2021 Driftless Pictures and Reports

pickadrake

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I'm heading down tomorrow for a couple days. Interested to see how the stream temps are running...I'll have my thermometer. On the plus side, wet wading season is early this year. Stay safe!
 

WorknPlay

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Not to sound like a traitor, since the driftless is my home waters but I am heading out to my second home waters tomorrow (Wyoming) for ten days of fly fishing. It is hot out there as well, but I think things will cool off early next week. I am heading up to the mountain streams first, where things should be a little cooler. As I always do, I will be checking the water temperatures a lot. Stay Cool
 

pickadrake

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My, my how things have changed in the last 3 weeks! A few of my favorite creeks are over the safe temp in the afternoons and the weed growth is like I've not ever seen. It's only June 21 and I'm wondering how things will be looking if this current temp trend continues into July & August. On a positive note, when cold water was discovered the fishing was good! The area I was in received about 1" of much need moisture Thursday night and it looked liked they got more yesterday. Hopefully more rain will help rejuvenate the springs. What is everyone else seeing?
 

dpnoll48

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My, my how things have changed in the last 3 weeks! A few of my favorite creeks are over the safe temp in the afternoons and the weed growth is like I've not ever seen. It's only June 21 and I'm wondering how things will be looking if this current temp trend continues into July & August. On a positive note, when cold water was discovered the fishing was good! The area I was in received about 1" of much need moisture Thursday night and it looked liked they got more yesterday. Hopefully more rain will help rejuvenate the springs. What is everyone else seeing?
I'm heading out tomorrow morning. I'll report back in the evening.
 

Tony Blundetto

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I fished one long stretch of stream from 7:30 am until dark last Saturday. Not sure I’ve ever seen my feet so wrinkled before. Caught a good amount of fish, no real big ones but a lot in the low teens so that was fun. Water temp was 58 when I checked it in the morning. They seemed be feeding just under the surface on midges so small I could barely see them, and I caught the majority of the fish on low riding dry flies with a soft hackle dropper. There did seem to be a hatch or if they weren’t hatching there were a lot flying around of what I assume were some kind of caddis at the end of the day. They had either long antennas or long filaments coming off their wing, couldn’t tell which while they were flying. I never caught so one I couldn’t get a pic.

grass is getting pretty long and at times I feel like I could be in the Mekong Delta, lost a few flies on some careless back casts.

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dpnoll48

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I got out and fished for 2 hours yesterday morning from 8 AM until 10 AM. The air temp was 56 degrees when I started and 68 degrees when I got back to the car at 10:15. The water temp was 54 degrees and was slightly stained with the banks showing the effects of the last rain. The vegetation is almost shoulder high which makes for interesting water entries. I started out using a wet fly and had some success but after switching to a nymph things really started to pick up. It ended up being a many fish day with almost everything taken off the bottom. Nothing large but the fish were all in good shape. I caught both browns and brookies.
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driftless22

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Conditions have improved somewhat in SW Wisconsin. I fished for a few hours this morning…water temp was 58 late morning, air temp in the 70s. However, the local creeks are still very low. The weather forecast predicts significant rain during the next few days, which should help. The fishing was just ok…..good early morning, then the trout seemed to lose interest,
 

Tony Blundetto

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Man, just went on a long hike back to a well known water north of 90. Figured water temp would good considering the amount of people fishing downstream from where I hiked in. Water temp was 71 degrees in the shade! Thinking I’m gonna try to find some smallies the rest of the day.
 

Unknownflyman

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Got out yesterday 5 am and fished till 9am, Air temp was 53 degrees, and I was in a tee shirt and shorts and loving it. Conditions have improved across the northern driftless and there is heavy rain today which is good news, get those springs full and flowing. Morning fishing was good, something I dont do much of, but the night shift and weather conditions dictate that. I felt that the conditions the way they were, I got warm at 9am, the fish were active but I called it out of respect, I probably could have fished longer but there was no need.

Despite our heat and drought river was lower but in good condition and I spied lots of trout and some real big ones feeding too. Its all about the tricos, a few BWO coming off and well I dont fish tricos at all and had zero flies so I had to fish hard with something and that was caddis, none hatching in the morning but its hard for them to resist. Managed 7 or 8 nice browns, nothing huge and they were feisty little guys, my last trip was Alaskan king salmon and spey rods so it was nice to have the 4wt sage little one, wander and prospect.

