Driftless Area Report w/lots of pics.

Discussion in 'Mississippi River Basin' started by WILDCATWICK, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. (Part 1)

    One of these day's my wife and I are just going to need to get a house on a river. This driving every weekend is getting expensive, tiring, but more importantly to time consuming. Every minute in our fish vehicle takes away from the time we could be fishing.

    On our drive up to the Driftless area in Wisconsin I saw what I could envision as our new fish car, at least until we get a place on a river. This would cut down on travel time tremendously.
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    We were excited to get to familiar rivers in the Driftless area to see how much things have changed from the historic floods. Now before we could get there we needed to make a stop. The week before I had a bit of an accident with a hatchet. The bloody thing went chop chop on my left index finger. So we stopped at a local pharmacy. Got to laugh at the name of this chain store.
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    Then we invited the Doctor that we picked up at Piggly Wiggly to help get my finger ready for fishing. Here is the finished work & yes they do make finger condoms!
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    Now that I was Doctored up, I was ready to fish. Unfortunately the water level was still high and dirty from rains a few day's earlier. This required us to fish some big gaudy streamers. Turned a few fish and managed to get this guy.
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    Latter that nigh it rained another inch or so. Not what this area needed. Now the river we were camping on was unfishable. The day before I lost that white streamer that were moving fish in a tree. It was about 10' feet away from the bank.
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    I decided that if I can't fish for trout I'll fish for my streamer. I tied on a fly that doesn't get used much. A heavy wooly bugger. I noticed that the branch the streamer was on was already partially broken I should be able to cast the bugger to it. Snag the branch and pull it to shore. First pitch found the bugger on a different branch. I had to snap the line. Now the tree has two flies. The third fly and second cast attempt was dead on. As I pulled and shook the branch my streamer fell into the water sunk down immediately. Then at almost the same instant the branch came off and I pulled it to shore.
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    Enough already I thought. Let's go find some fishable water. Rivers that normally clear up in hours were still blown out. Some of the rivers were tough to get to.
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    This paticular river has had alot of time and money spent on restoration in the last couple of years. The false banks and rocks that they put on this river were no match and was carried away. The river follows new paths. We both felt very bad about the whole situation with the floods and what it has done to families. The river will recover, some people may not.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2008
  2. Part II

    (Part II)

    On our hike out from the area we saw that nature was doing well. The flowers were soaking up sun.
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    The butterflies were getting sunned to.
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    We were striking out on finding suitable water. While talking about the devastation we saw another sad sight. This little guy didn't make it. He apparently tried to squeeze through the little squares in the fence. He got one leg through and got stuck.
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    I've got to say at this point I was feeling pretty bummed. After checking out 4 rivers we finally came across some water where it was fishable. High up in a water system. The water was never really wider than 5 feet except in the biggest holes. This place was just what the Doctor ordered.

    I turned plenty of fish right away. After releasing a 14" incher I walked around the bend only to find the trail I was follwing was gone. The river had eaten it up and the ground fell away into the river. I was now standing on a bank 25' above the river. There was a great hole down below but no way to get down to fish it.

    I figured what the heck and casted the fly from on top of the bank. First run through the hole got a fish to turn. Second cast fooled a nice fish and the fight was on from the top of the bank. I had to get the fish downstream about 35 yards in order for me to get down to water level and net it. Sure enough he was landed. But it took awhile to get him in the net~
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    Shortly after this guy came to hand. He fought well giving me three arials but I didn't have to climb down from the Alps to net him.
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    My wife and I weren't the only one's enjoying the river. These guys were down with the H2O
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    What a wonderful world we live in. Mother Earth & Mother Nature sure do take good care of us and gives us plenty to enjoy. My only hope is that we all take some time and give back to them.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2008

  3. Steve

    Steve Staff Member

    Nice pictures. I'm going to have to get a "fish car" someday.