fly fishing
   Scott Thomas Thorpe




The Driftless Region


12,000 years ago, glaciers covered nearly all of the upper midwest, except the very southeast corner of Minnesota, the northeast corner of Iowa and the southwest corner of Wisconsin.  These areas, once the shifting bed of the great inland sea were untouched by the final glaciation. As the great ice sheets retreated, massive melt flowage carved the limestone and sandstone seabed into a myriad of valleys flowing into the great River Warren, now the Mississippi. This area is called the driftless region, a spectacular network of limestone bluffs and valleys, steep “goat prairies” and heavily forested with oak, maple and walnut.  In the valleys are a network of more than 600 spring creeks, populated by native brook trout, and wild brown trout. As an angling destination, it is relatively undiscovered.  Once subject to erosion from agriculture, with the advent of conservation programs, such as CRP, water quality has improved greatly and trout populations are strong and stable. Volunteers from local organizations such as Trout Unlimited have spent countless hours on steam improvement and the DNR of both Wisconsin and Minnesota have invested heavily in habitat improvement and angling easements. Public access to the very best fishing is readily available. Streams such as Minnesota’s Whitewater, Root, and Trout Run, Wisconsin’s Rush, Castle Rock Creek, Kickapoo and Timber Coulee rival the best East Coast destinations.


  
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