Fly Fishing Pheasant Branch   Leave a comment

I decided, after a summer of mostly spin fishing, that I’d get the fly rod back out and see if I remembered how to cast it. Since fishing for trout on inland streams is now a punishable offense, I went local and fished a stream that doesn’t hold trout. The Pheasant Branch drains a vast area of springs north of Middleton and Madison. At one time I suppose this creek had good conditions for trout, but with development and runoff the springs were damaged and the creek warmed up.

At any rate, there are some lovely stretches.

Pheasant Branch Creek in Middleton, Wisconsin

Pheasant Branch Creek in Middleton, Wisconsin

 I fished a hopper pattern as an indicator with a pink scud tied on via 12-inches of tippet. I’d tried this sort of setup only once before and it worked nicely. The first time I even got two fish on at once. One on the floater and one on the scud!

Hopper-Scud Combo

Hopper-Scud Combo

The stream has some decent pools in the 3 to 5 foot deep range, and the biggest fish in the creek, at least the small section I fished appear to be chubs. As you can see below, this guy chose the hopper and ignored the scud.

Pheasant Branch Chub

Pheasant Branch Chub

I also caught a lot of panfish, whether they were bluegills, green sunfish, or hybrids, I’m not sure. But there were some really fat guys in there.

Sunfish caught with a scud on Pheasant Branch Creek

Sunfish caught with a scud on Pheasant Branch Creek

One thing to be careful about when using a floater/sinker combo is tangles. I ended up with this mess. I’m not sure what happened.

A fly fishing Mess

A fly fishing Mess

I recovered and replaced with scud with a bead-headed nymph and got a few more.

Pheasant Branch Bluegill

Pheasant Branch Bluegill

Is this a Green Sunfish?

Is this a Green Sunfish?

I decided to switch to a bigger fly to see if I could entice some bigger fish below a dam. I caught the fish below on a bead-headed streamer (a wooly bugger I guess), also tied on to the floating hopper.

Pheasant Branch Chub

Pheasant Branch Chub

I ended my outing with a gold and purple wooly bugger, and this time I tied it on to the hopper indicator with about 20-inches of line. I wanted to get the fly deeper to see if I could entice any big fish out of their hidey-holes. I got a few decent panfish… but they didn’t hit the wooly bugger, they hit the hopper up on top of the water.

Green Panfish - Notice the Heron spearing injury on the dorsal fin

Green Panfish - Notice the Heron spearing injury on the dorsal fin

It’s nice to be out fishing, even if I’m not catching trout. I hope to improve my fly fishing skills so that next spring I’m able to catch lots of trout via the fly.

Posted October 6, 2010 by troutseeker in Fly Fishing, Pheasant Branch

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