Otherwise known as Garlic Mustard, a plant brought by European settlers, cultivated for use as food and medicine which now poses a great risk to our native plants and animals. I have been working on the side as a mild-mannered citizen of Winona with no connection to a Fly Factory and as such I am involving myself in a few “side” projects. One such project could find me and others dealing with the harsh realities of this plant and the havoc it can exhibit on the natural eco-system. As angler’s we have a responsibility to know and protect the watersheds that provide us with the necessary components for the activities we love. Find out what invasive species are in your area, know how to identify them and do so on a regular basis so that you may avoid spreading them. Also, once you can confidently identify invasive species please contact appropriate agencies and let them know where you were and what you came across.
21 Jan 2010 / Everything Else...
Notes and Thoughts:
- Cloudy Skies: I saw the sun for about three seconds, could have used a bit more.
- Decent Air Temp: I’m used to it now, just keep picking the ice from your guides.
- Fished just a few deep holes for several hours, landed close to 20 browns, a numbers day for me.
- A #8 KML, #16 O.H.S. Scud, #14-16 Pink Squirrel and #20 Hot Wire Midge all landed trout.
- 99.8% Roll Casting, the .2% was for a snag that resulted in an unintentional back cast.
- Keep Chucking Streamers: After nymphing up several fish I swapped to my KML pattern, dead drifted very deep, very slowly under an indicator and took several browns.
This is an attempt to explain how I worked my rig today. This hole was an easy 7ft deep and the trout were holding deep. My casting position required me to pay attention to my line to ensure that my flies were able to sink to the desired depth given the short distance, once there I allowed the current to pull my flies up and in front of the trout. I fished with 2 split shot above a two fly rig and the double mend pictured below was the only way I could get my flies to the fish, I lost so many takes as a result but I took a fair amount of them as well.
Onsite arrival: 11:45am. I geared up and decided to take a quick peek at the situation prior to my compadre arriving at 12:30pm. I dawned a pair of new waders and boots today for the first time, my first set of breath-ables, about time… Snowshoes were a noticeable help immediately, it was very apparent we would be trailblazing after a hundred yards or so. Thanks to Sershen for lending out a pair so I could lend out mine. I was greeted by three large steers watching my every movement, I avoided them for the most part but managed to get a few good poses from the group. I rigged a single #16 Pink Patrick and let loose on the first hole I found fishy enough, several passes later I had just a twig from the bottom to show for my efforts. I chose not to dwell long and instead hiked back to the truck to meet Wendy B. Read the rest of this entry »
09 Jan 2010 / Everything Else...
To a Mr. Brian Sather. I was invited to talk trout with a group of students at Winona Senior High last year as a part of Brian’s Fish and Wildlife class. I brought a slide show and some stuff to tie a few flies. I know I had a blast talking about trout and the resources we have in our area. Brian stopped me just before the winter break and handed me a small wrapped gift. I opened it later when I got home only to think it was perhaps a perfect gift. Good thinking Brain, I will carry it with me and I’ll let you know if I ever have to use it.
Note: We do have Rattlesnakes in Southeast Minnesota be they few and far between but I tend to travel to areas where they may have higher concentrations. At the size of my palm and very light there is no reason this shouldn’t fit in my day bag squished between a baggie of toilet paper and my lunch for the day, underneath the water supply needed for the outing, right where it belongs. Thanks Brian
Fished the spot again today, had some time to chew up and the air temp today was going to read higher than it has in a week and higher than it will for a few more days. Look to Sunday for a decent air temp and clearer skies around here, forecasts are making me wish I didn’t have plans for the 10th. So I pull up, rig my rod and get down to business. The point today was to test a few things under a semi-controlled environment, in that I know these fish, where they lie and what has worked in the past under similar conditions.
I concentrated on dead drifting and swinging down/across several different patterns. The control, that Sershen showed me and in the past has always produced several trout was the Miracle Nymph in a #20. Gold Bead on a 1X Short Scud hook with a body made of white UTC thread and a rib of Copper this fly is simple and effective, I tied several of these for this place and this time. Today this fly (as always) rocked and picked up six rainbows both dead drifted and on the swing as it rose to the surface. My new hand tied leader helped this process, limited memory allowed for a tighter line which in turn made hook-sets more accurate and the piece of Hi-Vis Mono meant to help indicate subtle takes did just that. I decided after I lost the first rig to a rock that it was time to try something different. Read the rest of this entry »
05 Jan 2010 / Stream Running
So I finally managed to upload this one specific file to my server (or something like that) which allows me to be able to use a freakin’ slide show. I now have the ability to make you wait through an entire list of images before you see them all, nifty right? With that I am adding my Summer 2009 favorite images to my Trout Hunting page, something to savor during these short cold days. Thanks to Sershen, Wendy B., JP and any other Minnesotan that helped make these images possible they truly reflect my season.
On the 20th of December the predicted air temp for the 1st was grim topping out at twelve degrees. As the days crept closer it only got worse, the night before while most were celebrating I was prepping gear, packing my winter box and tying the last few flies I wanted before the winter season began. I had a few ideas on where I wanted to fish but the weather often dictates my movements. Knowing the temp was going to be low I chose to fish a spot that never freezes and almost always has rising trout. I saw this place and the fish that reside here last winter and as such I prepared several midge larva and emerger patterns for this situation. I knew I would be fishing mainly size twenty flies hoping to take one or two on or near the surface and probably not hanging around for too long after. My goals were to see a few happily swimming fish, shake the last month off my shoulders and enjoy some moving water. On site I rigged my rod and got into place, my first mistake would turn out to really hamper my first day of the season. Read the rest of this entry »