Saturday, December 22, 2007

West Fork of the Kickapoo flies for Opening Day

An unscientific survey, hat tip to www.wisflyfishing.com, of successful flies on the West Fork of the Kickapoo River in the month of March. I read all of the stream reports on the West Fork of the Kickapoo River in March over the last 10 years. Flies are listed in order of times mentioned in the stream reports. The list could make a good tying regimen as you prepare for opening day on West Fork of the Kickapoo River.

Pheasant tail #18
Black woolly bugger
Orange scud
Beadhead olive caddis pupa #16
Flashback pheasant tail #22
Olive CDC dun #18

Mount Vernon Creek flies for Opening Day

An unscientific survey, hat tip to www.wisflyfishing.com, of successful flies on Mount Vernon Creek in the month of March. I read all of the stream reports on MVC in March over the last 10 years. Flies are listed in order of times mentioned in the stream reports. The list could make a good tying regimen as you prepare for opening day on Mount Vernon Creek.

Scud
Size 18 BWO
Beadhead hare's ear size 18
Hornberg
Black midge #24
Gray scud

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Black Earth Creek flies for Opening Day

An unscientific survey, hat tip to www.wisflyfishing.com, of successful flies on Black Earth Creek in the month of March. I read all of the stream reports on BEC in March over the last 10 years. Flies are listed in order of times mentioned in the stream reports. The list could make a good tying regimen as you prepare for opening day on the vaunted Black Earth Creek.

Gold rib hare's ear, with or without bead, (mentioned 6 times)
Pheasant tail (3)
Prince nymph (2)
Orange beadhead scud (2)
Pink squirrel (2)
Olive Woolly Bugger (2)
Grey scud (2)
Cinnamon caddis nymph (2)
Blue winged olive (2)
Black woolly bugger
Copper john
Black tent wing caddis
Tan tent wing caddis
Hendrickson nymph
Yuck Bug
Black leech
Biot nymph
Yellow fox
Soft hackle
tan beadhead scud

I am thinking of heading to Black Earth Creek for opening day. Anyone want to come along?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Western Wisconsin Hatch Chart

Here I was about to try to create a hatch chart for our Western Wisconsin area and I find an absolutely outstanding one on the web.

It can be found at www.silverdoctor.net

Go to the Menu section and under the Guided Fishing section, you'll find an extensive hatch chart that includes mayflies, caddis, stoneflies, midges, terrestrials, and a portion on streamers and searching flies. I was unable to link directly to the hatch chart, but that gives you time to explore this great site.

Special thanks to:

Bob Blumreich of Silver Doctor Fly Fishing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Best Midwestern Trout Flies

This, at least according to Tom Meade in his book Essential Fly Fishing, 1994, New York: The Lyons Press.

Adams
Ants in Black and Cinnamon
Beetles, assorted sizes & colors
Blue Winged Olive
Cricket
Elkhair Caddis in various colors
Gold Ribbed Hare's Ear Nymph
Grasshopper
Griffiths Gnat
Hendrickson
Humpy
March Brown Nymph
Maribou Streamer, in White, Black and Yellow
Michigan Caddis (to imitate the giant Hexagenia Limbata)
Muddler Minnow
Olive Matuka Streamer
Pale Evening Dun
Pheasant Tail Nymph
Red Quill
Roe Bug, various colors
Sparkle Caddis Pupa
Trico
Woolly Bugger
Woolly Worm
Wulffs in Royal, Gray and White
Yellow Drake
Zug Bug

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Kinnickinnic River video June 2007

This video is of the Kinnickinnic, accessed in River Falls at Glen Park. Walk down the trail at the tennis courts. This stretch of the Kinni is referenced on page 169 of Humphrey & Shogren's Trout Streams of Wisconsin and Minnesota, 2001 (second edition), Backcountry Guides.

video

Friday, November 23, 2007

Top 8 Western Wisconsin Trout Streams

According to the DeLorme Map people, the top trout streams in Western Wisconsin*, in no particular order:

  • Black Earth Creek, Dane County
  • Kinnickinnic River, Pierce County
  • Mill Creek, Monroe County
  • Mount Vernon Creek, Dane County
  • Rowan Creek, Columbia County
  • Rullands Coulee Creek, Monroe County
  • Soper Creek, Monroe County
  • Trout Creek, Iowa County
It is puzzling that DeLorme does not list the Rush River, Namekagon, or West Fork of the Kickapoo in their master list of Wisconsin trout streams.

