Trip Report: Fast and slow

I got out around 530pm and action started out fast. Clouds of tiny midges hung in the air and bwo’s came off at a slow but steady rate. The sz 18 quill mayfly emerged did the trick. I was too persistent with this fly and would have done well to switch over to a bow dun pattern around 7pm.

C6A832AE-6178-43B1-8519-555D580ACDD0

This is one of the most brown brownies I’ve ever seen! I landed a few around 12 or 13 and maybe 7 or 8 fish total. I did try a red brassie in sz 18 for a time and landed 3 little guys. One good sized fish snapped me off too. Despite the rains we’ve seen off and on throughout the area over the last two days this stream was crystal clear! Area streams should all be fishable. Today the fish were skittish and leader shy so I resorted to 6x tippet and long casts. I was a little lazy about minding my profile and my shadow hit the water too frequently. It makes a difference!

Guide Trip Report

Skies were partly cloudy with a light breeze and temps in the mid 70’s. We arrived on stream around 5pm and fished until dark. We noticed two species of mayfly sz 16 and 20ish. Fish rose sporadically so we opted to fish the quill bodied mayfly in sz 16.
8A21C3AD-7596-491E-93A0-907272BE9BB9
Fishing was a touch slow but picked up as the evening pressed on. We switched spots around 730pm and found fish more cooperative. Streams in the area remain low and clear, typical of August.

F0DAF2E5-7E63-4ECF-9E18-68C7323454C1

Guide Trip Report

On Friday I lead a day long expedition into a beautiful medium sized driftless area spring creek. One was a seasoned angler, the other an eager beginner. We started along a fairly well established trail but before long I was busting brush which included stinging nettles, wild parsnip, and poison ivy. Temps had dropped into the low 80s over the last few days but despite improved temps we found challenging conditions. The stream was low and crystal clear and skies were clear and sunny. Long casts, light tippet, lots of stream side trees and brush, and skittish fish added to the challenge. Despite tough conditions we brought in a few trout. The pink squirrel variant, red brassie, and quill mayfly were the most productive flies. As we hiked out a solid little hatch started. The flies were sulpher colored and tiny, sz 24. Overall it was a beautiful day for a long walk, good company, and a few fish.

Over the next week conditions may continue to be tricky. Long leaders and light tippet, long casts, and a stealthy approach will be key. Hoppers, trico, sulpher, beetles, pink squirrels, and other “attractor” patterns should fish well. Hit me up if your interested in a guided day on the water or a variety of seasonal flies!

Trip Report: Gin clear

Conditions today were gin clear. I arrived on stream under partly cloudy, and clearing skies at around 6pm. Fish rose sporadically and some sz 16ish mayflies were coming off intermittently.

Fish responded well to the skittered mayfly. At one of the first runs I hit a good sized brown flashed at the fly. This happened a number of times. I sighted more above average sized fish today than is typical in this spot.
5F149499-43FF-453E-816C-E23563798DF8

This guy put up a great battle on the glass rod! But the time I headed home at around quarter to 8 at least 1.5 dzn trout came to hand in lengths between 5-16 inches. Temps are forecast to stay comfortable for both angler and quarry over the next few days and with overnight temps in the 50’s stream temps should moderate quick.

Trip Report: Dodging rain

Today I fished a pretty stream for little trout. Rain fell land clouds looked ominous as I headed to my favorite little valley. I figured today would be a streamer day.

DC3C7003-DD3F-4BD7-B903-ABEAED76B4F4

Somehow the clouds kept parting above my head and the rain largely held off. Fish weren’t keyed in on any particular retrieval and came few and far between.

6F091F1D-F636-4832-B4BB-9D61ECB36E35

Here’s the fish of the day! He took the streamer on a dead drift. At various points the water would cloud up. I’d push forward only to find cows in the water. Be 8pm a dozen or so, mostly small brown trout came to hand. It was a beautiful night to be in the woods.

I managed to figure out my new phone and YouTube, all in the same night! Check out this clip of the birds, bugs, and scenery.

Trip Report: The cow assisted San Juan shuffle

After a few late work cancellations I decided to do some trout fishin’! The first stream isn’t far from work so I thought I’d give it a try.

