The trout streams are now in very fishable shape with the smaller creeks and upper stretches of bigger streams clear, and the lower stretches and big pools have a slight stain to them. Water levels are great and stream temperatures are in the upper 50’s, lower 60’s in slower water. Look for shaded spots this time of year for cooler water temperatures and more active fish-1 or 2 degree temperature variance is the difference between a good day and great day - carry and use a stream thermometer. Shade comes in many forms in our spring creeks-over hanging trees, grassy undercut banks, heavy current in and at the base of riffles, and limestone bluffs.
August is the beginning of “Hoppertunity Time” when warm, sunny, and windy days blow grasshoppers into the stream and trout gorge on big easy meals. Use a grasshopper fly pattern during these conditions and fish it along the bank and in the riffles and pockets below the riffles for explosive dry fly action. To increase your chances, fish a bead head nymph 18” below the hopper or fish a small ant or beetle 12” behind the hopper-this is a good trick for pressured streams where trout may not commit to a big fly, but eat something smaller without hesitation. The best time of day to fish hoppers is between 10:30 A.M. and 5:30 P.M., and this action will last thru the end of the trout season.
Smallmouth bass fishing is still going strong, water levels on the Lower Wisconsin River are stabilizing, streams in southwest Wisconsin still heavily stained. On the Big River fish the banks, any sunken trees; and in mid-river fish the drop offs at the bottom of the sand and gravel bars, back eddies, and wing dams off the bars/islands. On the smaller streams, fish the pockets below riffles, pockets below boulders, sunken timber, and along the high banks of bigger pools.
Hoppers: Dave’s Hopper #12-14, Morrish Hopper Green #14 and Tan #12, Thunder Thighs Hopper Tan and Pink, Charlie Boy Hopper #12-14.
Small Terrestrials: Hi-Viz Foam Beetle, Loco Beetle, Point Guard Beetle, Bionic Ant, Two Tone Para Ant.
Dry/Dropper: Chubby Chernobyl #14/Hot Belly Pheasant Tail, Hippie Stomper Black/Red Copper John #16.
Nymphs: Spring Creek Scud Tan, Bead head Flashback Pheasant Tail #16-18, Copper John Red #16-18.
Streamers: Leechinator #4, Rubber Leg Crystal Bugger Olive #6-8, Woolly Bugger #6-10.
Lower Wisconsin River: Murdich Minnow, Mini Murdich, Bass Popper White and Mr. Minnow, UFM Baitfish Olive/White.
Southwest Wisconsin Streams: Tequeely, Bass Buster Bugger, Clouser Minnow #2 Chart/Yellow, Bass Popper Chartreuse Splatter and Froggy Bottom.