- Stream Location: WI Driftless
- Total # of Streams Explored: Ten
- Total Distance Hiked: 9.75 miles
- What Worked Best: Dead drifting nymphs and working streamers
It’s hard to beat the feeling received when returning to your Home Pools after a five month hiatus. While visiting the Catskill Fly Fishing Center & Museum in Livingston Manor, NY last year, we stumbled upon a plaque outside the museum that defined Home Pool. They absolutely nailed it so here it is…
“Home Pool” – A Home Pool is a special place for fly fishers. It is a place that sustains, restores, and rejuvenates us.
Everyone has their Home Pool(s). It is a sacred place only to you because it belongs to you. It is a place where clear thought is possible, where new life can be found, where direction is received, and where true “breathing” is done.
So we finally made it, the first Saturday in March (3/2/13). The opening day of C&R trout fishing in the Wisconsin Driftless Area. Today’s first stream of choice belonged to Jim. It was his first outing of the year and the building sense of anticipation was set to explode. Upon arrival at stream #1, the air temperature was 17° and water temperature was a chilly 33°. That’s got to mean low expectations in terms of trout landed, right? Nope, not for Jim. He catches trout out of random puddles. Give him a fly rod and trout will be caught. Within the first five minutes, he landed a real nice brown. Awesome start to the year! He continued upstream and realized great success in these tough conditions, landing trout after trout. We covered one more stream later on in the day before retreating to rest up for another big day on Sunday.
On Sunday, I had big plans – targeting multiple streams to more or less get a feel for the stream’s ability to produce trout, while finishing up at one of my favorites. Upon arrival at stream #1, the air temperature was 27° and water temperature was 36°. This was a stream I’ve been wanting to explore and it didn’t let me down. It was loaded with trout. At just about every one of the deeper runs/pools, you could see the layers of trout and then they would all scatter as you approached the pool. This is one of those streams where stealth really pays dividends. The trout spot or hear you from far away, so you need to approach with caution and keep your profile low. Do this and trout will be bountiful.
While traveling between the next few streams, I came across many groups of turkey and several pheasants. Continuing the drive, I glanced to my left and saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree. I pulled off the road and zoomed in with my camera. This thing was huge! Probably one of the biggest bald eagles I’ve ever seen. I’m guessing it had to be approaching or exceeding the four foot tall mark. Impressive to say the least.
Arriving at one of my favorite Driftless streams, I got out of the car and started getting things set up. I glanced up the road and saw a familiar face coming my way…Natasha. Natasha is our fly fishing buddy along this stream. She lives at a nearby farm and always comes to greet you when you get out of the car. Treat her nice and she will follow you along the stream as you catch some of the most beautifully colored wild browns. Approaching this first pool by knee, I kept my distance and sent a long cast several times giving the fly a different look and drift each time. Watching the indicator float alongside the opposite bank and bumping up to the undercut bank, a trout finally nailed it. I love those hard-to-get trout that force you to work. Continuing to the pool immediately upstream, a brown took on the second cast and quickly retreated to the larger pool downstream where she put up a good fight. This was a nice one. Another good day in the Wisconsin Driftless.
I got the day off on Monday to continue the Home Pool action. I began the day at another one of my favorites of the Wisconsin Driftless. Lately I’ve been noticing many little black stoneflies along the stream. The night prior, Jim tied up a few of his own renditions of the little black stonefly and I set out to give this new pattern a try today. It didn’t take long before the trout began attacking this pattern, oftentimes from clear across the other side of the pool. This fly is definitely being added to the Spirit Streams lineup. It’s name: Black Magic Stonefly.
The second stream I chose for today was another one of my favorites. The highlight of this stream was making my way to one of my Home Pools and seeing numerous trout rising. It was rejuvenating as I watched them pick off the midges. I tried to capture this in the video below. Make sure to adjust the video quality to HD. You’ll notice that it was quite windy out!
Well, we’d say the opening weekend of the 2013 Trout Season in the Wisconsin Driftless Area was quite the success. We were able to regain the affects of our Home Pools, spot an enormous bald eagle, reunite with Natasha, see multiple trout rising in one of our favorite pools, and catch numerous wild brown trout. All this over three days…gotta love fly fishing.
– Spirit Streams