Driftless Trout Anglers

Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
William Schlafer  
#1 Posted : Sunday, September 30, 2018 10:55:43 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,167
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 95 time(s) in 81 post(s)
My annual four day trip to Vernon County was supposed to happen in early September. The mild days and cool nights normally make for great fishing. However, Mother Nature had other plans when the recent epic flood swept through the region.

The Timber Coulee, the Kickapoo River and their many tributaries were heavily damaged. Homes, businesses, farms, crops, roads and bridges were destroyed throughout the region. And needless to say, a number of Trout streams took a massive hit. The Timber Coulee and the West Fork in particular.

This is the view looking down the Timber Coulee from it's confluence with Rullands Creek.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

Here is the view along Oakland Road looking down what is/was Rullands Creek. The roadway was washed away and the bridge badly damaged. The farm next to the bridge appears to now be abandoned. Such a shame. This was such a lovely and productive stream.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

The West Fork in places looked like a moonscape.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

I drove the length of Hwy P from the Kickapoo to Coon Valley and there was damage everywhere I looked. Many damaged bridges and road wash outs. Some streams channels were widened significantly, or forever had their paths altered. The streams being widened is bad news for Trout as the shallow sandy water holds little habitat. The wide water absorbs more sun energy raising the stream temperature. Mother Nature will eventually fix it, but the Trout population will take a hit in some places if they can't find food and shelter to live in.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

The number of fishable Trout streams in the area were trimmed down enough that I decided to shorten the trip to only three days. But I would find a few in decent shape, and I visited a couple of new places I've never fished before.

On Thursday I fished an old familiar stream. The weather was supposed to be cloudy and cool, but when I arrived the sun was out in full. The Trout appeared to approve and were biting well on Pink Squirrels underneath and hoppers on the surface.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

Someone installed this really cool fisherman's stile. The middle bar is hinged and swings out of the way to make for real easy crossings. No busting the family jewels on that board that's set about 8 inches too high. Whoever designed this should get an award.
UserPostedImage

A tire in a Trout stream. Yup, I'm in Wisconsin all right.
UserPostedImage

I would spend the night in La Crosse with my buddy Andy. We went out with some friends to take in the Oktoberfest scene and sampled some fine craft beers. And yes, we helped make Oktoberfest great again.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

I started Friday on a fun little section of the North Fork Bad Axe. This almost looks like some of those mountain streams out west. Lots of cool holding spots next to boulders and some deep pools. It was too early for hoppers, but small bead heads worked just fine in the early cold air.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

There's great flow from the aquifers right now charging the streams with lots of cold, clear water. The high water from the flood that didn't do much damage to these smaller streams washed away a lot of silt exposing rock and gravel, which sets up for a great bug hatch next season. And the high water matted down the stream bank weeds and brush making access to the streams a lot easier.

Friday night I stayed in Viroqua and dined out at The Driftless Cafe. A wonderful salad followed by the incredibly tasty, tear it apart with a fork beef tenderloin on a bed of mashed potatoes and sweet kale. Just wonderful.
UserPostedImage
UserPostedImage

Many years ago I used to be a restaurant manager, so I have an appreciation for well prepared food and excellent service. This place does it all very well. Give it a try the next time you're in Viroqua. Highly recommended.

Saturday night the air temp dropped down into the low 30s, with most of the area receiving the first frost of the season. It was too cold to fish early on, so I slept in and then had a leisurely breakfast before heading out. By 10AM the air had warmed up enough to get the Brookies to look up. The frost probably killed all the real grasshoppers, but the Trout didn't get the memo and greedily snatched them off the surface. So much fun to catch!
UserPostedImage

Here's the nicest Brookie of the outing. Love those vivid fall colors. This guy put up a big fight and I was happy to finally get him in the net.
UserPostedImage

This is one of my favorite places in the Driftless Area. I love small streams and the water here just screams Trout.
UserPostedImage

Here's 8 feet of exposed valley runoff soil from 175 years of farming. The early settlers cleared the ridges off first of trees and the soil slowly migrated down into the valleys. The soil rose up, but the streams stayed at the same level cutting through and washing the soil downstream. Maybe someday TU (or some other group) will come in and carve down that bank to reduce the erosion and runoff into the stream.
UserPostedImage

I explored a couple more streams in the afternoon, but the sun never came out and the bite slowed quite a bit. Later in the evening I traveled down to the Westby Rod & Gun Club campground and met up with a few DTA members for a few beers and some great conversation. Always nice to put faces to the names on the forum.

So, two weeks remain of the 2018 season. I'll probably get out at least once more before the final curtain. Don't know where just yet, but I'm sure I'll find a place.
UserPostedImage


-Bill

Edited by user Monday, October 1, 2018 12:59:20 PM(UTC)  | Reason: damned typos!

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
thanks 1 user thanked William Schlafer for this useful post.
Gurth on 10/1/2018(UTC)
Sponsor
Buckman  
#2 Posted : Sunday, September 30, 2018 11:25:47 PM(UTC)
Buckman
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/30/2018(UTC)
Posts: 30
United States
Location: Harvard, IL

Thanks: 3 times
Was thanked: 3 time(s) in 2 post(s)
Thanks for sharing, sounds like a productive trip. That last brookie made it all worthwhile I am sure! The flooding out there really did a number on the area, I feel for the families out there.
JGF  
#3 Posted : Monday, October 1, 2018 2:02:58 AM(UTC)
JGF
Rank: Midge

Joined: 5/4/2016(UTC)
Posts: 83
Man
United States
Location: Wisconsin

Thanks: 6 times
Was thanked: 17 time(s) in 14 post(s)
Very nice report and good to meet you in person.

And another huge THANK YOU for the flies for the veterans program. They look great and I'm sure they'll be very excited to receive them.
thanks 1 user thanked JGF for this useful post.
William Schlafer on 10/1/2018(UTC)
William Schlafer  
#4 Posted : Monday, October 1, 2018 12:47:40 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/24/2011(UTC)
Posts: 3,167
Location: Sussex Wisconsin

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 95 time(s) in 81 post(s)
Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post
Very nice report and good to meet you in person.

And another huge THANK YOU for the flies for the veterans program. They look great and I'm sure they'll be very excited to receive them.



My pleasure, and great meeting you too.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
Users browsing this topic
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.

Powered by YAF.NET | YAF.NET © 2003-2018, Yet Another Forum.NET
This page was generated in 0.267 seconds.