View Full Version : Central Wisconsin Brook Trout

11-10-2013, 10:32 PM
Being that I live in the Chicago area my trips to the Smokies are somewhat limited. My trout fishing is usually done in Wisconsin. My favorite type of fishing is fishing small streams for native brook trout.
One of my favorite streams is a small little creek that doesn't look like it would contain any fish.
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence%20Creek%20June_16_2013/102_3840_zps0aa82483.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence%20Creek%20June_16_2013/102_3840_zps0aa82483.jpg.html)
However, if you look at the picture closely you can see on the outside bend there is a nice bank hide and the water is surprisingly deep. To wade this stream you will need chest waders as the depth can be in excess of 4' in spots. All this in a creek that when you wade up the middle you can touch both sides of the creek with your hands. The reason for the depth is because extensive habitat improvement work that was done on this creek over 50 years ago.
The creek itself has a low gradient riffles and pools are pretty much nonexistent so stealth is of the utmost importance on this creek.
A nice exception here.
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3106_zpsa0d684a6.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3106_zpsa0d684a6.jpg.html)
and here.
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3107_zps85d60aa2.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3107_zps85d60aa2.jpg.html)

This is also also a spring creek and because of that the creek is literally stuffed with small brook trout. These trout are seldom fussy but, they must be approached carefully or they will flee. What I love about this creek is that the best way to catch these brookies is with dry flies, particularly ones that sink in the film and don't ride high on top.
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3112_zps9e2c2c33.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3112_zps9e2c2c33.jpg.html)
Sometimes they can be brightly colored.
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3108_zpse7905bab.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3108_zpse7905bab.jpg.html)
Looks like you can see the dirty line. Unfortunately algae gets on the line. It comes off easily. It doesn't show up on the photos very well but, all fish were handled with wet hands.
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3109_zpsa1193fe9.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3109_zpsa1193fe9.jpg.html)
http://i1037.photobucket.com/albums/a451/softhackle11/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3105_zpsa7955c82.jpg (http://s1037.photobucket.com/user/softhackle11/media/Lawrence_Creek_WI_May_16_2010/100_3105_zpsa7955c82.jpg.html)
Have a great day every one.

David Knapp
11-11-2013, 12:09 AM
Thanks for sharing! Those are some pretty fish and it looks like a nice area as well. Look forward to seeing more!

AL trout bum
11-12-2013, 12:28 AM
Nice. I would also love more spring creek action. It's cool to see one of my favorite fish in a totally different setting.

11-12-2013, 10:48 PM
Very nice:biggrin: I enjoy seeing different parts of the country. Is that in the Driftless area?

11-13-2013, 02:22 PM
Very nice, thank you for sharing those!!

11-13-2013, 09:29 PM
Very nice:biggrin: I enjoy seeing different parts of the country. Is that in the Driftless area?
No, the Driftless area is in southwest Wisconsin in the Mississippi River drainage. This stream is in central Wisconsin in an area known as the Sand County area. This area is flat with sandy soil. The Driftless has a lot of hills and valleys, not that much different from much of Tennessee. Sand County area streams are crystal clear, low gradient, and do have good populations of brook and brown trout. But, these streams require a fair amount of skill to regularly catch trout out of them. They are best fished on a cloudy or drizzly day.
These streams are not as popular as those in the Driftless wherein lies part of the charm. I have very seldom run into another fisherman on this creek. It's really nice having all that great fishing to myself.

11-13-2013, 09:54 PM
Great post, softhackle.

While on a temporary gig in Kenosha in 2002 I would have every other weekend off there in WI with a company paid rental car (I paid for the gas and car washes after off road trips). I got to fish some of the Sand County area streams so your photos look really familiar. I only had a 7.5 ft 4 wt 3 piece rod, not very conducive to stealth, which contributed to my not taking any of those nice brook trout.

I did catch a couple of nice rainbows that weekend in the Driftless area, the type of terrain to which this hillbilly is more accustomed.

Thanks for sharing.

11-13-2013, 10:07 PM
Thanks. When I first started fishing the Sand county streams I would get discouraged because of all the fish I was spooking. What I learned was spooking fish was going to happen no matter how careful I was. Once I got past the discouragement and kept fishing the fish started coming.