March 26, 2023
I got out south of 90 on Sunday for most of the late morning into early afternoon. There were a few guys out already when I was driving around tyring to decide on my plan of action. The weather was fine, but I should have opted for Saturday as the Sunday clouds and north wind prevented some real BWO action from materilaizing.
That said, the midges were prolific. They were already off in swarms when I hit the water at 10:30 and were around all day. Fish were rising in many areas to them, so I did a lot of rigging and re-rigging early on - managed a few on top, but the action wasn't consistent enough for me to wander the river with just a dry and emerger.
Water temps were still plenty cold as east facing slopes still have some snow. Everything else has melted and the frost is starting to move in many areas. Unlike the rest of the state, we do not have a snowpack of any significance. What we do have are consistent stream flows and clean water (for now).
The only picture worth the outing ( and not a great zommed in cellphone pic) was this eagle sitting in her nest atop a massive cottonwood. She was none too impressed with me walking in her vicinity, circling me and chirping from above.
March 5, 2023/March 8-9, 2023
I got out Sunday for a few hours. The weather was very good to start, and the fish were on, even in 38 degree, early morning weather. Then, the clouds rolled in, the wind started to blow, and things shut down completely. Observations: stream levels are still on the low side. The slow, deliberate snow melt hasn't gotten area streams out of hand in the slightest. They're clear, cold, and in need of a good flushing.
March 8, 2023
I'm on spring break, but I'm not some place nice and warm, just 40 degree southeast Minnesota. I hit three different streams over a seven hour fishing day. The sun was out and minimal wind to start. I nymphed early on and did well: scuds, Copper Johns, midge larvae, Zebra Midge, midge mergers - nothing complicated.
By the time I hit the second stop, the clouds had rolled in, and the east winds had picked up significantly. Most of our Driftless streams either flow east or north, so fishing with the wind at my back was unusual, but the midges started to come off for real. Fish were visible, taking emergers, sipping right off the top, so sight fishing them wasn't too complicated. Getting a cast on point with a size 18 or 20 pattern was the biggest challenge.
Oh yeah. Forgot to mention that I switched over to a streamer for a while - my version of Mayer's Jig Leech. I managed enough to keep it interesting, but I soon switched back to nymphs.
Now, the not so good of southeast Minnesota. High cut, dirt banks like this, that will only continue to erode are not uncommon. I could get into the row crop situation, but I'll save that for a rant on another day.
This is also not uncommon - pull over on the side of the road, suck down some poorly crafted macrobrew, and just leave the empties there, because, well....because.
February 12, 2023
It's been a while since the last fishing outing update. A myriad of reasons are out there: the weather sucked, I was too busy...anyway, I did manage a morning into early afternoon session Sunday. I got out to my first stop of two plenty early, as in 8:30 early. Temps were still in the lower 20's, so it wasn't "ideal" winter conditions, but the fish were cooperative out of the gate.
This is the only pic I got of this guy. I got better video (see my Insta page). At any rate, stream conditions were good - a little on the tingey side due to Saturday's runoff, but good, nonetheless.
By 11:00 I was off to my second stop. High sun, a slight breeze, and crystal clear, low water was in store. Catching was a little tougher. Midges were not prevalent on top, but the trout were all over the midge trailer I had on.
I did well enough out of each deeper run to keep things interesting. Speaking of interesting, some real rain is on tap for the southeast Tuesday into Wednesday, so streams could be a little wonky in the short term. Personally, I'd love to see some more serious precipitation. The southeast corner of the state is in dire need of more snow and rain to recharge the overly dry fall we had.
January 15, 2023
I got out this morning for a few hours before the Sunday playoff football tilt. Area streams are clean and in their typically low threshold for the winter. Fish were responsive to a variety of flies, but the scud outpaced all others I tried with the Zebra Midge being a close second.
Shelf ice is minimal after being in the deep freeze most of late December. Snow pack is also not a barrier as you navigate up and down the river.
The extended forecast gets a little complicated with MLK day slated to be a rain out followed by decent enough winter fishing weather all week before the real January weather reappears.