* This blog defines Western Wisconsin as the area west of Interstate 90 and south of interstate 94.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why no Illinois trout streams?

This question has wracked the brains of dedicated trout anglers as they delightfully fish the streams of the Driftless Area in the other three states touched by the glacial anomaly. Anglers ask, "since Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota's Driftless Area has fine trout streams, why not Illinois?

Ask the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and they will say, "we don't know what you're talking about. Look at the Apple River. There are planted rainbows there right now." The Illinois DNR will also point out all of the trout ponds throughout the Land of Lincoln stocked with rainbows.

Well, yes, that is true. But there is more to trout fishing than suspending corn or salmon eggs under a bobber for "put and take" dumb hatchery trout. Tell the DNR that and they'll tell you "if you want to fish for wild trout in Illinois, go fish Lake Michigan. End of story."

But is it the end of the story? Is that the best that Illinois can do?

Is there a possibility of creating (or even discovering) a gem of an Illinois trout stream that accommodates naturally-reproducing brook, brown or rainbow trout? That's what we're talking about, really, when we mention a blue-ribbon trout stream, isn't it?

If you look at some of the commercially-available maps of trout streams in extreme southern Wisconsin, you will find a couple that bleed into Illinois, most notably Raccoon Creek in the Rockford area. This creek contains stocked Brown trout. However, one could make the argument that Raccoon Creek is really the same kind of thing as the Apple River in northwest Illinois--a put and take trout stream with no hope of ever sustaining a population of naturally-reproducing trout.

Delving deeper into the issue, the Achilles heel for an Illinois trout stream in the Driftless Area that would feature a naturally-reproducing trout population is the state's southernmost position in the four-state area. Most creeks just don't stay cool enough to foster a successful reproduction program. Still, it's very possible that in extreme northwest Illinois, that there are a few choice spring creeks that maintain the right temperature throughout the year.

Another strike against an Illinois blue-ribbon trout stream is the fact that there's no Trout Unlimited chapter in Northwest Illinois. There is a Chicagoland chapter and a Champaign chapter, but each of those is more than 100 miles from the Driftless Area. And while the Lee Wulff Chapter in Chicagoland does a fine job rehabbing Elk Creek in SW Wisconsin, I'd love to see them try to establish some brook trout water in Illinois.

Compounding the problem is that the Illinois DNR is perpetually underfunded and its priorities mainly follow saving what it has and not branching out into new projects.

Additionally, the other three states in the Driftless Area have worked with landowners to help them become stakeholders in perpetuating excellent trout waters. Agricultural runoff is limited. Buffer zones are planted and maintained. For Illinois to have a blue-ribbon trout stream, it would need to do the same.

An Illinois blue-ribbon trout stream could create a tremendous tourism boon to northwest Illinois. One reason that Wisconsin is a leader in out-of-state fishing licenses sold is because of its marvelous reputation for trout waters. These Northwest Illinois towns are picturesque, but devoid of much industry these days. They could use some tourism dollars. Look how Galena has been able to parlay its bucolic setting into a multi-million dollar annual visitors revenue stream. A beautiful little town like Mount Carroll could really take off by helping it to propagate some of its spring creeks with brookies.

Think about it.

Top 8 Trout Streams in WI

Dan Small of wisconsinsportsmanmag.com shares his top 8, in no particular order...

  • Bois Brule River
  • Namekagon River
  • Wolf River
  • Pike River
  • Rush River
  • Kinnickinnic River
  • West Fork of the Kickapoo River
  • Tomorrow River
Of Dan's top 8, the ones in red are in our Western Wisconsin cohort. My beloved Kinni made the list, as it should.

Flooding of Fall 2007 aftereffects

The biggest trout fishing news in Western Wisconsin this fall has been the significant flooding that the southwestern and southcentral portion of the state received.

According to Dan Small of wisconsinsportsmanmag.com and dansmalloutdoors.com, the floodings resulted in a couple of catastrophic manure spills:
  • In Richland County, manure made its way into Smith Hollow Creek and Willow Creek.
  • In Lafayette County, Otter Creek received a manure spill.
As for the effects, we'll know more in the Spring.

