2019 Driftless Pictures and Reports

FlymanSJB

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I got out with Itchmesir on the opener, fishing was tough had to work for them. Not a lot of midge hatches or risers. Water temp 38 degrees.
I was using my 3wt and drift 3/4 clicker reel and 5x powerflex tippet. The lighter weight helped the presentation and I swung a couple up too but the most consistent success came from a size 20 tungsten zebra midge.

I lost the largest fish on the small midge, got to see him, but he was a fighter and it’s so hard to keep a big fish like that pinned on a size 20 fly.



Working on a new prototype winter wet fly, proved successful on a tough winter day. One nice brown took it.



I caught way fewer brook trout in 2018 than 2017 and I was starting to get worried. My favorite fish from last Saturday, this fish warmed my heart.


Sometimes it’s not the largest fish or epic battles that are the most satisfying.

Tight Lines this season, UF
 
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FlymanSJB

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I`m tying flies this morning its going to hit 20 degrees today and that looks like the warmest day in the next couple weeks with morning temps below zero. A good chance of decent fish today and some technical dry fly action, cold front coming in later this evening and fish should be on the bite.

My plan is midges, Nymphs and Dry`s with some wet fly swinging, Ive been working on some new winter patterns Hopefully I`ll get into some nice fish this afternoon.

So, I had to move a few thousand pictures off Flickr and I went back and edited the previous years. Had no idea which were shared or not, block download and delete.

Maybe I`ll have a decent report this evening then, a couple of big heads spied the last time out feeding on midges.
 

dennyk

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I`m tying flies this morning its going to hit 20 degrees today and that looks like the warmest day in the next couple weeks with morning temps below zero. A good chance of decent fish today and some technical dry fly action, cold front coming in later this evening and fish should be on the bite.

My plan is midges, Nymphs and Dry`s with some wet fly swinging, Ive been working on some new winter patterns Hopefully I`ll get into some nice fish this afternoon.

So, I had to move a few thousand pictures off Flickr and I went back and edited the previous years. Had no idea which were shared or not, block download and delete.

Maybe I`ll have a decent report this evening then, a couple of big heads spied the last time out feeding on midges.
Good luck man! Hope you have a good day of fishing. Kinda cold over here as well, the picture below is where I usually get into a few nice Brown trout-not today!



Denny
 

FlymanSJB

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Just cut a long trench, that's what I do. LOL helps with casting accuracy.

Should be some good shelf ice now compared to the Catch and Release opener, I like shelf ice, fish like it too. Last time out I seen lots of empty redds and lots of tiny fry. Looks like another good fall spawn.

Stoneflies! I better twist up a couple of those too.
 

FlymanSJB

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Beautiful afternoon yesterday, but if I had never fished that river before I would swear there is no trout in it. I didn't get as much time as I would of liked as things always come up but I did manage to fish from 2pm till 5:20pm.

I did not beat the cold front in as clouds turned to sun and the temperatures dropped starting at a balmy 17 Degrees F.

As its been cold since the opener, the only tracks in the snow were from one ruffled grouse and I did not venture too far as time was limited.

Water temperature was 34-35 degrees, no sign of any bugs or anything swimming in the gin clear river except a small muskrat fortifying his hut across the river for the sub zero weather to come. I did see two rises of tiny trout in the 2" range in the fast water. The sparse weeds on the bottom of the river were gone, the river seemed sterile and lifeless, Winter, cold and cruel with the wind biting at my face and bare hands as the only sounds were the river itself.

After seeing a tiny trout jump and no bugs, the black nose dace was swung, later I drifted nymphs the deep channels with a size 20 nymph with no takers.

Ive fly fished in sub zero weather before but seeing the forecast and the current river conditions, I think I'm going to tie flies and dream over the next two weeks.







