6/13/14-6/20/14 Heavy Rainfall

Rochester has received 4.02″ of rain since Saturday, June 13th.

Here are radar estimated totals from Wednesday, June 18th through Friday, June 20th

Here are 7 day totals from June 13th through June 20th

River gauges

Rain measurements from June 14th through June 20th, courtesy of NWS La Crosse

119 PM CDT FRI JUN 20 2014


LOCATION                            COUNTY          AMOUNT 


WAUCOMA 3S                          FAYETTE         7.44
NEW HAMPTON                         CHICKASAW       7.42 
CHARLES CITY                        FLOYD           7.19
POSTVILLE                           ALLAMAKEE       6.82
OELWEIN 1WNW                        FAYETTE         6.80
EL DORADO 1E                        FAYETTE         6.45
COLWELL                             FLOYD           6.28
IONIA 2W                            CHICKASAW       6.22
ELMA                                HOWARD          5.90
MONONA                              CLAYTON         5.80
YELLOW RIVER PARK                   ALLAMAKEE       5.64
STRAWBERRY POINT                    FAYETTE         5.55
NASHUA 2SW                          CHICKASAW       5.20
CRESCO                              HOWARD          5.06
OSAGE                               MITCHELL        5.02
DECORAH                             WINNESHIEK      4.89
CLERMONT                            FAYETTE         4.87
ELKADER                             FAYETTE         4.73
ORCHARD                             FLOYD           4.73
ION                                 ALLAMAKEE       4.21
LITTLEPORT                          CLAYTON         4.16
VOLGA 1NE                           CLAYTON         4.05
DORCHESTER - HIGHWAY 76             ALLAMAKEE       3.67
BLUFFTON                            WINNESHIEK      3.64
GUTTENBERG DAM 10                   CLAYTON         3.21


BYRON 6S                            OLMSTED         7.30
ROCHESTER 5SW                       OLMSTED         7.00
AUSTIN 2NE                          MOWER           6.55 
ELGIN 5SE                           OLMSTED         6.27 
OXBOW PARK                          OLMSTED         6.25
BYRON 4N                            OLMSTED         5.97
ROCHESTER 6ENE                      OLMSTED         5.96
ROCHESTER 3W                        OLMSTED         5.79
ROCHESTER - BEAR CREEK              OLMSTED         5.77
AUSTIN 3S                           MOWER           5.70
EYOTA 5W                            OLMSTED         5.61
VIOLA 4W                            OLMSTED         5.32
MANTORVILLE 2WSW                    DODGE           5.32
LANSING                             MOWER           5.27
AUSTIN 3NW                          MOWER           5.23
ROCHESTER - SILVER CREEK            OLMSTED         5.22
ROCHESTER - BELTLINE                OLMSTED         5.11
FILLMORE                            FILLMORE        5.08
ALTURA 5W                           WINONA          5.07
SPRING VALLEY 3E                    FILLMORE        5.05
MANTORVILLE                         DODGE           5.05
ELBA                                WINONA          4.95
ROCHESTER AIRPORT 2NE               OLMSTED         4.94
OSTRANDER 5WNW                      FILLMORE        4.82
EYOTA 2NE                           OLMSTED         4.81
ROCHESTER - CASCADE CREEK           OLMSTED         4.74
WHITEWATER STATE PARK               WINONA          4.73
ROCHESTER 6N                        OLMSTED         4.68
ELGIN 2SSW                          WABASHA         4.60
SPRING VALLEY                       FILLMORE        4.58
WINONA 4SW                          WINONA          4.55
DOVER 1E                            OLMSTED         4.52
MINNESOTA CITY DAM 5                WINONA          4.36
ORONOCO 1W                          OLMSTED         4.25
CARIMONA                            FILLMORE        4.22
ORONOCO                             OLMSTED         4.04
ROCHESTER ASOS                      OLMSTED         4.02
WABASHA                             WABASHA         3.99
PRESTON 3NNE                        FILLMORE        3.97
ROCHESTER 2SE                       OLMSTED         3.96
GRAND MEADOW 6S                     MOWER           3.96
PILOT MOUND                         FILLMORE        3.84
CHATFIELD 9ESE                      FILLMORE        3.79
THEILMAN 1SSW                       WABASHA         3.76
PRESTON 6S                          FILLMORE        3.74
LANESBORO                           FILLMORE        3.71
CALEDONIA                           HOUSTON         3.63
PRESTON                             FILLMORE        3.55
ROCHESTER 4ESE                      OLMSTED         3.46
LEWISTON                            WINONA          3.43
HOUSTON                             HOUSTON         3.41
LA CRESCENT 1NNW                    HOUSTON         3.37
BEAVER                              WABASHA         3.37
BRISTOL 1N                          FILLMORE        3.32
KELLOGG                             WABASHA         3.28
SPRING GROVE 4N                     HOUSTON         3.12
ZUMBRO FALLS 4SSW                   WABASHA         3.01
BRISTOL 3NE                         FILLMORE        2.99
MOUND PRAIRIE                       HOUSTON         2.98
RUSHFORD                            FILLMORE        2.96
MABEL                               FILLMORE        2.96
PLAINVIEW 3E                        WABASHA         2.93
WINONA 5WSW                         WINONA          2.76
LA CRESCENT DAM 7                   WINONA          2.71


