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  1. #31

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    Well up until today the weather in the driftless area had been nothing short of spring like. Lots of 40s and 50s over the last 10 days or so. In the last 15 days I've been able to get out and hit the water 13 times... which includes fishing the last 11 days. I'm doing my best to live the modern day trout bum lifestyle... I think it's working.

    There wasn't much left on the ground for snow but that's all changed with today's storm. Last I looked there was about 6" of fresh hard packed snow on the ground. I think I let mother nature pull one over on me like in years past. I thought spring was here. Sometimes I forget I'm in the Midwest. Spring today, winter tomorrow.

    I'd put on a lot of miles and seen a lot of water with variable stream conditions earlier last week with temps just starting to come up and the thaw in full swing. I managed to spend time in Monroe, LaCrosse, Vernon, Crawford, and Grant counties. Seen dozens of streams. And each day, aside from one day where i got out too late, was lucky enough to find fishable water and eager trout.

    Needless to say though I'm ready for the break. I'd been burning the candle at both ends. Waking up early to fish before work and on my days off fishing until the sun set or the streams turned to mud. I'm ready to rest. Plus my fly boxes need some serious attention. Back to the vise for now.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    Wow, you have been landing some great fish, congrats!
    I see what you mean from the photos, some look like your well into springtime and then the next photo your back into winter, crazy weather.

  3. #33

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    A beautiful day on the river today March 11th. It was 37 degrees, the river was lower, very clear and still really cold. The fish were really spooky, long casts were in order all day. I saw some blue wing olives flying about but the trout didn’t want those flies, lost a nice fish on a parachute Adams but they weren’t really digging them either. It started looking like a skunk day as fish refused a lot and could see the hook a mile away.

    It was technical dry fly action today and I’m glad I tied up my snowfly imitation a couple weeks ago, I just wish I had tied more of them, they were the most attacked fly and I landed a number of nice fish, the downside, they are fragile the black rabbit fur and CDC can only land a few fish before they are torn up.

    I was fishing my 3WT with clicker reel and 5x tippet, that first trout was big and angry, had some fine battles with the clicker singing a bit.

    I did swing a black nose dace and a mickey finn and moved a few big fish but nothing, late refusals. I did see my big Brookie he followed and half heartedly attacked on a grease line presentation, big and blue and orange belly. I lured him out of his hard to reach hidden spot, it was good to see him.

    Lots of rising today, trout actively feeding on dry flies, black and the smaller the better. I only tied one size 20 which was wrecked after the first two fish, the rest were larger and did not fish as well.

    I’m pretty proud of my snowfly, I didn’t see any pattern like it and it fished great, watching large trout on the far bank attack the stoneflies as they crawled up on the snow. My pattern is just called, March Snowfly.

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

    Untitled by Steve Bauer
    Last edited by unknownflyman; 03-12-2018 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #34

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    The snowfly works the best when I see fish rising under the snow and ice shelf. Its really fun fishing because of the complex currents and the difficult casting requirements.

    Get the fly close to the snow as possible. Mend mend mend. Here is a good pic I forgot to add last night that describes the situation where the snowfly works the best. Just out on the open river, it doesn’t work well at all. It’s for this situation.

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

    Untitled by Steve Bauer

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Eastern Iowa

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    Great PICs and reports guys! I haven't tied all winter. It's time to get busy.

  6. Thanks unknownflyman thanked for this post
  7. #36

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    Fishing has picked up dramatically in the last week and next week will even be better. It’s on, bring on the caddis!

  8. Likes ia_trouter, mcnerney liked this post
  9. #37

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    I got out with Smarty140 last Sunday afternoon. We met at the expo Saturday which was cool.

    I always feel a little pressure when taking a guy out and putting him on fish, Ryan put me at ease. It was cold in the morning he went fishing and I went to the expo till noon, Ryan got a few on a different river, I knew from previous recent trips the action doesn’t start till afternoon where I was taking him.

    We got to the stretch of river it was quiet and fish started rising, I hooked up with a nice brown in the current on the swing with a holographic soft hackle, it was fighting so much and pulling a lot of line, Ryan came up river and landed it got a nice pic and instantly released. Took water temp 42 degrees. Action increased dramatically and Ryan hooked up on a nice brown I was so happy pressure off, he landed a few on dry flies and one really nice brook trout.

    I later hooked up on a dry fly and another nice fish. Lost a number on the strip and broke off on a big one, only got to see his tail which was big.

    Had a great time fishing with Ryan and he is a good fly fisher and great company on the river.

    My iPad died this week and I can’t share my one photo Ryan hopefully will add to this report and post the pics of his fish and mine.

    It was a challenging day, quality of fish was great but it was tough numbers day small and large trout rising and fussy. The river is hard to catch fish out of they are tough.

    Smarty140 is a cool dude and fun to fish with, let’s do it again sometime soon, as you know steelheading is on next weekend but after that it’s caddis and bug soup. Let’s keep on that stretch of river for a number of miles the action is good all the way.

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  11. #38
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Ladysmith, WI

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    Here are some pics from fishing with Unknownflyman this last Sunday - great day out on the water with him, he’s great to fish with!

    I started off on a different river right away in the morning... and it was cold! (+15 F) there wasn’t any surface activity early but as it warmed up some I did see one or two fish rise, not enough to switch to dry flies though. I did manage to pick up a couple browns on nymphs, and had the river all to myself.

    We met up to fish a different river in the early afternoon. This one wasn’t so deserted - lots of fishermen on al the stretches of water we saw. Fortunately one of Unknownflyman’s favorite stretches was open, so we rigged up and started there. Pretty quick he swung up a nice brown:

    It had turned into a pretty nice afternoon and there were lots of midges and little BWOs in the air, and fish grabbing them on the surface. I managed to fool a couple with a tiny midge emerger trailed behind a BWO Klinkhammer, including a pretty nice brookie:

    Overall it was a great day of fishing, and was cool to meet another flyfisherman who loves it as much as I do, and is a fine fisherman and tier too!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #39

    Default Re: 2018 Driftless Trout Pics and Reports.

    I didn’t get to see that brook trout up close, so awesome!

    I got a fever, I want to fish tomorrow but I’m out of bugs, why do I do this to myself every year?

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