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> > Driftless WI

Report at a Glance

General RegionVernon County
Specific LocationA spring creek
Time of DayAll day
Fish CaughtTons of browns
Conditions & HatchesDodging storms on Sat, 60-65 degrees, no hatches.

Cooler, maybe 50, on Sun, windy on and off rain, bwos

Details and Discussion

Kschaefer3April 14th, 2014, 12:14 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
I fished in Vernon Co. WI this weekend with a friend. We were visiting another friend who lives in the area. The one who lives there kept us on great water of all different sizes and character the whole weekend. I caught somewhere around 20 fish Saturday when it was my friend Eddie and I, probably 10 the next day when 4 of us were fishing together. We caught somewhere between 40 and 50 fish between the 4 of us. Not lights out, but not bad for a group of 4 that didn't separate much.

Most fish ranged 8-14", I caught one 17" and one 21", my new personal best.

I had a great weekend. It was fun to be out in new water and catching fish. On Sunday me and one of the other guys we were fishing with worked over some risers for a bit. I managed three fish on a size 18 comparadun bwo, he caught a couple as well on a small midge. Shortly after it started to rain and the fish quit rising for a bit. An hour or so later we walked up to our friend fishing a pool with rising trout. He ended up pulling 7 brookies out of one spot on a small EHC. I was having a blast just watching him.

The water we fished Sunday was small, but loaded with brooks and browns. Our buddy who lives there told us he had never seen a fish over 16" from that creek. A few casts later he pulled out an 18.5". After setting the hook he realized he had a wind knot in his 5X. the fight was exciting and took a long time while he babied his leader. It was cool to see such a big fish out of such small water.

Fishable weather, new water, tons of fish, a personal best brown and fish looking up...yup, I'd say it was about perfect.

Sorry, I didn't have a camera, so this is the best shot of my 21". The other picture of me bobbling a fish was just too great not to share. The third is my friend with the 18.5".

Jmd123April 14th, 2014, 4:20 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Well done Kyle!! Beautiful fish, and that's a great shot of the fish just about to get away...I am very envious, our local streams are blown out from both snowmelt and a couple of good days of rain. There are flood warnings on the Rifle, and that's not the only place...

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
CatskilljonApril 14th, 2014, 7:43 pm
Upstate NY

Posts: 160
That's what I call a fishing report! Beautiful stuff man, that big bad boy has got some shoulders on him! Great pics, great report. CJ
MartinlfApril 14th, 2014, 10:22 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
Pretty work.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
OldredbarnApril 14th, 2014, 11:56 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2608
Your friend fumbling his fish...We've all been there! :) A ways back I had an early digital and had caught an 18" Brown on an Iso parachute...As I was trying to explain to my friend how to use the damn thing...Click goes the camera a few seconds after I'd dropped the trout...There's no fish in the frame just a befuddled looking me. :)

Looks like a fun time! Good job...I'm heading out in a couple weeks. I'm hoping that things calm down a bit here in Michigan (see Jonathons post above)...It has gone cold this evening, wind blowing, and its snowing and they say we could get a couple inches...Man! I wish this winter would just quit already!

It did touch the upper 60's a couple days back, but thats just mother nature screwing with us...Winter is having too much fun this time around.

One day I'll get over your way and we'll drag John S out and make him give up some of his secrets! ;)


I did purchase a fishing license today making me legit for another season.
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
CrepuscularApril 15th, 2014, 8:09 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
Kschaefer3April 15th, 2014, 10:06 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Thanks everyone! It was nice to get some good weather and good fishing finally!

CJ - He fought with every ounce of those shoulders too! He didn't seem to want to leave the undercut he came from.

Spence - That's me fumbling the fish! It doesn't happen too often, but sometimes those little ones like to squirm :).

Spence/Jonathon - The rivers I fish North in WI are probably in similar shape to yours, high and cold. My favorite one doesn't turn muddy for some reason though, and the fishing can be killer in 3-4X normal flows. This time of year I like to go south in MN and WI. Usually it's 5-15 degrees warmer, and since they're all spring creeks, water temps stay pretty good.

