Not often do I get enough time to spend more than half of a day fishing in the Driftless Area, but over the weekend I was able to stay the night on a favorite trout stream in Vernon County. Brett had already been bouncing around creeks for a day before I had arrived and said the fishing had been great. I showed up Friday evening with enough time before sundown to go to a nearby brook trout creek that Brett had discovered earlier this season. I tried a couple dry flies without much luck before switching to a small streamer. First few cast with the streamer produced a few aggressive strikes from one of the larger pools on this small creek. Between he and I we landed maybe 6 or 7 trout in an hour or so and only 1 was a brown trout.
The next morning we started fishing our way back home and stopped at a place south of the Wisconsin River that’s known for having some larger fish. When we approached the pool right under the bridge Brett spotted two big rainbows casually rising. One of my rods was rigged with a foam beetle and since he spotted the fish I gave him the rod and he slipped into position. The first drift the foam beetle was grabbed by a 16 -18 inch rainbow. Brett set the hook, had a tight line for a second, and then it came unglued. He flung it right back out there and a 10 inch brown sipped it and was hooked well and brought to hand. Just up stream I noticed a group of browns feeding on the surface. I picked off a couple with a size 16 ant before I noticed a very different rise off to my right up tight against the bank under an overhanging tree branch. This was the unmistakable rise of a larger trout. First you see the head come up and break the surface followed by a 2 second delay, and then you see the tail cut through the water. This fish was comfortable where it was rising about every 15 seconds. It took me almost a half hour before I made the perfect back handed side arm cast to get under the tree branch, but when I did the fish slowly rose and ate my ant. It quickly charged me and jumped almost 3 feet out of the water, and that’s when I saw about 16 inches of beautiful rainbow trout at the end of my line. It fought like hell and was a perfect way to finish my day. It was hard to leave knowing that there were still more trout eagerly rising up and down that creek, but I guess I’ll have to get to know them another time.
Andrew was also out in the Driftless Area on Friday and his curiosity carried him pretty far north in search of new water. What he found looks pretty awesome. After stopping at many streams, some good, others not so good, Andrew found himself at a long deep pool under a tall bluff with trout steadily rising. I don’t remember if he said he caught one dozen or two dozen fish on the same dry fly. Either way it sounded like a great day of fishing. Here are some photos he shared from his outing.