HATCHES & RISES PRINT & ONLINE MAGAZINE
VOLUME 7, NUMBER 1
COVER STORY Alaska on the Fly pg 8
Destination: The Wisconsin Driftless pg 12
UPCOMING MEETINGS January Meeting:
The Joe Kline Great Fly Sale 7pm Sunday March 4th 2018
President’s Message PRESIDENT’S BEAT Dale Fogg PENN’S WOODS WEST
Be careful what you ask for.
ll summer and most of the fall I was wishing for some cooler temps and more precipitation. Well, I can tell my wish has been granted! The temps have cooled off significantly, and we have water in the streams...most of it frozen now. The moral of the story, be careful what you ask for. PWWTU is in full swing with monthly meetings, planning for Cabin Fever and searching for a new meeting location. In case you haven’t heard yet, Grazie! will be closing at the end of January due to the new owners of the building having different plans for the space. Therefore, we are losing the fantastic location for our meetings. Mike has been more than generous and we wish him well. If you have location suggestions, please let me know. Cabin Fever will be back at the DoubleTree (formerly Sheraton) this year. Every year it has become difficult to meet the increasing costs of renting a space and finding a good date for the event. There is a lot of work to be done in the next 2 months for Cabin Fever, if you want to get involved, please drop me a note. We can always use the extra help, more work is done planning the event, than at the event. I am now wishing for that Punxsutawney rodent to not see his shadow and bring us an early spring! All the best,
President* Dale Fogg firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President* Open Treasurer* Walt Reineman 412-963-2824 Secretary* Ian Brown email@example.com Hatches & Rises Editors Charles Cantella and Joe Birch Conservation Director* Tom Walsh 412-486-5356 Program Coordinator* Christian Shane 412-916-2979 Women’s Outreach Chair Jodie Minor Nora Cline firstname.lastname@example.org Member Director Charles Buffington 412-388-1666
DALE FOGG, PWTTU President Cabin Fever 2018 Sunday March 4th 2018 DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh - Cranberry (formerly the Sheraton) 9:00am - 4:00pm
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BarFlies Coordinator: Ron Milavec 412-835-6107 *Also serving on Board of Directors
A Temporary Refuge By: Lee Spencer
ee Spencer’s book, A Temporary Refuge, is a cumulative overview of his thoughts and observations gathered over the fourteen years he and his dog Sis camped beside deep pool on a tributary creek of the North Umpqua River. From May until December each year their only job was “to protect the 400 to 600 wild summer steelhead from poachers who have been known to dynamite the pool”. This surprisingly entertaining read encompasses so much more that the steelhead. Spencer talks about the people he meets along the stream. He observes the animals that visit the creek, and how the animals interact with each other and fit in to the whole eco-system. He broaches such questions as the value of dead salmon carcasses in a stream. These fish, which share many of the same streams as steelhead, expire soon after mating. Their bodies then decompose bringing valuable nutrients to feed the food chain.
like comparing apples to oranges. The fish, too are different. Minimal, if any, natural reproduction takes place in Pennsylvania, while the struggle on the West Coast is to keep the fish safe long enough so they can reproduce. Also the life cycles are different. While the Pacific steelhead go out to sea where they “feed on fish, crustaceans, and squid during the marine portion of their lives”. The Great Lakes steelhead have a much more limited diet. That’s why big, bold flies are cast on big western rivers, while here in PA egg patterns and small nymphs are commonly used. That being said, the book (published by Patagonia) is quite an interesting read.
