Even with the above average temperatures we have experienced as of late here in SE Minnesota, the fly fishing remains excellent in the Driftless Area. Best to choose your time on the streams and location wisely to avoid the heat of the day and those areas with full sun bathing the water. Fish early and late and during peak times of the day, seek locales which have at least some shade provided by a full or partial tree canopy. Caddis and Lite Hendrickson hatches have been quite prolific at times and dry fly action has been exceptional. When no surface action is occurring, go to nymphs, emergers and Leech patterns. Guide season is in full swing and dates are booking fast. Don't forget, Father's Day is right around the corner! What better gift to give than a full day guided fly fishing trip in beautiful SE Minnesota .... or stop into the shop and pick up a gift card!
Below are photos from this morning's outing - 40 Brookies caught, all on dry flies ....the Good Ol' Days are right now!
On several recent outings, I've encountered some pretty amazing fly fishing here in the Minnesota Driftless. Here are just a few quality Browns that I was fortunate enough to land during these times on the stream.
The heavy rains that rolled through much of SE Minnesota Monday night proved to be once again very spotty. Areas in Houston and Winona Counties received rainfall amounts ranging from 2" to as much as 5" leaving streams totally blown out and creating flooding conditions. Meanwhile, in Fillmore County, Mother Nature was much less harsh dropping only about 1/2" of rain behind leaving the streams in great shape and very fishable. They say "a photo is worth a thousand words" so here you go .....
These were taken yesterday when I had the pleasure of guiding these three gentlemen (a father and his two sons) up from Kansas / Missouri to fly fish the Minnesota Driftless. Nymphing worked well until late morning / early afternoon when the Caddis started coming off, then we switched to Elk Hairs. So, moral of the story ... do a little intel, scouting before heading out this week and check on stream conditions, especially as more rain is in the forecast - or call the shop!
THE CADDIS ARE HATCHING AND SPRING IS OFFICALLY HERE. THE WATER HAS GOOD FLOWS AND THE TROUT ARE HUNGRY. USE AN 18 TO 14 TAN, ELK HAIR CADDIS WHEN YOU SEE RISING FISH FOR RESULTS.
IF NO RISING FISH USE A BH PHEASANT TAIL NYMPH SLOW DRIFTED IN THE COVER OR SWING A SOFT HACKLE THROUGH THE POOLS. NOW IS THE MOST AWESOME TIME IN THE DRIFTLESS AREA OF MINNESOTA. COME ON DOWN. WOW!
As temps climbed into the 60s and even the 70s the last few days, the fly fishing on the streams of the Minnesota Driftless became red hot! A lot of dry fly action to be had with BWO's, Dark Hendrickson and even a few scattered reports of Caddis hatches occurring. This weekend, I personally had great success with Parachute Adams, BWO Parachutes and during times of Non-hatches, Scuds, BH nymphs and Woolly Buggers all produced well. In other words ..... just about anything is working - with the warm weather, the trout feeding activity has increased and they are eager to eat! Be sure to stop in at the Driftless Fly Fishing Company's fly shop and stock that fly box and check out the latest Orvis gear for the upcoming season!
Sorry about the delay folks! We had 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of rain it dirtied the water conditions up across the board. The spring creeks are still pretty stained this morning, little to no visibility but the flow of water hasn't increased significantly so hopefully by mid day (april-5) the water will start to clear. Even with the stain the south branch stayed fishable through the day, with 6 inches to a foot of visibility. Its tough to find the fish the feeding window is going to be smaller, get low and slow to get that fly right in front of their snouts to results in these conditions thanks and good luck!
Recent rains have stained the water a bit providing decent trout fishing in the Minnesota Driftless Area. Larger flies such as the Root River Special, Woolly Buggers and Leech patterns are all working well. These have been especially effective during these cloudy, overcast days of late. A gradual warm-up is forecasted for this week with more showers likely coming in later. Spring is coming that's a fact but it's just taking its sweet time :-)
Thank you to all who stopped by the shop's booth last weekend at the Great Waters Fly Fishing Expo - we had a great time talking with old friends and making many more new ones!
South branch browns coming on to streamers off the bank don't let the rain scare you!! Stop in for some Clouser minnows and baby browns!
The latest issue of Midwest Hunting and Fishing Magazine is in the mail and online. If you're interested in learning more about fly fishing in the Minnesota Driftless Area during Spring, scroll to page 36 after following the posted link. I hope you find it informative and enjoying to read.
Yesterday afternoon brought sunny skies, little cooler temps and much wind. I explored a piece of water that I hadn't fished for well over a year and after today, I'm asking myself "Why?" A nice outing was had despite the slightly adverse conditions with the gusting winds but where there's a will there's a way. On my first cast, I put the fly tight to the bank in a deep pool that is sheltered by an over-hanging deadfall. I let the fly sink before starting the cadence of the strip and as began the retrieve, the oh so familiar flash came from the undercut - fish on! As the fish slid into the net a quick glance had me thinking it was a unique looking dilute colored Brookie but upon closer inspection, it was discovered that it was indeed a Tiger Trout. These rare "unicorns" are a Brook x Brown hybrid and are a real special treat to anglers here in the Minnesota Driftless Area. This was the third one I have had the pleasure of catching and surely hope that it's not my last! Today, the winds should calm a bit, some partially cloudy skies with temps nearing 60 degress so be sure to take advantage of this and hit the streams of SE Minnesota!
Melvin Hayner is the owner of The Driftless Fly Fishing Company in Preston, Mn. He has been fishing this area for over 23 years and guiding here for over a decade. Some reports will be from other reliable sources around the Driftless area like Brian . Thanks guys.