2020 Driftless Pictures And Reports

dpnoll48

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Well, I met my friend early this morning and after parking our cars(one dropped off) we were on the water shortly after 7:30. The water was slightly colored (perfect), cloudy skies and water temp of 58/59 degrees. I started with a PS 2.0 (and Tenkara) and Mike started with a dry (and traditional). After about 2 hours with me catching most of the fish Mike switched to a Killer Bug and really started hitting the fish. He was at fish # 6 in a hole and after landing the fish for Mike (he forgot his net) I dropped and lost the fly which had come off the tippet. While he was retying I took advantage of the situation and got a 7th fish out of the hole. What are friends for, right? We got to another nice hole and Mike was having trouble getting deep enough so he had me jump in. After my 7th fish in that hole (all on the bottom) my nymph came off, Mike returned the favor and pulled in a 16 ½" brown. We lost count of the number we caught overall but the average size was probably the best we have had. I know nothing about Tricos, but nymphs sure as heck are working.45D3F4A6-355E-4B1F-95C4-312FA084FF21.jpegF71203EE-E645-43F6-8099-6D922F9AEC71.jpeg5DBD6679-7E53-4B6F-91B1-3B3F6CFD200B_1_201_a.jpeg8:21 Brown.jpg
 

dpnoll48

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Today I went out with my wife for some afternoon fishing which I rarely do. We hit the water pretty close to 2:30. The water temp was right around 58/59 degrees and the sun was high and bright. I mostly tried the shaded areas. We had a nice afternoon with 5 really nice fish and a number of smaller ones. This was my wife's first time in waders walking in moving water. At one point I had a very nice fish on that was hard to get off the bottom and when I finally got him to the top the hook came out. I may have shouted a bad word because my wife said; "Do you talk like that when fishing with your friends?" Oh well. It was fun having her along.
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dpnoll48

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Thursday I met with my good friend, Zoan Kulinski, at Sidie Hollow Campground in Vernon County, Wisconsin. I got there at 8:45 and we sat around until 12:30 waiting for the rain to stop. It didn't and we finally just said; "The heck with it, let's go fishing. After looking at the radar we decided to head North. It turned out to be a good decision because, as we drove, the skies started to lighten up. By the time we got to our location we had just a light drizzle and temps of about 52 degrees. We put on our rain jackets, crossed the stile and started fishing. Zoan got a hit on his first cast and so did I. The rain stopped but the fish kept on hitting with a lot of risers. After awhile Zoan asked if I had any dries because he had left his at the car. He put on a size 16 CDC Elk Hair and started catching fish immediately. We alternated on fish, Zoan with dries and me with a nymph. On at least four holes we got 5+ fish like that. By the time we got to the end of the access we had landed over 40 fish. Another great day in the Driftless.
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nawagner

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The thing I like about the driftless is that you can look at pictures and swear the stream is the same one you’ve fished 20 times even though it isn’t. I’m going to miss it.

Beautiful fall colors starting to come in.
 

dpnoll48

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Got out again today with Brian Smith. The skies were mostly cloudy with intermittent showers which brought wind at the same time. Overall the fishing was very good with almost no fish rising. We mostly fished with nymphs. We landed 6 or 7 browns over 15". The fall colors are coming along very nicely.
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Unknownflyman

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Finally getting out fly fishing Tomorrow south east MN and getting a little time to post. Grateful things have been busy and I've been picking up Saturday's too I have many friends still out of work or traveling to make ends meet.

I fished my home rivers a few weeks ago to see if any fish were left and low and behold from the record floods, in popular areas and my little known areas it's like a new river, new channels, new depths, hold areas gone, I was pretty blown away by the changes. The river was bigger wider deeper and cleaner, it reminded me of seven or eight years ago, no weeds, lots of rocks and gravel, silt was gone and seemingly more sterile like it used to be. Standing in the river there was debris still stuck in the trees, 20' above where I was standing, boulders the size of small cars were moved down and to the side like bulldozers went through there.

The water was in good shape and very very clear making it tough dry fly fishing and there were few risers but I managed a dozen or so small browns but I caught nothing over 12' and most were smaller than that. I wanted at least one good brown in the 18-20" class to test my new rod, and I fished to a couple big heads the larger trout classes seem to be absent in numbers on my beats.

