Trip Report: A Good Run

I’ve been able to string together a good run of fishing days this last week. Today I got out with a friend and we casually tossed flies as we caught up with each other after a hiatus from fishing together. We arrived on stream around noon with cloudy skies, a light and variable breeze, and comfortable temps (45 degrees).


I hoped to get new line in the mail yesterday but it never came. I started fishing with small midges but my line was sinking which impaired my ability to land a proper hook set. After my buddy landed a few on wolley buggers I switched to the same.


My first fish was this beautiful brown! We continued upstream landing stocker rainbows consistently enough to keep going.


My buddy landed the trout of the day! This fish put up a great fight. We continued on.


I cant get over how beautiful our trout streams are here in the driftless area of southeast Minnesota. We hoped to find a decent midge hatch but nothing materialized.


Still, fish were eating. We headed home around 3pm after landing a dozen or so between the two of us. Hopefully the weather cooperates as we head into the winter catch and release season beginning January 1st.

Trip Report: Proximity

The key to my efforts on the river today was proximity. Living within less than 10 minutes of open water allows for me to anticipate conditions and strike fast during breaks in inclement weather. The forecast for today called for freezing rain changing over to rain by around 130pm. I spotted a brief moment of clarity on the radar and decided to go for it!


I arrived on stream around 1130am to spitting rain. I immediately spotted fish hanging low in the water column. I tempted ’em with a rusty orange size 18 zebra midge fished below an orange scud and they couldnt resist.


These fish are beautiful! I struggled to consistently land hook sets, distracted by my surroundings.


After a few nearby rises I contemplated a fly change but decided against it. I noticed no midges fluttering about and none in the quickly diminishing snow. Still, they kept eating the midge and when I wasn’t distracted they came to hand.


I fished until the rain returned en force around 130pm. I saw no others in the 2 hours I fished and despite the intermittent freezing rain it was a great day to fish!

Trip Report: Walkin and fishin

Today I headed to a state park to do some hiking and fishing. I arrived on stream around 930am to cooler than expected temperatures, crystal clear water, and lethargic trout. I spent a lot of time walking and cherry picking the deeper holes. I was surprised to find a few trout still on redds.


I hoped to spot a few risers but fish held tight to the bottom. Fishing was slow but the four brownies I picked up over three hours of fishing all came on a size 16 orange scud. I hung a size 18 zebra midge behind the scud for a while but to no avail.


A few nice trout spooked by my approach but only small trout came to hand. Later in the afternoon I headed to Whitewater for a hike with the wife and pooch.


It was a beautiful day to spend time outside! I hope to get out one more time before the new year but with rain in the forecast streams may become unfishable.

Trip Report: Perfect December day

Today was a perfect December day. A buddy came by around 8 we headed south. After some Casey’s breakfast pizza we hit the river, just as the sun created the hillside. I hoped to spot some steady risers but only found a few trout rising intermittently. I started with an orange scud and switched flies frequently, but to no avail.


After fishing here for a few hrs with only one dinky brown between the two of us we headed to another “in town” stretch of water that remains open to fishing year round.


This little brownie have a great accounting of himself on the three weight. After washing the skunk off my hands I stuck with the orange scud and landed fish infrequently.  We suspected dropping water temps for the waning bite as the day went on. My buddy only landed one brown while I landed three small browns and the small bows. We fished hard all day but despite slow action there isn’t a placed I’d rather have been.

Trip Report: Not quite midge madness

I  celebrated the first day of winter by doing some fishing! I arrived at the park around noon under sunny skies. Temps reached the low 30s and winds were light and variable. I hoped to find clouds of midges coming off but found only sparse surface activity. The bugs I did spot appeared to be a light green size 20ish midge. I fished two separate area.


This rosey cheeked rainbow took a gray size 18 mayfly nymph fished below an indicator. After getting the skunk off with this fish I briefly fished a Griffiths gnat to no avail. After switching to a rusty orange size 18 zebra midge fishing was lights out!


After landing 4 rainbows and 1 little brownie I headed for another short stretch. I chatted with a few nice folks including Cory from Fly Fishing Women of MN, before getting back to it.


Although this area gets hit a ton judging by the volume of foot traffic I found fish eagerly eating the zebra midge. I attribute my success today to mending drag free drifts, maneuvering the rod tip keeping the line off the water, long casts, and using a small fly, light tippet (5x), and long leader/tippet.


By the time I decided to call it a day at 230pm I’d landed 15 trout with all but one rainbows. Should the weather continue to cooperate I hope to get out again soon! Stay tuned.

Trip Report: Last week

I took the last week off work to hunt and fish. Hunting was uneventful. 6 deer were spotted, one small spike buck came within range but I passed. Hopefully we’ll cross paths next year!


On Tuesday I headed to the park to chase stocker bows. It didn’t take long to tie into em.


Fish ate a red size 18 brassie. Most piscatarians to come to hand were of the rainbow variety although I did manage three stout little browns. In this stream the spawn appeared finished. I won’t get out fishing for at least a week but stay tuned, I should be finishing up a few fly rods over the next week or so.