A little late picking up on this story, but if you haven’t already heard the sad news, here it is. A dam failure June 20th, 2015 caused Paradise Springs in Eagle, WI to drain. Most trout escaped through a cracked hole in the dam and wound up in the creek flowing from it. Some probably even made it to the bigger class III stream further downstream. Some were trapped in shallow pools inside the pond. I was getting ready for a trip to PS this Saturday when I read the news. The dam reconstruction project will cost $300,000 and getting the funding hasn’t been easy. If you’ve ever cured your Winter Fishing Blues here and would like to again some day, why not donate a few bucks to the cause.
This prompted me to try and find another Winter option near by when my clock is short. My expectations were incredibly low but my curiosity was soaring after doing some research. When I got within a few miles of the stream it started to feel like a miniature Driftless. Smaller winding hills with small valleys draining water. I arrived in the Afternoon and mainly hiked. The springy headwaters were vast and created as much beauty as danger. Spring water was trickling out of slopes everywhere. Sandy rocky bottoms with debris quickly gave way to silt and mire which was very dangerous. Not the place to be after a half mile hike from the road by yourself. I even found quicksand. I also found spring water gushing through a sandy bottom at one of the many spring sources.
The stream would eventually trickle from the other side of the pond and create the stream. It was evident much rehab work was done here and I started seeing small browns.
This creek was pretty small but had many small pockets with under cut banks in the 4 ft range. There was a bit of bush whacking involved and there were no big pools. The problem here is the water quality far surpasses the actual habitat in terms of cover, holes, and structure. I think this would prove to be a fun technical dry fly creek in the Spring but I don’t see it making it into my fishing routine. I’d rather drive an extra hour and be in much better trout habitat. Not the Winter Blues option that I’d hoped for but refreshing to know there is cold flowing spring water an hour from home with signs of life.