I found the book to be highly educational and easy to read. But does that mean it is a good “fishing” book for Pennsylvania anglers? I’d have to say no. I feel as if comparing a deep, high elevation tributary stream to any of the relatively shallow Pennsylvania streams is
You can purchase this book at: https://www. amazon.com/Temporary-Refuge-Fourteen-SeasonsSteelhead/dp/1938340671/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid= 1513574941&sr=8-1&keywords=a+temporary+refuge
Fly of the Month
Western Green Drake
Tied by Mrs. Lori Day of Tualatin Valley, Oregon Hook: Thread: Tail: Ribbing: Body: Hackle: Wing (hen wing): Wing (hair wing):
Tiemco 100, #s 8-10 Olive 8/0 Moose mane Yellow thread Olive brown ultrafine dubbing Dark Dun Slate or dark gray hen Medium dark deer
Email us your creation. We will review all submissions and publish the editor’s choice each issue. Please include your Name, Fly name, all materials used and a photo. Email Charles Cantella at email@example.com
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One More Cast By Christian A. Shane
The Small Two-Headed River
arly February. The classroom tank is running smoothly at a consistent 50.2 degrees F. While the other trout fry scurry and scatter amongst the aquarium, it sits there at the bottom. Helpless. Hopeless. Two heads, four eyes, one shared tail. Still breathing, still alive. What began as our annual project and/or experiment of hatching trout eggs turned from a lesson in conservation into one of compassion. My class started the task in late October, receiving over 300 brook trout eggs from the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission through Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom project. After a successful hatch of 180 eyed-eggs into alevins, my students observed our trout lying in the hatching basket for a few more weeks. Like a trout bum during an epic hatch, the brookies lived off of their bellies as alevins, or sac fry, for a while until they were hungry enough to start searching for food; thus beginning their journey in our aquarium as swimming fry. My kiddos enjoyed watching the parrmarked brook trout take their places within the current and hold up in their feeding lies. Beautifully colored, the trout showed off their wormy vermiculations, small spots along their lateral lines, and orange tint along their fins.
Trout Fry in hatching basket
As usual, the TIC project provides the freak show of trout metamorphosis such as trout with curved spines, L-shaped specimens, and of course, the rare “two-headed” trout fry. In nature, these misfit toys of the stream would inevitably become fish food; but in a world of eight-year-olds, these trout were prized possessions to be nursed back to normalcy. We made the decision as a class to put those weaker fry, including the two-header, back into the hatching basket keeping them away from their piscivorous brethren. Later, the class even volunteered cute names such as Phineas, Rootbeer, Kiwi and my favorite, Fishtina A-gill-era. Still, a name for the two-headed trout eluded us as it remained unnamed for a few days; that was until a timely lesson sealed the deal. Prompted by a discussion about the Presidents in Social Studies, an introverted girl in the front 4 Hatches & Rises January/February 2018 pwwtu.org
Two Headed Trout - Abe & George row shared her thoughts, though not even close to the class discussion. “Can we name the two-headed trout Abe and George, after Abraham Lincoln and George Washington?” she asked. And so, the Legend of Abe & George, the Two-Headed Trout began. I imagined naming other fish after the Presidents such as “Tricky Dick” or “Slick Willie” but didn’t want to
One More Cast
L-Shaped Fry taint the elementary project with politics.
Curved Trout Fry many willing trout came up to sample the dry and let it go (Of course, the teacher took a few casts as well).
Keeping the needy fish alive as long as possible required more oxygen flowing through the basket. It took some One by one, the trout fry journeyed from the bottom of tinkering in the currents and path of water within the the tank to reach the awaiting gnat at the water’s surface. tank, but by adjusting One trout rise though was the filter, a riffle emerged unexpected… with a flat run after Abe & George spotted the top“He watched them holding it. Of course, it created water action and struggled the perfect nymphing themselves with their noses in the at the basket bottom to area. Next, by slightly make their way to the water’s moving some stones current, many trout in deep, fast surface. The class cheered below along with the them on as they worked moving water, slightly distorted as against each other and the air pump, a feeding lane brought food right around current to get to the fly. When he watched far down through the like a conveyor belt to they swam in-sync, it