4994F2B2-33D6-4F25-91EF-76E41BF73E23

The stream was crystal clear and the clouds from earlier today gave way to bright skies. Tough conditions. I tied on a long length of tippet terminating at a sz 16 zebra midge followed by a sz 16 black soft hackle.
A5C7DED9-D636-41B1-A988-3E5684EA4495

The sort hackle worked well. After 7 or 8 small brown trout came to hand I headed over to another spot. This stream was running fairly clear and fish were rising! I’m not sure what kind of mayflies were coming off (I’d guess sulphur). Some sporadic caddie and midge activity was also noted. I fished the sz 16 quill bodied mayfly skittered across the surface with great success. I missed as many fish as I landed.

63EE6B34-22FD-4B24-8130-3AC002A6243E

Eventually the stream started to muddy. I looked upstream to find a herd of cows wading in to cool down. I tied on the San Juan worm and attempted a cow-assisted San Juan shuffle. It worked! The above pictured fish as well as the one below both fell for the SJ.

AED63D80-6C0E-4E6B-9C16-AB290906BFAF

The San Juan shuffle is a technique (considered dirty by some) whereby a fisherman shuffles their feet along the bottom to kick up aquatic invertebrates. The trout are attracted and the fisher can have better success. Don’t know if the technique will catch on but the cow assisted San Juan shuffle worked for me today! Not sure when I’ll get out again but I hope it’s soon!

Coming soon, the trico hatch

Trico will begin hatching on our southeastern Minnesota and twin cities area streams any day now. (By some accounts they already have!) In my experience trico emerge variably from the end of July through early September.
3C6C59E4-EDE9-404D-A12F-4753CC54426C
Trico don’t seem to like humid weather. They emerge when air temps hit 68 degrees, typically around 8-11am. They bounce around in the air as they mate, then they lay eggs on the surface before expiring. Trout seem to really key in on this hatch including some bigger ones! Not all streams offer a consistent trico hatch but when you do encounter them it’s good to be prepared. People often fish spent wing spinner type patterns but I much prefer the fly pictured above, a sz 24 parachute trico.

Hit me up if you’re interested in adding a few of these little guys to your fly box!

Guide Trip Report

Yesterday I had the privilege of passing on some fly fishing knowledge to a capable angler. We started out fishing a medium sized stream under clear skies. With a light stain on the water San Juan worms were on the menu. We fished the SJ below a pink squirrel variant to make sure the fly reached the depths in faster water.

7717EE6F-1146-4919-91F4-732A4D6FDFC2

While we found fish in slower water on occasion they were definitely more oriented to faster riffles and runs like the one pictured above. We used a net today and kept the fish submerged for everything but a few quick pics.

3BEAC957-C024-4DE1-9178-8A97205E2B82

This nice trout came from a tight little pocked on the across stream side from a boulder. This is a spot many would pass by without a second thought!

F026C521-9299-4CD7-A947-43C1D61E7CC6

This was the fish of the day! A 16-17 inch tank that came from beneath a submerged rock. It took a perfect cast and an even better fight to bring this fish to hand. A few good fish came from this spot but a beast that we snapped off on using a dry fly will haunt my dreams. Overall it was a day of good fishing and great company.

Trip Report: Montana

Today a buddy and I drove through Montana, WI on our way to explore a few new spots. We arrived at the first stream around 915am. All the streams we fished today (four I think) had a light brown stain and more silty bottoms than places I’m used to fishing. Still we found great fishing.

C831ECFA-1D7C-4CC2-B15E-8448AD11B798

This was my fish of the day! He came from the spot pictured below.

70DC52CD-AE68-456A-88FF-FA9F3D7262D5
After swinging and missing twice on the same cast he hit my small streamer hard. There was no place for him to run and I used heavy   tippet so he came to hand quick. While this stream yielded only browns we also chased after brookies.

We found one great brookie stream in the middle of nowhere but had to turn around due to private property and deep water. Troutroutes steered us a little astray too. My buddy fished spinning gear while I used a green frog-looking streamer. I tried a San Juan worm but only landed chubs on the fly. We each landed 20 or so trout but worked hard for em all. Vegetation is tall, humidity is high, and we put on a lot of walking. Can’t wait to get out again!