A quick and dramatic flood sometimes can be beneficial to a trout stream, however. In such cases, floods often remove longstanding log jams and beaver dams that slow the water and contribute to higher, trout-averse temperatures.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Driftless Area

If you're going to fish Western Wisconsin, you'll undoubtedly spend some time in the rolling hills of SW Wisconsin, also known as the Driftless Area. About the best explanation I've ever encountered of what this actually means was penned by Jeff Erickson in "Minnesota's South Branch of the Root River," Fly Fisherman, December 2006 issue, beginning on page 44.

Erickson writes:

"Unlike much of the Midwest...the Driftless Region was missed during the last period of glaciation in North America, 12,000 years ago. The area was deprived of glacially-deposited drift (hence the term "driftless), but its sedimentary bedrock was deeply dissected by streams carrying enormous volumes of runoff from retreating glaciers along its perimeter.

The calcium and carbonate-rich limestone that stimulates...high aquatic productivity acts as an enormous sponge, absorbing moisture and then releasing it in steady, trout friendly increments. Innumerable springs percolating through the limestone moderate stream temperatures and PH levels, producing excellent conditions for aquatic insects and the trout that hunt them. The glacial runoff left relatively steep stream gradients, crating numerous riffles and short rapids that supercharge the water with dissolved oxygen. As a result of these natural factors (the Driftless Area) offers suberb wild trout habitat."


For more information on fishing Wisconsin's Driftless Area, check out the excellent fly shop, The Driftless Angler and its website, driftlessangler.com or stop by at 106 S. Main Street Viroqua, Wisconsin 54665 :: (608) 637-8779

Top 5 Trout Streams in WI

According to writer Brenda Bredahl of TravelWisconsin.Com, the top five trout streams in Wisconsin are:

1. KinnicKinnic
2. Namekagon
3. Kickapoo West Fork
4. Pike River
5. Black Earth Creek

Numbers one, three, and five are in our Western Wisconsin cohort and I look forward to testing Ms. Bredahl's recommendations. Will report when I do.

Just curious, if the question were posed to you, what would be your top 5?

Here's the link, if you want to read for yourself...

http://www.travelwisconsin.com/Article_detail.aspx?articleid=248&menuid=77

Friday, November 2, 2007

Elk Creek, Vernon County

Page 33 on your Delorme Map.

Our friends at the Lee Wulff Chapter of Trout Unlimited have done some amazing things on Elk Creek in Vernon County--and they're not done. They have some ambitious goals, including...


  • Improve 1.2 miles of trout stream in 2007
  • Reduce sedimentation by stabilizing stream banks
  • Improve spawning habitat by exposing gravel substrate
  • Install habitat favorable to brown trout (i.e., undercut banks, lunker structures) on 2,750 feet of Elk Creek
  • Create habitat favorable to brook trout (i.e., vortex weirs, deep pools, grassy banks) on 3,670 feet of Tenny Spring Creek, a tributary of Elk Creek
  • Install a one-way fish barrier to prevent further migration of brown trout into Tenny Spring Creek brook trout waters
  • Project Costs

    Total cost to complete the Elk Creek Project is estimated to be $171,000. This includes labor, equipment rental, rock, seed, mulch, and lumber and materials for building instream trout habitat lunker structures.

    The above portion is quoted verbatim from their site:

    http://www.leewulfftu.org/index.html

    I can't wait to get up there and try my hand at their handiwork. When I do I'll post pix of what they've done.




    Monday, October 29, 2007

    Mount Horeb area nymph


    My dad gave me a copy of Dave Hughes' Taking Trout (2002) Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books.

    Among other nuggets, Hughes shares a pattern that worked wonders on our beloved Western Wisconsin spring creeks:

    "I would never be without a supply of a certain beadhead nymph that, as far as I know, doesn't even own a name. I first tied a dozen of them on a picnic table beneath the spreading leaves of a shade tree in the back yard of Andy and Marie Davidson's home in the rolling limestone hills near Mount Horeb, Wisconsin. The whimsical size 12 tie has a brass beadhead, olive dubbed body, and yellow thread rib. That's it.

    It took an enjoyable hour to tie those dozen on the Davidsons' picnic table, listening to the birds sing. Later in the week, I met Ted Leeson, author of Habit of Rivers, and we fished the spring streams rising from those limestone hills. It took just two days to lose those dozen beadhead nymphs to fat trout."


