Driftless Trout Anglers

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Gurth  
#1 Posted : Saturday, October 6, 2018 6:26:27 AM(UTC)
Gurth
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Got out today and headed far from home to find normal conditions.

Stopped at a known large stream in Crawford Co first and this pretty much sums up the fishing…


UserPostedImage


This is really good-sized water with deep holes and runs and yet it seems to be full of nothing but dinks.

35 browns to hand in about two hours and the largest was around 14 inches and was an outlier. Most were around 10 inches with many smaller than that.

Kept going to the next hole and the next and the next thinking… there’s gotta be a decent fish somewhere. Not so much.

This was my third visit to this stream and can’t imagine fishing it again as it’s been the same each time.

It’s not me… it’s you.


Went to a smaller stream that is a mixed fishery and that I’ve had fun small fish days on.

The typical average sized browns were hard to come by and got less than 10 with the largest being around 12 inches.

Caught a pile of brookies though. The largest was a heartbreaker as it was definitely a new PB at 15-16 inches. Had it to my feet and it wasn’t set well and got off in the shallows. Was my own fault. Ugh.

I know where it is though and may stop back for another go.

Of the rest of the brookies… over 40 to hand and many had their fall colors raging.

Mostly little ones but I was enjoying the headwaters I was in so kept going.

In addition, I wanted to see all the little stream jewels.

Here are a few…

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage


This one was a stunner and my favorite of the day...

UserPostedImage


Figures that it jumped out of my hand before I could get a shot. I rarely surprise myself anymore with my own ineptitude on the stream.


Don’t mind a day of dinks every once in a long while and it was interesting getting almost 90 fish in one day as a novelty of sorts.

That said… was very frustrating at times… especially on the first stream that looks like it should have a much better size structure.

Been to many of the known streams in Crawford and a bunch of the lesser knowns and have yet to find a stream with a size structure of solid fish like I almost routinely find in other areas. I don’t get the hype.

Most of the streams seem to be dink factories.

Oh yeah… and got this…

UserPostedImage


Saw the orange flash of its belly when it hit and knew right away what it was.

Almost made up for the large brookie that I lost.

My second tiger and larger than the first one I got.
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shebs  
#2 Posted : Saturday, October 6, 2018 6:44:02 AM(UTC)
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Nice work on the tiger!
That pink PM body is one of my favorite colors they make. The "eye" on that blade is money. Those 'holy hammered' series might be the best ones they sell. The red/blue/yellow is especially effective in dirty water in my experience.
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"
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Gurth on 10/8/2018(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#3 Posted : Saturday, October 6, 2018 2:50:51 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post


Oh yeah… and got this…

UserPostedImage



Nice! A one-in-a-thousand fish.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 1 user thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
Gurth on 10/8/2018(UTC)
rschmidt  
#4 Posted : Sunday, October 7, 2018 11:13:39 AM(UTC)
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Nice tiger Gurth!

I found a N Driftless rarity too! A cpl of bows that have made it a few years!!


UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage
thanks 1 user thanked rschmidt for this useful post.
Gurth on 10/8/2018(UTC)
Gurth  
#5 Posted : Monday, October 8, 2018 12:40:13 AM(UTC)
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That's crazy on that second one Ron.

Almost looks like a cutty.
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Jumpsuit  
#6 Posted : Monday, October 8, 2018 1:36:48 AM(UTC)
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Wow, hella gorgeous fish fellas!
big_river_bum  
#7 Posted : Monday, October 8, 2018 12:26:56 PM(UTC)
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i think a lot of locals in that area have a tendency to keep every big fish they catch

wouldn't that eventually lead to lots of dink filled streams?
William Schlafer  
#8 Posted : Monday, October 8, 2018 4:02:27 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Originally Posted by: big_river_bum Go to Quoted Post
i think a lot of locals in that area have a tendency to keep every big fish they catch

wouldn't that eventually lead to lots of dink filled streams?



That's the argument some have for changing the regs to promote more bigger fish, but I'm not so sure that's the issue. It could just be that some streams simply produce large numbers of smaller fish, due to biomass, structure, water chemistry and other factors. Other streams have just the right things necessary to produce bigger fish.

You could try and manipulate these waters to try and produce more trophies, but what Mother Nature wants will probably win out in the end. Changing the regs to try and promote more harvested fish won't likely have a big effect on a stream with 3-5K fish per mile, as most fishermen these days are strictly catch and release.

Although I agree that putting the biggest Trout back, with the proven genetics to grow large and reproduce successfully, is always a good policy on any stream.


-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 : Monday, October 8, 2018 4:29:17 PM(UTC)
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The Taint is where all the dinks were.

I’m not sure what the issue is there but a guess would lack of a forage base. It’s big water. As big as many of my favorites in RC and below the Wisco that produce a much better size structure.

Maybe there just isn’t as much to eat but in addition, if there are few large browns (predators) of 17-18+, what’s gonna eat all those little browns?

There are plenty of streams in RC and south of the Wisco with high trout densities but that lack the multitudes of dinky fish that I have encountered only in certain parts of the Driftless - mainly Crawford.

Who knows and I don’t mean to complain as obviously I choose where I fish. More of an anecdotal observation that puzzles me.

Edited by user Monday, October 8, 2018 4:31:37 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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Pete  
#10 Posted : Monday, October 8, 2018 8:23:44 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Gurth Go to Quoted Post


Caught a pile of brookies though. The largest was a heartbreaker as it was definitely a new PB at 15-16 inches. Had it to my feet and it wasn’t set well and got off in the shallows. Was my own fault. Ugh.

I know where it is though and may stop back for another go.

Of the rest of the brookies… over 40 to hand and many had their fall colors raging.

Mostly little ones but I was enjoying the headwaters I was in so kept going.

In addition, I wanted to see all the little stream jewels.

Here are a few…

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage

UserPostedImage


This one was a stunner and my favorite of the day...

UserPostedImage


Figures that it jumped out of my hand before I could get a shot. I rarely surprise myself anymore with my own ineptitude on the stream.



UserPostedImage


Saw the orange flash of its belly when it hit and knew right away what it was.

Almost made up for the large brookie that I lost.

My second tiger and larger than the first one I got.




I'm always amazed by the variability in the coloration of the local brown trout. It's easily accounted for due to the mixing of the Loch Leven and Von Behr strains and their interbreeding, as well as differences in conditions and forage. But it's still something to see how different two fish of the same species can look. The same is true of brook trout when we can see them side-by-side, as in these photos: some have brighter spots; some have darker flanks; bellies can be various shades of orange or almost red. That's more surprising than the browns to me because the brookies are native to the area and there shouldn't be the same amount of genetic variability as in the browns. They sure are beautiful fish.

Regarding those rainbows, do their fins recover if they are stocked and survive for a long time? They have pretty intact fins in the photos and I'd assume they were wild if they came from the Central Sands. The recently stocked rainbows have torn up fins; can the fins recover or is the damage permanent? Those do not look anything like typical stockers.
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