 

Mcbeck

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Some friends and I went up to NE Iowa on January 11th, the day of a good snow storm. I live in southern Iowa and we received over 10" of snow. This made what should have been a roughly, 3 1/2 hour drive a 5 1/2 hour drive! Ah well, no good adventure ever started with someone saying "Hey honey pass me the remote and comforter." This was our 1st trip ever to this area and we are already going back the 1st and 2nd of February.
The day was overcast and as I recall about 30 degrees. I couldn't tell you water temps as we weren't prepared to measure that. That said, the day was awesome! One friend came prepared with an ultralite and in line spinners. I used an Orvis Clearwater 5wt that I had just gotten for Christmas. The spinners snagged 4 Rainbows ranging from 10"-14".
I caught 1 Rainbow on a scud pattern type fly and 1 brown on a Caddis with a red zebra midge type dropper. I had others on or missed the strike entirely. With a little more practice/skill I would have had more in the net. Can't complain though, it was a spectacular day and we didn't get skunked. Almost 10 hours of driving for 3 1/2 hours of fishing...totally worth it!
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Mcbeck

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Hopefully I'll have a little more to post next weekend. I fish all over, but have just recently taken up the fly rod. I usually ice fish a lot, but I have a feeling I'm going to like having the streams all to myself in the winter....
 

weiliwen

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I doubt there will be much stream fishing in the D.A. this weekend! it's -13°F in Viroqua right now, with down to -20° forecast for later on in the week!
 

FlymanSJB

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Its warmed up a bit here this morning like 10 below, its sunny I`d fish today but I don't think there is much going on. The ice in the guides was bad enough last time out, on a day like to today its tenkara after a few casts. Really cold next week 20-30 below plus windchills. My time is best spent restocking my near empty boxes.

Its been a pretty warm winter thus far, the best winter fishing is yet to come. U betcha.

Oh just seen the news 30 to 37 below across the northern 2/3 of Minnesota last night. Cold
 
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FlymanSJB

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I planned to fish this weekend as its in the upper 30`s but after seeing the current conditions it looked pretty pointless on the northern driftless. Pretty much all frozen over with short three foot wide openings in moving water 20 yards long.

My friend said in the southern driftless fishing was good until melting snow turned the stream to chocolate milk. His report was about the best I saw all weekend.
 

dennyk

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unknownflyman; My friend said in the southern driftless fishing was good until melting snow turned the stream to chocolate milk. His report was about the best I saw all weekend.[/QUOTE said:
Pretty much the same here, I checked a stream today it was free of ice and running dirty and about a foot high. I hope to break out the streamers and give it a shot tomorrow. I gotta get out, I'm experiencing withdraw symptoms!

Denny
 

troutman75

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Great read. The photos could have been taken at my local trout stream here in southern Sweden (all browns here though). I’m stealing your snowfly pattern. The black nosed dace already have twins in my flybox. Our season is still a month away from officially opening but it will probably be longer before it is fishable.
 

FlymanSJB

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Great read. The photos could have been taken at my local trout stream here in southern Sweden (all browns here though). I’m stealing your snowfly pattern. The black nosed dace already have twins in my flybox. Our season is still a month away from officially opening but it will probably be longer before it is fishable.
I wish you tight lines, I loved fishing Lapland, Id really like to get to the Em river this spring.
 

Mcbeck

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Was in Manchester area this past Friday night and Saturday day. Water was clear, but fast. We struggled mightily to get on some fish. My lack of experience was I think, mostly to blame. I probably spooked fish before I knew they were there even though I wore snow type camo lol. I did get one thrill though. I did see a few sucking at something at the top. My 1st offering of a Elk hair Caddis (can't remember size) was hit and seemed to be pushed around a bit. I downsized to a 18 PMD. Caught my 1st Iowa driftless Rainbow (very plump 13 incher) on a dry fly. I have to tell you, it felt like a real satisfying accomplishment. Scenery was spectacular, snow was very deep. Not many fish, but a great memory, regardless.
 
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