June 26, 2017
Plan E "The search for clean water" Chris Young
My buddy Chris Young drove up from Chicago. The sky opened up the evening prior and dropped over an inch of rain on us.
Plan A and B were totally unfishable. We went to the headwater of that system and more of the same. Plan C was a fail.
We stopped at a gas station to take care of some business. I was approached by a farmer I knew from fishing and he asked me who contrived the new trout regulations? He was quite angry. He had lived in the area his whole life and farmed it the entire time. He told me was afraid to fish a stretch and be legal and keep fish.
I took out my regulations and looked up his stream of choice. There was an east and west branch and they were not mentioned. The main branch was marked c/r and artificial only year round. I saw where he would be afraid and I reassured him the other branches could be fished because they weren't marked or named so they were category three. He could keep three over 8 inches. He left the same way he began....angry and questioning the new simplified regulations. Chris witnessed the exchange and agreed the regs were too cumbersome.
Chris wanted to try a really tiny headwater stream that I thought would be clean. The weeds were awful but Chris managed 4 brookies there. I watched because the weeds looked like a trip to the emergency room for me. We spent about an hour there. Two of the four were loaded with gill lice.
We pointed our vehicles westward to search for better water clarity.
I thought we should back road it to go by a stream I use to take clients on when i needed a trout fix. It was a bridge hole and I dubbed it the stream of "Immediate Gratification" long ago.
Chris landed 8 browns in about 20 casts and lost a brown on nearly every other cast. He was throwing a size 12 pink squirrel. The trout finally wised up and quit hitting.
I suggested to fish a hole just downstream 40 yards. I had Chris loop around the hole to avoid spooking the trout. 40 casts later Chris had landed another 13 browns. None of the browns were huge but it was still fun.
Chris needed to meet up with his wife in Viroqua so we kept going westward. I introduced Chris to a land owner and we walked out her pasture to a solid stretch.
We looked at the water just upstream of hers prior to walking out in the pasture. Chris disliked the clarity of the water just upstream. I told him that there were 2 tributaries feeding in between the 2 fishing sites and it should be clean enough.
2 feeders just above Plan E stretch.
Water clarity was not the best at Plan E area but I managed 3 browns. Watching got old and I cast only a few times. Chris switched to a heavier fly and dredged the stained larger hole with no success.
We marked Chris' gazetteer to show his newly acquired permission for another day. Chris said 25 for a half day fishing in mud puddles was not bad. He headed out to meet up with his wife and go shopping up and down the Great River Road at all the quaint towns she loved.