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  • EDTU

Driftless WI 2024 Trip Report

From Hans Hintzen: It was great kite flying weather with strong winds and bluebird skies. Air temps were in the 60’s on Friday, then shooting up to the high 70’s on Saturday. 

The water was low, clear and clogged with an alarming amount of algae growth for this early in the season. The mild winter weather and lack of significant snow pack is clearly taking a toll on these beautiful spring fed creeks. A good “gully washer” or two are badly needed to flush the streams and raise water levels.

Water temps remained in the 52-56 degree range, and the fish seemed mostly hunkered down in pools during the day. Accurate casting was a challenge due to the wind. A few fish were caught on dry flies in the late afternoon, mainly caddis and parachute Adams. But the vast majority of trout took small subsurface offerings; #16-20 zebra midges, pheasant tails and soft hackles with a bead head.

At least a half dozen of our group were new to the trip, and two EDTUers caught their first trout ever on a fly. It is incredibly rewarding to relive the excitement of that very first adrenaline rush when you realize a wild and beautiful creature is tugging at the end of your line.

The Old Towne Motel and Supper Club were hospitable and just the right amount of quirky, as always. We were especially honored to host Sara Strassman, Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Program Manager (TU DARE) at our Saturday dinner, complete with the Old Towne’s signature grasshopper after dinner ice cream treat. Thanks to everyone who attended, and special thanks to trip organizer Thomas Chmielewski. 


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