Winter season in Minnesota. Goddamn have I been waiting for this, for some reason the urge to get back to the creeks I know grows each off-season and with this year’s non-stop Iowa fishing I want it even more. Fishing in Iowa is nice and I enjoyed exploring new creeks but the Minnesota water I know has been sorely missed. This is the beginning of the season, of the year, of the hatches, of the new creeks and the old favorites. It is another year being a Driftless bum, what a beautiful thing. The snow hasn’t shown up and tomorrow we will be fishing in the wind but we’ve got a plan and if the will is there… I want the snow but I’ll take fishing in Minnesota again, I’ll take it and smile. To a new year and a dozen #20 Jujubee Midge flies, all of which will likely find their way to the creek in the coming months. If your heading out tomorrow, good luck, may the wind be at your back and the bugs be active.
p.s. I’d like to thank Carl for the blocks of wood/cork holding two seriously strong magnets, I could not get a single hook to lay stuck down like other magnets I’ve used. This is a seriously awesome thing and it’s usefulness (especially with smaller hooks) speaks for itself. Never again will I struggle to find a hook ready to meet my vice. Note: the last picture stinks due to poor lighting, I spent time on and off knocking these out today finishing after the good afternoon light had set.
Tags: Charlie Craven, Fly Tying, Fly Tying Tools, Hook Keeper, Jujubee Midge Adult, Magnets, The Driftless Area, The Winona Fly Factory, Winter Season
A proposition, a proposal, a tit for tat, a quid pro quo if you will was discussed a while back with this guy. His flies for mine, I liked this idea. His arrived first, mine are on their way. New ideas are already filtering through my mind, these flies have got to just kick ass. Seeing someone elses work prompting my mind to look at something in a new way, this is a good thing. I look forward to tossing them soon. Thanks John.
Tags: Christmas, Currents, Flies, Fly Swap, Gifts for Anglers, Hand-Tied Flies, The Winona Fly Factory
Tags: Fly Tying, Free Range Dubbing, Nymphing, Singlebarbed.com, Soft Hackle, The Winona Fly Factory
11 Dec 2011 /
Man… the smackdown, the skinny goes something like this. The night before, arrival to eat a good burger, tie up some flies and BS about the next day, probably the highlight of the PFSD this year. A bit of whiskey was found, rods were readied and fly boxes packed. Hoping for more snow than rain. Woke at 6am to find rain, which continued all day long and gained in strength as the day wore on. Icy slow going in the early AM continued throughout the day. Fishing was slow for us, I caught 8 all day. Basically, dismal and not for a lack of effort. Nymphing, fishing the hairball as a streamer, little took. Cut off one creek at 11am to find rainbows on another to pick up our low morning numbers only to find our fellow competitors just upstream, out of respect we decided to take off, slow going we cut to one last creek. Difficult fishing, spooky trout, low water, excuses mainly. Found a 21 inch rainbow poorly filleted in a catch and release section…humans. Decided after watching the air temp drop that it would be best if we bailed early, 3pm we cut to the cabin, left a note and grabbed what was left. We did clean up the bacon mess made in the early hours. Made it home before roads got potentially dangerous, the right choice for us at the time. Got spanked by Randy and Otte, the “Chairman Meow” smoked the competition. Randy went 31, Otte 18. Rained basically all day, tails between our legs we accepted fate. The water looked good, the trout were just not very active and moral perhaps slipped as the day went on. What I wouldn’t have given for it to have just gone straight snow all day. The saving grace was the wind, thank you wind gods for giving us that at least. With all that it was still a day on the creek which always wins out.
Tags: Fly Fishing, Pet Fly Smackdown, The Hairball, The Winona Fly Factory
Tags: Fly Fishing, Fly Tying, Pet Fur, The Driftless Area, The Petfly Smackdown, The Winona Fly Factory
01 Dec 2011 /
- Source water temp: 48 Degrees
- Only specific rocks contained large numbers of snails.
- Sow Bugs, Snails, and Cased Caddis were the macro’s of quantity.
- Easily the largest cave emitting source of coldwater I’ve seen to date.
- Brown trout present in large numbers.
- Awe struck imagining how old this formation is.
- Seeing this surely trumped catching trout.
- We live in a sacred area, never forget that.
Standing at the foot of a bluff, watching thousands of gallons of cold, clean, 100% pure trout water pour from a twenty foot wide pool emanating from a hole in rock wall to travel past my feet downstream. We were in another world, another time. It’s one thing to fish, to have trout streams and to see random springs that help feed oxygenated cold groundwater to a system, it is another thing to hike to the source, to stand there imagining who else has stood looking skyward. I imagine this may have been someone’s home long ago, ideal hunting grounds, natural shelter and a limitless supply of clean water. Making the primal part of me want to cut ties, throw my iPhone against the rock wall and never leave. Thousands of years have passed and this is the same, still pure, still feeding a creek and the trout who reside here. This feeling is why we need to protect our resource. Cold, clean water does not just pour from the ground everywhere, thank you Karst.
Tags: Fly Fishing, Geology, Iowa, Karst, Spring Creeks, The Driftless Area, The Winona Fly Factory