Driftless Trout Anglers

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Wisconnaissance Initiative Options
#1 Posted : Saturday, August 17, 2013 7:41:09 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN

1. A military term for exploring beyond the area occupied by friendly forces to gain vital information about enemy forces or features of the environment for later analysis and/or dissemination.


1. The power or ability to begin or to follow through energetically with a plan or task; enterprise and determination.


1.A state of the north-central United States. It was admitted as the 30th state in 1848. Home to 2,989 trout streams stretching more than 13,000 miles as well as the 2nd best football team in the NFC North Conference of the National Football League.

In the days following my early departure from the American West and preceding the acquisition of my first 20 inch Brown Trout I had but one objective. That consisted of doing whatever the hell I wanted to do. After all I was still on vacation and some really nice people were watching my dog for me. There are certain times of the year when having a Jack Russell accompany you on your Fly Fishing outings can add to the enjoyment factor or at least not diminish it by very much. Mid to late summer in Western Wisconsin is not one of those times due to the fact that I can easily loose track of her in the mass of overgrown foliage. What am I talking about? Lose track of her? Hey Foxy lets go fishing!

I am at least happy that her fur is white and not green.

In a way I was happy to be back on my home turf with a couple of free days. There's a few places that are hard to get to in an average evening after work and most of the people I go on weekend outings with prefer to fish proven water and want nothing to do with weaving their rod through massive log jams in search of their very own trout fishing, "Garden of Eden".

A serene image is often my driving force when making my way out into the great unknown. There is a couple waterfalls dumping into a deep pool within a bend of a beautiful river. One side of the pool is dominated by a Limestone outcropping that is naturally shaped like a fountain and has a little stream of water shooting out of it about the size of one that comes out of a drinking fountain. Where the limestone outcropping ends a small sandy beach begins where one can lounge all day if they want to with fairies that flutter out of the trees. Did I mention the trout? This pool is the only place in the world where one can achieve a trout fishing, "Ten Fecta". In my visions I see all four strains of wild Cutthroat, Brook, Rainbow, Brown, Tiger and Bull Trout. The list would not be complete without a few of the worlds largest species of trout. I have spotted at least four specimens of "Hucho Taimen", thought to only exist in Mongolia, swimming in this pool alongside the others.

I haven't yet found this place in real life but I'm sure it exists. If it didn't exist then why would I be able to imagine it? I have stumbled into a few places that have come mighty close and have come to the conclusion that even once I do find this place the truth is I just really enjoy exploring new places.

It seems like whenever I return from far away lands I have a yearning to re-acquaint myself with my home waters. There's always going to be something special about returning to a place that you've been to numerous times. It's probably the same feeling that comes over a horse when it runs into a burning barn. Ahhhh there's no place like home. That feeling would lead me to return to Stonehammer on the Rush.

This chunky little Rush River Brown couldn't resist the Autumn Splendor Wooly Bugger. When I released him I made him promise me that someday he would let me catch him again when he becomes king of this mighty river.

This bird is long gone. Not even the likes of nature loving writer and outdoors man William Schlafer would bother with a rescue attempt. A few years back on the Brule River I saw a bat in the exact same predicament. It was long gone as well. Oh how I wish I would have taken a photo before I tried to bat it down in order to see what type of fly it was hooked on. I only succeeded in wrapping the line around the branch several more times to the point at which a photo wouldn't have done the situation justice. One of my buddies did manage to snag a bat out of mid air with his fly last summer. Another instance where a photo or even a video would have been really interesting to have.

While visiting Wisconsin you will notice that there are plenty of, "Odd Ducks". I was able to capture this image of one of them swimming in the Rush River. If you want to see more just cross the border and visit a Wal-Mart.

Humphrey and Shogren would be my guides on visits to new streams in other places. As much as I enjoy following in their footsteps I often find myself dropping them off at the nursing home and venturing just a little farther off the beaten path.