was a the basket. The stream glassy convex surface of the pool.” thing of beauty. In a moment within the tank became of unity, the two-headed trout – Earnest Hemingway, A Big-Two a real trout stream. moved in an upwards motion Like Hemingway’s “Big toward the fly. Could this be? Hearted River Two-Hearted River,” Were they really swimming to our aquarium stream hit this fly? offered the healing and BOOM. Abe wrapped his mouth around the fly’s hackles regenerative powers for our fry. and snarfed it! Their reward was great as I hoped they heard So the next logical step, from the mind of an angler, was the roars of students outside of the tank. to try out some fly patterns to the fry. I tied up various Woefully, a few days later, Abe & George perished. In the sizes of Griffith Gnats #20 and #22, with hooks removed. end, only the strongest trout fry will survive. I can say Rigging up a mini fly rod, one made of dow rods (not though that the two-headed trout left a legacy to my class bamboo) we used some 6X tippet to roll cast do our of misfit toys that even the weakest of the bunch can rise to classroom brook trout fry. Choosing a spot below the the occasion and make a splash. riffles, one of my students made the first cast. SPLASH. SLURP. All the students had a chance to make a cast and Christian Shane is Program Coordinator for PWWTU. pwwtu.org January/February 2018 Hatches & Rises 5
Meetings By Ron Milavec
arFlies is PWWTU’s fly tying night and is held on the 4th Monday of the month at 7:00 pm from September through April. This is an informal session. If you are just starting out, or an intermediate tier, this is a great, low pressure way to learn new skills, improve your craft, and hopefully have flies that catch more fish! And it’s FREE! Bring your tying vise, tools, a lamp and extension. If you do not have a vise and tools, you can share mine. Attendance has been good at all of our sessions. Each month, a featured tyer demonstrates a fly or tying technique. The chapter supplies hooks and materials so that you can tie several of the flies. We use a video camera so that you can follow the tying steps on the big screen and tie your own example. In previous sessions: Ron Milavec demonstrated the Pheasant Tail Parachute Mayfly and tying with beads. Nora Cline demonstrated her tying skills using alternative tying materials. These are materials that you can find about the house or at craft stores. The three flies that she featured were a ‘Mop Fly’ (dust mop); ‘Squiggly Worm’ (child’s toy) and ‘Viadi Worm’ (skinny balloon). Christian Shane tied the Furled Alevin and Ultra Egg plus talked about other flies that represent different stages of a brook trout’s life cycle (see pages 14-15 in Nov/Dec 2015 Hatches & Rises). Tim
Josh Miller tying competition nymphs 6 Hatches & Rises January/February 2018 pwwtu.org
Camisa tied a Parasol Emerger pattern. Dale Fogg tied an Intruder pattern. Other tiers have been: Bill Nagle (Snow Ghost), Josh Miller (competition Nymphs), Ian Brown (Ultimate Cicada), Ken Crawford (Fish Taco)… plus others.
Ken Crawford tying the Fish Taco
At the request of several people, in January 2017, we tried something a little different. Instead of a tying session, we had a Rod Building Overview presented by Pete Foradori. Tiers for January and February have not been Nora Cline using alternative tying set as this goes to press. materials Check PWWTU’s website for updates as we search for a new venue to hold our sessions. www.pwwtu.org
Tyers hard at work on the featured fly
Tie or Buy? Are you a fly tier?
We need donations for one of the biggest fund raising events of the year – The Joe Kline Great Fly Sale at our January 8th membership meeting. Just tie up any fly patterns (dries, wets, streamers, etc.) and bring them to any regular meeting in December or January to turn them in for the sale. Contact Christian Shane (412) 916-2979 for shipping instructions if you cannot attend the meetings. Thanks to all the fly tiers for you skills, time, and donations!
January 8th, 2018 The Joe Kline Great Fly Sale & PWWTU Fly Tier Roundtable:
Are you ready to stock up your fly box?
(7:00 PM Grazie Event Center in the Oxford Athletic Club) Bring a friend and join us on January 8th at 7:00 pm for stocking up your fly box, buying some raffle tickets, getting some dinner and drinks, and watching some great tying!
Support your chapter by purchasing flies from the Great Fly Sale in January 2018. For only $5.00, you can choose any half dozen flies from the sale. That’s less than a dollar per fly! At the January 8th, 2018 meeting, flies will be available from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm. The nifty plastic containers are even free!!! So stop by and check out the fly selection in January and support your chapter!
Featuring: Rich Maser, Bobby Heil, Jr., Paul Skerl, & Ian Brown
Make sure to attend!
