Winter trout season in Wisconsin

Winter trout season in the driftless area is always an exciting experience for me. It’s so much different than the warmer weather seasons. The water can be crystal clear and the streams can be wide-open or the next day you can have ice shelves covering long stretches of water making casting and exercise in Precision and accuracy.

And the honest truth is that getting out fishing again after a break reminds me that I’m really not that great of a flyfisherman. I’ve read enough blogs and fished in enough different locations that I’ve collected some skills that make me at least moderate I would say. However, when it comes right down to it, my nymphing seems to be mediocre at best and I often find myself spoking pools and I never seem to land as many fish as those around me.

Maybe it is social media making the appearance that everybody else is catching bigger fish more fish than me. Maybe it really is true, I just don’t catch as much as everyone else. I would like to think I’m a knowledgeable angler. I would like to think I can catch fish most days on the water even when conditions are really tough. But the truth is I’m just another average fisherman. What’s wonderful is that it doesn’t mean I don’t love it any less.

I’ve been out twice so far this year in Wisconsin. I wasn’t able to make the Minnesota fishing opener but the -10° weather makes me think that was OK. Both outings in Wisconsin we’re short. Two hours on the water each. They were familiar streams so I thought I’d be able to find some fish, but alas, both trips left me empty handed.

What is it funny that instead of being discouraged and thinking I’m wasting my time and should hold off on fishing until warmer weather, two outings with no fish has left me with fewer flies and a greater desire to get back out. Fly fishing is so addictive for me. That’s for sure.

So I’m still looking for my first fish of 2018. Heck, after well over 15 years of trout fishing or closer to 20 I’m still looking for my first 20 inch fish. Maybe 2018 is the year. Or maybe this is just the year of humility. If it is, I’m OK with that. Because, what is that we all say when we don’t catch fish? Oh yeah, “you know, it’s just so great getting out.”

Author: D Nash

Family. Fly fishing. Music.

2 thoughts on “Winter trout season in Wisconsin”

  1. I don’t know D, I remember both you and your dad being able to handle yourselves just fine on the water. What I’ve noticed over the years posting photos and video of my outings is that 1. its more conducive to have a second person, photos and videos tend to be more engaging when there is a subject however. 2. that second person fishing (especially in the winter) cuts down the fish either person catches significantly. This could be a phenomena unique to me but I go with a good friend of mine who is still learning and I usually get a handful of fish then concentrate on my camera whilst trying to help him get a fish. This results in a lot of talking/walking/stumbling and fumbling around which when the creek is gin and glass you’re asking for trouble.

    20inch trout are great but you’ve figured out the real reason we go.

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    1. Appreciate your comments man. And you are right, a second person in the winter can dramatically decrease catch rate. I do love fishing and photography and am totally happy just filming and shooting as well. In those cases, it is fun to have someone to get out with. Keep up the videos! They are rocking!

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