Driftless Trout Anglers

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mr89ia  
#11 Posted : Monday, July 29, 2019 5:49:39 AM(UTC)
mr89ia
Rank: Stone Fly

Joined: 2/11/2013(UTC)
Posts: 88
Location: Des Moines

Thanks: 1 times
Welcome to the fly-fishing game! It is incredibly addicting, humbling, and rewarding. I am an intermediate level fisherman, so take everything I say with a grain of salt. I lurk around here since so many of these guys have forgotten more than I know about the sport. However, I may have a fresh viewpoint on your situation.

There are two different experiences I have had with classifications of streams in the Driftless Area: all the streams labeled publicly have fishable numbers of trout or good habit (Iowa) or what I call the Go Fish approach (Wisconsin). I have been to dozens of "Class 1" labeled areas in Wisconsin that are less then 3 feet wide and a foot deep. Sure, there could be some fish in there, but you would have to be an expert level fisherman to fish that. More likely though they are labeled that way as a DNR officer told me is the water quality is high enough to support trout... not the habitat of that stream in most parts.

As these guys said above me, best way to find the holes is fill up the gas tank, grab a map, and start hitting areas. I have been lucky enough to get out with a few on here who have shared some holes and tips, but the best you can do is find a cluster of streams and be prepared to spend some time finding holes. If I was you, I probably would grab an out of state Iowa license and hop across the boarder when you want to build some confidence. The extra 45 minutes may result in catching higher numbers, building confidence in your casting. The streams are close enough you could fish both states in the same day.

MN Driftless  
#12 Posted : Monday, July 29, 2019 10:45:11 AM(UTC)
MN Driftless
Rank: Midge

Joined: 5/15/2016(UTC)
Posts: 32
Man
United States
Location: The Driftless

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Why “I don’t drift boat”? That is quite limiting for many/most western fisheries.

Actually, the opposite. I fish all the stuff that no one else is on because they're too busy floating the Mo, the Horn, Madison, etc.

When I'm old and can't walk 15 miles a day, then I'll sit in a boat. Until then, I'd rather hike and fish. The Bighorns, Beartooths, and the Tetons aren't for everyone, and they're not an old man's game.
shaneb  
#13 Posted : Monday, July 29, 2019 1:18:19 PM(UTC)
shaneb
Rank: Midge

Joined: 7/27/2019(UTC)
Posts: 2
United States

Thank you everyone for the advice and encouragement. I'll keep exploring!
trapper  
#14 Posted : Monday, July 29, 2019 8:23:45 PM(UTC)
trapper
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010(UTC)
Posts: 2,251
Location: West Fork

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Hire a Guide.
Come to a trapfest.

Did someone mention a Fall Trapfest 2019?
Get Reel
AKinMN  
#15 Posted : Monday, July 29, 2019 10:03:30 PM(UTC)
AKinMN
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 12/17/2014(UTC)
Posts: 209
Location: MPLS by way of AK

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Originally Posted by: MN Driftless Go to Quoted Post
Why “I don’t drift boat”? That is quite limiting for many/most western fisheries.

Actually, the opposite. I fish all the stuff that no one else is on because they're too busy floating the Mo, the Horn, Madison, etc.

When I'm old and can't walk 15 miles a day, then I'll sit in a boat. Until then, I'd rather hike and fish. The Bighorns, Beartooths, and the Tetons aren't for everyone, and they're not an old man's game.


An interesting take. I see the logic. I also like fishing dries and streamers from a drift boat to big, wild trout.

Edited by user Monday, July 29, 2019 10:05:22 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

MN Driftless  
#16 Posted : Tuesday, July 30, 2019 1:36:18 AM(UTC)
MN Driftless
Rank: Midge

Joined: 5/15/2016(UTC)
Posts: 32
Man
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Location: The Driftless

Was thanked: 4 time(s) in 3 post(s)
I also like fishing dries and streamers from a drift boat to big, wild trout.

Me, too. But I happen to prefer targeting cutties or goldens when I go west. I can fish browns, brookies, and rainbows anytime in the Driftless.
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