The 2012 Wisconsin trout season opens in just two weeks. Here in Southwest Wisconsin fishermen are chomping at the bit. They are waiting for their first chance this year to fish the beautiful cold water streams of the Driftless Area for brown, rainbow, and brook trout.
One of the nicest streams in the Soldiers Grove area is Tainter Creek. This creek meanders through woodlands, then through farm fields as it winds its 12-15 mile course to the Kickapoo River. The upper reaches of Tainter Creek are unimproved, meaning there are no “lunker” structures dug into the bank, below the surface of the water. Such structures are put in place by landowners and by Trout Unlimited to improve the surviveability of the trout. The trout can hide in these 20 foot long structures, protected from predators from above, and lie in wait for lunch or dinner to swim by. The lower five or six miles of Tainter Creek are wider, offer more open shoreline, and have been fitted with lunker boxes to aid the trout population.
One early summer day I left home just before noon to meet my guide in Towerville, at a very nondescript bar/lunch place. We first fished the lower part of the creek and I was thrilled to land two 19-inch brown trout. I was fishing with ultra-light spin tackle and was casting the smallest Rapala I had in my box. Later that afternoon the guide took me to the upper section of the creek and he put me in a 40 ft long, four foot deep hole that was full of 10-12 inch brook trout. I was throwing small spinners and the trout loved ‘em.
This was my first real success on the local streams. The guide was very helpful in choosing the parts of the stream to fish and the baits to use. For many trips and many years after that first trip, I was always confident in fishing these lovely streams of the Driftless Area. If you are a midwesterner, you don’t have to travel to Montana, or Colorado, or Idaho to find great trout fishing. It’s right here in Southwest Wisconsin.