typical Driftless stream.

It's actually "fun" in a masochistic way as sometimes it's as if I'm a hopeless noob.

I enjoy the challenge and plan to hit those areas more than ever this year.

Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
WI-fly  
#10 Posted : Tuesday, January 2, 2018 5:05:11 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: WI-fly Go to Quoted Post
I've never fished Bostwick and that is about a 10 minute drive for me. I know it isn't blue ribbon water, but there are fish there.


Yup, I've been eyeing that stream up too for a couple seasons now, mostly due to it's proximity to the Timber Coulee. According to the DNR, a good chunk of it is Class I water, but that doesn't always indicate if it's fishable or not. I've also been meaning to try the Little La Crosse River.


-Bill




The county conservation folks have been looking at Bostwick for erosion control. I have only eyeballed it from the road, but lots of high banks due to past erosion. I met with them and the TUDARE people last spring for planning. Nothing official, but it is high on the county's list for projects since there is money there.
=============
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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