ETTRICK 4WNW                        TREMPEALEAU     7.86
BLAIR                               TREMPEALEAU     5.94
BLACK RIVER FALLS 2N                JACKSON         5.59
LA CROSSE - RIVERSIDE               LA CROSSE       5.57
ROCKVILLE                           GRANT           5.53
OSSEO                               TREMPEALEAU     5.37
TAYLOR                              JACKSON         5.36
PRAIRIE DU CHIEN                    CRAWFORD        5.35
WHITEHALL 4SSW                      TREMPEALEAU     5.24
LYNXVILLE DAM 9                     CRAWFORD        5.24
BURTON                              GRANT           5.20
HIXTON                              JACKSON         5.04
GALEVILLE 2WSW                      TREMPEALEAU     5.04
BLACK RIVER FALLS RAWS              JACKSON         4.75
FORT MCCOY YARD ROAD                MONROE          4.74
SINSINAWA                           GRANT           4.58
TREMPEALEAU DAM 6                   TREMPEALEAU     4.44
CASTLE ROCK DAM                     ADAMS           4.43
TUNNEL CITY 1S                      MONROE          4.38
STEUBEN                             CRAWFORD        4.26
HATFIELD DAM                        JACKSON         4.25
ONTARIO                             VERNON          4.18
MATHER 3NW                          JACKSON         4.17
WHITEHALL                           TREMPEALEAU     4.13
SPARTA                              MONROE          4.13
DE SOTO 1SE                         CRAWFORD        4.06
GENOA DAM 8                         VERNON          4.04
CUBA CITY                           GRANT           4.04
READSTOWN                           VERNON          4.02
WESTBY 3ENE                         VERNON          4.01
RICHLAND CENTER                     RICHLAND        3.98
LA CROSSE WFO                       LA CROSSE       3.94
WHITEHALL 6N                        TREMPEALEAU     3.86
FOUR CORNERS                        JACKSON         3.86
PIGEON FALLS                        TREMPEALEAU     3.82
STRUM                               TREMPEALEAU     3.81
READSTOWN 4NE                       RICHLAND        3.69
WARRENS 5WSW                        MONROE          3.67
GAYS MILLS                          CRAWFORD        3.56
NEILLSVILLE 3ESE                    CLARK           3.56
LA CROSSE 4NNW                      LA CROSSE       3.50
VIROQUA                             VERNON          3.44
ONTARIO 3E                          VERNON          3.42
HILLSBORO 2SW                       VERNON          3.35
BOSCOBEL ASOS                       GRANT           3.20
MAUSTON 1SE                         JUNEAU          3.13
STODDARD                            VERNON          3.03
NECEDAH RAWS                        JUNEAU          3.02
LA CROSSE ASOS                      LA CROSSE       3.00
ALMA DAM 4                          BUFFALO         2.99
DIAMOND LAKE RAWS                   TAYLOR          2.95
WEST SALEM 1W                       LA CROSSE       2.93
HOLMEN 2S                           LA CROSSE       2.93
PETENWELL DAM                       JUNEAU          2.91
HOLMEN 1NW                          LA CROSSE       2.90
FRIENDSHIP                          ADAMS           2.80
NEILLSVILLE                         CLARK           2.77
MELROSE 8SSW                        JACKSON         2.69
OWEN 2N                             CLARK           2.60


REALLY Brown Trout: June 11, 2014 Report

I met up with a few buddies today and fished the Village Bicycle (everyone’s had a ride). It’s been a couple seasons since I fished it…normally too busy for my taste, but not a bad day on the water. The weather was great. The temperature when we were there, 8:30am-Noon, was in the 70s. Sky was mostly sunny, wind was light, water was clear with only a slight tinge. Fish were rising sporadically but were more visibly feeding below the surface. There were a lot of caddis boppin’ around on the water, many of which were larger, darker-colored caddis. Size 14’ish, I’d guess. There were also some craneflies and a few March Browns, but not too many.

A size 14 Adams was refused – a lot – but nymphing was moderately successful. A size 14 flashback pheasant tail caught the most fish for me. With all the terrestrials present, I figured a black wet fly would be killer, but I caught nary a fish on it.

Of the handful of fish caught, I did manage one really nice fat brown, measured at 15 1/2″ (I rarely measure fish, but if you’re going to measure, you might as well be accurate), and stout. I like it when the trout have got some girth to them, and this one fought with it – a fun catch.


