2020 Driftless Pictures And Reports

pickadrake

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That's Wes. He's a young tyer in your group and fished with me on Saturday. I don't live close enough the Metro to attend LT events.
I thought that might have been Wes, but I couldn't see around the shades well enough
 

Nosesupflyfishing

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Braved the wind and was on the water by around 9 this morning. Fairly slow (other than picking my wind blown flies out of trees) until about 10:30 when the caddis started popping off. I had more fun with dry flies in the next two hours than I can remember having in a long time! Sorry, was too consumed to snap any good pics.
 

pickadrake

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Well, every year I seem to forget how crowded is gets on the harvest opener, but each year I'm quickly reminded. In spite of numerous times getting low & high holed, I did manage to catch a few fish. There was a heavy little grey caddis hatch for a couple hours, and the fish ate well on top, which was FUN! Grb creek.jpgGrb creek fish.jpg
 

Bent Undergrowth

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Well, every year I seem to forget how crowded is gets on the harvest opener, but each year I'm quickly reminded. In spite of numerous times getting low & high holed, I did manage to catch a few fish. There was a heavy little grey caddis hatch for a couple hours, and the fish ate well on top, which was FUN! View attachment 22424View attachment 22425
Glad to hear you found a nice caddis emergence. Sounds like you had a good time despite the etiquette infringements.

I'm reminded of a time fishing a large public area near a highway in the driftless. While trying to be discreet playing and landing fish, I had seen a white diesel pickup drive by and slow down several times to watch. There's only so much you can do if someone is really motivated to spy on you. Fast forward about 30 minutes, I hear a motor in the distance and eventually see an ATV coming straight to me. I thought perhaps I had accidentally wandered onto private land, and the landowner was coming to give me and earful. But no, as he got closer I saw the telltale mepps dangling from a spinning rod held across the handlebars. He skidded to a halt and proceeded to begin casting 40 ft from me. I had already had a good day and the hatch had just dwindled out, so I broke down my rod and watched him catch nothing for a while. It's the little things. I doubled back to the truck, noting tire tracks going through the stream on my way out...

I was able to sneak away from work on Friday for the last day of C&R, anticipating the madness which tends to ensue on harvest opener. I struck out on a couple possible new, low-key spots, finding poor water quality and ultimately settling on a more well-known class 1 for the day. This turned out to be a real mudslide of a creek, and after falling on my ass landing the only decent fish of the day on a leech (in ridiculously and unexplainably stained water), I decided to call it. Heading back, I noticed a few rises and was able to capitalize on a meager olive hatch. No caddis to speak of, though.

As I made my way back to the truck, I noticed I had a voicemail... from the game warden. He indicated that this land was closed to all recreation, except turkey hunting, which I thought was odd. I made my way to better cell service and gave him a call back. He was very cool (even a bit apologetic) and I asked him for details as I hadn't seen this particular parcel noted on the DNR's list of state land closures. He explained that pretty much all the state land in SW WI is covered under the purview of the "Lower Wisconsin Riverway" which is mentioned in their directive (Gov. Evers Directs DNR To Close 40 State Parks, Forests And Recreational Areas News Release - Wisconsin DNR). Essentially, he said, when I asked about accessing water via other trout easements, the only way you can fish right now is to get private landowner permission... well I'm not buying that, but I wasn't going to argue with him, especially since he was being generally pleasant and I obviously hadn't done my research. I'm going to look into this further and will let you guys know what I find out. If you have any insights, that would also be appreciated.

Cheers.



Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

FlymanSJB

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I still haven't been out since this whole disease manifested and shelter in place thing started, mostly because of I`m still working keeping the power on critical infrastructure and my home remodel projects are out of control at this point, I`m picking up more than I`m getting done.


Look the word on the street isn't good mostly I`m hearing from the Wisconsin side northern driftless to south, grumble about out of state plates and the disease is hitting rural areas and I dont really think that's fishermen's fault as the line of cars from Wisconsin coming into Minnesota to work is extensive with twice as many cases of Covid over there but we all have to get along.

People are wearing out a good thing, over crowding, littering, theft, trespassing, not social distancing Land owners are upset with a constant parade of fishermen on their property , DNR easements are being re considered, and while last weekend was the catch and kill opener which is always really busy, the lack of other fishing opportunities and the mass furlough and unemployment has people fishing everyday and now its really bad.

Any popular access point is busy and it takes time and some driving to get away from people.

I`m going to make a plea to stay safe, legal and take it easy on the the rivers and fish, be stealthy, you dont want people to see your car parked on the river these days at a great stretch of river! If you see a car keep moving to another access, if everything is busy maybe consider it a nice country drive and head home.

People dont watch their personal space! I have to point out on an hourly basis at work to stay the F#$K away from me and I`m wearing a N95 mask. I dont want to get sick, and people get testy, they are stressed and just because you practice social distance doesn't mean some jackass is not going to come up and get in your face if they are angry.

Be well and safe but dont look for any trip reports from me for a good while.
 

dennyk

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I hear ya Flyman! The amount of people on public streams here is ridiculous as well.

A section of private property near where I fish always had an open gate in the fencing to allow folks to enjoy his property if they were respectful, the land owner didn't mind. Now the gate has a lock on it thanks to the parade of irresponsible idiots on his property leaving evidence of them being there. Those have wrecked it for everyone, I'm sure it isn't much different there.

I'm currently fishing private property I have permission to be on and haven't seen a soul back there, which I'm happy about. Also fishing areas which take some travel and effort to get to..so far so good. This is the general trout opener this Saturday here in Michigan, some places you'll have to take a number and wait in line, practicing social distancing of course, to fish.

