Driftless - 3/24-3/25

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Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby WanderOff09 » Apr Wed 05, 2017 5:05 pm

A couple buddies and I decided to get one more Driftless Area trip in before last year's license expired. The area got some good hail/heavy rain the night before we got there. It was still too dark when I started at the first spot to tell right off that the water was chocolate milk. I tried a stretch that usually produces fairly well for me and only got one bump. Not only were the fish not happy with me, the cows were aggressive, too.
Cows(2).jpg


A while later, I saw my first mink. It was not fazed by my presence. In fact, it would run along the opposite shoreline, following me for a good 100 yards. It would jump in the water and come out with something to eat. At least someone was catching...
Mink(2).jpg


Just before we left, I picked up a real nice brookie near a bridge. We tried a couple other streams in that system without any luck. We switched over to a different system just a couple valleys over and tried a small stream we never fished before. The water was crystal clear and only a couple feet wide in most spots. We snuck up on some pools and were able to stick several 8" brownies.

Later, we went to a larger adjoining stream, which we thought would also be blown out, but found the water running clear as well. We spent the rest of the afternoon, and the first part of the next morning on this stream on a couple stretches we had never fished before. It turned out spotty, but pretty good. I bet this section will fish well with more stable weather. Woolly buggers, various nymphs and a couple caddis dries all picked up fish with no real pattern. No really big fish this time. Ended up with 10 on Friday and 12 on Saturday. We left around noon on Saturday because the cold/rain moved in.

Brown(2).jpg

rod(2).jpg

Another(2).jpg
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby joetrain » Apr Wed 05, 2017 5:10 pm

Good stuff. My in-laws lived in Mineral Point ,Wisc. for years. I fished the lakes around there but only a handfull of times in the streams. I wish I would have put in more time on those small streams.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby Rambler » Apr Wed 05, 2017 6:15 pm

Great post. Thanks!
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby blkreider » Apr Wed 05, 2017 8:51 pm

Great pics and thanks for the report... Headed up this weekend and should have warmer temps. I'll post a report as well when I get back.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby Skifish1 » Apr Wed 05, 2017 10:44 pm

Awesomed pics. Beautiful. A couple weeks back I watched 2 minks playing chase on lay downs on the kish as if I wasn't there. What a sight they wouldn't stay still my pics were a blur. Still waiting to see my first illinois otters.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby Father Sergius » Apr Wed 12, 2017 10:29 am

What size woolly buggers do you use? Trout have such small mouths compared to bass and people talk about size 20 midges when fishing for trout. I want to tie flies for some time in the Driftless this year but can't decide what size fly's to tie.


Thank you.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby blkreider » Apr Thu 13, 2017 10:49 am

Father Sergius wrote:What size woolly buggers do you use? Trout have such small mouths compared to bass and people talk about size 20 midges when fishing for trout. I want to tie flies for some time in the Driftless this year but can't decide what size fly's to tie.


Thank you.


IMO, I'd say size 8.... I particularly like to use size 10 and 12 woolly buggers.


Other flies to tie I'd suggest are pink squirrel, pheasant tail, midge nymphs, brassies, hare's ear, orange scud and san juan worm. I usually tie these in size 18 and 16. Dry flies I'll tie stimulators, hippy stompers, black caddis and terrestrials. I'll buy crane flies and blue-winged olives (I don't have the patience to tie those, lol). There are tons more you could do, but these are some of the basics for the Driftless.

Hope that helps... I'm headed back up there in May.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby JustinCarf » Apr Fri 28, 2017 11:47 am

Very nice trip, dude! :lol: :lol: aggressive cows. Glad you were able to find some good water and get on some fish on your trip!
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby RamblingBen » Apr Fri 28, 2017 11:18 pm

Skifish1 wrote:A couple weeks back I watched 2 minks playing chase on lay downs on the kish as if I wasn't there.

Awesome! I haven't seen Minks on the Kish in years.

Great report Wander. That's whats awesome about the driftless, if one streams blown out or not producing its a 10 minute ride to the next.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby WanderOff09 » May Wed 24, 2017 3:52 pm

Father Sergius wrote:What size woolly buggers do you use? Trout have such small mouths compared to bass and people talk about size 20 midges when fishing for trout. I want to tie flies for some time in the Driftless this year but can't decide what size fly's to tie.


My buggers are sz 8 usually. Most of the nymphs I use are 14-16. Sometimes I have to downsize to 18-20's.
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Re: Driftless - 3/24-3/25

Postby FISHdank » May Wed 24, 2017 4:09 pm

Pretty fish, great shots!
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