Scenes from last year’s PWWTU Joe Kline Great Fly Sale
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Alaska on the Fly
“Fishing trip”... a phrase that paints it with a pretty broad brushstroke. For the average fly fisherman, it can describe anything from a day on a local trout stream to an excursion to some remote location, halfway around the world for an exotic saltwater species. What drives us to expend resources and devote our precious time can’t simply be summarized by saying we went to catch a fish. In my mind, that target fish is the point we go but not necessarily the “reason”. I think many would agree that a fishing trip serves multiple purposes, not the least of which is to “recharge our batteries”. Whether it’s the peace and quiet of being alone on that little brookie trickle deep in the forest or racing across the flats in a skiff with your best fishing buddy, to 8 Hatches & Rises January/February 2018 pwwtu.org
a distant mangrove creek in search of that “double-digit” bonefish, the fish becomes secondary to the experience. With all that in mind, let me say that my recent (first) trip to Alaska makes it difficult to answer the question ... “What was the best part of the trip?” First and most important, if you haven’t been there and have been considering it, don’t put it off any longer. An Alaska fishing trip needs to be at the top of your list. Now, when I use the term “fishing trip”, I’m not talking about those trips to the crowded, flossing rivers we’ve heard about. If you want to really appreciate the wildness of our 49th state, a trip to a remote fishing lodge is what you’re looking for. This is the tenth consecutive year International Angler has
Adventure hearty breakfast served in the main lodge at about 8AM. Wader up, grab your gear and meet your guide and pilot at the dock, located in front of the lodge on the home river. The RCL is located on a remote point on the Nuyakuk River, in the Wood Tikchik State Park, Alaska’s largest state park. The CRL is located on its namesake, Copper River near its mouth to giant Lake Iliamna. The primary difference between the lodges, from a logistical standpoint is that each day you’ll depart the RCL, a floatplane as your taxi, and fly out to a river that you and your guide have decided upon for the day. At the CRL, you’ll travel to been booking trips with The Royal Coachman Lodge (RCL) and the Copper River Lodge (CRL). We have first rights to the final week of the season for both lodges before they close down for the winter. That’s not by accident. By this time, most of the salmon runs have waned and the arctic char and wild rainbow trout have been feasting on salmon eggs and the flesh from dying salmon for the last few months. These fish are at maximum density due to their recent protein bonanza diet . The trouts’ heads appear to be out of proportion to their bodies. Envision a football with a little trout tail on one end and a little trout head on the other. This year’s trip, as in previous years, was offered as a split trip... three days at the RCL, followed by three days at the CRL. The operations at both locations are similar, in that every accommodation is made to make your stay comfortable, enjoyable and successful. It all starts with the people. All of the staff, guides, pilots, everyone involved contributes to making your stay the best possible experience. To give you an idea of the level of service, a couple dinner entrees featured grilled lamb chops and baked halibut cheeks. My mouth is still watering. The state of Alaska limits the number of permits to most of the surrounding river systems so it’s not unusual to be the only anglers in sight, for MANY miles. The RCL keeps boats and motors stashed in a number of remote locations that are only accessible via floatplane and the guides are some of the best in Alaska. Here’s where the real fun starts. Every day is a new adventure, starting with a plane ride from the dock that might last from anywhere between 20 minutes to close to an hour, depending on today’s destination. The guides are experienced and in-tune with what’s fishing, so that destination is based upon sound decision making. And with so many options, you won’t be disappointed. Mornings start with coffee at about 6:30AM, followed by a
continued to P-10
It’s time to start planning your 2018 fishing adventure(s) Join International Angler’s most popular and unique hosted trip. 2018 Will be our 11th annual trip to the Bristol Bay region, at two of the premier Alaska lodges. With many of our anglers repeating, this popular trip gets booked quickly. Call today for availability and details! September 23 to September 30 Royal Coachman Lodge/Copper River Lodge, Alaska • $7,575.00 each • 7 Nights/6 Days Includes: • Seven Nights Lodging • All Meals • Six Days Guided Fishing Two Different Lodges: Royal Coachman Lodge, Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, w/fly-outs (www.royalcoachmanlodge.com) Copper River Lodge, Bristol Bay Alaska (www.copperriverlodge.com) Top shelf accommodations, great food and amazing fishing! Last year this exact trip was an outstanding success.
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Adventureenture Adventure ALASKA, continued from P-9
various sections of the home river by boat, with flyouts to Fog Lake as an ala carte option.
that there probably isn’t a sqaure inch of river that hasn’t been visited by Ursus Arctos Horribilis.