How I love my home spring creeks and all of the driftless, I feel lucky to have such great fly fishing and fly fishers in my home area, I think you guys can relate. I love to travel and I'll fish anywhere any time, and I love that, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Alaska, Michigan but the more I travel and fish the more special the driftless becomes, It was good to fish home again.

I think I captured some nice shots from yesterday, had one fish I couldn't shake loose without touching him, so I have the gratuitous fish pic of a nice wild brown, but I didnt need it.

I had a large brook trout and a really nice brown, hammer my caddis fly drifting back to me and catch like 2 feet of air and spit the fly when they landed, nothing on. I was wading, belly button deep when that happened and there was slack as I was casting upstream and drifting the fast seam back, but I never really had takes like that before, it was pretty interesting and cool.

All the best, friends,











 
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WorknPlay

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"Unknownflyman" - you sure do take some nice pictures of the driftless. The first one with the creek, trees, clouds and sky is great. I always try to take good pictures wherever I go, but it always just turns out with a trout in the net or cutthroat in my hand. I have some work to do on my picture taking. Take Care
 

pickadrake

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Well, I can't recall ever having 2.5 days of better dry fly fishing in the Driftless. It seems like all the streams (al least the ones I was on) are in good shape temperature wise, although they could be 8-12" higher. I did observe a few Trico's but not enough to get the fish up on them. I think it's a week or two away from those coming into play. I also saw a couple dandy bucks in full velvet which was cool!
 

swanny66

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I sure miss that part of the country. We moved to AZ 5 years ago and haven't wet a line until this past week in WY. Didn't even bring my own gear......just use the guide's gear.
 

WorknPlay

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How goes the fly fishing in the old Driftless? I will not be fishing this August at all, while I get ready and then go on my sheep hunt, so I have to live through you guys and gals. Are the browns hitting on the terrestrials hot and heavy. How are the hopper - dropper rigs working for everyone. I wish I could get out there this week with some cooler temps or at least compared to what it has been this summer. Good luck to everyone and take care.
 

dpnoll48

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This morning I went out and fished a TU project from last fall. I was on the water at 7 AM and fished for an hour. The water was slightly colored and a slightly above normal depth. The water event we just had flattened streamside grass and made getting in and out slippery. The grass which was planted last fall is now a jungle. The water temp was 58 degrees all three times I checked. The fishing was good and I caught a mixture of browns and brookies.
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dpnoll48

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Kinda quiet around so I'll tell you about the 18th. I headed out early Wed morning for Houston County and was on the water by 7:30. the air temp was 61 degrees and the water was 51 degrees and slightly colored. I fished for an hour and landed 6 little guys. By 9:15 I was on my second stream and once again the water was 51 degrees but it was crystal clear. I landed one nice fish and a smaller one. I didn't see any rises and caught everything on nymphs. Overall the fishing was slow but I was happy to find cool water. I'm going to try out another couple of streams next Wednesday.5004C1C2-5861-4009-8158-BC9714E1EC71_1_105_c.jpeg
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Tony Blundetto

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Looks beautiful! I’m moving at the end of the month so my weekends have been busy getting ready for that. Hoping to make it down a few times still before the season ends. On the bright side, I’m moving probably a whole 15 minutes closer to the driftless lol.
 

Tony Blundetto

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Lucky for me I found some time to get out yesterday. Fishing was a little spotty at first, tried a mini-chubby and dropper, caught fish on both but it was a little slow. Tried a different nymph and royal wulf and had the same results. When I switched to a #18 glitter ant that made all the difference and even cut off the dropper because all they wanted was the ant. Just a few fish over 12” and one real nice one but then dinks kept me more than happy.

One interesting thing of note, I was stripping in a 5” brown, and much much larger brown came and checked it out like it wanted to eat it. Guys, this thing looked it was 25”. Never seen a trout that big before. It was in a deep pool next to a rock face so it’s exactly the spot I would imagine a big one to be lurking.


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