Secret Public Trout in the Driftless Area

The three of us loaded our fly-fishing gear into my loaner Toyota Land Cruiser and set out from the hotel in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, crossed the Mississippi River into Minnesota, stopped for gas, packable lunches, and fishing licenses with trout stamps, and followed a maze of two-lane and country dirt roads to a public access trout stream through private property in the Driftless Area.
The Driftless Area encompasses parts of western Wisconsin, southeastern Minnesota, and northeastern Iowa, deriving its name from its limestone geography and lack of glacial deposits – “drift” – left by ice age glaciers which covered the region just north of the Driftless Area. Coldwater streams fed by groundwater filter up through the limestone and flow down through a hilly, pastoral landscape of forests and farms. While most of these streams flow through private property, Minnesota boasts 221 miles of trout stream easements in the region which allow public fishing access.

My fishing partners were Scott Mackenthun, an outdoor writer and Minnesota fisheries biologist, and…READ MORE.

By Drew YoungeDyke (Originally published in the July 2020 issue of Wood-N-Water News)

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