2020 Driftless Pictures And Reports

pickadrake

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Well, I got out last Friday and fished a couple of my smaller creeks expecting some fish to be looking up. I'm not sure if someone fished ahead of me or not, but I had limited success and there was zippo for bug action with the exception of some midges about the size of a pinhead. Anyhow, the good news is that I ran across some morels. Stay safe
 

Bent Undergrowth

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Well, I got out last Friday and fished a couple of my smaller creeks expecting some fish to be looking up. I'm not sure if someone fished ahead of me or not, but I had limited success and there was zippo for bug action with the exception of some midges about the size of a pinhead. Anyhow, the good news is that I ran across some morels. Stay safe
I've had similar experiences as of recent, including the morels, though they have been much sparser it seems this year: https://fox6now.com/2020/05/23/dry-cool-spring-leaves-wisconsin-town-desperate-for-morels/

I know the poor mushroom season is a result of drought, and I'm wondering if the relative scarcity of emerging insects is somehow related as well.

Regardless, I've had decent luck subsurface. I hooked into a serious bruiser the other weekend that was wise enough to head straight for a log. I was using a dry-dropper rig and he took the dropper. The dry caught on the log and snapped me off immediately.

The ones that get away keep you coming back.

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nawagner

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Love the color on those browns!

Went out this weekend on more of a reconnaissance mission to a stream I've not fished before. Hooked 5, landed 2 and 4-5 other hits. This was a small stream that I'm guessing after a few weeks will be completely unfishable because of overgrowth. It is a challenging stream. As soon as a fish hook up they would be wrapped around shrubs and trees and trying to keep a rod tip up was nearly impossible without wrapping it is trees. Good action though and fun to see a new stream. The one thing I've learned about trout... They don't live in ugly places!
IMG_20200531_162559725_HDR.jpg
 

unknownflyman

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I finally got out with Itchmesir that's him down river. I was out and about on the drifless, I dont have open casting like that in my neck of the woods. That was the longest stretch of time in my life that I did not fish and I hope it will not ever be repeated. Report to follow and a few pictures that I took.

The rivers go on forever, long may they run.

 
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Bent Undergrowth

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Glad you were able to end the cold streak flyman, and looking forward to the report.

Word on the street is March browns are coming off. I did not see any, but saw a few sulphurs on Friday and Saturday. Sure would be nice if they stuck around - love fishing larger dries to hatches, but won't be able to get out for a couple weeks now.

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unknownflyman

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Ingrained into the new year and a feeling, a drive, a lot stronger than I consciously pondered is the feeling when I see structure. Around the next bend I light up and glow, Look! look at that run! A smile comes to Eric`s face, because he knows, he says nothing, the seams by the rock walls, glorious logs and deep water for large fish to hide, my eyes scan any possible place and the most likely places where the fish reside.

I was trained from the earliest days to listen and learn how to fish structure, anywhere, anyplace, anytime and after all these long years it pleases me to no end that there are still wonderful surprises beautiful to behold and in duality the agony of crushing defeat.

In the previous posted picture, a few fish were coming up, small, occasional nice one, and as if a mirage appeared, a brown of 5lbs or more comes out of the deep and takes a tiny insect off the surface and slowly continues its graceful arc back into the depths, I couldn't believe it, but I could believe that it would not come up again and certainly not for my dry fly, which it didn't.

We fished many rivers, I call them all rivers I guess by habit, I always did even as a child, they were just different sizes. Isn't it funny how the grass is greener, ruminating about the glory of casting with no obstructions and those horrible trees, weeds, brush and those dangerous rod breaking cliffs and yet after a short time that's exactly where I want to be, in the thick of it, hazards and casting conundrums, problems, structure and of course fish, large undisturbed tippet breaking beasts which rarely show themselves by the light of day.

Eric and I landed and lost many fish large and small and I could write a few more pages on the individual stories within the story and the lessons learned, but that's giving away too much, its up to you to find your way on this journey to hunt and peck for the pieces of the puzzle, something we all go through in learning how to fly fish and that road never ends just like the rivers we love.

Its dry fly time on the driftless, and everything is hatching, the sun and moon are in its place and the stars are aligned and far away in the remote corners of our respective places all is right with the world and its waiting to be discovered.







The Flyman caught on film again, unbeknownst.


 
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Bent Undergrowth

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Author of this article: "Can you imagine an insect hatch along the Zumbro River so big it shows up on radar? No thanks."

Us: "Yes please."

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unknownflyman

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Beautiful water Steve, a couple of your shots look pretty familiar to a little stream I fish. Thanks for sharing a nice day on the water!

Denny
Thanks Denny, Good to be out on the home turf again, and the traffic is gone, everyone up on the lakes. There were a number of canoes, kayaks and some inner tubers which usually doesn't happen till August, they dont bother me too much, I just take a 15min break and the trout come up again. But man, it was 62 degrees and the water was 57 degrees, I asked the inner tubers if the water was cold, they all looked miserable and blue actually, in unison they all said Yeah. My legs were numb and I had thick socks and my Simms waders on, by evening I was cold, 50 degrees and I fished in a tee shirt. Everyone is feeling cooped up I guess, up for some adventure.
 

nawagner

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I was in a shop one day, no where near home, asking for fishing location advice. The guy mentioned a stream and added "the inner tube hatch should be about over by this time of year" which I found rather humorous!
 

weiliwen

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I caught this brown in a stream that looks remarkably similar to the one in Nawagner's post. I had to drop a Pink Squirrel into a slot that was already covered overhead, then feed it downriver, pull up a bit, let more line out, etc. This 14" brown took the fly and immediately headed back to the undercut, tangling the line in the roots overhead. I had to jump into the crick and crawl down to the roots and dislodge the line; fortunately the fish was still on! Not huge, but beautiful colors. The next day, a bit downriver on the same creek, I caught another of about the same size, but with a bright red adipose fin. At first, I thought it had been injured, but no, the fin was just that color. I've never seen that before. Hard to see but it's in the 2nd picture. Both caught with my lovely Sage LL 7'11" 4 weight; it's my favorite rod.

I lost the straw hat in the first picture that evening, in a bizarre incident. I was fishing about a half hour before sunset, and in only about 90 seconds, the wind went from 15MPH to about 60MPH. I was looking for funnel clouds! Of course the hat blew off into the middle of the stream, but I was too scared to chase it down. I ran as fast as I could for the car. I guess it was what they call a "dorecho."

Fish 1.jpeg
Fish 2.jpeg
 

unknownflyman

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Awesome Weiliwen! I`d rather share the river with fly fishermen than a constant stream of kayaks and canoes. The Brule during the lake run brown, king season is terrible, we call it the kayak hatch. There are kayak float trip businesses on that river. Its too cold for them thankfully when the steelhead fishing gets good. Ive nearly been hit a number of times because its loud river sounds, I`m swinging flies looking down river, and someone will scream LOOK OUT!, I turn to look surprised and there is a canoe or kayak three feet from me coming in hot! and I`m in rapids up to my waist on boulders. Nice
 
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