I decided to try my hand at editing photos in order to make them look cooler.
#2 Posted : Sunday, August 18, 2013 7:31:32 PM
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/24/2010
Posts: 2,079
Location: West Fork
Most Excellant Story!!
Take up outdoor writing as a living.
I enjoy reading articles from my friends like Paul Smith(jsoneline.com/sports/outdoors) and Dan Small.Some of the work I see on this site and some of the newer bloggers are just as good. Your entertainment is priceless, Thanks

Paul Smith:http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/wisconsin-dnr-works-to-develop-a-plan-to-manage-panfish-population-b9977021z1-220072061.html
Get Reel

#3 Posted : Monday, August 19, 2013 2:31:28 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/9/2012
Posts: 1,173
Location: Sauk County
"My position is, we should have a clean, healthy, diverse natural environment so I can go fishing. Because fishing makes me happy." - John Gierach
#4 Posted : Monday, August 19, 2013 2:40:43 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
Thanks for the compliments guys. When I posted this at 2:41 on Saturday and nobody left any feedback on it for almost 24 hours I started to wonder if maybe my playful jabs at the wonderful State of Wisconsin and the likes of Humphrey and Shogren had rubbed some people the wrong way or I had somehow lost my touch. After reading Trappers review and Dans Ditto I have backed away from the edge of the cliff. Thanks again for saving my life! Smile
#5 Posted : Monday, August 19, 2013 2:54:19 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 10/10/2012
Posts: 1,537
Location: St. Paul, MN
Good thing you were already saved, but I'll go X3 on traps comment.
#6 Posted : Monday, August 19, 2013 3:01:45 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 2/13/2012
Posts: 1,016
Location: Chaseburg, WI
Eddie = VIDTA

Very Important Driftless Trout Asset
Fly Me A River
#7 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 4:58:27 AM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 5/23/2011
Posts: 418
Location: WI, IA
Eddie, have you spent much time fishing SF Hay? I really want to explore that water, it's just not anywhere close to where I've been recently.
#8 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 5:35:48 AM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
I've fished it three times this year in three different sections. The photos above were taken really close to where it joins the main branch of the Hay. I only fished that section for an hour and saw no signs of life. Not to say there aren't fish there I just didn't see any so I decided to move to an area farther upstream. The other spots I fished were between Connorsville and Boyceville. I didn't land any fish when I was there but I did have one cool experience that I can share.

Sometimes when I am casting streamers between 2-3 inches using 12 pound test I end up yanking it out of a lot of snags mainly because I don't worry too much about the line breaking. It seems like about every 15 minutes or so of aggressively casting into snaggy areas I need to remind myself to retie my streamer on because the knot gets quite weak. I don't know if its a Flourocarbon thing or if my knot tying is errant but I guess a knot can only take so much stress. There was one point where I was still casting and I knew I probably should have cut off and retied about 5 minutes earlier. Some fish which I presume was a brook trout kept on chasing my streamer but I think the streamer may have been too big to fit in its mouth because every time I would try setting the hook I would just end up yanking it out of its mouth. On my 6th cast into the fishes hiding spot he again charged out and grabbed onto my streamer which had a pretty long white bunny strip. When I saw him grab it I tried setting the hook again but instead of ripping my streamer out of the water or plunging the hook deep into the trouts jaw I suceeded only in pulling my highly weakened knot loose. I could see that my streamer was still in the trouts mouth and I saw him swimming away with it downstream. I was quite bummed since it was one of my most effective patterns and I didn't have another one like it. I thought that maybe the trout would eventually drop it so I started walking downstream peering into the depths in search of something white. Sure as shit about 15 feet downstream I located my streamer sitting on the bottom of the river. I was so happy.

I have been using the improved clinch knot but if anybody has a knot that they like better please let me know.

A few years ago I was out that way with a good friend of mine and saw him catch a 16 inch brook trout. I don't remember if it was in the main branch or the South Fork because I haven't been able to relocate the spot where we were at but I know it was somewhat close to the town Prairie Farm. At the time I was so new to trout fishing that I didn't even realize that a 16 inch brook trout was that big of a deal.

I will continue to explore that area because I believe there is good potential for trophy sized brook trout.

#9 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 1:03:54 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 10/10/2012
Posts: 1,537
Location: St. Paul, MN
I always use loop knots when I tie on streamers. You get less twisting and better action, imo. A perfection loop works well, but my favorite is a saltwater loop knot (or so I've heard it called).
#10 Posted : Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:51:08 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/30/2011
Posts: 483
Location: Far west suburbs of Chicago
kschaefer3 wrote:
I always use loop knots when I tie on streamers. You get less twisting and better action, imo. A perfection loop works well, but my favorite is a saltwater loop knot (or so I've heard it called).

I can vouch for the saltwater loop knot. It's about all I use with streamers anymore and it works pretty well with wets and nymphs too-it does result in better action.

I had one spectacular failure-on a fresh winter steelhead-but that was operator error; if I hadn't been in such a hurry and had tied the knot correctly, I'd have had a much better chance of getting the fish to hand. One other failure, and a strange one, was the loop itself breaking, not the knot. There was either a burr in the eye of the hook or the line had a weak point. Other than that, I've found the knot to be strong and effective.
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