Driftless Trout Anglers

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AussieFisho  
#1 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 3:29:41 AM(UTC)
AussieFisho
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Hey I've recently moved to Wauwatosa, WI from Oz (everyone loves calling it Down Under here!) and I'm a mad keen fishing tragic! I've never done any trout and salmon fishing and I'm super keen to get into it whilst I'm here until the end of the year. I'm looking for some local tips to add to my repertoire of online research on how to start fishing in this area. I'm not after any secret spots although if you're willing to give them up I'm not going to say no Laugh. Mainly interested in meeting up with some local folks and making some new fishing buddies that I could tag along and learn some tips in person and help a beginner get started. Is anyone around the Milwaukee area from here or are people mainly around the Madison area? Anywho hope to read some more and threads and meet some new people!
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shebs  
#2 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 5:04:22 AM(UTC)
shebs
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Welcome to our fine land, mate!

If you want to get into some fish right away, it's the beginning of steelhead ('migratory' rainbow trout from lake michigan and superior) season. The root river and others near Milwaukee get runs of fish. They're finicky bastards, but if you manage to hook one, you'll be a junkie for life. If you want to fish small creeks for wild trout, you'll need to get to Madison and points further west.
The community is having a gathering in Westby (3-4 hours west of Milwaukee) in May - see the 'trapfest' threads. It's a good gathering of your local trout bums, lots of beer involved LOL
A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work. ~Author Unknown
Modern Translation, with respect for the Notorious B.I.G. : "Fuck Money, Get Fishes"
OTC_MN  
#3 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 1:19:22 PM(UTC)
OTC_MN
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Welcome to the states, and welcome to DTA!

You either really did your homework, or really got stupid lucky, but either way, you've managed to wander into about the most friendly and helpful mob of anglers I've run across online. Ask, and ye shall receive for the most part.

Shebs is right on about the steelhead this time of year (I'm heading over that way this week actually, for that reason). It's more or less just getting started right in your neck of the woods and the run will progress up the lake shore over the course of the next few weeks. If you can swing it, do give it a try. The basics are fairly simple and you can get started with a fairly modest investment. Setting aside the rod and reel, you can get geared up to fish them for about $50. A serviceable rod and reel will cost about double that if you look around a but. But once you get into it the nuances are endless. And Shebs is right - chasing steelhead is dangerously addictive. They can ruin you. They're a remarkable fish.

For stream trout you will have to wander a little further west, but it's worth it. The Driftless area has some of the most underrated trout fishing in the country, IMHO. When you have questions about where and how, ask here, and someone will help you out. If you're heading over to fish, let the board know when you're coming, and I'd be shocked if someone didn't offer to hook up with you and show you around a bit. The Trapfest would be a great intro as well.

Again, welcome to the funhouse, and if you have questions about stuff, ask.

"Our tradition is that of the first man who sneaked away to the creek when the tribe did not really need fish."
- Roderick Haig-Brown
cschub13  
#4 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 1:22:00 PM(UTC)
cschub13
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 7/28/2014(UTC)
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Man
Location: Milwaukee

Originally Posted by: AussieFisho Go to Quoted Post
Hey I've recently moved to Wauwatosa, WI from Oz (everyone loves calling it Down Under here!) and I'm a mad keen fishing tragic! I've never done any trout and salmon fishing and I'm super keen to get into it whilst I'm here until the end of the year. I'm looking for some local tips to add to my repertoire of online research on how to start fishing in this area. I'm not after any secret spots although if you're willing to give them up I'm not going to say no Laugh. Mainly interested in meeting up with some local folks and making some new fishing buddies that I could tag along and learn some tips in person and help a beginner get started. Is anyone around the Milwaukee area from here or are people mainly around the Madison area? Anywho hope to read some more and threads and meet some new people!


Welcome! There seems to be quite a few people in the Milwaukee area that frequent this site actually. As shebs mentioned, right now steelhead (and brown trout) are in the tributary rivers, which includes the Menomonee River running thru Wauwatosa. I'd take you up on your offer of getting together, but I just had my first little one so it may be easier said than done.

Cheers.
weiliwen  
#5 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 2:11:55 PM(UTC)
weiliwen
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Welcome to the forums! I can't add anything that the others haven't already done, but will repeat that I hope you can make it about 3 hours west to Westby in May for TrapFest. I'm sure you'd be able to find a few folks willing to show you some streams there. It's a great area for trout. But you don't have to go that far. About an hour and a half west will take you to some great streams closer to Madison. It's getting to be the best time of year for fishing (Well, all year except November and December are the best time of year)! Let us know what kind of equipment you have. Fly Fish? Spinner fish? There are plenty of experts at both on these pages (not me, I'm firmly in the "journeyman" category).
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
AussieFisho  
#6 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 5:43:18 PM(UTC)
AussieFisho
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Wow thanks for the warm welcome! I definitely didn't expect the forum to be so helpful and it was definitely by chance stumbling across this forum. I did read a few threads beforehand and thought people were pretty helpful.

