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Old 06-16-2013, 03:48 PM
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Default River Classification Question

In Wisconsin there's a river that's got 10 miles of classified class 2 trout, and I'm wondering if trout will move out of the "classified" areas by as much as 2 miles away from the classified area? It may sound dumb, but I'm really stumped on this. I would fish the other areas, but it's completely wooded and way to hard to fish with my skill level.
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Old 06-16-2013, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: River Classification Question

Trout will move as far as they can/have to to remain in water of a comfortable temperature. And they'll do it quickly too.
If the river temperature rises fast enough, water that was "teaming" with fish one day will be completely devoid the next.

When that happens look for fish at the mouths of cool feeder brooks and where there's springs. The best way to find springs is while wet wading but assume that they're also in places where your river passes through areas with high "canyon like" walls.
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Old 06-16-2013, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: River Classification Question

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Originally Posted by pikefisher69 View Post
In Wisconsin there's a river that's got 10 miles of classified class 2 trout, and I'm wondering if trout will move out of the "classified" areas by as much as 2 miles away from the classified area? It may sound dumb, but I'm really stumped on this. I would fish the other areas, but it's completely wooded and way to hard to fish with my skill level.
Class 2 water has some natural production but needs stocking to reach it's carrying potential. Almost all class 2 water has class 1 water higher up. So these stocked trout will move up as the water warms up.

I would walk the stream early in the year and look at where the spring seeps are. During early May you will see signs of springs with wet boggy areas along the banks or you may actually seeing water flowing into the stream. Mark those areas in your mind and then come back in July and see if you can spot trout in the area or if the water in that location is cooler than the water on the other side of the river. You may not see the water flowing into the stream as you did earlier, but cold water from the spring enters the stream directly into the stream from below the bank or from the stream bottom.

I have found many springs this way on my local streams in Wisconsin.

What is unknown to most Wisconsin trout fishers is that the DNR does NOT classify all streams that hold trout as trout water. The reason is that as soon as a stream is classified as trout water, it is targeted by trout fishers. So streams that cannot take fishing pressure are left unclassified. I have had many great days of fishing a non classified streams that carries trout. Unfortunately, the great majority cannot be fly fished but I have one stream that can be fly fished, and I have never seen anyone else fishing it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:02 PM
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Default Re: River Classification Question

That sound great to have a stream almost to yourself but I'm not to familiar with the river, so I think I'll just go by some trial and error.
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Old 06-16-2013, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: River Classification Question

I'd fish it without a second though. Start at the bottom of what you can fish and work your way upstream. Generally speaking the farther upstream you are, the cooler teh water - Not always true, but true enough more often than not.

When go go out looking for springs and seeps, bring a note book and a thermometer. Quick sketches can do a lot for your memory. You can also copy maps off the web and photoshop them to a useful size.
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: River Classification Question

bigger trout can often be found in the more brackish tail waters of trout streams... It's just a matter of figuring out their eating schedule if you really want to catch them though... The trout will also be fewer and further in between
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Old 06-19-2013, 11:36 AM
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Default Re: River Classification Question

Check out your river on Google maps. You can find springs. Here is a view of one of my local rivers. The oval at the spring outlet is where the fish are.

Click the image to open in full size.
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