During our stay at RCL, I got to sample a bit of the fast and furious dry fly for grayling action on the .Nuyakuk River just upstream of the lodge, big arctic char and rainbows on the Agulapak River, coho salmon, fresh from the sea in the Kulakuk River and jumbo rainbows from the Kvichak River. Just a tiny slice of what’s available. So many fish, so little time. At the end of each day of angling, we would be swept back to our awaiting float-plane, pile in and head back to the lodge. Shortly after take-off from our day on the Kulakuk, as we banked out over the edge of the ocean, I was peering out the side window down onto the rolling tundra and there stood a sow grizzly with triplet cubs. Something you just don’t see everyday. Just another piece of what makes this trip so special. Throughout the week, we saw caribou, moose, otters, mink, eagles... lots of eagles, and more. Though it would be very difficult for me to put my finger on the highlight of the trip, I would have to say that being (what I consider) in close proximity to Alaskan grizzlies, as right up there near the top. During the peak of the salmon runs, all sorts of wild creatures are drawn to the rivers... including Griz. According to the guides, a typical day during the peak salmon spawning periods can provide 30-40 bear sightings. A little unnerving when you’re standing along the bank, catching one fish after another and suddenly you snap back to reality as one of those lumbering hulks appears within a stone’s-throw and ambles past. I don’t care how many times the guide says “ he won’t bother you, he’s focused on the salmon”. The fact that the high grass growing along the riverbanks (on both sides), for the entire length of the river is trampled down and littered with salmon skeletons and bear droppings, gives you the sense
Everything relies on the returning masses of salmon. Not only the mammals, birds and fish that dine on the eggs and flesh of those salmonids, but even the surrounding ecosystem is heavily dependent upon their existence. Studies have found the DNA from salmon in the fiber of the spruce trees that line these pristine waterways. Nothing goes to waste. Of all of the folks present at the lodges during that week, I was one of the few first-timers to visit Alaska. I think what can be drawn from that is the fact that all who have made the trek to this great northern wilderness have returned, and in most cases repeatedly. Some have sampled the earlier season fishing, with outstanding results casting dry flies to the big rainbows, while others fish during the peak salmon migrations. As noted earlier, the big rainbows are the primary targets late in the year, and fishing is either done with egg patterns or more likely, big streamers. The majority of these rainbows are in the 16”-20” range, though many rainbows were caught in that incredible 22”-27” range! Being a newbie with the two-handed rod, I thought this would be a great opportunity to focus my efforts on swinging streamers with the 11’ switch rod. The guides were more than happy to put me in great locations and coach me with the appropriate casting techniques and terminal tackle. This style of presentation was deadly and these wild rainbows responded with viscous strikes on the big minnow or flesh streamer patterns. On more than one occasion, I’d hook, briefly battle and lose a cartwheeling rainbow, only to have another one chase down the streamer and blast it within seconds of losing the first fish. Then have the whole scenario repeat itself! Talk about hot fish! Looking back on different snapshots in my memory, one of the recurring images I see is when all the anglers would return to the lodge each evening for appetizers and a cold beverage, grinning from ear to ear and shaking their heads in amazement with what they had experienced that day. I can say with certainty that everyone enjoyed themselves immensely and will return. So back to the original question... “What was the best part of the trip?” Was it the people, the accommodations and meals? The fishing variety, floatplane rides, the wildlife encounters? Or the sheer immensity of Alaska? Well, I don’t believe I’ve gathered enough intel yet. I guess that will require additional research trips.
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Raffle Update Fall is here, and that means Christmas isn’t too far behind. Looking for a great Christmas gift for your fishing buddy? Consider buying one of our raffle tickets. They are $10, and we keep adding prizes throughout the year. Currently we have an awesome, original painting from this year’s Meet the Artist, Ryan Keene http://www.RAKart.net. Ryan has also donated a print for our raffle (See photo inset). Both paintings are framed and ready to adorn your home. We also have a 9’, 8wt, 4 piece ITB rod with case from http://www. risenfly.com, and a copy of A Fly Rod of Your Own signed by both author John Gierach http://www.simonandschuster. com/authors/John-Gierach/1497721 and cover artist Bob White http://www.bobwhitestudio.com.
Tickets will be available at all monthly Penn’s Woods West TU meetings (see any of the board members) or contact me via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Chapter meets on the second Monday of each month September through June – Meetings start at 7pm at Grazie, 100 Village Club, Wexford, PA 15090 The drawing will be at our April 9,2018 meeting and winner need not be present to win (which makes it a great gift for non-members as well). With only a limited number of tickets available, get yours before they are gone! Side Note: If you own a shop or service and would like to donate something to our raffle, please contact me. Thank you! -Charles Cantella
Tickets will be available at all monthly Penn’s Woods West TU meetings (see any of the board members) or contact me via email, email@example.com.
www.pwwtu.org pwwtu.org January/February 2018 Hatches & Rises 11
Destination By Anthony Naples
Destination: The Wisconsin Driftless
inter time is the time to start dreaming of next season’s fishing trips. I know I’m starting to look at my calendar and figure out where I’m going to go. The last few years the Wisconsin Driftless region has been a must-do trip for me. It’s a drivable trip – about 13 hours, and it is well worth it. If you like small stream fishing for trout. And hundreds of miles of accessible spring creeks sounds appealing you really should consider the Wisconsin Driftless. What is the Driftless Region? To a geologist it is an area of approximately 24,000 square miles covering portions of eastern Iowa, southeastern Minnesota, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin, that was left untouched by the last ice age. As a result, the Driftless region was not eroded by glacial action and so remains hilly and characterized by deeply cut stream valleys (or coulees) and high bluffs. Additionally, the region was not covered by the silt, clay, boulders and gravel or “drift” that glaciers leave behind when they melt – hence the term “drifltess”.
