I don’t even know where to begin with the 18th. First off I left my camera at home which would have normally soured my mood but on a day when most of the trout bearing water in S.E. Minnesota was blown and brown Heath and I managed to find gin freakin’ clear flows so I couldn’t be upset, I was content to fish and borrow my friends camera from time to time. I took an initial water temp of ~47°F at about 11:15am on arrival. We were looking for BWO’s hoping that a handful of the fourth instar nymphs would hatch, we hiked downstream and planned to fish back up once the water temp had risen a couple degrees. I fished a #8 Tan Hairball in a couple spots heading downstream but came up empty handed. Once downstream a mile or so we hung on a run swarming with midge in the air. I took a handful on a #20 Jujubee Midge, we swapped fish back and forth.
At ~1pm the BWO’s began hatching, we spied two larger trout taking surface flies. I tied on a #18 BWO dry fly and took aim, the third or fourth cast and the larger of the two fish struck, I set the hook too fast, anxious. I got another attempt at the same fish even after it tasted just the slightest amount of hook. The second strike came and the hook bent (what I get for using a 2X Fine Dry Fly Hook) the fish got off within a second of being hooked. I was sure my chance had been blown but he surfaced again just moments later. Mind you we are standing less than twenty feet from this fish and it kept coming back for more, the power of the hatch. The third time it struck I lost the hook set again, I shouldn’t have used the same fly. I should have swapped it out after the hook bent rather than bend it back with my forceps but eager to get the trout before it took off for the depths I had to keep going and it cost me the final chance. I should have been
happy enough being able to try but unfortunately I got frustrated and allowed my mood to slip, this normally doesn’t happen when I’m trouting. The rest of the day was a half-assed botched attempt at casting combined with poor fly selection, I just wasn’t trying. Sershen fishing a #18 Bead Head Nymph pattern crushed trout after trout. That’s about all I have to say about this one.
Tags: Baetis, Blue Winged Olive, Brown Trout, BWO, Fly Fishing, The Winona Fly Factory
“Sweet-As” is what they say in New Zeland when you jump out of a plane at 12,000ft or go over a large waterfall in a raft, this is how I would describe my time on Friday. I took off early (this summer I plan on spending a few days on the water at 6am) and got to the site at 9am, alittle later than planed but just fine. I hiked in and started, first an assessment of the situation. Water temp was 42degrees and crystal clear. Low flows and a breeze with the barometer at 28.82 (I’m trying to take note of changes in the pressure to indicate hatching conditions). With this I figured nothing much would be happening for a while, to be expected.
I took samples, a ton of Baetis just ready to blow, I also took a ph sample for my records. I rigged up the pink patrick with a smalled Baetis trailer and headed downstream to fish the section I knew. Made some good casts, really starting to love my roll cast and I’m looking forward to an 8’6″ rod when the time comes. Didn’t get much and decided to switch to a marabou leech and move upstream. First run I sent it through pulled a smaller brown, I knew I was onto something. The cooler water temps I think kept the fish from moving for a strike unless the meal was worth the effort. Going big was the ticket biding my time until conditions were right.
I moved upstream out of Dinosaur land and into the head water section of this stream. I’d been saving this for just this moment, my first day of the beginning of the rest of the season. Brilliant! So many excellent options for fish, runs, pools around every turn. I worked upstream fishing the leech pulling a few here and there, took a nice fat male brown and at least one over 16″. I made it finally to what I am going to refer to as “The Wall”. I just took pictures and looked around, I hadn’t seen anything like it and my pictures don’t do it justice. I could have fished it but I just figured I’d save it for another day. I hiked back out.
Picked trash on my way and made good time. I decided to stop at a favorite spot and I tried the leech again, nothing. Again, nothing. Hmmm….oh yea…water temp. 48 degrees, Baetis. Sure enough just as I was pulling the thermometer from the drink I saw one float past. The trout had keyed in on the Baetis and knowing they could get an easy meal sitting in feeding lanes there was no incentive to strike my leech anymore. This was awesome, I stood and watched them wriggle out of their shucks and float on the surface. I took some excellent photo’s and just watched the bugs, both midge and Baetis coming off, this was at exactly 1:23pm. I spent too much time standing in the middle of the hatch taking pictures and samples I actually ran out of time to fish it and headed out but I was very pleased with the day. It was fun enough to stand in the middle of the hatch with fish surfacing around me. I hiked out at 2:20pm, felt good to fish this again. Sweet-As.
