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.

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.
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.


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.


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!


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.


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

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!

Trip Report: At long last

It’s been way too log since I’ve gotten out fishing! Between work, house work, family stuff, on call work, tying flies, and more work time is a precious commodity. This morning I headed to a crystal clear little gem of a stream nearby. Wasters were crystal clear and by the time I arrived at 930ish the sun had burned off any rain that fell in the earlier am hours. Fish were rising sporadically so I tied on the quill bodied mayfly.


This beautiful brook trout was on of a half dozen or so pretty little ones that came to hand. A few came on the mayfly before I started switching around flies.

The hippy stomper, quill mayfly, hares ear, brassie, zebra midge, and mayfly nymph all produced. The rusty colored zebra midge fished best under a small indicator. As for conditions the western edge of the mn driftless got much more rain than anywhere else, up to a few inches over the last 72 hours in spots. Use your resources to find clear water, there should be plenty. Stay tuned, I plan to fish tomorrow too!


I got out a few times over the last weekend. Fishing has been a little slow with temps hitting the low 90s. I fished Wisconsin this weekend and landed a few nice brook trout! With all the rain we’ve had smaller streams in my area were blown out. I’d guess many are coming into shape with larger streams to follow. If you’re trying to fish in the heat check out the 72 hr rainfall totals and plan accordingly.

I fished streamers and the San Juan worm on Sunday and did well. Fish will respond well to pretty much anything fished deep or in faster water where temps are cooler and water is more oxygenated. Also, fishing in the am and pm hours will be more productive.

My phone is done for so I have no pics until I get the new phone on Friday! Stay tuned!