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To the trout angler the Driftless is a fly fishing paradise. The underlying limestone karst geology provides cool, nutrient rich water to the hundreds of small to medium sized spring creeks flowing through the area. Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa all have excellent trout streams and great fishing in the Driftless region. So far I have only explored Wisconsin and so I’ll focus on that. The area of interest in Wisconsin is the southwest corner and the angler would do well to focus primarily on Vernon, Richland, Crawford, La Crosse and Monroe counties. Most of the creeks in the area are meandering meadow or pasture streams winding though scenic farms and fields— you’ll find a few that go through forested areas, but meadow and pasture streams predominate. It’s hard to overstate how many trout streams are in the area. As an example, Vernon county alone has 65 listed trout streams amounting to about 250 stream miles. And that’s just one county. Where to Fish The Wisconsin Driftless area just abounds with streams and you could easily spend weeks exploring without fishing the same place twice. The sheer number of streams can be a little intimidating and overwhelming so If you head out to the area I would highly recommend starting with a visit to The Driftless Angler (http://www. driftlessangler.com) in Viroqua as soon as you get into the area. They can get you clued in to what bug activity is going on and what flies to try – and more importantly point you to some streams to try. Whenever I’ve stopped into the shop they’ve always been very helpful and have been kind enough to give me a local area map and highlight streams on it. Having that map in hand with streams highlighted was a real life pwwtu.org January/February 2018 Hatches & Rises 13
saver the first time out. And it’s just a good idea to have a real paper map too as cell phone service can become quite spotty when you descend into the stream valleys and you may not always be able to rely on your phone GPS. The state of Wisconsin has done a great job of securing stream access either on public lands or via lease agreements with land owners. And the areas open to public access are fairly well marked with signage and very often you’ll notice the access points where you can cross over pasture fences. Doing some up front research can make your trip more productive, especially if you’re there on a weekend during the spring, when some of the more popular parking areas on the best known streams can have cars already in them – that’s when it’s nice to have some backup locations to
investigate. I have found though that even in the best part of the season – say the month of May – if you fish during the week you’ll likely not have much trouble with crowds. I don’t want to get accused of spot-burning so I won’t list a bunch of specific places in this article – but I think it’s okay to give you some info on a few of the more popular streams – they are no secret and they deserve their popularity because they are excellent streams. One area that I can recommend is the Coon Creek Fishery Area. The Coon Creek watershed is a destination in and of itself. The watershed consists of numerous streams including Coon Creek, Bohemian Valley, Timber Coulee, Spring Coulee Creek and Rulland Creek – all of which are Class 1 streams (high quality streams with natural reproduction). I have had great outings on all of these waters and there is plenty of public access. You can find maps to this area which show public access and parking at the following link: http://dnr.wi.gov/maps/FM/ WCR/642cooncreekall.pdf If you want to do further research the state of Wisconsin has provided quite a few online resources. When exploring any of these online resources – keep in mind that the main counties of interest for Driftless fishing are Vernon, Richland, Crawford, La Crosse and Monroe. Some Wisconsin Online Resources: • The Wisconsin DNR Fisheries by County webpage: http:// dnr.wi.gov/topic/Lands/FisheriesAreas/county.html
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• Wisconsin Trout stream maps by County: http://dnr. wi.gov/topic/fishing/trout/streammaps.html
tried it yet. I do know that I’ll make sure I have a head net the next time I go.
• The T.R.O.U.T–Trout Regulations and Opportunities User Tool provides an interactive trout fishing mapping system: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/fishing/trout/trouT.html
Anthony Naples was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He’s been fly fishing since 1994 and has been pursuing tenkara since 2009. He is the owner of Three Rivers Tenkara (www.threeriverstenkara.com) where he sells tenkara rods and accessories.
