I’d normally ensure I spent the last weekend of the Wisconsin Trout season on the water, but this year it wasn’t meant to be. When I say it wasn’t meant to be, I mean really, it seemed like Mother Nature and our social calendar were going to do all they could to conspire to keep me home.
For those not in the know, it seemed like for most of August and September a good part of Wisconsin, and the Midwest for that matter, were under heavy floodwaters, or forecasts of heavy storms. Bridges blown out, towns underwater - ton of damage everywhere.
We managed to find a small window, as things returned to normal, and took full advantage. In three days we managed to hit five streams, and I fished another solo. That solo mission was the most productive four hours of fishing I’ve had with a hopper in years. They were keyed in on the foam, and I took full advantage. I found a few of decent size, but more importantly, the fish I found were dressed in their Sunday best - shimmering in that buttery brown, with their blue cheeks and bright red spots. Unfortunately, I also went light weight and left the camera in the car. Though I missed some amazing fish, and the photos they’d have produced, the results have me wondering if I should be trying that more often.
From there, it was your standard buddy trip, hole hopping our way around the Driftless and finding fish every where you’d think, and in places you might never consider. Using the Gazetteer as our guide, it was great picking a blue line and finding a bridge, and starting another adventure.
It’s amazing how much fun end of year fishing can be - when the fish are keyed in on big hoppers, the brush is taller than me, and every cast could produce a giant. Though we weren’t able to dial in on anything of size, we had a blast, drank some good beers, and worked a ton of new water. As a guy strapped for time, it was exactly what was needed. (And Frank, see I told you I’d post the pics.)
When you’re looking at the pics, notice the banks and the impact the flooding had. The amount of water that passed through some of these smaller streams is insane. To see how quickly some of these watersheds recovered is absolutely amazing.