Monday, August 20, 2012

8/07 - 8/11...Trout Bumming in the "Land of Corn and Bacon"

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It's become one of my favorite trips of the entire year , the one that I'm looking forward to six months in advance and that gets me started piling shit in the garage in anticipation before it's really necessary. This will be going on my third year that I've made the trip up North to wander around the small spring creeks the area offers in search of the wild brown trout that call it home. I'm not sure what it is that makes this place so special  to me...I guess it's a combination of the beautiful scenery , numerous spring creeks , wild browns and brookies and lack of fishing pressure that all add up to make a great destination.
This year the usual rif-raf I hang with couldn't make the trip due to work (ugh!!) so I had to seek out another poor soul to spend four days with me chasing trout. A few calls and I was able to convince another buddy that it wouldn't be the worst way he could spend a weeks vacation in August , but it was a tough sell.
I somehow managed to make it into work on Tuesday for a half day , although I didn't impress anyone with my productivity to say the least. By 11:00 I was already sneaking out the back door with one thing on my mind....fishing.
My friend arrived at the house just before noon as planned and after tossing his gear in the truck we headed North for the "land of corn and bacon". With the drive being a little over 8 hours , not including pit-stops , our goal was to make our arrival in time to get camp set up before dark thirty. After an uneventful roadtrip , we pulled into the campground just as the sun was dropping below the surrounding hills. Tents were hurriedly set and the rest of camp laid out for the week. Nothing to do now but sit around a big campfire and make plans for the morning.
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With three and a half days of fishing ahead of us the only question was where to start? After looking at the logistics of the streams we wanted to fish it was decided that we'd hit the water farthest from camp on the first day and then work our way back , fishing the streams closer to our campground as each day progressed. Of course if the fishing happened to be better at one location over another all bets were off , in the end we would just start driving in the morning after breakfast and end up wherever the gravel roads took us. Sometimes the best laid plans are no plans at all!
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After surviving one of the hottest and driest summers on record around home it was refreshing to be in a place where the grass was still green and the trees still had leaves that weren't yellow and curling from the drought. Hell , I even needed a fleece jacket and a hot cup of coffee to start off the mornings for the first time in a long while.
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 That's not to say that this area wasn't feeling some minor effects of the drought as well , while their situation is nothing like ours , the small streams were somewhat lower and seemed to have a lot more vegetation  compared to last year. Luckily for us it didn't seem to affect the fish or their appetites , although it did make it a little more of a challenge for us in some locations.
The beauty of the area and the abundant wildlife you can see while fishing these small spring creeks is a sight for sore eyes. Several times throughout the week I found myself just sitting streamside watching the colorful finches flitting from one perch to another and the numerous hummingbirds that couldn't seem to get enough of the orange bell shaped flowers that grow prolificly along most every stream. It was enough to make you oblivious to the rings of rising trout on the water at your feet....almost.
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I could go on and on about the beauty of this place and the fish that inhabit those little gems flowing through the hillsides but I think you probably already know how I feel so I'll just cut to the chase and get to the good stuff...the pictures that prove it all really happened. 
Four nights under the stars sitting around a big campfire , three full days of fishing some of the prettiest little creeks you'll find anywhere and the company of a good friend to share it all with....Life is GOOD!
Hope you enjoy the pics half as much as I enjoyed being there and taking em!
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Until next time......



21 comments:

  1. Jeff, wonderful pictures sir! I have been checking your blog continually waiting and knowing this post was coming. Looks like a great time and you had a lot of luck. I too would have to say the Driftless is easily one if not my favorite place to fish. What streams did you fish. I think I recognize the Waterloo, French and maybe North Bear... Man what a trip!

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    1. Thanks Bryan , we did have a blast.
      You got it right , we also fished South Bear and Pine Creek for a few hours.

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    2. What did you think of the pine? Maybe it was the area I was at but I couldn't find much more than a few inches of water for the entire length i walked.

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  2. Nice Driftless trip! Favorite fish pic is the one above the tortilla pic. Bacon wrapped asparagus, mmm.

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    1. Thanks John....I like that one as well. I'm pretty sure bacon wrapped asparagus is one of the four major food groups!!

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  3. I hate work more than ever now! I'd say it looks like you had some fun but I know you had a blast. Lets talk Colorado soon!
    Everythings better with bacon!

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    1. Amen brother! Looking forward to the next one already....

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    2. I had to come back and look at those pics again today. big mistake... and it's only 3:15 damn!

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  4. I really need to get off my butt and get up to the driftless!

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    1. Do it man!! You won't be sorry , it's a wonderful area.

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  5. I love all those landscape shots. Reminds me of home...

    Such a great trip to do yearly. The driftless is hard to beat...I need to get back!

    Thanks for the escape

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    1. It is a beautiful area and I definitely enjoy the trip as much as any other I take. You've got a good excuse to go man , a visit home and a little fishing on the side!!

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  6. Great pix!!! Love camp pix. Bacon wrapped anything rocks!!!

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    1. Thanks! I can't disagree with that...I'd eat a felt soled wading boot if it was wrapped in bacon!!

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  7. Nice photos. Love the coffee pot. However, you are missing the smallmouth bass, lol.

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    1. Thanks man , appreciate it. I agree ,I've yet to have any real success targeting smallies here locally (Ozarks region) as of yet. I made a couple of trips this summer with them specifically in mind and each time it ended up a bust. If at first you don't succeed......

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  8. The spring creeks here often are reknown rivers, I think I'd like yours, or where you traveled in The Driftless, more. The pictures remind me of many in The Black Hills. All nice you that was shown us!

    Gregg

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    1. Thanks Gregg...It is a special area for sure.

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  9. Getting funky with the cheese whiz...awesome pictorial. Wish I was there! JGR

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    1. What's a trip without a can of cheeze whiz??
      Thanks man....

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  10. Enjoyed this article! Posted a link to it on our website Trout Bumming.com
    thank you for it.

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