Thats ok, some survived, I saw them and it was a really difficult dry fly day, I was more relieved to see lots of smaller fish, and young of the year.

I feel the future looks good, this fall spawn has new gravel everywhere, Tricos, blue wings and caddis were still coming off in low numbers. Is the fishing as good as it was? Maybe but I have new rivers to relearn.

I didn't see any more people than what is typical in the areas that I fished, One old guy came down with a five gallon pail on a known section and tried to low hole me as I was fishing my way down, he watched me cast for a bit and left. I know the hole and rock they used to fish but all that's gone, the rocks- boulders are moved down river to the bank and the bottom is smooth gravel and deeper, not really great fish holding anymore, he probably saw that and said to himself, not worth the wait, and it wasn't, beautiful stretch but not many large fish like before.

I don't know about you guys but I'm always moving fly fishing, I`ll be more campy in the winter or if I get tired I'll work an area hard just to see what's there.

The old standby places for the most part are gone and I found a few new ones, my old standby flies were refused with great abandon so I`m tying some new creations. Fly fishing is always about change and adaption, I'm excited for new adventures in familiar surroundings.

A new channel behind the the old bank!




I'm wading out a distance when I took this photo. The water clearer and the casts further but what I nice long run now, with a new deep main channel and still interesting side channels.

 
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Unknownflyman

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Going to fish the south Minnesota driftless tomorrow with my bud Itchmesir, I like that larger river down there its a bit of a drive south but worth it.


Final 12 days of the season, smoke em if you got em! In the not so distant past it would be over OCT 1st and fly tying season.

Maybe I should say we have extended innings now, two.
 
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okaloosa

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Bent......so glad to see you got all those nice fish with your new T&T! what flies were they eating?
 

Bent Undergrowth

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Bent......so glad to see you got all those nice fish with your new T&T! what flies were they eating?
I wouldn't say they were keyed in on anything specific. I like pheasant tail and perdigon variations, rolled deep with a heavy tungsten point fly and something smaller tagged above.

During the olive hatch, an RS2 or similar, but really any small dun or emerger in the right size will suffice as long as the presentation is good. If the hatch is strong enough, they seem to get really competitive and lose inhibition.

Sent from my SM-G973U using Tapatalk
 

pickadrake

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I wish the Fall could last for 2 months! The colors of both fish & tree's is something special. I'll be heading to SE MN for my last camping /fishing weekend before putting the camper away for the winter. Enjoy it while you can!
 

Unknownflyman

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This is likely my last report for the season, working a lot and steelhead season is here and swinging flies and lots to do sighting rifles, repairing deer stands, there is never enough fall to go around, lots of work to do before winter, friends calling to fish on both ends of the state despite the challenges of the 2020 season it was still a great one on the driftless.

What I saw last time out besides getting a half dozen on drifted and skated caddis, was pre spawn behavior, trout swimming up feeder creeks like salmon, not spooky holding in gravel areas and moving up, ignoring almost everything. For me that's the end of the season, the trout will be digging redds any day no reason for me to disturb them.

Some of the pics Itchmesir sent to me and took others I took.

I picked up a couple of new rods a 4wt Sage little one which I finally got to fish last weekend and a 1966 FF75 that just showed up in the mail a couple days ago that is so sweet.

I could get out one more time to fish the FF75 but you never know.

Minnesota is so wonderful in the fall, north to south.



Hooked up on a nice resident in that section, caddis still in his jaw.


Itchy hooking up on a narrow section of creek with his new Epic 585, it lives up to its name, I liked it a lot.



The Unknownflyman caught on film again! Eric took a few pics of me unaware, I thought they were fun pics.
Livingston Western Glass 865 in action



Nice brown trout putting a bend in my Livingston fishing Ard`s Blue Quill.



I`m releasing a really nice brown, took Sulphuric caddis- One of my home spun patterns. That was a surprise fish taken on the Redington 7'6" 2wt.


Prospecting for brookies with dry flies.


Caught in the act again, skating caddis, I loved this river, seen lots of big fish, and NO TREES, why I felt like I was fishing Montana instead of Minnesota, so relaxing and enjoyable, and a good size river too, it allowed me to open up the Little one, casting 75' or more and putting a good skate on for the trout.







The new rig I absolutely love on the driftless, besides my glass


The new glass 1966 FF75


Olaf checking out new rod.

 
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