Archive for the ‘Hopper pattern’ Tag

September Trout Fishing in the Driftless   3 comments

September is one of the best months to chase trout in Wisconsin’s Driftless creeks. Nights are cool and water temps are prime for fish activity. Lots of terrestrials are active in their riparian habitats, and fish hormones are starting to crank up in anticipation of spawning season. All this means good fishing!

Stephen Rose and I headed out of Madison to Crawford County to camp out overnight near a Kickapoo tributary. Hennessy Hammmocks fit the bill nicely for roadside camping because you don’t need a flat spot on the ground, just a couple of stout trees and away you go. Camping in the trees and dreaming of fish. How could you do any better?

The cicadas sung me to sleep and the sun woke me the next morning. We packed up our sleeping gear, put on waders, drank a little coffee and walked a hundred yards to the creek. A fog hung over the creek and it made me feel as though the underwater world and the world we inhabit above the water were melting into one, as if the fish could have swum up out of the water and into the mist lying between the banks.

I tied on a foam cricket and got after it, landing a couple of twelve inch brown trout, and Stephen had similar luck on hoppers. The fishing remained good throughout the morning, but we found fewer and fewer fish willing to rise, so we switched over to nymphs and continued to have success.

If you’ve been putting off a trip to the trout stream, now’s the time to get out there. The season ends at the end of the month, so take advantage while you can!

 

A glorious spring-fed creek in WIsconsin's Driftless Region

A glorious spring-fed creek in WIsconsin’s Driftless Region

 

Success with a foam cricket in early September on a Kickapoo River tributary

Success with a foam cricket in early September on a Kickapoo River tributary

 

Stephen Rose fishes hoppers in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin

Stephen Rose fishes hoppers in the Driftless Region of Wisconsin

 

Pink flowers line the stream in September

Pink flowers line the stream in September

 

A bruiser Brown Trout from a Wisconsin Driftless stream

A bruiser Brown Trout from a Wisconsin Driftless stream

 

Stephen Rose casting to a lie on a Kickapoo tributary

Stephen Rose casting to a lie on a Kickapoo tributary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Morning, Another Stream   Leave a comment

I got out this morning before work and fished a section of Mt. Vernon Creek in Dane County. There were some very nice holding spots in the section I fished and it looked like the streambank improvement project that was done in 1977 was in really good shape.

My fishing vehicle, affectionately named the "Jay Ford Thurston"

My fishing vehicle, affectionately named the "Jay Ford Thurston"

After being denied any action in the section near the road, which looked very “fishy”, I checked my position using my phone (don’t you love GPS overlaid on Google Maps?) and worked my way upstream past some straight sections to a series of nice bends. This was a taxing endeavour given that the grass was making every effort to keep my feet from making foward progress. But I got to a very nice plunge pool into a bend lie and made some casts with a “Yellow Squirrell” (which is a Pink Squirrell but with yellow chenille).

And then, I had a fish on! I retrieved line and then thought “Hey, this might be a sizeable fish! I’d better get this guy onto my reel!” So I got fancy and tried to keep tension on the fish while taking up the sizeable amount of slack with my reel, but guess what? I didn’t keep that line between me and the fish tight, and the numpty bastard wiggled right off the hook.

Oh well.

Wisconsin Fencerow

Wisconsin Fencerow

Back to it a little while longer, and being that I haven’t touched a fish with my hands even though I’ve made epic cast after epic cast with my delicious 4wt, getting incredible hopper drifts through the most enticing lies you’ve ever seen, I fished a bit too long and had to hightail it over the barbed-wire fence and walk-sprint between cornrows back toward the road. And just as I’m coming out of the corn I see the farmer in his pickup truck banging along through the pasture coming straight for me. And I think, “Shit”. But then he takes a left turn and completely ignores me and the fact that I’m on the wrong side of his fence. So that was nice.

Back to my car, strip out of wet gear, check the Google Maps navigator to see how long the drive to work is going to be, and it says “38 minutes”. But my meeting is in 31 minutes! So I texted my boss saying I’d be late for the meeting and I’m very sorry.

Then I’m sitting in my wet skivvies driving through rural Wisconsin following a Mini Cooper going 80 up and down hills, drinking my cup of coffee, eating cashews, putting pomade in my hair so it looks like I tried to look okay, and then I find myself on a slower stretch of road closer to the city and I think, “This would be a great time to change into my work clothes.” So I set the cruise control at 40mph and pull on my pants, socks, shoes and so forth. I waited for a stoplight to pull on my shirt, so don’t worry.

Finally, I pull into the parking lot, walk-sprint the 70-yards across the parking lot, and see that I’m not actually late. Turns out I was the first one to the meeting.

So you see, fishing is not completely about catching fish. It’s about the experiences, according to Burgess Meredith. I couldn’t agree more.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CITa_pmox4&feature=player_detailpage#t=129s