Tags: Baetis, Blue Winged Olive, Brown Trout, BWO, Fly Fishing, Marabou Leech, The Winona Fly Factory
On this day I woke with a smile knowing after I took the dogs out for a long run I would have the rest of the day to fish. Sershen took me to a spot of his that he has been frequenting for quite a while I would imagine. South we travelled in my beat up rusty pickup. We arrived at the stream at about 1pm. Upon seeing rising trout I rigged up a #18 BWO dry flythat I tied recently, Sershen rigged a #18 Parachute Adams with a Zugbug trailer. We took turns casting dries to feeding trout and we both came up successful. After about thirty minutes the trout seemed to hold up and stopped rising. Taking an initial water temp of ~50 we waited and watching hoping that as the sun helped raise the water temp that we might catch a few BWO’s coming off.
While we waited for a water temp above 52 we picked rocks and strained the contents. Flipping two small rocks over exposed many Baetis nymphs ready to emerge. We waited and watched enjoying t-shirt weather the entire time. As time passed we stood in the water able to see the shucks from emerging flies floating past. We found a few BWO’s and Hennies as the afternoon progressed. At 3:30pm the water temp was 52.5 degrees making for ideal conditions for hatching BWO’s. Unfortunately we did not see rising trout and so we both decided to switch to streamer patterns. I chose my trusty Marabou Leech and moved from run to hole. After casting a #18 dry fly the streamer seemed clunky but it worked. I pulled a few more brown trout from the depths including a nice 16in trout that fought like a log.
As we fished we were accompanied by an old beagle that was content just to sit and watch. He followed up the entire length of the stream we fished. As we returned to our original spot we noticed rising trout again, I quickly switched back to my BWO dry fly and on the second cast picked up another brown. I worked my way up the stream but in my haste I think I spooked the trout. I fished until I was confident I wasn’t going to pick up another trout. I really enjoyed studying the water anticipating a hatch.
Tags: Baetis, Blue Winged Olive, Brown Trout, BWO, Dry Fly, Fly Fishing, Marabou Leech
The Winona Fly Factory Fly Tying Radio:
- 30 minutes of Minnesota Public Radio
- Tommy The Cat: Primus
- Opiate: Tool
- Holdin’: Yonder Mountain String Band
- Walk The Line: Johnny Cash
- Loser: Beck (Wendy, I laughed)
- Sin: Nine Inch Nails
- Daylight: Aesop Rock
- Bleed the Freak: Alice In Chains
- General Tso’s Chicken: The Northwoods Band
- Soul Jacker pt. 1: The Eels
- Bring It On Home: Led Zeppelin (Awesome)
Thinking to the not to distant future and knowing how long it could take me to complete my task I started the day tying BWO’s to Minnesota Public Radio. I listened to news and then set the ipod to random tunes to finish the afternoon.
I tied these BWO’s in size 18 with two different types of tails. I personally think the Micro Fibbet tails look better but the hackle fiber tails take me less time. I am planning on testing both under semi-scientific conditions to determine which I like better, and I guess I will let the trout weigh in on the subject as well.
I must admit I was reluctant to start these due to the fact they arn’t as easy for me but it needed to be done and I’m fairly pleased with the end result. I used a razor blade to demolish an old dozen I didn’t approve of. Keep your hook eyes clear, I did not on my previous attempts.
Things to note: Use the smallest amount of dubbing, I really think its better to add some more after the fact, especially the dry fly dubbing, it tends to clump. Work on tying in your hackle, I find that having it at the correct angle with relation to the hook shank helps keep the fibers neater when palmering. Buy quality hackles…they are worth it.
Tags: Blue Winged Olive, BWO, Dry Fly, Fly Tying, MPR, Music, Radio