Driftless Trout Anglers

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Pete  
#1 Posted : Monday, February 19, 2018 10:09:12 PM(UTC)
Pete
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/30/2011(UTC)
Posts: 525
Location: Far west suburbs of Chicago

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I only made a few casts and didn't catch a thing, but it was my first outing of 2018. Some conservation groups were doing a work day on their property in Rock County, which coincidentally has a stream with reproducing brook trout in it. I hadn't even looked at it in more than a year and was amazed to see all the progress. Some habitat work, in this case removal of invasive vegetation, has done wonders for the stream. It had been channelized in the past and there were impenetrable willows along much of the bank. From what I know of willows, they're a pretty "thirsty" species and draw up a lot of water? Not good for a sidewalk-wide brook trout stream. But their removal has resulted in more water, faster flow, more of a meander resulting in some deep bends and a lot of exposed gravel. The water has always been plenty cold due to all the ground water flow, but it looks as if it's going to offer more to the fish than just cold water in the late Summer. There is now a lot of spawning habitat and likely more of a food chain too.

My instinct is always to walk as far from the road as possible to begin fishing. But it's not always better fishing the farther one gets from easy access. A high percentage of the biggest fish I've caught have been under bridges or near culverts. The only fish I saw out there on Saturday while making a few casts before the work day was under a bridge. the water was relatively shallow, but he was right on the edge of an ice shelf, so he was really protected (I had to crawl to get under the bridge to cast and still managed to spook him). it seems that not getting eaten by a raptor-or any other predator-outweighs everything else: food, reproduction, etc. A bridge provides overhead cover and that benefit outweighs the access it provides to human predators.
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Gurth  
#2 Posted : Monday, February 19, 2018 10:38:29 PM(UTC)
Gurth
Rank: Stone Fly

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

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Thanks for the report.

I've read about that stream over the years and have often wondered if it was possible considering location. Glad to hear that they are working on it.

Doubt that I'll ever lay eyes on it unless I have other business down that way since it's in the opposite direction of anywhere I go.

Still... shows that trout waters are possible pretty far south and likely into Illinois over to the west. Maybe someday they'll invest in it.


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Pete  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 20, 2018 2:51:58 PM(UTC)
Pete
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/30/2011(UTC)
Posts: 525
Location: Far west suburbs of Chicago

Thanks: 3 times
Was thanked: 12 time(s) in 10 post(s)
Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post
Thanks for the report.

I've read about that stream over the years and have often wondered if it was possible considering location. Glad to hear that they are working on it.

Doubt that I'll ever lay eyes on it unless I have other business down that way since it's in the opposite direction of anywhere I go.

Still... shows that trout waters are possible pretty far south and likely into Illinois over to the west. Maybe someday they'll invest in it.




It's definitely never going to be a destination stream, no matter how much work is done on it. But it's nice to know it's there and when I'm in the area for any other reason, it's worth a look.
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