Coalition of Sporting Groups Plea to Anglers and Hunters

“Dear Minnesota Anglers and Hunters:

While there are many uncertainties today, you can count on the start of the Minnesota hunting and
fishing seasons. Governor Walz’s stay at home order actually encourages people to get outdoors and
engage in activities that include hunting and fishing.

Whether or not you’re planning to hit the water or the woods in the coming weeks, you can still make
a positive difference for our fish and wildlife today! If your circumstances allow, we encourage you to
buy fishing and hunting licenses and stamps, even if you do not plan to fish or hunt.
Not everyone realizes the management of fish and wildlife by the Minnesota Department of Natural
Resources, Division of Fish and Wildlife, is paid for by hunters and anglers. This is done through the
sale of fishing, hunting and related licenses and stamps, as well as federal excise taxes on fishing and
hunting equipment purchases. This vital work is funded by anglers and hunters. It is not funded by
property or general income taxes.
We in the hunting and angling community have a long history of stepping up during times of adversity
to promote fish and wildlife management and conservation. Some of the best programs operating
today were created in the shadow of the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Many retail locations that sell licenses remain open, and we encourage you to support them. If you’d
prefer not to go out, you can also purchase these from home. Visit the DNR webpage,
www.mndnr.gov or call the DNR at 888-665-4236.
We hope you are able to get outside and enjoy the activities you love. If you do so, please stay close
to home and follow the social distancing guidelines set forth by Governor Walz. Most of all, stay safe.
Thank you.

Beaver Creek Sportsman’s Club
Central Lakes College Natural Resources Club
Delta Waterfowl
Ducks Unlimited
Fergus Falls Fish and Game Club
Fox Lake Conservation Club
Jackson County Conservation League
Lake Benton Sportsmen’s Club
Lake Superior Steelhead Association
Minnesota Anglers for Habitat
Minnesota Backcounty Hunters and Anglers
Minnesota Conservation Federation
Minnesota Darkhouse & Angling Association
Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
Minnesota Division Izaak Walton League
Minnesota Muskie and Pike Alliance
Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Alliance
Minnesota Pheasants, Inc., Blue Earth County
Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society
Minnesota Sharp-Tailed Grouse Society
Minnesota Trout Association
Minnesota Trout Unlimited
MN-FISH Sportfishing Foundation & Coalition
National Trout Center
National Wild Turkey Federation
New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen
Nicollet Conservation Club
North Heron Lake Game Producers
Pheasants Forever
Quail Forever
Rainy Lake Guide Association
Rainy Lake Sportfishing Club
Round Lake Sportsmans Club
Ruffed Grouse Society
South St. Paul Gun Club
Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters
Viking Sportsmen”

Stream Conditions: 4/19/2020

Southeast Minnesota’s trout streams are in good shape for fishing this weekend and look to remain so for the week ahead. Temperatures will finally start to bump upward this week with the warmest day being Wednesday. There will be occasional showers and thunderstorms but at this time aren’t looking to be the lingering type that blow out our watersheds.

Instead of fishing today (Sunday, 4/19) I decided to get out for a hike with the fam through Whitewater State Park. There were quite a few anglers and hikers around; everyone doing a good job of social distancing so don’t be afraid to get out. State Parks will be much more busy than some other streams. If you’re willing to hike in a ways, you should run across fewer people.

There are reports of caddis around and I’d imagine we continue to see more insect activity in the next couple weeks.

2/1/2020 Stream Report

Water temperature: 41-42 degrees
Insect activity: Midges – moderate

Ventured out with a couple buddies today for my first trip of the new year. We started the day with some rare sunshine and clouds were back overhead by 1-1:30pm. We fished from 10:45am until about 2:30pm.

There were fish rising today, especially late morning in sunny stretches of the stream. There wasn’t enough activity to encourage any of us to try dry flies but a more motivated soul could have done alright, I suppose.

Fish were caught on Hare’s Ear, green and purple perdigons, small pheasant tails, and midge larva patterns. Despite a few rising fish, getting flies low enough was key to catching. A few fish were feeding in some of the faster runs, but most were in the slower tails.

9-30-16 Report: Streams clearing, fish are eating

September 30, 2016

A buddy and I both punched out early Friday afternoon to go fishing to end a no-fishing streak. Neither of us had been out all September. It was a good choice.

The stream we fished in the Whitewater system was still dirty but visibility is at least about 1 meter, so it’s in excellent shape. We started nymphing with only minimal success, switched to buggers then didn’t stop catching fish until we walked off the stream. Each cast turned at least one fish and most casts resulted in a catch. Both black and brown buggers worked well, including many fish on the ivy pheasant craw.

There wasn’t much time or desire to grab the camera on this venture, but I did get a couple pics for proof. Gotta love the fall colors of the brown trout.

southeast minnesota brown trout

2016 Fly Swap – jrs’s Pink Squirrel Variant

PinkSquirrelVariant-jrs

submitted by message board member jrs – here are the details:

Pink Squirrel Variant — John Stoeckel (jrs)

Except for the tail, all of the components of this fly have been changed from the original Bethke Pink Squirrel. But it still looks like a Pink Squirrel and it certainly evolved from the Pink Squirrel. The main changes have been inspired by the European / competitive nymphing community with an emphasis on making it a hard bodied, fast sinking “anchor” fly.

