Driftless Trout Anglers

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Donny Kerabatsos  
#11 Posted : Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:56:38 PM(UTC)
Donny Kerabatsos
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Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post
Good stuff - thanks for the share.

Why the 3wt? I use a pretty fast 8'6" 4wt for much of my driftless fishing and up it to a 5 or even a 7 or 8 if I'm throwing huge stuff which I do a time or two a year - and that's pretty much all you're fishing that day - BWO hatch be darned.

Also a big fan sink leaders - easy to change to and quick to take off if you want to fish some other way. For our streams, they do a good enough job of getting the fly down.




Did you ever get a response to this? I've been trying to decide if I want a 7'6 3wt or a 8'6 4wt as a Driftless rod and can't make up my mind. I was recommended a 7'6 3wt Scott Radian. Was also looking at Sage Dart or LL, but was told that both "lacked a little oomph".
William Schlafer  
#12 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 5:11:06 AM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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If you fish primarily small streams and rivers, a 8' 6" 4W is a good all around compromise fly rod for the Driftless Area. With it you can chuck bigger heavier streamers, but still have the finesse and accuracy to cast small dry flies on light tippet. If you fish bigger water, or seek bigger Trout/Bass/etc... consider a 5W 9' rod. It will have the muscle to handle larger fish and enough power to cast through heavier wind.

I have a 3W 7' 6" that I pull out every now and then. It's noticeably different than my 4W rods. Fun to cast, but much more difficult to turn bigger fish on the hook. A 12" Brown will feel like a monster on a 3W. Anything larger than a size 8 streamer will be difficult with a lighter rod and it will be tougher to cast in windy conditions.

If you can find one, an 8' 4W is ideal, in my opinion. You would think that 6" of rod length wouldn't matter that much, but a slightly shorter rod is much easier to work casts under and around obstacles. Longer rods can cast further, but for most of the streams I fish, I rarely need to cast beyond 20 feet. Accuracy trumps distance on almost any Driftless stream.


-Bill
“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
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Donny Kerabatsos on 9/20/2019(UTC)
SquareEgg  
#13 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 2:09:14 PM(UTC)
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If you're between a 3wt and a 4wt go with the 4 wt, hands down. An 8'6" 4wt will get you much further as an all-purpose rod than a shorter 3wt. I have both and only break out the 3wt if 1) I know I'll be in tight quarters or 2) it is a calm day, and I know I wont be throwing heavy streamers.
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Donny Kerabatsos on 9/20/2019(UTC)
AKinMN  
#14 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 2:12:19 PM(UTC)
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No reason to shorter than 9'. A fast action 9' 3 wt will throw bigger and heavier streamers than most realize. You just need to adjust casting style a bit for both overhead cover and bigger bugs.

Edited by user Friday, September 20, 2019 2:14:24 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Donny Kerabatsos  
#15 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 9:21:08 PM(UTC)
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Thanks for the replies, fellas. I think I probably will go with an 8'6 4wt, though I'm going to keep my eye out for a 7'6 3wt as well and just take both with me. I think the latter would be fun if I get into some Brook Trout. Aside from a ton of research, I've not actually fished the Driftless yet (WI side), but I plan to try and get a day or two in before the season ends.

What are you guys fishing in terms of leaders? I was told to not overthink it and that shorter (7'5 4x leader with 4/5/6 tippet). Obviously the tippet will change based on the pattern, but are any of you fishing sub 9' leaders?

Thanks again for the help/recommendations for a newbie.
William Schlafer  
#16 Posted : Friday, September 20, 2019 10:14:35 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Donny Kerabatsos Go to Quoted Post


What are you guys fishing in terms of leaders? I was told to not overthink it and that shorter (7'5 4x leader with 4/5/6 tippet). Obviously the tippet will change based on the pattern, but are any of you fishing sub 9' leaders?



When the water is clear I use 7.5' 4X leaders with tippet rings and an added length of tippet of the same size. On stained water, or later in the year when fishing hoppers, I go exclusively with 3X leaders. Unless you're fishing still clear water with spooky Trout, I see no reason to go with longer or lighter leaders. I've been using the heavier shorter stuff for awhile now and have noticed no drop off in the number of strikes or fish caught.

The big advantage of the heavier leader/tippet is that you can really steer bigger Trout away from snags or other obstacles without fear of breaking off. Or when fishing hoppers, you can rip them out of the grass.