When to Go I have visited the Wisconsin Driftless from early May through early June. And in my limited experience (I’ve been out 4 times), mid-May was just about perfect. Fishing was good on all of my trips, but the weeds in nonpasture meadows can be getting pretty high by June and be a bit of a nuisance. In early May you can avoid the high weeds – but weather can get cold. I’ve found mid-May to be nice. Weeds aren’t as high, weather a bit more reliable (though no guarantees on that one) and bug hatch activity is pretty good. Hatches and Flies If you tie flies and are a “match-the-hatch” angler I’d give a call or shoot an email to Driftless Angler before you got to see what’s happening. I’ve encountered good BWO action in May and in early June good Sulphur hatches. But really I’ve had great fishing with a few very general patterns: Beadhead Pheasant tails or Shop-vacs in sizes 12-16, beadhead wooley buggers, deer hair caddis dries. And I love swinging the Pass Lake wet fly to fishy looking areas or to rising fish – they seem to really like it. Speaking of bugs… mosquitos and/or midges can be quite bad at times. Depending on weather and other conditions. I’ve had fairly bug-free trips and then others where the midges and mosquitos were quite annoying. Bug repellents worked pretty well on the skeeters but the midges were undeterred. I’ve been told that a product called Buggins Natural works on the midges but I haven’t
Where to Stay Driftless Angler has a page with links to lodging options: http://www.driftlessangler.com/lodging-s/ lodging-options-s Also the Driftless Wisconsin Tourism page has a list of accommodations: https://driftlesswisconsin.com/ lodging-and-dining/driftless-wisconsin-lodging/ I’ve stayed at the Willow Creek Ranch ( http://www. willowcreekfoods.com/eco_stay.php ). They’ve got a small one room cottage with direct access to Spring Coulee Creek. It’s a small cottage good for 2 anglers (fridge and microwave). The big plus is that you can walk to the fishing on Spring Coulee and you’re within a few minutes drive to plenty of other spots. I’ve also stayed at Quiet Valley Cabins located on Coon Creek (http:// www.quietvalleycabins.com ). They have three cabins of varying size. Camping is available at two Vernon County parks, Esofea and Sidie Hollow (https://www. vernoncounty.org/LWCD/Parks/Parks.htm ) . Sidie Hollow has the advantage of showers, Esofea has no showers but has better on site stream fishing. There is also camping at Westfork Sportsmans Club (http:// westforksportsmansclub.org ). If you’re considering going I wouldn’t wait till the last minute to book accommodations – as the places can fill up quickly on weekends in the prime season. pwwtu.org January/February 2018 Hatches & Rises 15
Outdoor One MoreShow Cast 2018 Allegheny Outdoor, Sport & Travel Show February 16-18, 2018 Penn’s Woods West Trout Unlimited We need your help! PWWTU will man a booth at the show again this year. Thanks to Chris Fassnacht, show manager, for the booth. Each of the past four years, he has provided PWWTU with a booth at no charge. PWWTU will pass out TU brochures, copies of the PWWTU newsletter, promote Cabin Fever and sell the remaining flies from our Joe Kline Great Fly Sale. Fly tyers may bring their tools and materials to demonstrate fly tying while in the booth. PWWTU is looking for volunteers (2 per shift) to man the booth on the following dates. Friday, Feb 16th, 12 Noon – 8 pm 2 shifts: 12-4 and 4-8 Saturday, Feb 17th, 10 am – 8 pm 3 shifts: 10-1; 1-4 and 4-8 Sunday, Feb 18th, 10 am – 5 pm 2 shifts: 10-1 and 1-5 You receive FREE admission to the show. I will setup the booth on Thursday and be there at the opening and closing each day. The 1-5 shift on Sunday will help me close the booth. I am also looking for a volunteer to present a 30-45 minute program at the show. Dale Fogg, Briget Shields and I have done presentations in the past. Please see me at a TU meeting or call/email me with your shift preference. Contact Ron Milavec, 412-835-6107or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Sunday March 4th 2018 DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh - Cranberry (formerly the Sheraton)
9:00am - 4:00pm • Nationally known speakers • 60 Vendors • Over 400 free parking spaces • Over 9,000 square feet of unobstructed space on one floor. • Informative seminars on fly fishing techniques. • Raffles for great fly fishing equipment. • Flea market area for great deals on vintage tackle. • Fly Casting & Fly Tying demonstrations. 16 Hatches & Rises January/February 2018 pwwtu.org