April Inland Report:
We could not have possibly had better trout fishing weather this winter and early spring. The generally mild temps have lent to some great opportunities in Central WI and in the Driftless Area.
Central- The streamer fishing has been ranging from good to excellent on any given day. Try darker patterns on overcast days and something yellow or white when the sun is out. Don’t be afraid to go big if you’re looking for a larger fish. A stocky sculpin pattern will produce some pretty shocking results if you commit to fishing it. The potential for seeing a fish in the 18 plus category is pretty good. Short of Hex fishing, the early season is the best time to get a monster brown in the Sand Counties.
Aside from productive streamer fishing, there are a few hatches to be aware of. B.W.O’s have been spotted on a few of the rivers and there may very well be a few lingering stoneflies. Caddis should show themselves en masse sometime in the next couple weeks if the heat returns. Though it doesn’t see the fanfare of the Driftless Black Caddis hatch, the Sand Streams get a pile of bugs, too.
Driftless Area- Fishing on the Spring Creeks has been downright spectacular this year. Since the season opened, there just hasn’t been that much weather below freezing. The leech fishing has been tremendously good most of the time. So has the indicator fishing. A two-fly rig with a scud as the point fly and a midge larva or a B.W.O. nymph dropper will do a lot of damage.
Though the sub-surface fishing has been excellent, the hatches are what have everyone grinning quite a bit lately. Look for fish eating midges in the flats pretty much every day. The olive hatches this year have been nothing short stellar. Perhaps all the high water has cleaned up a lot of the gravel and made for better olive habitat, but this hatch has become very consistent and dependable in the last few years. Look for the bugs to start coming off right around 1 pm on most days. Be sure to pack some olive emergers, like Quigley’s Film Critic. The trout seem to favor this stage of the lifestyle quite a bit. Otherwise, a standard parachute or Sparkle Dun will work well.
We are just a handful of warm days away from Black Caddis mayhem on the Spring Creeks. There have been a few tans spotted already. It sure doesn’t take long for the trout to get on them! There have also been a few Crane Flies buzzing around. This hatch will also ramp up in the very near future. There is not a bug that Driftless Trout enjoy more. There could be 10,000 caddis on the water and one Crane Fly and they will eat the Crane every time! If you see one in the air, tie one on.