2020 Driftless Pictures And Reports

Unknownflyman

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It's a fun river. I had some decent luck there earlier this year. Have a great hunting season and stay safe.
Thank you sir, Ive enjoyed your reports and photos, thank you for sharing, I look forward to your and everyone else's end of season reports.
Ive fished all over the US and Canada and even Scandinavia, what we have in the driftless region is special, there's no place like home.
 

Bent Undergrowth

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This has been my favorite thread to check throughout the year. With everything going on in the world, nice to have a place where things are just good.

I too will be swinging for chrome this fall and the coming spring... perhaps we need another thread?

Either way, my boxes are looking rather bare. I have a lot of tying to do. I know Zoom/Skype bugs and beers have been proposed here before. I think that'd be cool.

Cheers.

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brownbass

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This has been my favorite thread to check throughout the year. With everything going on in the world, nice to have a place where things are just good.

I too will be swinging for chrome this fall and the coming spring... perhaps we need another thread?

Either way, my boxes are looking rather bare. I have a lot of tying to do. I know Zoom/Skype bugs and beers have been proposed here before. I think that'd be cool.

Cheers.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
I belong to a group that has been doing Zoom fly fishing and tying and they work fine for together and fly tying "classes'".

Bill
 

Unknownflyman

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Well that was a fast season the last hours ticking away, already looking forward to January first, Ice shelves, snow, the colder the better, while it was a busy year, it won't be then. All in all I didn't see any more people than normal, so I must be fishing good areas and I'm keeping it that way.
 

dpnoll48

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Well that was a fast season the last hours ticking away, already looking forward to January first, Ice shelves, snow, the colder the better, while it was a busy year, it won't be then. All in all I didn't see any more people than normal, so I must be fishing good areas and I'm keeping it that way.
Yeah, hard to believe the season is over. I saw more people this year but usually it was as I was coming out since I start pretty early. I did find a lot of new streams so I had more options. I did manage to get out today and fished from 10:30 to 12:30 and was able to land a bunch of browns. Mostly, they were on the bottom. I landed some nice ones and some small ones. It was a nice way to end the season. Take care and stay safe.
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PuckME

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Took the day off on Wednesday and headed up to Grant County. Started the day on a stream I have been to before, but fished sections I was unable to before due to other fishermen. Had a buddy with me fishing a coulee scud under a hopper, and I was fishing a pink squirrel above a pheasant tail under an indicator. I also stripped a streamer at all of the deeper water with no luck. We caught about 8 browns and broke for lunch.
Just before lunch I swapped my lower fly for a coulee scud since my buddy caught all of his on it. Ended up catching 10 more browns myself on the scud. I saw quite a few olives coming off around 3pm and a few smaller fish were rising, but I was surprised on the lack of surface activity during the hatch. We made it to the end of the easement so decided to head to another stream.
The next stream was new water for both of us, and we ended up catching a few more with the fish right up against the bank. We covered quite a bit of ground but the fishing was fairly slow on this one.

Between the two of us we caught 22 fish between 5" & 10" for most, with one above 12". All but It was a good day to be out and didn't encounter anyone else which was nice, although two cars were at the first pull off by the time we made it back to the car. I was disappointed that the streamer didn't get any action since I moved quite a few fish a couple weeks ago on it.

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weiliwen

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Well, my season is over. I have to say, I had little luck in the last week. I was "guiding" my sister, who, at 59, has taken up fly fishing. As you might guess, learning to fly fish in overgrown Driftless streams, especially in the windy conditions of the last few days, was difficult. I've been fly fishing since I was a teenager (I'm older than she is) and have muscle memory built into my casts, so I automatically (usually) think about what my back-cast might hit, know how long to wait until my forward cast should begin, how the wind will take my fly, etc. I never realized how much multitasking is needed for a decent cast.

Hoppers were still about in the fields, but no fish went for my Moorish Hoppers. BWO nymphs and dries did little better. In the end, what caught nearly all my fish were my standbys, a Pink Squirrel and a #12 Muddler Minnow.

This season had some great points - I caught my biggest fish on one of my favorite runs - I had briefly hooked him with a San Juan Worm as I was working downstream. I worked my way back up, on the other side of the stream, and caught him with a pink squirrel - the SJ Worm was still in his jaw. So much for hooking a fish putting him down for several hours - It was about a 10-minute delay between hookups!.

My brother bought a house in the area, which he won't move into for another year, so it's effectively mine to use, saving me time and $$ on AirBnB fees.

