Fished the afternoon, caught some sporadic hatching Light Hendricksons. The plan was to nymph an area that I have been observing during this hatch but to my dismay I found I had company and not the kind with a fly rod. Interesting how the cattle grazing near the one spot caused it to muddy the entire time they were present and only downstream for a hundred yards, after that it cleaned right up. Fishing in a place where the stream frequently runs through a pasture, S.E. Minnesota farmers are in a unique position to affect the streams with the amount of grazing time they allow near the streams.
The cattle disrupt the stream causing the water transparency to decrease, if this happens enough it can affect the life in the stream by limiting the amount of sunlight able to penetrate the water. Also cattle can erode the streamside by eating and trampling the vegitation, the root structures provide strenght during rain events to help soak up large amounts of water so that the stream doesn’t get dumped on and to provide stability to the banks so they don’t erode as easily when significant rain fall occurs.
Although I didn’t fish for very long it stuck in my mind how many miles of S.E. MN trout stream run through pastures and if farmers are careless and allow cattle to constantly graze, a stream can be negatively affected, some grazing is fine but when they are allowed to stay for too long the stream and the life in it can suffer. Rotational grazing is an idea in the works but it takes effort on the part of the farmer, money to purchase the fencing and time to actually move the cattle so I can see how it might not happen as often as it should. One thing we might do is petition the state legislator to use some of the money set aside from the recently passed Constitutional Amendment to subsidize the cost of making this happen more often.
I moved on and found myself driving for a ways before stopping. Fished to a few rising trout and caught a few but I perhaps should have spent more time nymphing rather than concentrating on getting the perfect drift to entice picky trout. Something to think about next time I see the splash from a rising trout. I did get the opportunity to check out a new stream and the images say it all.