    I'm off to tie a few myself. But what to call it? How about Hughes' Whimsical?

    Thursday, October 4, 2007

    Skinner Creek, Green County part two

    Skinner runs north of Highway 11 in the south central part of Green County. It can be found on page 27 of the Delorme Map. The State of Wisconsin has in years past listed it as a legitimate trout stream in their yearly guides. It has fallen on hard times. The Green County tourism folks don't list it in their trout streams to visit in the county, although, they don't list the fine Hefty Creek either. For an expert opinion, see below.

    A Baseline Survey of Skinner Creek in Green County, WI was done in August 2004 by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

    The results weren‘t encouraging.

    They surveyed three sections of Skinner Creek: “upstream from Klondike Road; upstream from Hiawatha Road, and upstream from Skinner Hollow Road.”

    Shockings revealed that the upstream from Klondike Road section was the best of the three, with two brown trout (10.7” and 11.9”) among the bluegill and large amount of rough fish. Hiawatha yielded one brownie of 13.7” along with a pile of rough fish, and surprise, Skinner Hollow produced a rainbow of 14” with an assortment of undesirable fish. Water temp at all three stations was 58 degrees, warmer than what trout typically like.

    The report concluded that the DNR consider “adding Skinner Creek to the state’s list of impaired waters.

    Thank you to Jim Amrhein, Watershed Specialist for the South Central Region.

    For the full report, visit:

    http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/pages/reports/final/green_skinner_creek.pdf

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    What qualifies as western Wisconsin?

    For the purposes of this blog, I am focusing on the following counties, roughly to the south of Interstate 90/94 and to the west of Interstate 39 in Wisconsin. I will focus on the trout streams in the following counties:

    • Buffalo
    • Columbia
    • Crawford
    • Dane
    • Dunn
    • Eau Claire
    • Grant
    • Green
    • Iowa
    • Jackson
    • Juneau
    • LaCrosse
    • Lafayette
    • Monroe
    • Pepin
    • Pierce
    • Richland
    • Rock
    • Sauk
    • St Croix
    • Trempealeu
    • Vernon
    One could certainly make the case for other counties to be included or some to be excluded, but these are the parameters that made sense to me.

    Wednesday, September 26, 2007

    The Delorme Map

    When I refer to the Delorme Map, I am referencing the Wisconsin Atlas & Gazetteer which features detailed topographic maps with roads, creeks, landmarks, etc. FYI.

    Mount Vernon Creek, Dane County, 9/14/07

    Page 27 on your Delorme Map.

    Brisk 50 degree afternoon and windy. Still beautiful day on Mt. Vernon Creek. I floated modified Dave's Crickets downstream near the far shore and landed a 15" and a 12" brown trout. They fought hard and deep. Didn't take pix of them as I didn't want to stress them any further with time out of the water.

    Caught them within 25 yards of the stile pictured in my previous Mount Vernon entry. It is at the first bridge south of the main access area. Saw no other fishermen on this trip. My experience with Mount Vernon Creek is not supporting the conventional wisdom that the creek is always packed with fishermen.

    Bushnell Creek, Green County 9/14/07




    DeLorme Map, page 27. This creek is listed in the Wisconsin DNR 2007-2008 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide as a viable trout stream.

    I did not find any clearly marked public fishing areas, but I did ask Mr. Alois Mayer for permission to fish his section of the creek off County Road N. He graciously complied and I said I'd clean up all the trash I saw on his property.

    Beautiful, swift, cold, clear, classic SW Wisconsin spring creek. Mr. Alois said the best fishing was below the bridge so I took his advice.

    The 9" rainbow (returned) pictured took a black crystal bugger with sponge rubber legs. What a surprise it was to catch a rainbow in this creek. Naturally-reproducing rainbows are not at all common in this part of Wisconsin and I have not heard if the state stocks them in this or other connected creeks.

    As I was concentrating on fishing beneath the bridge, I heard a loud snort behind me and discovered I had 30 head of cattle right behind me. Being a city boy, it startled me so much I jumped the fence. The cattle muddied up the stream after that as they took drinks. I had a fish story and a cow story, so I was done anyway.

    Other access points to Bushnell Creek appeared to be impassible due to a significant amount of road construction just to the north of Mr. Alois property.

