I had been thinking about how much fun it would be to hike into a remote Driftless Area canyon to do some fishing and camping. The weather looked favorable so I packed some gear and put my plan into action. I had never been to this section of river before and I was excited to see what it was like. Judging by the tracks in the snow I wasn't the first one to explore this canyon recently.
I set my pack down and admired my surroundings. It felt good to be alone in the canyon.
I left my pack behind and walked downstream for a ways. So much water that was new to me. I didn't see any fish and wondered if the snow melt was driving the stream temperature down and making the fish lethargic.
I picked apart a deep bend with my woolly bugger and on about the twelfth cast this guy came charging out of the depths. It felt good to be on the board with such a nice specimen.
There was a lot more river left to explore.
This was a pretty slow and somewhat deep stretch of water. I was getting some follows from small browns but they were not committing.
The logs were stacked up by the stove with care in hopes that it would be warm enough for me to sleep naked and bare.
I boiled some snow on the stove.
It was pretty comfortable in the tent.
It ended up being so warm that I awakened this spider from it's winter slumber. It felt good to have some company.
I emerged from my tent a little after 8:00am.
I was happy to have survived the night.
I decided to fish a little before breaking camp. The fish were really liking the size 16 Beadhead Pheasant Tail.
Another one bites the dust.
I was so happy.
I knew I had to go upstream a few miles before I got to a good spot to climb out of the canyon so I spent the rest of the morning walking and fishing.
So much nice scenery to see for the first time. I am looking forward to coming back here in the spring.
I was catching trout at a pretty steady clip all morning. All on the pheasant tail until I got bored and switched back to the Woolly Bugger.
The snow was deep at times and the walking wasn't always easy. I figured these conditions would keep most of the riffraff out of my canyon.
Every once in a while I would kick up some ducks but they would fly away before I could get a photo.
This looked like a good spot to fish a streamer.
Oh yeah I love it when my dreams become a reality.
This was my last view of the stream before I climbed back out of the canyon. Next time I will probably start here and explore the next stretch.
I found some other tracks and they led me to a well used trail that ascended up and out of the canyon.
I found a restaurant on the way home that served pizza. I am not ashamed to admit that I ate the whole thing.