-Bill

Edited by user Friday, September 20, 2019 10:15:17 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
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Donny Kerabatsos on 9/22/2019(UTC)
Donny Kerabatsos  
#17 Posted : Sunday, September 22, 2019 9:10:34 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: William Schlafer Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: Donny Kerabatsos Go to Quoted Post


What are you guys fishing in terms of leaders? I was told to not overthink it and that shorter (7'5 4x leader with 4/5/6 tippet). Obviously the tippet will change based on the pattern, but are any of you fishing sub 9' leaders?



When the water is clear I use 7.5' 4X leaders with tippet rings and an added length of tippet of the same size. On stained water, or later in the year when fishing hoppers, I go exclusively with 3X leaders. Unless you're fishing still clear water with spooky Trout, I see no reason to go with longer or lighter leaders. I've been using the heavier shorter stuff for awhile now and have noticed no drop off in the number of strikes or fish caught.

The big advantage of the heavier leader/tippet is that you can really steer bigger Trout away from snags or other obstacles without fear of breaking off. Or when fishing hoppers, you can rip them out of the grass.


-Bill


Thanks a bunch, Bill! I'm aware that I only have about 3 weeks left or so. I think I'll hopefully have a new Driftless rod by next weekend and then I'm going to try and come up to Wi one or twice (probably once) and see if I can get my first & last outing in before next year.

I was thinking 4x leaders @ 7.5' already, so I'm glad that that's what you recommended. Thanks for all the info, gentleman. Hopefully I'll find a place to fish in the coming week or two and then report back with some pics/results/info.


I guess I may as well ask: first two weeks of October - are you still fishing terrestrials, hopper/dropper, dry/dropper, or....??? I want to catch a few browns and I'd LOVE to catch a couple of pretty brook trout. I'm going to try and hone in on the closest streams to me, which are likely the southern streams (maybe an hour or two north of Galena as my friend owns the Blaum Bros with...you guessed it...his brother...and I can stay at his place most likely).

Thank!!
William Schlafer  
#18 Posted : Sunday, September 22, 2019 1:20:43 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Donny Kerabatsos Go to Quoted Post


I guess I may as well ask: first two weeks of October - are you still fishing terrestrials, hopper/dropper, dry/dropper, or....??? I want to catch a few browns and I'd LOVE to catch a couple of pretty brook trout.


Yup, terrestrials should still be effective right though the end of the season. If it's dry, and you see grass hoppers jumping around, it's a sure bet you'll get a Trout to take a generic hopper pattern.

Always a good idea to check the Driftless Angler Fly Shop fishing report blog to see what the local stream conditions are and what is working best at the moment.

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
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Donny Kerabatsos on 9/22/2019(UTC)
weiliwen  
#19 Posted : Monday, September 23, 2019 1:32:44 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Donny Kerabatsos Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: JGF Go to Quoted Post
I've been trying to decide if I want a 7'6 3wt or a 8'6 4wt as a Driftless rod and can't make up my mind. I was recommended a 7'6 3wt Scott Radian. Was also looking at Sage Dart or LL, but was told that both "lacked a little oomph".



I don't know what to think about who told you about the LL, but I own a (first generation) 7'11" 4 weight LL and it is my favorite rod on the Driftless Area. I wiggled the new Sage Trout LL at The Driftless Angler this weekend and it seems that it would be great on Driftless Streams. I cannot comment on the Radian or Dart, not having cast those rods.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
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Donny Kerabatsos on 9/23/2019(UTC)
WI-fly  
#20 Posted : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 11:57:59 AM(UTC)
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If you can't decide which rod to go with, get them both, seriously. While I would love to have an $800 rod (they do cast quite sexy), I just don't see them as necessary in the Driftless. There are a lot of quality rods out there for less than $200. I have an Echo Carbon XL 8'6" 4 wt and it's great. I loved my previous rod, an Echo Carbon 8' 4wt, but I broke the tip on it (a tree attacked me from behind). Thankfully Rajeff sports replaced it for me for only $35, but they no longer make the original Carbon, so I got the 8'6". That 8 foot rod was perfect. For my short rod, I bought a Cabela's CGR (glass) 6'6" 4 wt. Those rods run at $69, but they frequently go on sale, so I got mine for $39. The 6'6" is a nice size for tight streams.

The two rods above are what I mainly use, but I have 3 others that find use in the right conditions. I have a 9' 5wt St. Croix for really windy days or night mousing. That rod I got for free from my brother in law who gave up on fly fishing after one season. I also have a 9' 7-8 wt that I use for warm water. That rod I won in a raffle. We also have one of the Echo Gecko rods that my kids learned to fish with. Designed for kids, but I still use it. I love the slow action and it really helps you learn/remember good casting habits.

TLDR version: Buy multiple, cheaper rods in the sizes you want.
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Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
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