    Saturday, September 15, 2007

    Mount Vernon Creek, Dane County, 8/31/07




    Delorme Map page 27. This creek enjoys wide acclaim from a variety of experts; it's among the finest trout streams in western Wisconsin. Mount Vernon has been described as a "showpiece" for the Wisconsin DNR and it's easy to see why...lots of access, abundant trout, insulation from surrounding farmland. Several access points have "public fishing" clearly posted and there's even a section designated a "state fishery area." Despite some fine streams to the south of it in Green County and to the west in Iowa County, I have to fight the urge to fish Mount Vernon exclusively.

    The section I fished on this day was off of Route 92, just north of County Road A. I fished upstream from the bridge for 100 yards or so, traversing the fence via the helpful stiles (see photo). The 14" brownie hit a #10 Dave's Hopper and fought with great tenacity. He didn't spend more than a minute out of the water and then sulked back to his hiding spot.

    Mount Vernon, in my experience, is very soggy at the edges. I'd wear knee-high waterproof boots. Waders are impractical as it is difficult navigating the stiles and wading Mount Vernon would be a muddy and counterproductive pursuit.

    I encountered no other fishermen on the Mount Vernon that weekend. This after being warned that it would be elbow-to-elbow labor day weekend and all. I found it was also opening weekend for a variety of hunting seasons, which probably helped my cause. If my family can spare me, I may make labor day weekend on the Mount Vernon Creek a tradition. Join me if you like.

    Dougherty Creek, Green County 9/1/07


    Delorme Map page 27. Another of the creeks recommended by the Green County tourism people. Sadly there is no access to this creek posted and it's hard to figure out who owns the land so you can ask permission. Some beautiful country, though.

    Hefty Creek, Green County, 9/1/07




    Delorme Wisconsin Atlas and Gazetteer page 27. Interestingly, this is not one of the creeks recommended by the Green County tourism people, but it was pointed out by a fellow angler on another fly fishing Wisconsin blog: www.wisflyfishing.com/reports

    Hefty Creek has a nice access point at the third bridge (all very close to one another) over it heading North on Highway N. In fact it has public fishing clearly posted. It's nice to not have to worry about access. Something that is rare in Green County.

    Somewhat clear water and a little higher due to recent flooding. I tried grasshopper and ladybug imitations with no luck.

    Ward Creek, Green County 8/31/07


    Delorme page 27. This is one of the creeks suggested by the Green County tourism people. There are three potential access points and all are on private property. Off Airport Road, the creek is quite narrow, but was very clear and seems to be in good condition. Didn't seem to be accessible. Off Kubley Road, it was foreboding, with no trespassing signs aplenty.

    Fortunately, off Ward Creek Road, which is adjacent to Argue Road, there seems to be friendly access via a bridge. That's where I fished just before dark. It's a swift, clear, classic SW Wisconsin spring-fed brook. I tried ladybug imitations to no avail. Incidentally, Ward Creek is one of only two streams in the county to have brook trout and brookies are the only trout found in Ward Creek, according to an older Wisconsin DNR publication.

    The picture I uploaded is of the section off Ward Creek Road.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Flies for the Labor Day trip

    Consulting various sources, chief among them being Jim Humphrey & Bill Shogren's excellent Trout Streams of Wisconsin and Minnesota, the best flies for the upcoming Labor Day weekend in Wisconsin should be...

    Dark Blue Quill #14-16
    Slate Winged Mahogany Dun "
    Blue Dun "
    Small Yellow Mayfly #20-24
    Griffiths Gnat #16-24
    Blue Winged Olives #16-24
    Gold-rib Hare's Ear #18
    Tan, Olive, and Speckled Caddis imitators #14-20
    Green Raggedy Caddis Larva #16
    Peeking Caddis #16
    Dave's Hopper #6-10
    Scuds in tan, pink, olive, brown & purple #14-18
    Wooly Buggers in olive, brown, and black #6-10
    Pale Evening Dun #16
    Black Ant #10-18
    Ladybug #14-18

    I've got a lot of tying to do!

    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    Don't make the same mistake I just did

    As I went out to the garage to get my vest. I noticed a gigantic hole in one of my pockets.

    Before you put your vest away, make sure you clean the sunflower seeds out of it lest mice chew through the pocket to get at them. Lesson learned.

    What's in my flybox 8/23/07



    In my nymphs box..

