Fly Fishing Adventures

North Bear Creek, The Driftless Morning Fly Fishing Before Work

North Bear Creek, The Driftless Morning Fly Fishing Before Work


Need to get away?  A friend of mine recently said to me that the best thing about fly fishing is that there are 4-5 things you always need to be thinking about while fly fishing to do it well.  That’s what makes fly fishing so great, it’s impossible to think about the outside world.  Fishing in The Driftless Region early in the morning can be epic or it can be terrible.  Either way I feel completely rejuvenated from the trials of everyday live, when I can be on the water, holding a gorgeous fly rod, and landing a few trout.  For this little session, I headed to the Highlandville area north of Decorah to fish North Bear Creek.  This is a great spot, with super easy access to some pretty solid water.  There are miles of water to hike to, and I can only imagine how incredible some of those pools are.  Remember that 90% of anglers fish within 100 yards of the parking lots.  That leaves some incredible water to those that are willing to put in the time.  I’ve put in the time on many rivers, but not this one so I’ll leave the lore to other angers that have hiked here. Some day, when I have more than a couple of hours before requiring cell service, I’ll do this creek the proper attention and give a real report.  

The growth of ground cover and wild flowers was pretty impressive and beautiful, and I’m embarrased I didn't take better pictures of this.  This epic beauty can present some casting issues for many anglers.   There are certainly some areas in The Driftless Region that require a bit of skill in the casting department, North Bear Creek in August is one of those situations.  



The gear list for this session was pretty simple, I fished our El Jefe combos in 4 weight.  This is in my opinion, the perfect set up for The Driftless Area.  At the beginning, I choose to fish a traditional nymph rig with an indicator, weight, a prince nymph in size 18 and a black zebra midge in size 18.  I also used 6X tippet the entire time.  I landed one little rainbow with this rig at the beginning, but after seeing a few trout rise, and totally mangling my nymph rig on the glorious ground cover, I swapped out my set up for a dry and dropper.  I’m pretty predictable this time of year.  



There was a bit of a downed tree along the opposite bank, and I threw my dry and dropper set up a foot or so from the bank, after the dropper had 2-3 seconds to sink, the dry went under quickly, and it was on.  I knew instantly I had a worthy fish.  This German brown trout pulled hard, and gave me a worthy fight.  After a bit of time, I was able to maneuver it into my net.  This brown was around 16 inches, and had amazing colors.  This was the only brown I caught that day, but it made my trip.  

I know, this one looks like it’s 10 inches, but you can see the size a little better form the YouTube video we produced on this trip.  





After being completely rejuvenated by river and trout therapy, I was forced as many of us are these days to get back at the daily grind.  The grind felt easier today after having the opportunity to  witness such an amazing creature.  The beauty of the brown trout, when you find one that’s grown up in the river is a beauty that will keep us all coming back to the stream for more.  Until next time, tight lines my friends.  Jeff

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Driftless Region in August Fly Fishing Break From the Real World
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