Stephen and Son Had Luck Yesterday   5 comments

Stephen Rose and his son Heron (named for a bird that Stephen admires, but also named for Hank Aaron, Stephen’s childhood baseball hero) went out to the Driftless yesterday with a spinning rod and some #9 Panther Martins and got after it, with encouraging success.

They found the stream they were fishing loaded with Brook Trout, and the Brook Trout were much further down in the system than they tend to be during the warm months. It is our suspicion that they’re comfortable lower downstream right now because water temps are still cool enough for them to feel comfortable.

The fish in the photo below has some health issues. Not sure what it is, but it looks like fin rot to me. Has anyone seen this before in trout they’ve caught?

At any rate, It’s gratifying to me to see a young fisherman like Heron get out there with his dad and catch fish, especially on a day that snow fell from the sky. Way to go guys!


A nice-sized Driftless Brook Trout, suffering from fin rot, me thinks.

A nice-sized Driftless Brook Trout, suffering from fin rot, me thinks.


Heron and Stephen after a successful outing in the Driftless of Wisconsin

Heron and Stephen after a successful outing in the Driftless of Wisconsin





5 responses to “Stephen and Son Had Luck Yesterday

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  1. Hello, thanks for the nice post. I’m taking my 2 daughters (ages 6 and 9) fly fishing next week while we are in the Smoky Mountains — seeing this gives me hope!

    Question regarding the driftless — I will be heading there for a few days in May (May 22-24) and driving from Chicago through Madison en route to Viroqua. I was thinking of trying Black Earth Creek and Vermont Creek near Cross Plains in probably the late morning timeframe. Will this be worthwhile? Any advice on these streams or anywhere else to hit en route to Viroqua? Once there, we will stop into the Driftless Fly Angler for some intel.

    Thanks very much, love your site!


    Sent from my iPad

    William Wojcieszek
    • Bill,

      Thanks for your comment. I would suggest you stop at Black Earth Creek in Mazomanie. There is a beautiful stream restoration there with a great walking path and wide open spaces. You can access it all by taking Hwy 14 into Mazomanie. As you enter Mazo you’ll go over a bridge, under which passes Black Earth Creek. After the bridge turn right on Cramer Street, and right again on Crescent Street. At the end of Crescent you’ll see the new trail and be in good shape to fish with your daughters, walking upstream.

      Good luck!


  2. Tom, I’ve seen this on a brookie before that I caught on the Blue River. I have no explanation, but, imo, brookies are the “canaries” of streams and obviously telling us something isn’t right.

    Headed up in about week and a half to Viroqua. I was up on the Green a few weekends ago on a day trip and did fairly well considering the water temps

    • Brian,

      I agree, Brook Trout are great indicators of stream health. I hope my state can continue to support efforts to maintain great habitat for fish and opportunities for people to fall in love with these places so they can continue to be cared for.

      Good luck fishing!


      • I’m headed up this Thursday from Chicago for the weekend with some buddies. Tom, are you able to get out?

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