    3 green, 3 grey, and 3 pink scuds in #14
    3 weighted wet Pass Lake #12
    6 Hare's ear in sizes #14-18
    5 Beadhead Flashback Pheasant Tail #14
    7 Beadhead Prince Nymph #12-14
    2 Pink Squirrel #12
    4 Beadhead Pheasant Tail #12-14
    3 Pheasant Tail #14-16
    1 Copper John #14

    In my dry box...
    4 Blue Winged Olive (BWO) Emerger #20
    7 BWO #16
    5 Parachute BWO #16
    3 Pass Lake #14
    4 Royal Wulff #14
    3 Blond Elk Hair Caddis #14
    3 Black Elk Hair Caddis #14
    3 Dark Green Elk Hair Caddis #14
    3 Brown Elk Hair Caddis #14
    3 Sulfur Dun #10
    4 Griffiths Gnat #16
    3 Dark Cahill #14
    3 Colonel Fuller #10
    1 Stimulator #10
    1 Mosquito #16

    In my terrestials box...
    3 Gimp #10
    3 Dave's Hopper #8
    3 Black Ant #10
    3 Black Wooly Bugger #8
    3 Brown Wooly Bugger #8
    3 Sponge Rubber Ladybug #16

    The fly with the blue background is a Gimp. The Colonel Fuller graphic is from an old tums box for sale on EBAY.

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    Skinner Creek, Green County 07/07/07

    DeLorme Map page 27. Southwestern Wisconsin in Green County. Extremely hot conditions at the time of this visit. The state of Wisconsin lists Skinner Creek as a legitimate trout stream in their 2007 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. Access is OK via a bridge from Cadiz Springs Road, just north of Highway 11. The bridge spanned a very shallow, possibly wadeable creek, that was quite clear. One had to venture into very tall grass and jump down a steep bank to get there, but it was possible. I didn't try.

    Brown Branch Creek, Lafayette County 07/07/07


    DeLorme Map page 27. Southwestern Wisconsin in Lafayette County. Extremely hot conditions at the time of this visit. The state of Wisconsin lists Brown Branch Creek as a legitimate trout stream in their 2007 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. Fortunately, there is some access of this locally-known creek.

    Off old highway 11, there is weedy access, but not great.

    Off new highway 11, there is a fine access point below the bridge (see photo) just east of Wayne Center Road. i stopped by Marty's in South Wayne and spoke to an old timer about trout fishing in these parts. He was three sheets to the wind, but relayed how he and a partner had spied a two-foot brown trout below the bridge many years ago and couldn't get the fish to bite on anything. So the two of them grabbed a stout rod and a snagging hook and jerked brownie out of there. Where's the DNR when you need them?

    I spent the better part of a day in this spot and did not catch a thing. I threw half my fly box at them, mostly concentrating on wooly buggers. Still, it was good to get out and find access. I encountered extremely muddly conditions and warm water (air temp 95 degrees).

    Silver Spring Creek, Lafayette County 07/07/07

    DeLorme Map page 26. Southwestern Wisconsin in Lafayette County. Extremely hot conditions at the time of this visit. The state of Wisconsin lists Silver Spring Creek as a legitimate trout stream in their 2007 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. Unfortunately, I found only one access point, private property. Plus the stream was little more than two feet wide. Still it could have held a brookie or two. Again, a huge problem for trouters in SW Wisconsin is the lack of public access.

    Copper Creek, Lafayette County 07/07/07

    DeLorme Map page 26. Southwestern Wisconsin in Lafayette County. Extremely hot conditions at the time of this visit. The state of Wisconsin lists Copper Creek as a legitimate trout stream in their 2007 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. There does not seem to be any public access--a big problem in Southwest Wisconsin. Each access point off highway K looked like private property. Still, there was a beautiful looking spot off the highway across from the big white house. Anybody got any insight on Copper Creek?

    Wolf Creek, Lafayette County 07/07/07



    DeLorme Map page 26. Southwestern Wisconsin in Lafayette County. Extremely hot conditions at the time of this visit. The state of Wisconsin lists Wolf Creek as a legitimate trout stream in their 2007 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. Access point off Patch Road appears to be private property and did not look navigable. North of there, into Gratiot, access improves greatly.

    There is full access to Wolf Creek in Gratiot. Just south of Highway 11 is a meandering bank that affords OK access. North of Highway 11 is a city park with terrific access, with weeds at the immediate bank, but nicely mowed otherwise. The Cheese Country Trail makes a stop in this park and there is the constant buzz of ATVs. It's not peaceful solitude, but there is access, and access is everything.