The more I fish my area, the more I realize I am blessed with some truly great trout fishing. There is quite a bit of diversity in the size and structure of rivers. I think I'll be able to spend a lot of years fishing here before I get bored! And if I do, I can just turn to one of the other species that are prevalent.
WbranchApril 15th, 2014, 10:06 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Beautiful wild brown Kyle! Great way to start the season. What fly did it take?
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Kschaefer3April 15th, 2014, 10:35 am
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Thanks, Matt!

He took one of the olive ones in this picture. I fished one of these four pattern exclusively on Saturday. I've been downsizing a lot recently with very good results. These are 2-2.5 inches. Fish down to 8 inches were pouncing all over these!

WbranchApril 15th, 2014, 12:27 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
Very nicely tied flies. I like the combination of the natural marabou with the irridescent and synthetic collar.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
TNEALApril 15th, 2014, 1:54 pm

Posts: 278
two inches of snow, 24 degrees with wind chill of 12 here in Northern MI today... looks like a good old fashioned Spring following a good old fashioned Winter. Hendrickson spinner falls in June?
CrepuscularApril 15th, 2014, 3:15 pm
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 923
two inches of snow, 24 degrees with wind chill of 12 here in Northern MI today... looks like a good old fashioned Spring following a good old fashioned Winter. Hendrickson spinner falls in June?

Hah! Ive been fishing in short sleeves and our hennies are pretty much finished here in the Cumberland Valley.
Kschaefer3April 15th, 2014, 3:22 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Matt - Thank you! I had been tying almost exclusively natural flies with no flash, but the flash has seemed to help elicit more strikes. Although that could just be the rise in air/water temps too.

Eric - Now you're just rubbing it in! It helps being 250-300 miles south of most of those still stuck in winter.
Jmd123April 15th, 2014, 4:08 pm
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2611
Kyle: very nice flies! Streamers are definitely the ticket in the early season. And these days I usually put some kind of flash into my streamers (Krystal Flash or Flashabou) and put wire into my Woolly Buggers for a little added sparkle. I notice that you tie the eyes on the bottom of the shank instead of the top. I always put the eyes on top so the hook point rides up, avoiding at least some snagging. Your logic in doing the reverse? Better hooking, etc.?

Eric: I don't wanna hear about it.

Tim: we got snow here today too. It looked like November this morning, complete with snow coming down sideways. There have been flood warnings on the Rifle River for several days now. Who knows what the Pine looks like. And a couple of the lakes I want to fish are still iced over! It's going to be a slow start to the season. Believe it or not, I still haven't broken out the vice, not much hurry right now, though I do need some dry flies (Adams, caddis, Royal Wulffs) and maybe a few fresh Woolly buggers, though my trout boxes are actually in pretty good shape.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
Kschaefer3April 15th, 2014, 4:24 pm
St. Paul, MN

Posts: 376
Jonathon - Thank you! Honestly the majority of the reason is that it's easier for me to apply materials without the hook point in my way. My fingers usually thank me, although I'm starting to develop calluses similar to a guitarist. I have noticed, however, that I hook more fish in the corner or upper lip with my streamers oriented this way, and get more in the bottom lip when they ride hook up. It is pattern to pattern for me whether they are hook up or down. I have plenty of flies that ride hook up too. Surprisingly, I haven't noticed much difference in snags.
RogueratApril 15th, 2014, 4:39 pm
Posts: 472

Ditto on the weather here in SW Mich, 3 1/2" of snow on the ground this morning and flood warnings on most of the local rivers and streams. The worst flooding on the Muskegon since THE flood of '86, which was historical in scope.
Other than rain, snow, and floods I'm diving into DIY dubbing- the posts on spectrumized dubbing really turned my crank and I went out and got a coffee-grinder, yarn, etc, and the fur is flying. I'm working on the right blend of pink and grey to come up with a Light's all fun!

GusApril 16th, 2014, 4:16 pm

Posts: 59
Beautiful fish!
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It

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