Hook: European / competition style jig hook #12
Thread: standard thread in black and orange
Weight: Gold brass or tungsten bead, 1/8”
Tail: 2 strands pearl Krystal Flash, split
Body: Black Ultra Wire, size BR
Collar: UV Pink Ice Dub

1) Slide the bead on the hook.
2) Wrap the black thread back to above the barb (if there was a barb)
3) Tie in a piece of Krystal Flash at an angle to the shank. Then fold back the long end and wrap it down at an angle on the opposite side to form a “V”. Trim to length.
4) Wind the thread back to the collar area and tie in the wire. Snip the black thread. Put a layer of cement on the hook shank. Wind the wire rearward in tight, touching wraps to the base of the tail (this is easiest with a rotary vise), then wrap the wire forward in an open spiral back to the collar area.
5) Tie on the orange thread. Secure and trim the wire.
6) Dub a short, tight noodle of UV Pink Ice Dub on the thread and wrap the collar.
7) Tie a whip finish and apply a drop of cement.

Comments:
1) The competition style jig hooks are available from a number of brands – Allen J100BL, Umpqua C400BL. They are a slightly longer than a TMC 3769 hook of the same size with a 60 degree bend at the eye and a wider hook gap. They are also barbless, so if you use a trailer fly, you probably want to tie it to the eye of the jig (rather than the bend) so that it doesn’t slip off.
2) As with the Copper John, you can vary the color of the wire as you like. I’ve used black, gold, and red wire. I’ve also used two colors of wire – eg, black and gold – wrapped together to get a striped effect.

6/14/15 Report & Conditions

Sorry for the radio silence here recently, I’ve been sloughing off my free time on the stream. The fishing around here has really been great lately. We’ve had some insect hatches in southeast Minnesota hitting a tempo that I haven’t seen in my short 12 years of fishing here.

A buddy and I fished a stream north of I-90 on Saturday the 6th. There was a tremendous hatch of long-horned caddis. The caddisflies had very long antennae in comparison to their body length, and their wings were a brown, mottled color. The trout were very selective, but we still managed to catch enough fish that it only made sense to trade off every 3 fish instead of every other. A caddis green wet fly caught the most fish, but we spent a good hour twitching an elk hair caddis with good results as well. Neither of us had a caddis dry that matched the species hatching, and there actually weren’t a whole lot of rising trout, but the fish were actively feeding.

We picked up a pop-up camper recently, so the past two weekends were spent camping. My boys and I camped at Forestville State Park the 7th-8th (love camping Sun-Mon when we can swing it) and then our whole crew + one extra dog spent the past few days at Whitewater State Park.

The boys wanted to fish, so…

IMG_6491

 

My oldest is still just starting out with fly fishing, but he did catch this nice rainbow all on his own. We worked through some sweet tippet knots as well, but I didn’t get any pictures of those.

IMG_6495

Last weekend, at least Sunday evening, there was an amazing mayfly hatch. There were March Browns, Light Hendricksons, craneflies, caddis, a few sulfurs, and a pale white mayfly. My boys and I stood in the river and watched the clouds of bugs until after sunset. We cast at a few risers, caught a few trout, and admired the bats as they flapped within inches of where we were standing.

A yellow humpy cast to the right spot yielded a nice brown.

IMG_0067

Next weekend we’re headed to a park much farther southeast.

4/17-4/20 Report: Trout Camp

Due to a number of scheduling conflicts, this year’s Trout Camp had to fall on the same weekend as the catch and keep opener. As frightening as that was, it turned out to be much better than I anticipated. The campground and the streams were busier than usual on Friday through Saturday, otherwise everyone cleared out rather quickly Sunday and we didn’t see anyone else out fishing on Monday. Overall, great friends, good fishing, and a welcome reprieve to a river valley with no cell phone reception.

Friday Brook TroutFriday: the weather was amazing, maybe even too warm with the lack of wind although we didn’t have too many complaints. First fish, first run, first cast – great start to the day. On an upper reach of a spring creek, water temperatures stayed around 48 degrees despite air temperatures in the mid-70s and full sunshine. The catch rate was fair to good. Fish were caught on peeking caddis size 16, caddis larva size 16, pink squirrels, orange scuds, copper johns, and pheasant tails. Farther downstream in the afternoon there were quite a few caddis bouncing around on the water. Unfortunately, despite the hatch, there were no rises seen, very few fish caught, and very few fish spooked. Something seems amiss through that popular stretch of water.

Trout FiletsSaturday: opening day. We ventured into the big woods south of I-90 and fished a relatively popular stretch of water. Every access point was loaded with about 6-8 cars when we arrived, which we expected.Trout Tacos What I didn’t expect was the majority clearing out of the stream before lunch. The water temperature was 58 degrees on this stream; warmer than the waters fished previously. By the end of the afternoon there were very few people left fishing. We caught a lot of fish, kept a few, and had an amazing dinner of fried trout filets, trout tacos, and altogether too much to eat. I hadn’t fished on opening day in at least 10 years and it was well worth the extra effort.

Sunday Rainbow TroutSunday: we took a long walk on a cold stream and caught a few fish. There were showers, but not much rain, it was overcast and cool with temperatures in the 50s. The fishing was difficult through the morning although we did catch a handful right out of the gates. The fishing picked up a little in the afternoon. Fish were caught on midge larva, copper johns, peeking caddis, and san juan worms. A few, nice glory fish were caught in front of the camping onlookers who said those were the first fish they’d seen caught all day. This was another stream that seemed to have a much lower population of fish, and that was confirmed by recent DNR shocking statistics. One of the highlights of Sunday was catching a handful of nicely-sized rainbow trout that had been planted in years prior as yearlings. They put up a hearty fight and were a pleasant surprise.

Monday's stopping pointMonday: it was the worst weather day of camp, but the fishing was close to the best of the 4 days. We ventured far back up a river valley and saw no other anglers the entire day. Fish were still actively feeding up in faster water although no hatching insects were seen above water. Successful patterns included a variety of nymphs, midge larva, woolly bugger, and that stinkin’ worm pattern.