Denny
 

jajohn

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To me, comparing people going to work and people fishing out of state is just a little weird. But that's just me.
 

FlymanSJB

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I`m not going to post some of the things I've seen on Facebook and around the internet because I dont want to give people ideas, but for the love of the fishing gods! Do not turn a wild trout fishery into your personal meat market!

There are stockies, put and take fisheries where they want you to take them for food, clipped steelhead ready for the bonking. If you like trout these are a fine meal.

If you need a meal of fish sunfish and crappies are in shallow, take any fly or bait well, more than harvestable numbers abound and some of the finest eating fish that swims across the northland in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Walleye, pike and bass opens soon and again, more than enough to go around.

This pandemic and the fear associated with it has peoples meat hunting survival instinct on overdrive.

Please think twice before harvest.
 

nawagner

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Made it out yesterday. It was a good day. 12 or so fish, 2 in the 13-14" range, a fat rainbow. They weathered the winter just fine it seems.

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smarty140

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I spent today on a river that I've only fished once before, and without good success. Today was definitely better. I started on a branch of the stream and only landed one little brookie. There were caddis flying around and on the water, but no rising fish.

After lunch I hit a lower part of the river and started getting strikes, or at least follows, from nice browns. My hookup and landing % was really poor, but there was action all afternoon. I landed a couple browns and some more brookies, but missed a couple of really big ones. I will definitely be hitting this river again!

ryan
 
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FlymanSJB

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I needed to see this! great fish guys, I`m going out on a day trip this weekend for sure, Projects finishing up and I even doubled the size of my veggie garden, Just call me the sod buster. Caddis!
 

jk 8

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What has the general consensus about out of state fisherman been lately? I would like to come up for the weekend, looks like cabins are still available for rent. I was planning on doing all of my shopping at home, only stopping for gas when I need, and obviously stay away from crowded access points and respect private property per usual.

I don't see any issues with this personally, but I don't want to get my tires slashed due to out of state plates or anything.
 

FlymanSJB

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I personally could care less if out of state people are fishing, shopping, working in Minnesota as long as they are staying safe, The flack I posted about was coming out of Wisconsin. I know a number of people that fish over there as the border is 17 miles away. Covid doesn't care what activity you are doing, There is a crew with a big trucks all Wisconsin plates carpenters today working on my neighbors house right now. Its like that near the border. I could care less.

Minnesota is opening things back up slowly, we sell the second most fishing licenses in the US right behind Alaska and I`m quite sure they dont want to miss out on that revenue and cabin season.

I`m not sure if overnight cabin rentals are open yet but I think I read some guidelines for cabins and resort rentals. The guidelines are pretty loose probably on purpose, it is not illegal to go to your cabin or travel but it is suggested to stay closer to home. I fish the Canadian border on walleye opener and resorts want people up there and fishing safely, I`m probably going to pass as people are getting to strange about this.

Its busy on the driftless but plenty of remote water can be found it just takes a little time.

I cannot speak for Wisconsin or what the vibe is over there, I think they mello `d out a little bit, fly shops cant advertise open legal fishing and new drive up windows for buying stuff and then B!tch about how busy it is. Its all kind of dumb.

Do your research and stay away from people, I doubt you have any issues, Camping is closed here.
 

69texaseyes

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Season opener and I am stuck at home as I am in the high risk category. NO one is wearing masks except me. NO one is social distancing except me. All I need is to turn a bend and have someone in my face. Very few people are taking this serious.
Drove around to a small park yesterday to take wife for a walk. We were only couple wearing a mask. Older folks and moms wheeling kids around had no masks. I was astounded. Looks like all my fishing will be late summer and fall.
 

jk 8

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Well I did make it up this weekend, and I have to say staying socially distant is pretty easy in the region if you just stray from the beaten path a bit. I did all my shopping back at home, and only filled up on gas in Madison, and was successfully able to not come within 100ft, let alone 6ft of another person all weekend.

Now onto the fun stuff. I fished two lesser known streams, and did well on both. Nothing to write home about size wise, but I will never complain about a bunch of wild, 8-10 inch browns that are eager to take a dry fly all day.

It was crazy windy all day, which seemed to put the caddis that I was hoping for off, but in exchange blew all sorts of **** into the water, and they were looking up all day for small hippie stompers and foam ants. Not fast and furious action, but a fish or two per pool, and I lost count of the number of fish I caught which is the sign of a good day to me.

No pictures this time, never really felt like taking the phone out to get any, just enjoyed the solitude.
 

pickadrake

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Great pic's! Glad to see people out enjoying the water. I've been in the bathroom remodeling mode for a couple weeks, but the finish line is in sight. I'm heading down for a social distance exercise Friday, weather permitting.
 

FlymanSJB

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Finishing up my projects, trim and touch up and planting this weekend, She thinks I`m continuing on the home construction road after this but I had to put my stompy foot down. I still haven't been out fishing at all.

Fishing license sales are high, hopefully things are settling down after the walleye opener.
 

smarty140

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I've been out in west-central Wisconsin a couple times in the last 3 weeks, most recently this past Saturday. This weekend I fished south of here on Saturday, mostly stripping streamers targeting bigger browns.
Instead, most of what I caught were brookies. It's fun when a 10-12" brook trout will attack a 5" long articulated streamer!
There were a lot of tan caddis in the air through the day, but most of the time I didn't see any trout rising. Then, at the last place that I stopped, there were fish rising all over right by the bridge. I put away the streamer rod and caught several on my 4wt bamboo rod with an elk hair caddis.
Overall it was a fun day!
ryan
 
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