Driftless Trout Anglers

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William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Saturday, August 31, 2019 1:40:11 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Views messages in topic : 3,497
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

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Just finished up a two-day trip to Trout Country in SW Wisconsin.

La Crosse, Vernon, Richland and Iowa county Trout streams visited. Weather was great and water conditions were excellent. Water levels and temps are still strong for this time of year. The aquifers are in great shape after all that rain we had over the last couple months. Things are setting up for the best fall Trout fishing in years.

I was surprised to find my first two choices of streams already occupied after the 3 hour drive up from Milwaukee. But there were plenty of other options within a short drive. Hoppers were the only fly I would use on this trip and they were effective. Everything from size 12 to size 8 hoppers in purple, dark green and yellow drew aggressive strikes when cast towards cover and overhanging grass.

Lots of healthy and strong Brown Trout like these fell into my net, sporting buttery yellow bellies.

Prime hopper water. Any cast that hits the water is a great cast.

Brookies love hoppers too. Dinky ones, but I was fishing dinky water. They were starting to show red bellies in preparation for the fall spawn.

Here's a classic ambush holding spot for Trout. A nice undercut with a hole generated by a submerged stump; a nice funneled current feeding the food right to the holding water on the left and right; and a nice deep water hole for the Trout to flee into.

Slap the hopper down in the current, and this fine hefty Brown came charging up to the take the fly.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

Under these conditions you want to fish every inch of water. This spot doesn't look all that great, water depth is only 8 inches or so. But cast to the weed edge and look what came charging out to grab the hopper. The grass only overhangs the water by a few inches, but it's enough for a big Brown to hide under. Any rock, clump of grass, or anything a Trout can hide under or next to is a good target to cast too.

Shameless plug section:
I'm always on the lookout for a good place to stop for a beer and something to eat on my way back from the Driftless Area. A few weeks back, I discovered The Hillsboro Brewing Company - not surprisingly in the village of Hillsboro Wisconsin, about 20 miles SW of Mauston, on the eastern edge of the Driftless Area. Great fresh beer, wonderful food, nice people. They just moved into a newly remodeled massive building that holds the brewing facility, the brewpub and a huge wedding/reception hall upstairs. If you find yourself in the area, stop in for brew.

It was a pretty good couple of days. 35 in the net on Thursday and over 50 today. Could've caught a bunch more if I hung around for late afternoon/early evening bite. But I was beat and was looking forward to a couple beers and some Ibuprofin.

Get out and fish if you can. Conditions are excellent.



“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 4 users thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
Pete on 8/31/2019(UTC), Gurth on 8/31/2019(UTC), Z4c64 on 8/31/2019(UTC), hougie on 8/31/2019(UTC)
#2 Posted : Saturday, August 31, 2019 2:45:17 PM(UTC)
Rank: Midge

Joined: 8/14/2016(UTC)
Posts: 19
United States
Location: I split time between the twin cities and Onalaska, Wisconsin

Thanks: 8 times
Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Thanks for the report Bill! The gal and i are looking to get some hopper fishing in this weekend in the same general area.

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