fly fishing
   Scott Thomas Thorpe


The Season

The "little trout" season, as my steelheading friends call it, is more dictated by state regulations rather than nature's cycle. January 1st is the beginning of the Minnesota trout season in the SE corner of the state. More than 30 spring creeks are open to catch and release fishing. Iced guides and fly line can make fishing tedious. However, whenever the daytime high climbs above 20 degrees F, fishing can be enjoyable and quite good.The fish are concentrated in the deeper, slower runs and pools. Deep dredging with nymphs is usually effective. If the day is sunny and windless, midges will often hatch and provide good dry fly fishing. We usually start fishing around 10:00 am, take a lunch break in a local cafe and warm up, and then fish again until dusk. In early March, the Wisconsin winter trout season opens up and many more streams are readily accessible. As it is a bit warmer, insect activity increases, including hatches of tiny stoneflies. A wider variety of nymphs becomes effective. Winter transitions seamlessly into spring fishing and all the various hatches occur in their own order, depending upon the river. BWO's, more midges, hendricksons, crane flies, various caddis, sulphers and by late July, trico's. The dry fly fishing can be excellent in May, June and early July. Every technique will work, including traditional swung wet flys or soft hackles. August heat can mean fishing a very early morning trico hatch and night time streamer or mouse pattern fishing. As temperatures cool into September, baetis again become reliable on cooler drizzly days, and most nymphing techniques still work, right up until the late September close of the season in Wisconsin and the mid-October closing in Minnesota. Fishing is also possible year round on spring creeks located within Minnesota state parks in the SE corner of the state.



  
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