5-24-03 - Trout HEAVEN!
Rivers Fished: Paradise Springs, Pond at Paradise
Springs, Lake Como
Fish Caught: 4
Outing Date: 5-24-03
Air Temp: 60's & 70's
Water Temp: 1st Pond -> 70F in the shade, 74 in the sun; 2nd
Spring -> 60F, Lake Como surface temps were 65F
Water Level: N/A
Water Color: Crystal; Lake Como cloudy as always
Fish Species: Green Sunfish, Rainbow Trout, Brook Trout, Brown Trout,
Pattern Fished: Too Many To List
Pattern Color: N/A
Fishing Quality: Character Building
Bart and his GF came up to Lake Como for the weekend;
we spent the better part of the morning putting in the boat and
taking it for a test run! After that, a birthday lunch for my Mom
and then we were OFF for some fishing!
After seeing my reports from the week prior covering
almost ALL of the Walworth County trout streams, I got an email
from a fishin' buddy who demanded to know why I had wasted my time
there when I should be looking at other locations. His suggestion
was Paradise Springs...from the way he made it sound Bart &
I knew we had to at least give it a look.
Arriving at the Springs about 1:00 we first noticed
that it is essentially pay-to-play. $30 annually for WI State Parks
Parking sticker if you're a nonresident. $10 daily. Well, I'm never
one to argue if the DNR asks me for money, so $30 later I was all
set. Besides, the sticker is good for all the other State Park FEE
Now, the first body of water is right by the parking
lot; crystal clear with lots of vegetation. A quick water temp showed
74F in the sun, 70F in the shade...no trout to be seen. I didn't
have my buddy's specific directions in hand...I was stumped at first.
Where were all the trout.
We took walks around the pond sighting numerous
fish but they were too stocky. We also noticed several bright orange
fish...AKA GOLDFISH! Wouldn't that be a fun catch on a 4 wt.? Anyways,
turns out the prowlers were Green Sunfish..every last fish in the
pond was a Green Sunfish if it wasn't a goldfish. I landed 3 sizeable
fighters in no time, along with numerous smaller ones...Green Sunfish
strike like miniature bass and will give you some fun...they're
not against diving into the weeds which makes landing them a challenge
on ultra-lightweight gear.
Off to the other side of the parking lot was a
stream....this must be Paradise Springs. I was confusing in my head
the description of this area and another set of springs which has
a large pond on the other side of the road...so Bart and I walked
downstream! Ha! Nothing worth mentioning although it was flowing
at 60F. One neat side note; the WDNR has set up this small portion
of the stream as an educational area with some small signs...it
made me laugh 'cause it looked like a miniature trout stream aquarium.
Someone with a lot of cash could have one built in their home! They
tell you to look under the logs for hiding trout! Nope, no trout!
But this springs must be coming from somewhere as we did see an
angler coming back in his waders who said they weren't biting.
Ok, so there must be trout here...'cause if he
said "they weren't biting" that means that "they"
(aka TROUT) were around here somewhere. Upstream we went...Bart
walked the stream for a bit while I opted for the PATH ;)
As I came to the top there stood a large pond waterfalling
a good 10 feet down to become Paradise Springs Creek. I didn't notice
it right away, but as we got to looking around there were trout
EVERYWHERE in all sizes.
So here's the lowdown. Class 5, Special Regulations.
Artificials ONLY. NO KILL. Extended Season from Jan 1 to something
like Sept. 30 (but don't quote me on that). WDNR info say stocked
brookies and browns, but I can verify that there are also rainbows...maybe
the DNR has discontinued stocking them? However, it also seems that
conditions may be suitable for natural reproduction which is even
Shortly after our arrival I landed my first and
only trout! This gorgeous little brown flew in from nowhere to hit
a Tan Hare's Ear! Put up a good fight; since I had hooked up from
the dock it took a bit to figure out just how to land the fish;
couldn't haul him straight up 'cause I was fishing really light
HOURS passed and we did not get any other hookups...just
a lot of looks and turns. The trout at Paradise are HUMBLING to
say the very least; these are SMART FISH. Trust me, a visit to Paradise
Springs will bring you to your KNEES screaming to the trout gods
in rage and frustration. The feeling is that most folks only fish
the springs ONCE.
Towards evening came the midge hatch..tons of tiny
flies everywhere and the trout were ignoring all subsurface presentations.
I moved 'upstream' and found several 8-12" trout feeding heavily
on the surface; the closest match I had was the general Mosquito
pattern, so I tossed it.
2 missed hookups later and I was fuming. Bart was
PO'd and his GF had long given up. We didn't put the boat in back
at Lake Como for nothing, so we packed it up.
By the time we got back to Como it was about 7:30;
we'd have roughly one hour of fishing before we'd have to get off
the water. Temp check as always; 65F. The water was the usual Como
Green...visibility in the lake is usually about 6". It is worth
mentioning that the Lake levels are UP compared to where they have
been the past few years.
Let me tell you now, 3 people fishing out of a
12' rowboat with an 8 horse is fun but a bit risky, especially when
two of those people are fly casting! Bart and I divvied up the offerings;
he went surface with a yellow popper (yellow & black is THE
deadly combination on Como); I went subsurface with a Black Whitlock's
We worked the south shore of the Lake EAST of the
boat launch, an area that I know has some gravel. Considering that
the bass are on the beds in other area lakes, I figured this might
be our best bet, especially since it's a good area year-round.
Bart got no hits, I maybe got one or two but honestly
I kinda know how it feels to be a guide now...I kept oaring to keep
us in position while the wind slowly pushed us west along the shore.
After sunset we put in another 15 minutes or so at two other hot
spots for me along the south shore, but still no takers.
Next time I think I'll just oar and coach; I think
Chromeseeker also was frustrated because he had neglected to bring
the appropriate gear (when you're hurrying out the door at 8:00
am it's easy to forget things). So basically Como turned out to
be a semi-pleasure cruise towards the end of a tough but enjoyable