2019 Driftless Pictures and Reports

Unknownflyman

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The time between October 15th and January 4th is a long stretch but I`m so happy we still have seasons, let the fish do their thing uninterrupted. It used to be April 15th, not I`d probably flip out and ice fish or something.

Dewayne are you coming up again? or do you want to go chase steelhead on the swing? I know some places that are pretty easy to wade. Should of came up for the spey clave.
 

Raging Moorish

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Nice!!! Ive caught black nose dace and red tail chubs but never a sculpin. I`m quite sure they are in there. Thats streamer material right there. Olive sculpins. also a great steelhead fly..
that reminds me unknown. Would love to pick your brain on a few of the lake superior runs that are going on currently. Would love to go after steelhead some day, but right now I don't have the gear to do so (only have 4-5 wt rods). Whats your knowledge on the pink salmon run? I've read that they won't out duel a 4 wt rod.
 

Raging Moorish

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Nice!!! Ive caught black nose dace and red tail chubs but never a sculpin. I`m quite sure they are in there. Thats streamer material right there. Olive sculpins. also a great steelhead fly..
that reminds me unknown. Would love to pick your brain on a few of the lake superior runs that are going on currently. Would love to go after steelhead some day, but right now I don't have the gear to do so (only have 4-5 wt rods). Whats your knowledge on the pink salmon run? I've read that they won't out duel a 4 wt rod.
 

ia_trouter

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The time between October 15th and January 4th is a long stretch but I`m so happy we still have seasons, let the fish do their thing uninterrupted. It used to be April 15th, not I`d probably flip out and ice fish or something.

Dewayne are you coming up again? or do you want to go chase steelhead on the swing? I know some places that are pretty easy to wade. Should of came up for the spey clave.
I need to figure something out so I can request time off. I won't have time to make it all the way up north for steelhead this fall, but I promise we'll get something arranged. Work, the spring flooding and the rental house has kept busy the whole damned season. I took some time off this week and a bad storm ripped the Southern D.A. up, just a couple days ago. One of those knocking down structures, 10yr rains that seem to happen every year now. With our silty banks most of my day trip water will be screwed until the ground freezes unless we get zero rain starting now. Last year wasn't great either. It's really getting me down.

Enough Debbie downer lol. I need to find a way to get on some reasonably decent trout water before seasons close. I thought that used to be SEP 30th so OCT 15th gives me hope I can arrange it. Either that or it's ice fishing lol.
 

Unknownflyman

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that reminds me unknown. Would love to pick your brain on a few of the lake superior runs that are going on currently. Would love to go after steelhead some day, but right now I don't have the gear to do so (only have 4-5 wt rods). Whats your knowledge on the pink salmon run? I've read that they won't out duel a 4 wt rod.
Sure thing man, The pinks came in last week they are found on the upper shore rivers mostly but they are in every river to some extent. even though I`m not really too afraid on naming rivers for pink salmon, perhaps you should PM me if you don't know which north shore rivers are decent.

You could use a 4 or 5wt rod depending on what you want to fish, Pink salmon crush a swung fly or yarn and nymphs drifting. They like bright pink or chartreuse, and I have caught fresh chrome ones on bead head prince nymphs in size 8 tight line drifting. Indicators annoy the hell out of me and I`m not nearly as good drifting with them.

Swing deep and fast, if its clear you can see groups of fish coming up or holding, get it in their face and one, usually a large male with a hooked jaw and humped back will pound it. They also have the nickname of humpies on the shore.

Pinks go from 2 to 5 pounds fight hard and if they are chrome they eat well, Dont worry if you want grilled salmon over the fire but release them if they are green or red. Its tough to find chrome pinks, they color up fast and deteriorate quickly. Of course if there is a lot of spawning going on fish below and coaster brook trout or steelhead could be there, also lake trout are close to shore now getting ready to spawn soon, the season closes on them so check the regulations. There are lots of pinks they do well all on their own and they are the result of an accidental dumping in Ontario many years ago. Any salmon on the west end of Lake Superior is a wild fish, the pinks and cohos which you will find too do really well, there are wild kings but not so much.

I have caught a number of pinks on the shore, and they are fun to catch and is quite a popular fishery in the fall. I fish a 5wt St. Croix graphite or glass and my clicker reel, and they pull pretty hard.

The colors are starting and it looks great peaking out in the next week or two. Good luck!
 

Unknownflyman

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I need to figure something out so I can request time off. I won't have time to make it all the way up north for steelhead this fall, but I promise we'll get something arranged. Work, the spring flooding and the rental house has kept busy the whole damned season. I took some time off this week and a bad storm ripped the Southern D.A. up, just a couple days ago. One of those knocking down structures, 10yr rains that seem to happen every year now. With our silty banks most of my day trip water will be screwed until the ground freezes unless we get zero rain starting now. Last year wasn't great either. It's really getting me down.

