Driftless Trout Anglers

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7/10/13 Pillow River, Saint Croix County WI Options
#1 Posted : Thursday, July 11, 2013 5:38:40 AM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
I hadn't fished with my buddy Kevin in a while so I called him Sunday night and we decided that we would fish today after work. We had originally talked about hitting the South Fork of the Hay River in Barron county but it took longer to get out of the cities than we planned and we wanted to maximize our time on the water. Without naming any names there is a bonafide trout river that flows through Saint Croix County who's name rhymes with pillow.

When we pulled up to our first spot Kevin was ready to go as soon as he grabbed his rod out of the back of my vehicle. He was wearing sandals so there was no need for him to suit up. I hurried to get all my crap together because I didn't want to keep him waiting and am notorious for being slow to get ready. Once I reached the point where all I had left to do was choose a fly Kevin asked, "What fly are you going to use?". I looked down at my fly patch and the first fly I noticed was the Mickey Finn. Such a simple and effective pattern pretty much any beginners fly tying book probably has instructions on tying this staple pattern. I had tied this one myself at some point last winter. I always can tell what flies I tied because of the imperfections that I add in. Also I had never caught a fish on this fabled pattern.

On my fifth cast into Western Wisconsin's premier trout fishing river I caught a nice little Rainbow on the Mickey Finn. It was the first Rainbow that I have caught this year and whenever I catch a Rainbow I think of rain. Whenever I think of rain I think of my favorite song, "Chocolate Rain". When I first heard Tay Zonday sing, "Chocolate Rain, some stay dry while others feel the pain" it was almost as good as when I caught my first Rainbow Trout on a fly.

Felled by the Mickey Finn

This rivers name rhymes with pillow.

"Inspector Trout"-"Workin on a mystery, runnin wherever it leads".

After fishing my Mickey Finn for a few minutes without any luck I decided that it was time for a change. Upon opening my fly box I noticed a Muddler Minnow that my dad had given me. I can always tell when a fly was tied by my dad because they are always awesome and perfect. I wasn't long before I was reeling in a pretty little Brook Trout that looked like it would fit well in my frying pan. Soon after that I added a nice looking Rainbow Trout to the Creel that I also fooled with the Muddler Minnow.

He thought the Muddler Minnow was a real minnow. Stupid trout.

Here's Kevin working a pool.

I thought these were some Fabulous Ferns.

This pool looked like it would hold a lunker.

I thought this streamer would help me catch a lunker. I did not catch a lunker with it. What a ripoff.


The end.

#2 Posted : Thursday, July 11, 2013 1:14:03 PM
Rank: Caddis Fly

Joined: 6/6/2013
Posts: 74
Location: Oconomowoc, WI
Ha Ha. Chocolate rain. Thank you for that, I thought I had stricken that song from memory.

Nice post, can't wait until I get to make my next trip over. Keep 'em coming!
Mark Dahlquist
#3 Posted : Thursday, July 11, 2013 2:04:42 PM
Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/27/2010
Posts: 4,797
Location: Minnesota
Did you catch just a few trout then? Will you go back? Rhymes with pillow. Now the secret is out. Thanks a lot!
Board Owner

#4 Posted : Thursday, July 11, 2013 4:29:13 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
In total I caught the one Brook Trout, two Rainbows and two Creek Chub. I tried to take a photo of one of the Chubs that attacked a Black Wooly Bugger but he jumped out of my hands while I was removing my camera from the dry bag. I also had what looked like a monster Chub break me off but it was mainly due to knot failure and my use of 5X which I rarely use.

I have to go back someday because I have, "Bend Syndrome". Until I've seen a river in it's entirety I always wonder what lies just beyond the next bend. I also see the potential for a "Poor Mans Trout Slam". A "Poor Mans Trout Slam" is when you catch a Brookie, Brown, Rainbow and Creek Chub in the same outing.

While the Kinni and the Rush have been scoured of insect life those looking to find some hatch activity might consider fishing rivers with names that rhyme with pillow. The bugs were abundant.

Mark Dahlquist
#5 Posted : Thursday, July 11, 2013 5:26:00 PM
Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/27/2010
Posts: 4,797
Location: Minnesota
I fixed the title for you. There are also some dandy football shaped smalles to he had in the Pillow River. In particular there is one stretch where I'm told smallies and the occasional gigantic brown live side by side. A low numbers game for sure but you never know unless you try. Like gambling, sometimes the payout is big but you have to put in your time. When you find chubs and you know trout exhist that's a good sign that a lunker might be around. If you read the Humohrey & Shogren book I believe Engel shocked one such fish years a go.
Board Owner

#6 Posted : Thursday, July 11, 2013 7:25:19 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 5/23/2011
Posts: 418
Location: WI, IA
Great report Eddie. Those stupid trout, always eating fake minnows..

Bend Syndrome is tough on a long body of water like the Pillow. So many bends, so little time.
#7 Posted : Monday, July 15, 2013 11:17:04 PM
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 3/17/2013
Posts: 1,132
Location: Lake Elmo, Mn
The "Pillow" has Brookies? Do you figure it came in from one of the tribs that have wild populations?
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
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