In the Driftless, we’re spoiled with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, over 13,000 miles of spring-fed trout streams, and some of the best trout fishing in country! We find happy fish in nearly every riffle and bend pool all season, but that doesn’t mean we catch them the same way all the time. In this post, we’ll help you plan your trip with us based off of the seasons so you can have an idea of what to expect when you book, and truly tailor your experience!
We’ll be frank here. We don’t really do trips during the Winter months. Our daily window for fishing is tight, conditions can be borderline dangerous, and we’re at the mercy of the weather now more than ever. In the Winter, we’ll target fish with midge, tiny black stonefly, scud and nymph patterns, or try our hand at streamer fishing. Midges and scuds are fished subsurface under an indicator, or we’ll throw midge cluster or gnat dry flies on the surface if we find rising fish and our fingers aren’t too frozen to tie a knot. To sum it up, there are fish to be caught, but we advise people to
focus their attention on the weeks and months to come.
Spring: Late March-May
Hatch time!! Have you wanted to find yourself in the middle of a blanket hatch of BWOs or a Caddis hatch that has you coming close to inhaling as many bugs as the fish are? Now is your time to do it. Do you want to improve your bug identification and entomology skills? Now is your time to do it. Yes, the flies we’re fishing can be hard for us to see while on the water, but we assure you the trout have no problem finding them. Dry fly fishing, nymphing, streamer fishing, we do it all in the spring. We recommend booking a trip in the springtime if you really want to experience a good hatch, dial in your dry fly fishing and/or feed some happy fish!
Are the kids out of school for the summer? Have you been daydreaming about feisty trout rising to a big foam beetle or hopper? Now is the time to get in on the action! In the early summer months we still run into hatches quite often and we also start seeing terrestrial insects like ants, beetles, crickets and grasshoppers crawling all over the bank grass, many of which fall into the water and become trout food! Summer trips are a great way to get kids into fly fishing as the flies are easy to see and many of the trout takes are explosive, not to mention the weather is usually fantastic. That’s
not to say these trips are just for kids though, summer fishing is a blast for
everyone. Late-summer is also when we start experiencing some of the awesome grasshopper fishing you may have heard about!
**The only time we run into issues in the summer is when temperatures push into the 90s for extended periods of time during which we may ask to reschedule a trip to protect the trout as high water temperatures may put a trout’s health in jeopardy. During this time early morning and evening trips are recommended.
Has the panic that there’s only 6 weeks of trout season left set in yet? Us too. Fall is a close contender for our favorite time of year to fish. Temperatures are starting to drop, our stream temperatures start to stabilize again and our trout are HUNGRY. In September we have some of our best hopper fishing of the year as the fall winds blast hoppers into the creeks and trout hide under the overhangs waiting on the satisfying “splat” of a big bug hitting the water. On top of that, trout are getting ready to spawn and starting to load up on calories for the long breeding season ahead. That means
bigger fish are looking for bigger meals which leads to some awesome streamer
fishing! If you want to learn how to really target trout with streamers, this
is your time to do so. Or, if you want to pound the banks with big foam bugs
and if we’re lucky, get caught in the middle of the occasional hatch, plan your
trip now. Not to mention the fall colors of both the leaves and the pre-spawn
trout in our Driftless region are absolutely stunning!
**It is important to note that Wisconsin trout season closes on the second Saturday of October
At the end of the day, we want to help you plan the best trip possible and help you become a better angler. Having fun on the water is our #1 goal and we’re happy to do everything we can to make your trip the best possible. For any questions on planning your trip please don’t hesitate to contact us at (608) 636-3627 or submit an inquiry using the “Book Your Trip!” form on our website. We look forward to fishing with you!
The Good Chance Fly Fishing Team