December 03, 2014

Special?

I bet lots of folks drive by this stretch of water and turn their noses up at it and think it a place for rough fish and frogs.  Yes there are lots of frogs here but also some big brown trout.  Bigger browns can tolerate water variations better than small ones.

What makes this oxbow a perfect stop for large trout?  Not what you would think.  This hole is 4 miles below designated trout water.  Perfect large trout water.  Do you know why?


There are the obvious answers that the corners are deeper and the trout will lay in them in wait for their next meal.  This answer is a no brainer.

Trout are very temperature dependent,  The winter photo doesn't show why this area is special. Other beautiful bends like these in the area may be frog water because of one missing factor.


If it is not glaring to you I will help you.  You see the water in the bottom right of the photo?  It is a swamp.  It has no obvious inlet to the waterway or does it?  The swamp is in such close proximity to the stream that the water from the swamp leeches through the ground and enters the stream.

Some of you are asking the question now why does that matter?  Swamps are nothing but springs that are more spread out.  A spring in Wisconsin has an average temperature of 42 degrees year round.

That swamp leeching in the stream in winter is like a beach in the Bahamas to trout. That water in the stream is typically 34 degrees in early season. Water that is eight degrees warmer will attract the trout on an early morning in March. That same swamp, birthed by a spring in summer, is also a magnet to trout because cooler water contains more dissolved oxygen and water temps in the summer can be way over 70 degrees here.


This male brown was on the upstream side of the oxbow on 2010 opening day.  I took the temperature upstream of the swamp and it was 38 degrees.  Right where the big male was laying was 6 degrees warmer.

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