I saw this the other day and I thought it was pretty interesting. I love the Driftless Area, I live here and I never plan to leave. I fish, hike, bike, hunt for morels, float rivers, grow a garden basically anything that involves being outdoors in the Driftless Area I’m in 100% so it would be hard for me not to want to preserve this amazing place. Check out the video and support the Driftless Area.
11 Apr 2013 / Everything Else...
12 Feb 2013 / Everything Else...
I was asked to perhaps spread the word a bit regarding a little known information treasure trove. With my hiatus I’ve had time to think about the reasons I started this blog and why I want to see it continue into the future. A central reason I created this site was to document my experiences in the hopes that I might learn from them and become a better angler. I quickly realized that I also had the ability to help others along the way. This forum in particular helped me quite a bit, so in the efforts of seeing it thrive, helping others and tipping my hat to the fellas who helped me with so many of my questions I’ve decided to drop a link to http://mntroutforums.com/ . These forums are free and if your in need of good information or just a good group of guys to talk trout with this is the place for you. Thanks to Randy for his work in keeping this resource going.
21 Dec 2012 / Everything Else...
That would be January 1st, you know… my favorite day of the year. The winter trout opener. It’s been a while and for those of you who hung in there with me I promise not to disappoint. Updates, images, flies, the usual fly factory sputum will be coming your way again soon. Until then some house keeping is in order so things may be changing around a bit. Hope your still with me and fishing just as hard as ever. I have a few new obligations (no kids) which will demand some of my time but where there is a will there will be trout. Posts may be a bit different, they may contain fewer images or limited text, posts may be fewer and far between at times but after weighing the work I’ve put into this letting it go by the creek side just wasn’t an option for me. I must admit though, staring at a computer screen for hours on end does not interest me, keeping this going indefinitely will require a balance. Glad the last year is over, looking forward to the next one beginning. Now if only I had 4ft of snow to make January the way I remember it best…
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.
12 Nov 2011 / Everything Else...
To be used as a general guide for the Driftless Area fishing vehicle.
I spent my first couple years driving a gas guzzling Ford F-150 to the creek, it did the job and was in some cases ideal. Fishing til dark, making camp quickly, crashing in the bed of the truck under the protection of the topper so I could wake early and fish another day through. In other aspects that vehicle was very impractical bordering on almost immoral. Poor gas mileage is a deal breaker, period. I’m taking this moment to pay respects to the new Driftless Fishing Ride that will soon (getting a new radiator) carry me to the creek countless times and continue it’s gloried past. This ride came care of a good friend and has seen it’s share of steep grade gravel roads, carried many a full creel back home and always been reliable. For me the fishing ride must contain a handful of attributes, others are ideal but not deal breakers. Things like good gas mileage make driving over an hour and passing up incredible water along the way to get to someplace less often visited more tolerable and acceptable in my mind. Bumper stickers, worn like badges of honor let those around you get a glimpse of what your all about. The DFR is another piece of gear that gets dirty, scratched, maybe a bit abused but ultimately loved and well used, not like most people’s cell phone, replaced in two years when something more fashionable comes along. No, the DFR is your best friend, it takes you to the land of relaxation, clean air, quiet, nature and perhaps above all (but not really)…trout.
Required Driftless Fishing Ride Attributes:
- Over 100k miles (less issue with driving on gravel roads/general damage from driving to the creek)
- Trunk loaded at all times with necessary fishing gear for the current season
- Road and MN Trout Stream Maps present at all times
- Must get MPR radio stations
- All flies that meet a George must be lodged in the ceiling for posterity’s sake
- Must be reliable but if I got stuck on a MN Trout stream it wouldn’t ruin my day much
Ideal Driftless Fishing Ride Attributes:
- Is a Subaru (perhaps the next one)
- Has AWD (perhaps the next one)
- Coffee maker mounted in the center console
- Possesses a Mounted Rod Holder
- Current State Parks Pass mounted in the lower right corner of the windshield
- Plastered with Good Things/Trout/Fly Fishing Bumper Stickers
- Has enough room to sleep in
- Has enough room to gear up inside if it’s ~5degrees outside
18 Oct 2011 / Everything Else...
I don’t think I’ve been this anxious about anything regarding fishing, I want the winter season so damn bad I can practically feel my toes going numb from sitting in the same spot for hours trying to take tiny brown trout on a #20 Midge. Everyone has their favorite time of the year to fish, mine just happens to be during the coldest part of the year. Fishing the four best hours of the day, going home to tie flies and sit infront of the fire. Someone cryogenically freeze me until Dec. 31st, then thaw me out just enough so I can go fishing, right Carl?