But overall, I was disappointed that my fly fishing efforts were not matched by results. I don't know how to improve this - I know the fish are there, so it's obviously user error. I guess I'm comparing myself to friends on the FB Driftless group who keep holding up 16" brookies and 22" browns.
 

ontheflymn

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I guess I'm comparing myself to friends on the FB Driftless group who keep holding up 16" brookies and 22" browns.

I think that's defeatist to compare fly fishing to what you see others do online. I'm not criticizing you if that's how you feel. I'm just saying I don't get it. FF, for me, is not a competition, especially when it comes to the rubbish that is Facebook. I see the pics posted online here,, Instagram, etc.) and I admire them, but I don't feel a sense of inadequacy by what they post.
 

weiliwen

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I guess I'm comparing myself to friends on the FB Driftless group who keep holding up 16" brookies and 22" browns.

I think that's defeatist to compare fly fishing to what you see others do online. I'm not criticizing you if that's how you feel. I'm just saying I don't get it. FF, for me, is not a competition, especially when it comes to the rubbish that is Facebook. I see the pics posted online here,, Instagram, etc.) and I admire them, but I don't feel a sense of inadequacy by what they post.
I know what you mean, but geez, I'd like to get a 20" Brown some day, and a few more each day than I did this summer.
 

nawagner

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I guess I'm comparing myself to friends on the FB Driftless group who keep holding up 16" brookies and 22" browns.

I think that's defeatist to compare fly fishing to what you see others do online. I'm not criticizing you if that's how you feel. I'm just saying I don't get it. FF, for me, is not a competition, especially when it comes to the rubbish that is Facebook. I see the pics posted online here,, Instagram, etc.) and I admire them, but I don't feel a sense of inadequacy by what they post.
I would not get to worked up. I am of the firm belief most fisherman have no sense of what 20” is without a tape measure, and have a tendancy to exaggerate a bit! Especially those on FB. A 22” trout in driftless country is a big fish and not too common.

There is a stream I fish, a lot. One day I inadvertently dropped in front of a guy fishing because I saw a couple decent 12-14” fish rising. I immediately saw him and apologized and told him there were a couple risers up further as I headed downstream. After I was headed back to the vehicle the guy said he pulled one of those risers out, and “was at least an 18 incher!” Told him great job and headed to my car.
 

dpnoll48

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I would not get to worked up. I am of the firm belief most fisherman have no sense of what 20” is without a tape measure, and have a tendancy to exaggerate a bit! Especially those on FB. A 22” trout in driftless country is a big fish and not too common.

There is a stream I fish, a lot. One day I inadvertently dropped in front of a guy fishing because I saw a couple decent 12-14” fish rising. I immediately saw him and apologized and told him there were a couple risers up further as I headed downstream. After I was headed back to the vehicle the guy said he pulled one of those risers out, and “was at least an 18 incher!” Told him great job and headed to my car.
Yeah, darn few people can accurately guesstimate the size of a fish. It's a guy shortcoming. LOL.
 

Unknownflyman

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Its true unless your a steelheader a 20" is a little guy. Most of the 20" fish I get are long and skinny, they measure but not like really chunky brutes in the west, some of them are though, driftless fish seem more lean less football, maybe because their wild or eat a lot of bugs, I dunno. Sometimes the big ones dont fight near as hard as a 16'-18" fish, view been very surprised at the net many times, Oh He's not so big, good fighter. The 22"-24" or larger class really pull hard.

The inside of my hoop of my net is 17.5 inches, its really easy to measure them on the release. It's nice when the jaw is over the outside of the net a few inches, it happens a good number of times a season, I know guys are hung up on that 20" mark, but I`ll take 17" to 19" all day long. I usually break 20" a couple times a season, and lose a bunch too, damn log jams.
 
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Bent Undergrowth

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I fished a lot this year, caught hundreds of trout, and only landed one over 20. I'm not specifically targeting big fish e.g. moonlighting or throwing meat all day, but I still think that says something. Driftless fish are just not typically able to grow that large.

I'm with UFM on those log jams though. If I wasn't lazy (and cheap) the right thing to do would be to tie on a heavier tippet just before fishing precarious structure.

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pickadrake

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I catch a 20"er on every outing ;)
My comment was tongue in cheek of course. The only 20+ " trout I catch each season are in my trip to the Rocky Mtn states. I'm not a streamer fisherman, (yet) so a 20" driftless fish would probably be very few and far between.....if ever. Those catching 20" fish, are you catching them on buggers / streamers, etc?....just curious. I've had some heavy fish on but not to the net and don't know how they would have measured. I did catch a good number of 13-17" fish this summer and with the tackle and in the water I'm fishing, they were all I could handle. I'll take them all season long!
 
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