I've got a 7ft 4pce rod that I brought over with me along with a 3000 egg beater and was hoping to get around with that. Tackle wise I've got a spinnerbait that the Black Bream/Sooty Grunter (similar to a bass here I guess) absolutely love hitting, a small crankbait, some soft plastics (Squidgies but dunno what you guys call them here) and a surface popper. Keen to add some other types if anyone has some tips as I'd like to get into the luring. Silly question but if you use eggs as bait, is that more of a sit in the one spot type fishing than moving around to different spots?

One thing with the terminology... when you say "run up the lake shore" what's that mean exactly? Run = fish are spawning = hungry = moving up stream? and Lake shore meaning fish are moving along the lake banks?

I'm probably going to get started flicking some lures into the Menomonee River that's near me and giving that a go. Is it fair game anywhere along the river so long as it's not on someone's backyard/property?

I'll definitely head out west at some point and check out the Madison area and I'll keep a note on Trapfest. Will have to see how that goes considering we currently only have one car and the wife isn't keen on camping (and nor do we have any camping gear!)
William Schlafer  
#7 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 5:58:01 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Welcome!

Pay a visit to The Fly Fishers new shop in Brookfield. They can hook you up with a guided outing, if interested, or any gear you might need for lake run Salmon/Trout fishing, or inland stream fishing in the Driftless Area.

If you find yourself in Viroqua (Trout central for the Driftless Area) stop in to The Driftless Angler Fly Shop. They can hook you up with information on local streams and the flies and equipment you'll need. Their website has a "Fishing Report" that's updated regularly on local stream conditions and hatch activity. The "Local Waters" link has a great breakdown of the seasonal hatches.

And yes, come to TrapFest. A gathering of some of the best fly rod and spinner Trout fishing experts from the upper Midwest to shoot the bull and share a few stories around the campfire. Follow the discussion on the link for details, time and place, etc... Any questions, just ask.

Within a three hour drive of Milwaukee you have an amazing variety of fishing opportunities and choices. Some of the best Trout fishing in the Midwest is found in the Driftless Area.


Good luck!
-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
JGF  
#8 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 8:09:44 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: AussieFisho Go to Quoted Post
I'll definitely head out west at some point and check out the Madison area and I'll keep a note on Trapfest. Will have to see how that goes considering we currently only have one car and the wife isn't keen on camping (and nor do we have any camping gear!)


If you get west, there are lots of cabins, B&B, and other lodging options that might help get the wife to come along.

Where in Oz did you live? I've spent a good bit of time there. Gorgeous place with some great people. It's almost a nice as NZ Razz

AussieFisho  
#9 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 9:00:51 PM(UTC)
AussieFisho
Rank: Midge

Joined: 3/31/2019(UTC)
Posts: 17
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Location: Wauwatosa, WI

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Haha I'll definitely agree the landscape in NZ is heaps nicer than Oz but we've got much nicer beaches ThumpUp Must say I did get a little confused when I hear mentions of beaches on lakes here which didn't quite compute when I first got here... I live in Townsville and get spoilt by the beaches all up and down the Queensland coast. The reef fishing is superb too!

Thanks for the fly fishing tip. I've never fly fished before so it's definitely on my to do list while I'm here!

Edited by user Sunday, March 31, 2019 9:08:32 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Hoggies  
#10 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2019 9:38:13 PM(UTC)
Hoggies
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Originally Posted by: AussieFisho Go to Quoted Post
Wow thanks for the warm welcome! I definitely didn't expect the forum to be so helpful and it was definitely by chance stumbling across this forum. I did read a few threads beforehand and thought people were pretty helpful.

I've got a 7ft 4pce rod that I brought over with me along with a 3000 egg beater and was hoping to get around with that. Tackle wise I've got a spinnerbait that the Black Bream/Sooty Grunter (similar to a bass here I guess) absolutely love hitting, a small crankbait, some soft plastics (Squidgies but dunno what you guys call them here) and a surface popper. Keen to add some other types if anyone has some tips as I'd like to get into the luring. Silly question but if you use eggs as bait, is that more of a sit in the one spot type fishing than moving around to different spots?


Look for some small jerkbaits like the rapala husky jerk size 6 or 8, dynamic lures HD trout, or storm junior thunderstick and medium jerkbaits like size 10 Rapala husky jerks and dynamic lures J-spec. Basically anything with neutral buoyancy and rattles.

Spoons in the 1/8th-1/4oz range can produce pretty well. I like Luhr-Jensen Krocodiles and Acme Little Clios in any combination of gold and red/orange or firetiger.

In-line spinners are also good. I like panther martins the best, but I caught my personal best trout on a Mepps Comet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
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