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MilRob

Driftless area and favorite flies

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MilRob

For those who fish the driftless region what are some of your favorite flies.    This will be my second year fly fishing and I started tying my own flies.    I’m terrible at fly fishing and tying but learning is half the fun.   Need to get an assortment of decent flies for the region.   I mostly fish the Wisconsin side including the rush and kinni but will be hopefully expanding my areas this coming year.   Thanks 

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Chubs

If you want to make sure you don't get skunked, tie several pink squirrels in sizes 12-18. Hippie Stompers work well, too, when they're looking up--I've had a lot of luck with purple, but green and red work well on occasion, too. 

 

Really, though, if you have a variety of basic attractors like hare's ears, parachute Adams and some black buggers, you can catch fish most of the time. One specific bug I like is a size 18 (or 20) olive sparkle dun since olive hatches are so prolific down there and sparkle duns cover a lot of phases of the life cycle and have a good profile on the water. If you don't like tying down that small, PM me and I'll send a few your way. 

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john mcg

The Driftless is on my bucket list, to be sure.

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john mcg
22 minutes ago, Chubs said:

If you want to make sure you don't get skunked, tie several pink squirrels in sizes 12-18. Hippie Stompers work well, too, when they're looking up--I've had a lot of luck with purple, but green and red work well on occasion, too. 

 

Really, though, if you have a variety of basic attractors like hare's ears, parachute Adams and some black buggers, you can catch fish most of the time. One specific bug I like is a size 18 (or 20) olive sparkle dun since olive hatches are so prolific down there and sparkle duns cover a lot of phases of the life cycle and have a good profile on the water. If you don't like tying down that small, PM me and I'll send a few your way. 

That is a great offer, Chubs. Good on you.

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co_setter

Some good suggestions here.  When I fished the Driftless, I did not find the fish all that selective.  I would add smaller sizes of x-caddis and caddis emergers.  There are some larger browns that seem to respond to thinly dressed minnow/chub patterns and in late summer drowned hoppers.

 

This is a good and fast x-caddis  ( I generally tie mine in a darker tone)  x- caddis video

Edited by co_setter
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Chubs
6 minutes ago, co_setter said:

Some good suggestions here.  When I fished the Driftless, I did not find the fish all that selective.  I would add smaller sizes of x-caddis and caddis emergers.  There are some larger browns that seem to respond to thinly dressed minnow/chub patterns and in late summer drowned hoppers.

 

I knew there was one important fly I was forgetting... both caddis patterns suggested here are important, especially during the early summer. 

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D. Case

I only time I fished there once. I caught fish on small 16-18-20 caddis and had best luck on a small black beetle pattern.  

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oldbird

Yes to all of the above. Elk wing caddis for a searching pattern. Don't forget the streamers (the gray leech is my favorite)

there are also some really large trico hatches on the right rivers.

Good tying videos on tight lines an upper midwest shop.

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MilRob

Thanks for the tips..Time to watch some videos and tie some terrible looking flies for the dumb ones   :D

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dhuth

Tan, orange, or gray/green scuds are a very consistent pattern for me (size 12-16). They’ll feed on them most of the time so you don’t need the latest hatch details to catch fish. Any of the generic nymphs can be good (pheasant tails are easy to tie). Pink squirrels do produce consistently and do deserve the almost “cult like following” they get around here.  I fished the Trico hatch for the first time this summer and it’s definitely worth it! When the fish start feeding, it can seem as though every fish in that stretch is surfacing at once. That said, after tieing some of those flies, I think I’ll just buy my trico flies from now on.  Size 20+ is a pain!

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Reeba

I used to fish the Kinni a lot when I was in college 40 yrs. ago.  One of the biology profs did a study which indicated that 80% plus of the trout diet was scuds.  So at that time I fished two weighted hare's ears and did very well.  Back then there were no bead heads,  floating indicator (bobber) was not well known,  I don't believe the was a lot of dry with nymph droppers being fished, but the tandem weighted hare's ears worked very well.

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WFC

I fish mostly large streamers in the driftless area.  Wilderdiltches, zoo cougars, etc.  Mice patterns are a blast once the sun is low/down. 

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Spin

    OK, Here's just what the Doctor ordered, and it should prove invaluable with any luck. It has been for me.

Get yourself a copy of Ross Mueller's Book "Upper Midwest Flies That Catch Trout, and how to use them"

If only Mueller had used more quality color photographs and ditched the cheesy line drawing sketches and

forgone using a one particular type of Dubbing materials doomed to become extinct as the dinosaurs and

harder to acquire than Dodo eggs. This may well have taken it's place among the very top tier of fly fishing

manuals like Art Flick's "Streamside Guide".  I've preyed for 2 decades that a revised edition would of been

put to press with said changes but I guess life is full of all kinds of disappointments.

   Anyway it is an extremely fine book particularly for someone looking to get his game sharpened up for

Drift less fishing. There isn't a better one out there.

   He has a second book too, this being a bit more general and expansive on the fishing grounds it deals with.

  "Fly Fishing Midwestern Spring Creeks"    Good book also but get and concentrate on the first book for

starters.
 

 

 

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mccuha

like said above. Those are good flies. I fish in southern Appalachia and I have had a lot of good success with foam beetles. mainly late spring, summer and early fall. ( mainly when I fly fish). I don't tie ,yet. They look pretty easy to tie. What does this Driftless fly look like. Sounds intriguing.

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D. Case

A poor picture of a couple of my favorite beetle patterns. The scruffy  one at the top is made with moose hair (although deer or elk would work as well) and rides lower into the water and when the fish are picky it works, hard to see though.  The foam one in a larger size is a killer bluegill fly. 

beetles.JPG

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