We would finally get to meet our mutual friend Trapper in person who we both became acquainted with through the internet trout fishing forum DriftlessTroutAnglers.com. Known as DTA for short Driftless Trout Anglers is like the wild west of internet trout fishing forums where the only rule is that there is no rules although you might ruffle a few feathers if you blow the lid off someone else's secret stream.
Arriving at Trapper's place shortly after dark it was really nice to finally meet the man behind the legend. We talked about trout fishing and Trapper gave us some advice on where we should start fishing the next morning. He also informed us of a good place to set up camp for the night.
I had talked with Kyle on the way down about what it would take for me to earn the nickname, "The Kickapoo Kid". Trapper informed me that his cousin Rodger Widner held that nickname until he changed it to West Fork later in life. It got me to thinking of what other Driftlessy sounding nicknames I could give myself and the best I have been able to come up with so far is, "The Tainter Creek Terror" or possibly the "Tainter Terror" for short. I have yet to fish Tainter Creek but I already know what my nickname is going to be if I end up pulling a 30 inch Brown Trout from its depths.
I'm glad I have a quality sleeping bag because it got pretty cold in Kyle's tent early Saturday morning. I remember waking up at some point and tightening the draw string of the mummy style bag around my face. That allowed me a couple more hours of sleep and sometime around 6:30 we broke camp and set out to fish the first spot that Trapper told us about.
We decided to split up upon arriving at our first destination. Here is a photo I took while walking to my section.
Well actually Brown but Gold sounds cooler than Brown.
Once I caught up to Kyle he informed me that he had already caught 8 or 9 small to medium sized trout. It was a good way to start the day.
We made a quick stop at another place that looked fishy and all I had to do to catch this small brown was dip my fly in the creek. We were only there for a couple minutes when we saw lightening strike in the distance. We decided to drive around for a bit until the rain stopped.
It had been a long day and even though I had caught a few fish I had already been severely out fished by Kyle. I wasn't too down about it though because fishing is one of the few things that can still be fun even when you are failing miserably at it. I was pounding a nice run when all the sudden I saw Kyle coming back upstream looking out of breath and disheveled. He was mumbling something about catching a 21 inch brown and he had photos on his cell phone to prove it.
Here are the photos Kyle took of his trophy as well as the photo of the olive colored streamer he tied that he caught it on.
To our utmost dismay every stream we checked was running about as brown as chocolate milk.
When we made it to Trappers we relayed what we had seen in our survey. That's when Trapper decided to give Driftless Trout Fishing Icon Len Harris a call to see if he had any idea of what streams might be running clear. When Trapper put Len on speakerphone for all of us to hear it was the first time I had heard Len's voice live but this guys been entertaining me with his stories and dazzling me with his stunning photos for years. If trophy trout hunting in the Driftless was NFL Football I'm sure Len Harris would have more Superbowl Rings than anybody. Always willing to help out his fellow anglers Len suggested a place or two that he thought might be worth a try.
We weren't in a huge hurry to start fishing so we decided to do a little bit of sightseeing in the Driftless. We begged Trapper to guide us to the dam in Gays Mills where Len has posted so many photos of himself holding trophy Northern Pike.
I have known for a while that this bench existed but it was finally nice to see it for myself.
It was finally time to get fishing. I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.
Eddie Rivard Fly Fishing is now on Facebook