    I fished here throughout the day and encountered very muddy conditions. I threw beadhead nymphs, scuds, and terrestrials out there to no avail.

    Trout Brook, Lafayette County 07/07/07


    DeLorme Map page 26. Southwestern Wisconsin in Lafayette County. Extremely hot conditions at the time of this visit. The state of Wisconsin lists Trout Brook as a legitimate trout stream in their 2007 Trout Fishing Regulations and Guide. Southernmost possible access point, off South Prairie Road finds a dry creek bed! One access point north, off White School Road reveals a brook two feet wide, but entirely choked with weeds. The next access point, off Dunbarton Road, is OK, affording fishing under a bridge. The property just south of the bridge appears to be owned by a farmers Co-op. Some kind soul has put a bench next to the stream and has made some site improvements (see photo). I am afraid that the stream north of the bridge into Gratiot is inaccessible due to posted no trespassing signs and barbed wire over the stream.

    Still, it was enjoyable fishing under the bridge with beadhead nymphs that day. No trout, but sometimes it's good just to find access.

    Willow River, St. Croix County 05/30/07

    Date: 053007
    First access area North of Willow River State Park
    County: St. Croix
    Time of day: just before dusk
    Weather: pleasant
    Water: crystal clear
    Hatches:
    Submitted by Phil Newton
    Comments:
    Caught a 10" rainbow on a #10 sulfur dun upstream from the bridge and a 9" rainbow on wooly bugger under the bridge in fast water.

    Willow River, St. Croix County 06/01/07 part II


    Date: 060107
    inside Willow River State Park, 200 yards below the falls.
    County: St. Croix
    Time of day: just after lunch
    Weather: pleasant
    Water: clear
    Hatches:
    Submitted by Phil Newton
    Comments:
    Fished for 90 minutes with my dad and brother (that's my Dad in the pic). None of us caught a thing--except for creek chubs, which were everywhere. We were using everything from wooly buggers to various dry flies.

    We did however, see an angler using a small rooster tail and a spinning rod. He boasted of great success using such methods.

    Willow River, St. Croix County, 06/01/07


    Date: 060107
    Willow River, accessed by 95th and 140th
    County: St. Croix
    Time of day: after supper
    Weather: pleasant
    Water: clear and fast
    Hatches:
    Submitted by Phil Newton
    Comments:
    Very fast water. Caught a 12" brown by dropping a ladybug imitation in a quiet pool next to shore. As you may have figured out, we were wading. No more than mid-thigh deep in most places.

    Kinnickinnic River, Pierce County 05/31/07




    Date: 053107
    Kinnickinnic River, downtown river falls
    County: Pierce
    Time of day: 9 am to noon
    Weather: pleasant
    Water: crystal clear
    Hatches:
    Submitted by Phil Newton
    Comments:
    Just below the waterfall that has the footbridge high above it. Accessed by the tennis courts off of 29/35. Caught two browns one was 12" and two brookies less than 10". Caught them on beadhead prince nymphs, beadhead pheasant tails, and pink squirrels. As you can see, this section of the Kinni is one of the most picturesque of any trout stream in Wisconsin. With the abundance of brownies and brookies and the beauty of the spot, it is amazing that we don't see very many other anglers when we visit.

    Kinnickinnic River, Pierce County 05/31/07 part II

    Date: 053107
    Kinnickinnic River, residential area in River Falls
    County: Pierce
    Time of day: after lunch
    Weather: rainy
    Water: clear
    Hatches:
    Submitted by Phil Newton
    Comments:
    We accessed this section of the Kinni by turning right into a residential area south of where you turn off for the tennis courts access.

    My dad caught several browns and brookies with a Stimulator.

    Kinnickinnic River, Pierce County 06/01/07


    Date: 060107
    Kinnikinnic River, downtown river falls
    County: Pierce
    Time of day: 9 to noon
    Weather: pleasant
    Water: clear
    Hatches:
    Submitted by Phil Newton
    Comments:
    Fishing below the waterfall with the footbridge high above it. Using mostly #12-#16 beadhead prince nymphs my brother and I caught 8 brookies and browns between us. The lighter the tippet the better, we are finding with these fish. That's my brother with a modest brownie.