Early Season Wisconsin Small Stream

2/22/16 @ 2:30 PM
ORIGINAL POST
FishHunt47
FishHunt47
USER since 6/10/14
Went out for the first rip of the year this last weekend. Didn't do so hot. Granted the water was high because snow melt as well as the water being stained. We through small(fourteen, sixteen, and eighteen) nymphs along with indicators. Not a hit all day. Are they just really spooky this time of year? Not hitting flies? I've never fished this early because this is the first year we've been able to. Anyone have any previous experience with early season fly fishing trout? Any information regarding is more than helpful. Thanks!
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Displaying 1 to 10 of 10 Posts
4/17/16 @ 12:13 PM
IceRat
IceRat
USER since 12/1/02
Made the first outing for the season. Landed a few small Browns, and all fish came in a pink squirrel.

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3/30/16 @ 8:35 PM
FishHunt47
FishHunt47
USER since 6/10/14
I really appreciate all the feedback! I've noticed that using a bigger presentation, like a streamer of some sort, has yielded in catching bigger fish. It hasn't helped in catching numbers but has helped in catching size. Finally it's starting to warm up and the fish ARE BITING! Good luck to you all this trout season!

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3/11/16 @ 1:42 PM
fishing_time
fishing_time
USER since 8/17/13
Just my opinion, but big streamer flies that are heavy weighted are my go to this time of year. Look at bunny leaches or sculpin patterns. Water is usually a bit murky or is running high from snow melt so the bigger brighter flies sometimes get the fishes attention. If the fish cant see the fly they cant eat it.. My philosophy, when you use tiny flies, like a size 22 you are asking the fish to lazily eat when it is hungry and you need to have a perfect "match the hatch" pattern and perfect presentation. If you try tossing bigger streamers, the drag free dead drift is no longer critical, strip, drift it, twitch it, do whatever you want, it all entices strikes. Make the fish eat, don't ask it to eat! I also agree with the others, fish slowly and fish deep. If you dont loose a few flies your not getting deep enough. Usually when I drift I'll let it go with the current giving it a few small twitches or small strips until your drift tails out and you can retrieve the fly with slow strips. Not sure what kind of water you are fishing, but tungsten bead heads of sink tip line can help you get down

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3/4/16 @ 8:17 PM
John.Rennpferd
John.Rennpferd
USER since 6/3/10
This time of year hitting the stream right at sun up is key; check your water temps to, cold cold water means slow slow fish. They might be right where you think they are, but your fly might move by them way to fast with the extra velocity created by the runoff entering your stream of choice.

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3/4/16 @ 7:09 AM
Namvet
Namvet
USER since 1/9/09
For what it's worth I still do some limited spin fishing for trout. I still us treble hooks, but I pinch down all of the barbs for easier release. It works for me and I lose very few fish. I know changing to single hooks would be the preferred way, but maybe I'm lazy but pinched barbs on flies and lures allows me to do a very quick release.

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3/3/16 @ 6:37 AM
Bozo
Bozo
USER since 7/29/02
wicasa has a point. Years ago at TU meeting I heard a former board member suggest spinning and spinners. With one big difference,he removed the treble hooks and put on single hooks. I don't know that someone could say that today.

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2/25/16 @ 12:01 PM
Dave (Golden)
Dave (Golden)
MEMBER since 6/22/01
Namvet.. has it...

If you ain't right down deep ticking the bottom and losing a few flies you are probably not where the fish are.

Use some bead-head (tungsten)flies and even add weight to the leader of need be to get down deep.

Czech Nymphing and tight line methods usually pay off for me when the water is high.

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2/25/16 @ 11:48 AM
Wicasa
Wicasa
USER since 11/11/15
Take this for what it's worth. I do more ultralight spinning than fly fishing.

I'd think about a sink tip line and fairly hefty wooly buggers or streamers. And skip any water that isn't at least waist deep. Fish the flies as S-L-O-W-L-Y as possible

For me, it's still the thinest diameter I can reasonably fish, fished as slowly as I can fish. Lures are the same old: marabous, rapalas, and spinners (not as often). And a personal preference is single, barbless hooks regardless of season.

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2/23/16 @ 2:45 PM
Namvet
Namvet
USER since 1/9/09
Really need to weight them down this early in the season. That can be frustrating too with a lot of snags. I managed to get two decent size browns that way. Water was a tad too high so I think I'm going to give it another couple weeks before venturing out again. Good luck!

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