Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Thursday, June 20, 2019 11:50:48 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,460
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Things have been a bit stressful lately.

I haven't had many opportunities to get out and fish this year. Only my sixth outing according to my calendar. I really needed a break from work and other annoyances. So I came up with a good excuse to get off work ("cough, cough, I think I've picked up a virus boss") and headed west to Trout water for a little recreation and tranquility.

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"Why don't you come outside and take a look at that sky
it's like a dream I had one time, the sky was on fire"


Jon Dee Graham - Big Sweet Life


I managed to stumble into near perfect conditions. Cloudy skies, comfortable air temps and water temps in the 50s put Trout in a great mood. They were feeding aggressively in both deep and shallow water. Any spot that could hold a fish usually drew a strike when cast to. Multiple bug hatches amped things up nicely. The stream bank grass was waist high or better, but not a big obstacle yet.
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There were some gnats buzzing about, but nothing to bothersome. A couple doses of Buggins kept them at bay. But step into a shady spot and the mosquitoes came out in force. A light breeze helped a bit, but you could tell once the wind died and the sun went down, it would get ugly.

The Brookies and Browns were very aggressive and fought strong once they felt the hook. These weren't the lethargic Trout of February and March. Several times I thought I might have a really big fish on, only to find it was a 12 incher with an attitude. One even clamped down on my finger while removing the hook, taking a little chunk of my skin. Multiple fish leaped high off the water or went racing upstream or down, fighting to get under rocks or debris. The strength of these fish was impressive.
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I caught dozens of average 8-10" Browns, but also managed about 10 quality Trout in the 13-14 inch range. All the fish were healthy and strong with full, tight bellies.
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This guy came out from under that undercut tree on the right in about 10 inches of water to eat my dry fly.
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Pink Squirrels and small streamers were effective early on, with size 16 generic Adams pattern working well as soon as risers were apparent. A couple of the bigger fish of the day were taken on the Adams pattern. Later in the day size 14 Hippie Stompers with purple and red bodies drew some really aggressive strikes. A couple times larger Trout chased after their smaller brethren struggling on the hook. I thought about tying on a larger streamer, but was having too much fun catching them with dries to change.

The Left Hand Suzuki Method:
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This guy just didn't want to be photographed!
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Trick with both the dry flies and stompers was that they had to ride high on the water surface. Anything that got water logged and went under the film was ignored. Repeated applications of floatant were required. This is in contrast with my last trip in back in mid-May when sunken dry flies were most effective.
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Just about anything that looked like Trout food would've probably worked this day. I even saw a small green grasshopper sitting on the trunk lid of my car when I finished. Next outing I'll break out the hopper box!

The flood last summer undercut this big tree which fell across the stream and onto a fence on the left. Debris is going to pile up behind it at the next high water event which is going to cause more erosion. Maybe the landowner will come out and harvest that massive trunk. There used to be a great pool there but the creek got widened out and it's now shallow and sandy. I did manage to pluck a couple fish from along the banks and underneath the log though.
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With the decent weather the Amish were putting up hay, and rocking it old school. No fancy machinery here. Just horse power, strong backs and pitch forks. Watched them haul three loads from the field to the barn while I fished. The smell of fresh cut hay and horses brought back lots of childhood memories of my uncles farm.
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Caught some Brookies too, mostly like this one. Although I managed to let a nice 12 incher slip out of my hand before I could snap a photo.
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Hard to believe it's already Summer Solstice. The sky is still bright in the northwestern sky at 10:00 at night, and starts to brighten up in the northeast at 4:00AM. Every day will start to get shorter now, as the long march to winter begins. However, lots of good fishing between then and now.


-Bill

Shameless plug section:

The lyrics up above are from my good friend Jon Dee Graham a musician from Austin Texas. Come see him play with his band The Fighting Cocks at Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona (WI) on July 6th.

At this event they create a beer called Depth Charge by dropping large superheated rocks into a giant vat of wort. The effect is awesome and creates an amazing beer. The brew masters at Wisconsin Brewery have even named a beer for Jon Dee, aptly called Big Sweet Life. It's as awesome as his music.

And as added bonus, there's several outstanding Trout streams just a few miles down the road!


“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 5 users thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
JGF on 6/21/2019(UTC), billybigbilly on 6/21/2019(UTC), NBrevitz on 6/21/2019(UTC), weiliwen on 6/21/2019(UTC), Gurth on 6/23/2019(UTC)
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Jumpsuit  
#2 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2019 12:43:40 AM(UTC)
Jumpsuit
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Joined: 5/2/2013(UTC)
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Great report Bill! With another round of storms possibly moving through you definitely lucked out on unbelievably great conditions ! Can't beat that.
thanks 1 user thanked Jumpsuit for this useful post.
William Schlafer on 6/21/2019(UTC)
billybigbilly  
#3 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2019 3:29:26 AM(UTC)
billybigbilly
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Joined: 7/9/2017(UTC)
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Nice report and nice fish, I can't wait until mi out on the stream again!
William Schlafer  
#4 Posted : Friday, June 21, 2019 3:22:59 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,460
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 155 times
Was thanked: 173 time(s) in 134 post(s)
Thanks guys.

It was my second best day numbers-wise this year. But was easily the most satisfying. Really good conditions out there right now. Lots of bugs and active fish. Great weather for Trout fishing.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
rschmidt  
#5 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2019 10:47:33 AM(UTC)
rschmidt
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 1/16/2015(UTC)
Posts: 578
Location: West WI

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Awesome Bill, good stuff. The full strong surge has started here too, hoping for a continued strong season this year! Ron.
Buckman  
#6 Posted : Sunday, June 23, 2019 11:14:08 AM(UTC)
Buckman
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/30/2018(UTC)
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Location: Harvard, IL

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Sounds like a great outing, thanks for sharing. You had great timing with the weather, wish I would have had the foresight to take off days from work that didn't involve t-storms on my last outing!
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