Mounds of Driftless Trout – March 29, 2013

  • Stream Location: WI Driftless
  • Air Temperature: 45 °F
  • Water Temperature: 47 °F
  • Other Conditions: Sunny, no wind, noted caddis and blue-winged olives for the first time this year
  • Distance Hiked: 2.25 miles
  • What Worked Best: The Red Storm…all day!


Consistency breeds greatness and The Red Storm is becoming great.


If you recall when I posted about the inspiration behind our development of The Red Storm (on 2/25/13), you’ll remember how excited we were about the possible trout production capability of this fly.  You’ll also remember from our last post on our 3/23/13 outing, The Red Storm had a breakthrough performance.  Well today, it was beyond breakthrough, it is now considered in an elite group of our flies called The Crème de la Crème of the Spirit Streams Flies lineup.  In just about every single pool today, this fly generated multiple strikes.  So with that, let’s get into the story…


We set out on Friday morning to target at least two different streams in the Wisconsin Driftless.  One had to be a new stream and the second would be one of our Driftless favorites.  Coming up onto possible stream #1, we pulled off the road and hopped out of the car to give the water a look.  Noticing several trouty riffle-run-pools, we decided to strap up give ‘er a go!


We first started working our way upstream.  The water was slightly discolored due to snow melt, but I still saw a decent hatch coming off.  This wasn’t midges, it was blue-winged olives!  This was the first outing of the year that blue-winged olives were spotted.  No trout

were rising though, so I stuck with The Red Storm for the time being.  Working it slowly through a deep pool one took; this was the first brook trout of the year.  They don’t get very big but it’s pretty hard to beat the colors and patterns on a brook trout; it’s definitely one of the most beautiful trout you’ll lay your eyes on.


We changed course and worked our way downstream from where we began.  Ahead I noticed a deep pool at a curve in the stream.  It appeared to be a prime trout holding ground.  Making a long cast, I worked The Red Storm within the deeper section of the stream and felt a sharp strike.  Cast #2, another sharp strike.  Cast #3, another sharp strike.  This one was a beauty.  I just kept picking brook trout after brook trout out of this pool.


As I was hiking along the bank, I noticed another new insect for the first time this year…the caddis!  This is a very good sign, now we really can’t wait for that intense caddis hatch to come!  As we continued to hit more solid holes downstream, The Red Storm continued to entice trout after trout.  This new stream is a keeper; every single one was a brook trout.  We’ll call this one Brook Trout Haven.


Knowing that we wanted to finish up at one of our favorite Driftless streams, we packed up and moved on out.  The day was already considered a success just simply by discovering that great brook trout stream, but what was in store for us at this next stream we did not see coming at all.


Arriving at Driftless stream #2, the water temperature was 1° colder than the first stream.  The water was still clear even though there was a little feeder formed just by the snow melt alone.  I immediately realized similar success with The Red Storm, except these were all browns.  Hole after hole, trout after trout.


To this point, I was approaching the 30-count mark.  Then I entered “The Run”.  We moved to a different section of this stream, one that we had hit in the past but it looked different this year.  It now was a long run, a very long run, creating an impressive stream trough and The Red Storm was just what these hungry trout were looking for.  Thoroughly covering the entire length of this run and presenting the fly a little different with each subsequent cast, I landed brown after brown after brown.  One was a real beauty that hit the 17 inch mark; a wild dark-colored brown.  As I continued to cover “The Run”, Jim was playing a version of cat and mouse with the rising trout at the head pool on a dry.  He also was picking them off, one by one.


When it was all said and done, I surpassed the 25-count mark just in “The Run”.  To be honest, I could have kept going further downstream and realized more success as they were still attacking The Red Storm furiously, but it was time to call it a day and quite a day this was.  The 50-count mark was surpassed and every single one was on the same fly I started the day off with.  This was also the same exact fly that I wrote about in my post on 2/25/13.  That single fly touched the mouth of many, many trout.  It looks a little beat up, with the hackle now unraveled and sticking up.  I could simply just cut the hackle off and continue enticing the trout with it but after a day like today, it’s time to retire this one in my Fly Hall of Fame.


So on that note, it’s time to fire up the fly tying vise and fill an entire box of these sweet, irresistible, lethal trout enticers that we call…The Red Storm.


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