Enough Debbie downer lol. I need to find a way to get on some reasonably decent trout water before seasons close. I thought that used to be SEP 30th so OCT 15th gives me hope I can arrange it. Either that or it's ice fishing lol.
Ive been shirking my home construction duties, and hiring out some stuff, so things are slowly moving along as a cover to go fishing. Still barely married. Easier to get forgiveness than permission. Drop me a PM if you have something in mind, because I don't know if I`ll be north or south on any given weekend.
 

Unknownflyman

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And we are down to the final 7 days, I had planned to get out last weekend but everything in my area was blown, Word on the street is fishing is good if you can find clear water, saw some nice pics and fish are turning on with water in the 50 degree range. Since we are a month or so out from the spawn, the fish should be feeding and in full bright spawning colors. Some of the browns look red and purple and the brook trout have hooked jaws and sport full colors.

Where did the time go? it was June two weeks ago, but I digress...
 

ia_trouter

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The one and only time of year I am glad I live in Iowa. October 15th is just another day. My wife had the AC on last week and the heat on just three days later. :p The big river is up some yet again from the recent hard rains. A hard frost should come soon enough and I will get on the water some finally. All is well as long as I don't get shot by a hunter. :)
 

driftless22

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This has been a frustrating year in regard to those Wisconsin Driftless creeks that I usually fish. Rainfall has been above average, and the good news is that the aquifers are in great shape. The bad news is that my favorite creeks have been blown out on several occasions.
 

Raging Moorish

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Hoping on getting out for two more days before season end. Looks like a brutal weekend with snow\sleet coming Friday and Saturday. Going to be chucking streamers to with the hope of catching a real nice one to end the season on a high note.

Tight lines fellas,

Bradley
 

Unknownflyman

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Greetings gentlemen,

Got out today afternoon till dark for my season 2019 closer, you still have two more days.

Temperature 36 degrees.

Snow, rain, or more ice rain, sleet and windy.

Water temperature 45 degrees.

Hatch- none

Visible action, two risers. slow

To conclude the 2019 season I fished dry flies, while I skated up a number of fish this year, and swung up a few on streamers I really stuck with dry fly action this year and did pretty well. I worked hard today and ended up with a few fish in the net. It was cold, long johns, and my rain defender carhartt hoodie saved the day. It was 32 degrees when I got back to the truck at dark.

The river was high and gin clear to add to the tough conditions, I feel I really accomplished something catching wild brown trout on dry flies during snow, rain/ice with no visible surface feeding.

I saw one large head come up and feed along a log down river, I smiled and waded down in position keeping 60 feet between us, I studied the situation and where I had to cast, but it wasn't in the cards, right before I was going to cast a bald eagle came over me and flew right over the fishes lie. I didn't see a wake but I knew that big brown was gone, Ive seen him feed before on a couple occasions and he is a tough big wise fish in the steelhead size class. Needless to say I fished the area with no action.

Its right before the spawn and my usual beats were devoid of fish, apparently they don't spawn there, there is some gravel and I see some empty redds during the winter but most have moved up river and into the feeder creeks too I suppose.

It was a great season, I was happy to share the love with you guys, not every trip gets posted and only a small minority of fish get photographed but I hope you enjoyed my trip reports.

Those of you fishing yet, Good Luck and tight lines!


















 
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smarty140

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My final trip of Wisconsin's 2019 trout season wasn't as productive as Unknownflyman's, but it was good to get out.

I made it to one of the bigger trout rivers in Northern WI on Sunday afternoon, despite the rain/snow/sleet and a blown tire on my truck on the way there. Changing a tire on a wet gravel road when it's about 35° sucks, but at least the Vikings game was on the radio while I worked on it, and it's better than -10 and snowing or something.

The river was a bit high, but not too bad and reasonably clear. I swung and stripped streamers and a wet fly for a few hours through some good looking water, but never even had a bump. Oh well, the leaves were colorful and it felt good to be out in some crappy weather!

ryan
 

Raging Moorish

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Well there she is, the last stick stick of butter of 2019. Caught on a black woolly bugger.

36003B09-66FC-4F15-98E0-F618FAE66836.jpg

That also brings a close to my first season of fly fishing. What a season it has been! Thank you to each and every one of you who have given advice along the way. This first season came with many botched net jobs out of excitement on big fish. A ton of long days of trial and error with few fish. And a whole lot of exploring my (newly found)home waters. However, the best part about this season is that I feel like I am only scratching the surface of this sport. Its gonna be a long few months till the season opens back up, but ill be plenty prepared come 2020.

I loved hearing all of your guys' pictures and reports! Let's keep it going next year, and maybe ill see a few of you out on the water this upcoming season.

Tight lines and happy tying,

Bradley
 

Avidone1

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Great pics. Beautiful streams and trout.
I will be in the laCrosse area this June of 2020
And been doing a lot of reading and video. I now have family
In Minnesota so will be staying somewhere in
The driftless for several weeks a year
Can’t wait to start making meaningful contributions
This spring
 
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