Updated Stream Conditions/Fishing Reports

May 14-15, 2022

I spent Saturday morning with a father/son duo from New York. Great guys, who picked up fly casting quickly, so they were on fish all morning. One fished a dry/dropper with decent success, while the other nymph rigged the bigger runs and deeper pools.

I got out solo on Sunday, early afternoon. After a hike into my chosen spot, I started witha caddis dry and dropper, with minimal success on the dry. I switched over to an Adams and a dropper, and it was lights out for the next few hours.

The dropper outfished the dry 5-1, easily; however, water conditions are definitely on the low side of things, so dry and dropper was the only way to go. I covered a lot of water in a few hours, staying put on a run if I was catching, moving on if I wasn't.

April 23, 2022

I spent the morning hours guiding a client in town from Maine. The temperatures were finally more seasonal than they have been most of the spring, but the wind (of course) was relentless. Couple that with last night's rains, and streams were in varying degrees of fishable. We had no trouble finding clear water. We didn't have anything hatching, either, but an Adams with a dropper got the attention of enough fish to keep things interesting.

We carried a second rod, as is often the case when I guide, so we nymphed rigged some deeper runs and some faster water with very good success.

What the intermittent rains and relentless wind tried to do to damper our outing, the willingness of trout to pick up flies consistently made it a worthwhile outing.

Couple of observations: the BWO hatches are still lingering in places with the cooler temperatures, and the caddis hasn't blown up yet for the same reason: temps. This week doesn't look any better to get things warming and get the hatches moving, but with 57 on tap for Friday, there may be a window for caddis.

April 14-15, 2022

Thursday and Friday were not days that I would normally ditch work to spend the day on area streams: high NW winds, sleet, more wind, and more wind made both days challenging. I did what I could to get out of the wind and fish less wide open spaces. The drive Thursday showed a variety of stream conditions. The Root is full, to say the least. The rain front that went through Tuesday definitely impacted more of the Whitewater area and the upper I90 corridor than streams to the east. All streams I fished were in great shape, if not gin clear, for the most part.

Friday was similar in that the NW wind was relentless, but the sun poked out and the BWO's got going around 12:30. I fished dries all afternoon, and the fish were wiling to pick up an imitation without hesitation.

I did nothing complicated or fancy to put a 120 fish day in on Thursday. I rigged tandem nymphs and covered water. The fish were stacked, Thursday afternoon, in pocket water, so it wasn't hard to rack up big numbers of fish. They're hungry, the bugs are available, and they are ready to pick up well-presented flies.

I covered parts of three different streams and pulled off the Driftless Trifects: brook, brown, and rainbow.

The opener is tomorrow (April 16), so there will be higher traffic than what I saw the past couple of days, yet the weather isn't terribly appealing, so who knows.

April 9, 2022

I spent the morning with Eric, a recent retiree and transplant to the Driftless, who was interested in learning more about trout fishing, fly fishing, etc. The weather was mainy cooperative: chilly with light winds most of the morning. The water is still very clear and very low.

Turning over a few rocks showed that there are lots of inverts ready to pop. The next three or so days with rising temperatures should kick off some real hatches. This time of year, I carry midges, BWO, Dark Henricksons, and caddis. You often run into one or a combination hatch at the same time.

April 2, 2022

Ben and I had this weekend pegged for an outing for a while, so we made the most of a snow filled morning. The wind was not an issue and temps were in the low 30's, so we were in good shape. We nymphed all morning, mainly deeper pockets and pools where the trout were stacked up.

We covered ground when we had to, and stuck it out if the fish kept taking flies.

The trout were all in very good shape, despite low water conditions and very clear water.

Conditions improved as the snow subsided and the sun decided to make an appearance. Around 1:00, a small, sporadic BWO hatch materialized, so fish were aggressive, not so much that they were willing to take dries, but they certainly picked up a well-presented fly.

Conditions do not glorious this coming week with low temperatures.

March 25, 2022

Under normal circumstances, I probably would not have opted to spend the day on the water in 20 plus NW winds, snow squalls, and highs in the mid-30s; however, I had the day off of work, and my buddy Troy came down to make the most of it. The weather was actually nicer in the morning than the afternoon. We fished some wooded areas in the AM, just to minimize the howling winds. The strategy paid off with many browns caught and released.

The water was low and clear at our first stop, so Troy went with the standard tandem rig with an indicator, and I started with a gray marabou leech, which got the attention of trout consistently, but with the low water temps and air temps, they were really not in feed bag, chase and kill mode. I ultimately changed up to a tandem rig with no indicator and immediately started catching fish.

We pulled the pin at our fist stop, had a sandwich in the car, and hit our final stop of the day. This stream was a little chalkier and had better flow than our morning stop, but we kept on nymph rigging and consistently catching trout despite the unfriendly fishing conditions.

The forecast for the next week sucks. Low air temps, windy, and some rain/snow mixed in. It looks better ten days out, but I'm hopeful the weather will continue to improve.

March 20, 2022

Temperatures in the low 60's (70 on Monday) got me to bag any intention of elbow rubbing at this weekend's Expo and put me on the water of a local stream. Nothing significant in terms of hatches came off for me, but the fish were willing in some very low and clear water.

I fished a tandem nymph rig early on and did well enough that it was time to switch it up to a streamer and fire into some deeper pools. It was a mixed bag of browns with a half dozen brook trout mixed in.

It was a great day for a long walk, covering lots of ground, and no other anglers in sight.

This guy was one of the strangest fish I've caught in a while (on a streamer0. His tail has seen better days.

Rain/snow is on the way, and while the temperatures are going to plummet and make fishing a little less appealing than this past Sunday, we are in desperate need of significant moisture in the southeast.

January 18, 2022

I made my first official outing of '22 on Tuesday, which was really the only good day in the forecast. The rest of January, if you believe what you read on the weather, looks miserably, brutally cold. In other words: January.

Charlie, Wayne and myself hoofed into our stretch around 10:00. Walking was not overly challenging with the snow, but our progress was slower than normal.

There had not been anyone back as far as we walked, and we had the whole stretch to ourselves all day. Nymph rigging was the way to go; Wayne Euro nymphed, Charlie ran some mid range rigs, and I dredged a scud and a midge.

The weather was a mix of sun and high clouds, but the wind was a constant reminder that it was still a winter day.

Water levels are always lower in the winter months, but with last summer's drought, they are significantly lower than normal, and, yes, crystal clear.