I caught the brownest brown trout that I ever recall catching today. I’m assuming its darker color was due to its preferred, darker dwelling. I caught this fish in a short run, under a tree, with a large rock overhang. It took the fly from under the rock and am guessing said fish spends a lot of time there. The picture doesn’t do the fish’s color justice, in my opinion; it was pretty dark.


Fishing Attractor Dry Flies On Driftless Area Streams, part II

“Not long after I took up fly fishing, as a teenager, I began to look upon those who fished the Royal Coachman and Parmachene Belle and other such garish and unnatural flies as…well, gullible.

I unconsciously counted myself among the new breed of fly fishers who understood that trout eat insects and crustaceans and tiny fishes and that flies should imitate these creatures in look and movement at all times.

When I’d hear chatter about the magic of red floss and peacock herl in the Royal Coachman dry fly I’d just smile a sympathetic smile of wisdom. Oh poor, ignorant fools, I’d think.

Now I think differently. Now I think, Oh what a poor, ignorant fool was I”

As we can surmise from Skip Morris’ comments above (Thanks Skip!), attractor dry flies have been around a long time…and have been looked down upon by many an “ignorant fool” over the years.  On a more positive note, many of us- mainly through the  teachings of great tyers/authors like Morris, LaFontaine, Swisher, et al.- have found out how effective these great flies can be…even here in the Driftless.
So, what are some good attractor dry flies to use on Driftless Area streams and rivers?  That list would be a long one, so I’ll highlight a few I’ve used, and a few that have been mentioned by other folks on the MN Trout Forums board.
First on my list…mainly because it is probably the first attractor dry I ever used…is the Yellow Humpy.  I’ve caught many trout on this fly, which has its origins in the Rocky Mountains, but catches fish here, too!  The Grizzly Wulff is a similar fly that I’ve used with success as well.
Yellow Humpy
Next on my list would be the mighty Madam X.  This fly is without question the father of many of the more modern attractor dry flies that use “X-pattern” rubber legs.  Doug Swisher knocked it out of the park with this one.  To this day, I can clearly recall a large trout slowly rising out of a deep pool to inspect my Madam X, only to turn away at the last moment!  More on that later…
Madam X
Of course I must mention my own creation, the Slurpster.  Obviously the intellectual progeny of the Madam X, this fly has proven to be a very effective and quite durable fish catcher.  This has been my “secret weapon” for around a decade now, and I’ve just recently declassified it.  Trout typically take this fly with a slow SLURP, and the rises are often dramatic.  Makes for fun fishin’!  I tie this fly in tan, olive and black, with black being my favorite.
Can you see the Slurpster?
As I said, there are many great attractor dries that can be very effective on our local streams.  Other local fishermen have had great success with the following patterns:  Stimulators (many different flavors!); Royal Wulff; Pass Lake Dry; Clown Shoe Caddis; Royal Caddis, and other homebrewed patterns yet to be made famous.
So now we have an idea on what flies to use, now how about when, where and how?  Well, there are no hard and fast rules on any of these, so I will simply describe what has worked best for me over the years.
When: I typically start having good luck on attractors around the end of May.  By this time, there typically has been some major hatches of various caddis and mayflies, and terrestrial insects are active.  All this adds up to trout being more prone to “look up” for their food.  Good fishing on attractors will last throughout the entire remainder of the season…even in the “dog days” of summer.
summer-time brookie on a Slurpster
Time of day:  I’ve had good luck at pretty much any time of day, although the best times are of course the best times for any type of fishing:  morning, evening, and overcast days.  I do remember going out very early one morning (on the water right before dawn) and finding many fish rising.  I could catch virtually all these rising fish on a Slurpster.  They would take it without hesitation.  What a great morning.
Where: For whatever reason, I’ve had my very best luck on attractor dry flies on “unimproved” trout streams, and streams with a good population of larger fish. On streams that have high populations of smallish trout, it may be wise to go with smaller attractors, such as a size 14 Yellow Humpy or Royal Wulff.  For some reason, the big Madam X dries get more “false rises” than the smaller patterns.  I”m not sure why.  It could be just the streams I fish…I am working on a smaller rubber-legged patterns for streams like this…
How:  It’s been my experience that large patterns like the Slurpster and the Madam X fish best on a dead drift with no hint of drag.  It often happens that trout follow these patterns for several feet as they drift along before deciding whether or not to take.  9 times out of 10, when the fly starts to drag, they turn away (see big fish memory above).  Long drifts aren’t always necessary, but I’ve been surprised more than once by a trout that takes the fly after it has drifted for long time and I’m about to pick up for another cast.
Smaller, bushy hackled flies like the Humpy, Stimulator, etc., can be fished dead drift, but twitching or skating them can also lead to some violent strikes and more takes.  My guess is that these patterns look more like some kind of hatching insect, and so giving them “life” can be an effective method.
Finally, I’ll leave you with the “why” to fish attractor dry flies:  because it’s FUN!  To paraphrase David Letterman:  “If fishing attractor dry flies doesn’t drop ya, ya ain’t hooked up right!”