Ever since we heard Jen Ripple of Dun Magazine talk at the Guadalupe TU TroutFest about the “Driftless” area of southwest Wisconsin, southeast Minnesota and northeast Iowa, we’ve been looking forward to fishing this unique landscape. Glacial movements missed this section of the midwest leaving a beautiful area behind with numerous drainages holding small streams with trout everywhere. Our first stop was the West Fork of the Kickapoo River near Viroqua, WI which bills itself as “trout central”.
Jen had mentioned we should stop in at the Driftless Angler in Viroqua and say “hi” to Mat and Geri, the co-owners, so we did just that on our first day in Viroqua. Mat shared some local flies and flavor and we were off to our campground at the Westfork Sportsmans Club.
The next day, we met our guide, Pete Cozad at the shop and headed out to the river. We didn’t head to the section of the West Fork that runs through the campground, but took a different turn and headed further upstream. We hiked down a bit, crossed over a large metal gate and landed squarely in a field of cattle grazing. Skirting our way around the cattle, we made our way to the stream and began fishing.
After fishing a few sections of the river, landing some really beautiful brownies, we headed back to the campground for our “Guide Talk”. As you watch, you’ll notice Pete’s dog, Teak, patiently watching us, waiting for Pete to throw the frisbee again. While Teak waited, we had a great conversation with Pete, talking about the fishery, his efforts to get kids involved in fly fishing and a great “one fly” tournament he holds annually. We hope you listen in to Pete’s “guide talk” and learn more about fishing in the “Driftless”.