Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, August 20, 2019 4:46:13 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,526
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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It was a year ago that the southern part of the Driftless Area saw a massive flood event. On it's own, it was bad enough. But it was just one in a series of floods that have stricken the area for the last decade. The lives of people who live and work there was heavily impacted, and in some cases changed forever.

Some photos from a year ago:

Brush Creek at hwy 33.

West Fork Kickapoo near Bloomington.

Damaged bridge on Rullands Branch.

Spring Coulee Creek east of Coon Valley.

Timber Coulee at hwy P bridge.

Drone shot of Coon Creek at hwy 14 bridge.

A year later evidence of damage to area Trout stream from this event is still obvious in many places. But for the most part the creeks seem to have bounced back. The damage was very hit and miss. Over a foot of rain fell overnight impacting some creeks heavily, but hardly leaving a trace on others just a few miles away. Trout habitat on some creeks was obliterated. On others, it actually has improved a bit, washing away years of silt and opening up new holes and cover for Trout.

For those of you who fish the area frequently, how has been your fishing experience been in the last year? Would you say it is worse, about the same as always, or better?


“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.
hougie on 10/6/2019(UTC)
#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:26:34 PM(UTC)
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 4/16/2014(UTC)
Posts: 496
United States
Location: Madison, Wisconsin during the week and Lincolnshire, Illinois on weekends.

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Overall, my fishing experience hasn't been bad, but certainly, in some places, fishing has gone to hell. One of my favorite spots was located within 250 yards of one of your pics, and although I did catch a single small brown when I went back in June, I saw more warm water fish. Nice holes and channels had been filled in with gravel. The main stream channel had moved, and stream improvements were now 40 feet from the water.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
#3 Posted : Thursday, August 22, 2019 3:28:19 PM(UTC)
Rank: Dragon Fly

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

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I don't fish up that way much if at all.

We got flooding down here too although not as catastrophic.

One stretch of a small stream that I go to got buried in silt/sand. My guess is that it will clear out again at some point once we have some gully washers.

I don't get too worked up about favorite spots being changed by natural occurrences like a flood. Sure, I realize these floods are likely caused by climate change, but fish have evolved to handle floods and one season is not even a blip in trout (geological) time.

I've seen many favorite spots change for the worse season over season for no obvious reason. And then I find new favorite spots.

More concerning and heartbreaking to me are directly man made disasters like manure or sand spills and habitat "improvement."

“Harvest eaters... release trophies.” -Gurth
Private correspondence at: jkschind "at" tds.net
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