Notes of Interest:

  • Cold start to the day -4°F.
  • Observed a few fully frozen over creeks.
  • Fished from 11:15am-2:15pm.
  • Nymphs were the main fare for the day.
  • #12 Hairball did the trick.
  • Sunny skies, minimal wind. High was 2°F.

My life is now about my daughter. I used to do the things that I love whenever I wanted (save my wife having a strong opinion) but with my daughter here not any more. This means ultimately I don’t get to choose the ideal days to fish, camp, hike, mushroom hunt, or just be outside doing the things I enjoy. I either use the time I have or I stay inside. I prefer to be outside.

Left the house at 8am. Picked up Ryan and drove to Lanesboro. The plan was to fish some water that I’ve only touched once and to fish the creek in its entirety. Air temp when I left the house was negative ten. It dropped as we got closer to Lanesboro. I opted to peek at a few pieces of water along the way. The lowest

temp my car registered was negative nineteen degrees, really cold. In Lanesboro we stopped at Root River Rod Co. and checked the shop out. Nifty little spot in a great location. We met Steve and Jared who were tying flies for a trip Steve (the shop owner) was taking out west soon. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the fact that neither thought Ryan and I were nuts for going after trout with the temperatures the way they were.

The detour in Lanesboro took an hour and when we left the temps were starting to rise but not much. Fish or go home…we fished. We drove on and pulled up to some seriously frozen water. I was a bit concerned at first but I knew a bit of a hike upstream and the ice would dissipate, the shelves would disappear and the trout would be eating. I fished a #12 Hairball all day and managed a few nice brown trout. Ryan fished a streamer and had less luck than I did. The minimal wind and presence of the sun made the day quite tolerable. I only remember getting cold twice, once after landing the larger fish for the day and the second time when the valley turned and the creek was against the bluff wall in the shade with no direct sunlight.

As for the trout, they were there and willing but holding deep and the fishing was fairly slow. The water was gin clear as one expects to find this time of year. Those trout, despite our best efforts, saw us coming most of the time. Everything from casting to stalking to taking photos is more difficult when any exposed skin begins to burn within minutes. The bitter cold is to be respected. No midge seen, I wasn’t expecting any. No rising trout, I again, wasn’t expecting any. We hiked and fished just to be outside. On the way home we stopped back in Lanesboro. Drank a stout beverage and ate cheese curds, caught a cup of black coffee and drove home. High airtemp on the day was two above. Good day, thanks to Ryan for being the kind of guy who’s willing to go fishing in these conditions.


  1. Looked at your new posts and videos and they are superb. Don’t worry, your daughter will be sharing the experience with you soon as my daughter has. Only 12 and a spin fisherwomen right now but she loves the opportunity to go. The best part of that is your daughter will double your production staff.

    avatar Swandog
    1. Thank you for reading the posts and enjoying the videos. The hiking pack for my daughter came in the mail as I was fishing on the 13th, that evening we fit it for her and myself now I just need the weather to be conducive to a few short trips and in the spring we will try fishing with the expectations that no actual fishing happens but eventually it will and I have a feeling she’ll enjoy playing in the creek and seeing the trout. Take care and thanks again.

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