This past weekend I headed North for the last hoorah of the early season. My good friend Joe and I headed to the Driftless early Saturday morning. Our first stop was a small stream nestled in the hills of Vernon Co. I as usual started off throwing the good old pink squirrel. 2 casts in I was hooked up! First fish to hand was a nice 8-9 inch Brookie.
Next few casts brought a few 5-6 inch Browns to hand, time to move on. Headed upstream a bit in search of larger fish, but there where none bigger than the 5-6 inch range. Joe and I packed up and moved on to stream number 2.
Stream number 2 was also small water in Vernon Co. Very clear to the point fish where very spooky. I have sighted numerous 20+ inch fish in this stream, but have yet to hook into one. I have thrown the box at em with no go. This stream is one that will quality when a little dirty, or during some night fishing. Time to move on once again in the search for hungry fish.
As we approached stream number 3 for the day I was starting to worry if this trip was going to be a bust. The condition where a little screwy on Saturday. On and off rain, some sun, and windy at times. Stream 3 is one of the more well known streams in the Driftless and I have fished it many times before with success. I was pretty confident while walking up to the bank of the stream. Started tossing through a riffled bend as the sky started to clear up a little. Then the light switch turned on, and it was fish on from there on till the end of the day. Fish started rising to a fresh BWO hatch. I quickly tied on a size 20 BWO, and it was game on. I hand 10-12 fish to hand, all Browns with the smallest being 10-11 inches.
You have to love the magical hatch and catching fish on a dry fly. That hatch ended shortly after 6PM so we packed up and headed to camp. Camp was Sidie Hollow Park just west of Viroqua. The campground was nice, and we had a small stream running along the back side of the campsite that held a few small trout. The camping was fairly cheap at a whopping 15 bucks a night. I highly recommend the campground. Fish stories of the day were shared over the campfire, and the plan of attack for day 2 was laid out.
I wish I could say that day 2 was even better, but it was a true disappointment. One fish landed all day with several others missed on a dry. Either way the BWO hatch the night before made the trip well worth it. Season opens back up this Saturday. Good Luck out there and get ready for the dry fly season!