My wife, Janet, and I just returned from a fly fishing trip to Utah where we fished the mountain streams of the Uintah's. It was an incredible experience and we were fortunate to catch a lot of trout of various species including: Brown, Brook, Cutthroat, Colorado Cutthroat, Rainbow and Janet even landed a gorgeous Cutbow. That being said, there's truly "no place like home" and on my last day of vacation I hit the streams back here in SE Minnesota. Spectacular weather as temps were in the high 60's and low humidity with more of the same forecasted for the upcoming week. No hatches were encountered this morning but subsurface fishing was solid on BH Pheasant Tail and Hare's Ear (flashback) nymphs. The streams are running clear and are in good shape so stop in at the Driftless Fly Fishing Company Fly Shop in Preston, MN - grab your flies / needed gear and discover what an incredible fishery we have right in our own backyard!
My wife, Janet, and I on a mountain stream of the Uintah's (Utah)
VERY STICKY SUMMER WEATHER IN THE DRIFTLESS. SOUTH BRANCH OF HE ROOT RIVER RUNNING HIGH AND CLEAR. GOOD TIME TO FISH EARLY AND LATE OR GET IN THE CANOE OR KAYAK AND GET WET. TROUT ARE TAKING SOME ELK HAIR CADDIS LATE EVENINGS BUT IN THE COVER TIGHT DURING THE DAY. GO DEEP WITH THE BEAD HEADS IF YOU CAN STAND THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY. WHOOOAAA! SWELTERING BUT SUPPOSED TO GET BETTER FOR THE WEEKEND.
Mild temps have made this past week ideal for hitting the streams of the Minnesota driftless area! Even the full sun skies have not been a limiting factor as I have caught rising trout on dries in pools receiving direct rays. Most streams are running clear to slightly stained at this point and have been producing very good results. I have fished three different streams the past three nights and have done very well with small elk hair caddis and parachute BWO dry flies although no visible hatches were occurring. The forecast is calling for a lot of cloud cover, temps in the mid 80's and chances of some scattered rain events so, the weekend could be very good! Stop by the Driftless Fly Fishing Company in Preston, MN, pick up your flies / needed supplies and hit those streams!
Probably not a secret anymore but for keeping those pesky gnats at bay use Buggins. It's an all natural product produced in Minnesota and is worth its weight in gold as its effectiveness is unbelievable!
The man who coined the phrase "Money can't buy happiness", never bought himself a good fly rod!
-- Reg Baird
The rain events Sunday evening were once again spotty so here in the Minnesota driftless area some streams are running quite stained while other are only slightly so and have been very productive over the last few days. Scouting is the name of the game. Last evening a few Browns were landed on a Pheasant tail nymph early but after witnessing several risers a small tan elk hair caddis and a dark Hendrickson pattern were definitely the keys to success! Mild temps forecasted the next few days with no rain so hit those streams!
The morning started by arriving early to the stream but as it turned out later than another angler so Plan B was put into effect. After a short drive I found myself at a different stream and anxious to start fishing.
** As a side note, that's the beauty of the Minnesota driftless area - there's plenty of water to fish with many options within a relatively short drive of one another regardless of what "area" of SE Minnesota you're in **
Plan B stream was running stained but fishable however not very productize, so you guessed it, Plan C was a "GO". Another short 5 minute drive put me on water that was running clear to slightly stained with rising / feeding fish. Although not a hatch coming off, several nice Browns were taken on a parachute BWO dry fly. So persistence paid off and as the old saying goes - "if first you don't succeed, try, try again"!
Recent heavy rains have left the waters of the Minnesota Driftless area running high, fast and stained but conditions are improving and barring any more significant rain events waters should be in pretty good shape by the Fourth Of July weekend! I couldn't take it any longer not being out there so last evening I just had to go "wet a line". I did know for a fact I wasn't going to catch anything sitting on the couch! I was throwing a Brown BH Wooly Bugger for visibility in the murky water and although the fishing was slow with just a couple landed one happened to be the nice 16" Brown pictured below - no complaints here! So, stop by The Driftless Fly Fishing Company fly shop and grab your flies/tackle (Pheasant tail nymphs, Root River Specials, Streamers / Wooly Buggers) and hit those streams!
Have a happy and safe Fourth Of July!
Streams are clearing and no extreme rain events forecasted. Some smaller streams are fishable but stained currently. Should improve by the holiday weekend. Use dark, bead head nymphs (Pheasant Tails, Root River Specials) for depth and visibility if no fish are rising. Good luck!
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. Thanks guys.