My son Sam and I got out for a couple of hours during the middle of the day today. It was hot and buggy, and we spent quite a bit of time swatting the black fly gnats away from our faces. Standing ass-deep in a nice cool pool felt great, and though the trout weren’t as cooperative as they’ve been other times this year, we both managed to catch about a dozen browns.
High summer in The Driftless is hard to describe. Everything is green and alive and there is life everywhere, from the cows to the fish to all of the bugs in the thick vegetation surrounding the stream. There’s a background din of insects, which you don’t really notice until you stop and listen for it. Along with the bugs, the wind blows and the creek babbles amid the occasional mooing cow.
I tried fishing some Adams’s and grasshoppers, but only had one short strike on the hopper. Between the two of us, we saw three fish rise, which isn’t surprising in the middle of a hot summer day. So we both went sub-surface. Best producers were pink squirrels and blacksmiths. Most browns were standard issue Bohemian Valley fish from 8-10 inches, brightly colored and healthy. I managed to catch maybe my biggest fish of the year at 14 inches.
Along with the fish and the bugs and the cows, Sam saw what sounded to me from his description a water snake, and caught a small toad.
Enjoy the pictures.