Hiking through miles of snow covered bank, snowshoes, frozen guides, frozen fingers, crystal clear water, tiny bugs…I want it all and I want it now. I sound like a whiny girl, yea I can hit the road, be in Iowa shortly and no-doubt my boots will cross that border again before the winter season begins but not without a bad taste forming in my mouth. I like the fix that Iowa can give me but in the same respect, it’s not my water, it’s not my home and therefore I need to remember that the pause, the build up to the winter season is one of the reasons why I love it so much. Spending the three months prior tying flies, cleaning my gear, spying maps for new places to fish, all of it gets me so excited to see it that it turns the 5°F airtemp into a heatwave (that and I know what to wear). Below are the video’s I made last winter season, damn I am looking forward to the snow. Until then the list is long and I’ve got boxes and boxes to fill, things to scrub, places to dream about.
18 Oct 2011 / Everything Else...
12 Jul 2011 / Everything Else...
Since we’ve moved I’ve noticed a lingering urge just to stay at home, to be home doing stuff all the time. One of our first goals this summer was to plant a garden. Liz and I have had a small space to grow a few tomato plants in the past but have never built a garden from the ground up. This began with laborious ground prep and fence installation all of which was done by hand without the use of motorized tools. Sod was composted, soil was tilled (with a borrowed motorized tiller), post holes were dug and installed. Additional soil was added and then formed to make four large raised beds. Planting was completed on a rainy cool evening and now we are spending time daily monitoring and maintaining the space. This being our first attempt at a full scale garden will be a learning experience but a rewarding one, I hope to expand what we have done this year to accommodate more for next year and in time perhaps have enough to bring to the farmers market near us. After all the work is done, weeds have been pulled, plants staked and mulch applied we like to relax with our hounds. Lily my German Shorthair is especially adept at the Dock Jump. Check it out and enjoy the outside even if your not fishing.
04 May 2011 / Everything Else...
A while back I was asked to submit any photos I had fitting the description of an angler with a “tight line” to the DNR Area Fisheries Office for a potential cover to the 2011 Trout Angling Opportunities Brochure for Southern and Central Minnesota. I thought about it for a bit and looked through a few options but nothing was jumping out at me, then it hit me. I can recall the April day clearly, we arrived earlier and happened upon an excellent caddis hatch that provided many “tight lines” and with it the opportunity for some good photos of which many were taken. I have to thank Wendy B. for a memorable day catching so many fish that I was able to get several of these shots easily. These brochures will be finding their way to places anglers frequent soon, this years edition contains new and updated easements on quite a few area streams as well as central state maps that were previously not included with the southern maps. Thanks also to the staff at the Lanesboro Area Fisheries office for considering and ultimately choosing to use this photo to represent trout angling in S.E. Minnesota, for me this is very cool. These books belong in your vehicle and should be a reference to ensure anglers are confident of the easement locations and regulations for various area streams. The DNR does a great job laying the streams and regulation information out in an easy to understand way for anglers of all ages. Now, time to find a new place to fish. There are so many of them…get out there.
08 Mar 2011 / Everything Else...
Once a year when Fish and Wildlife is taught at Winona Senior High I make it a point to arrange a class regarding trout in the Driftless Area. It’s a bit disappointing to speak with so many kids that have no idea where they live or what kind of resource is available to them, that is a big reason why I speak with these kids. Those in Fish and Wildlife have already shown an interest in the outdoors and all that comes with it, I hope to maybe get one or two to become anglers and better yet life-long anglers that know the value of the resource and become advocates for its future. Kind of idealistic but I’m only trying to “hook” one or two.
In previous years I presented a lecture on trout in the Driftless Area of S.E. Minnesota, covering the Driftless Area, its geology which creates the conditions that produce abundant clean clear water that wild trout thrive in. Moving to the history of trout here and the specie we have today then to biology and finally a brief discussion on angling with an emphasis on fly angling because that’s what I know. I demonstrated tying flies, I brought in live macro-invertebrates to give some perspective to how the fly angler relates his fly selection to what nature has to offer. Anyways, I’ve made you bored and most of the kids by this point. Although they did wake up a bit when we moved away from the power point and more to tying.
This year I tried something a bit different. I contacted Sershen and asked for his assistance and a bunch of fly rods. I changed the class from Driftless Area Trout to Driftless Area Fly Fishing, again because that is what I know. I never was much for a spinning rod or frankly fishing before I touched a 9ft stick with a trout on the other end. The power point was kept to a minimum of 10 minutes explaining the basics. We watched a handful of 3-5minute videos to show what it is like out on our streams and to further help explain how fly angling is approached on a Driftless Area stream. The last portion of the class was dedicated to explaining the gear we use, flies, net, tippet, fly rod, reel and so on. We rushed through most of this so the kids that were interested could have an opportunity to let out a bit of line on the auditorium floor (we took turns after a demonstration was completed). The thought here was that maybe by presenting the fun side, the hands on side of this lifestyle (to me that’s what it is) that maybe one or two would take hold and maybe want to go fishing. So what did I learn? I’m still learning and have a long ways to go, that and I should bring the live bugs back, I love the bugs.
Thanks to Heath Sershen for his time, support and rods. Thanks to Brian Sather for allowing me the opportunity to speak with the class.