View Full Version : Boundary Waters / Driftless Region

06-06-2009, 02:20 AM
Hey folks! I returned from my trip to the land of Paul Bunyan, and thought I'd share some photos. I flew from Knoxville to Minneapolis, MN and headed to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness with my father. It was the the last week of May, and the ice came of the lakes a few weeks prior. We fished primarily for smallmouth. We caught plenty of smallies and even fooled some northern pike and a few walleye. The fly of choice was a 2/0 white and red slumpbuster. Seems large, but the overkill on fly size seemed to produce more bass. We fished a 6 weight with a sink line, and an 8 weight when the wind really picked up. The water was still cold (as was the air) so the fish were about 5-10' deep. We went into and camped on a lake named Brule Lake in some serious northern backwoods. We caught plenty of fish and didn't see but two mosquitos. Not bad at all. Here's some photos:
Day 2 smallie on a big fat slumpbuster.
My father. I tied the flies, he bought the beer (and my plane ticket...)'
Crazy eyes walleye. Tricked by a leech pattern. An hour later I ate the sorry bastard. Delicious.

Sunset on day 1. Very nice.

After 4 days in northern Minnesota, we headed for River Falls, Wisconsin. My parents reside there... and so do some of the best spring creeks around. I fished for several days on the Root River in SW Wisconsin. I planned on fishing some other streams, but I was blown away by the Rush and couldn't leave it alone. It was such a varied stream- it had riffles and runs, super technical flats, deep pools, and surprisingly, pocket water. There were browns and brookies that had just woke up from winter. The browns in these little spring creeks are 100% meat. A twelve incher fights almost as hard as a big Holston River carp... well, pretty good anyways. Here's a few more pics:
Some Rush River technical water. Full of brownies, though...
Took this guy on a bubble-back pheasant tail - a Clinch favorite of mine.
Lastly, a tribute to my buddy Mr. Felker. I caught this guy on a "hothead" pheasant tail that he gave to me. I don't remember the name exactly, but I do remember that I made fun of the fly. Thanks Jeremy... this one was for you.

I would recommend the trip to the Boundary Waters to anyone who loves getting off the beaten path to fly fish for some uneducated fish. There are a lot of logistics that go into a canoe trip, so I would recommend an outfitter if you don't have a dad who lives nearby. As for the driftless region around the Mississippi River in Minnesota and Wisconsin, this would also be a great trip. Tons of water. I would equate it to East Tennesse as far as fly fishing variety, just not the big tailwaters. Thanks everyone for letting me share my trip.

06-06-2009, 07:05 AM
An hour later I ate the sorry bastard. Delicious.
SHEW.....Walleye....Shew.....those arent m,ade for eating...:biggrin:

David Knapp
06-06-2009, 10:56 AM
Great report! Looks like you had a fun trip. I did a trip up there a few years ago but only used spinning gear. Still it was a lot of fun and I'd like to go back someday with the fly rod...

06-06-2009, 12:43 PM
That's some good stuff there Jamie! :smile: I've heard several names for those PT's, bright spot, infected, red neck to name a few.

06-06-2009, 12:49 PM
good job jamie. Nice pics, looks fun (and cold). you got any pics of the pike?

06-06-2009, 01:21 PM
Just a little guy - they were all about this size. Plenty of fun though.

06-08-2009, 11:22 AM
We call those little northern hammer handles. They sure are aggressive though. Good job on the smallies. They sure are fun to catch and I find a larger fly will catch them better than a small fly. And yes, aren't walleye tasty!

It looks like you had a great trip. It makes me excited for my trip to Canada coming up next month. Can't wait! The water will be a little warmer but we will probably have to fight more than two mosquitos.

06-08-2009, 12:15 PM
Great report on what looks like a great trip! I guess the trade-off for colder weather was fewer skeeters...a very good trade-off indeed!

Red neck pheasant tail...that's what I love about this forum....you never know where the humor is coming from next...

fly fisherman DK
06-08-2009, 12:42 PM
Nice report!!! My dad and I are thinking about doing that trip next year, and I hope he says yes because just from your report I want to go even more.

06-13-2009, 11:21 AM
Great Report! I'm Glad that you had a good time. Early or late in the season is great for the lack of misquitos. We called the small northerns "slimers" because they were covered with it.
Thanks for sharing

David Dornblaser
07-02-2009, 05:41 PM
I am glad to hear that you had a great trip! If you do a second trip, be sure to spend a day or so and drop down to fish some of the SW WI Driftless Area streams as well, they are different than the streams that you fished near the Twin Cities.