Missed Opportunity, but Still Productive

There was a fair amount of time spent tying flies today between bouts of staring out the window, wondering why I didn’t go fishing as soon as the kids were off to school. Lenny thought it curious, too. He spent a lot of time watching me tie flies and wondering why we haven’t hunted birds in 2 whole weeks! He’s going to have a long winter.

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It was perfect for winter fishing this morning! Temperatures were just below freezing for a while, the sun was out, and certainly there must have been eager fish before snow melt increased. That’s how I see it in my lunatic head, anyway – catching so many fish my arm hurts and 28″ browns with kype jaws trying to tear into my neck after I wrangle them from their underwater bunkers…

Instead, I continued working at my goal of all-new flies for 2013 and starting with a fresh stockpile. I’m at 4 dozen so far, which isn’t much considering my poor production-fly-tying skills…but I’m working on it. Not even halfway to what will be needed this season and a wide variety to go yet.

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Last night and this morning was spent tying more Skinny Nelsons.

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Winter trout season, for me, seems to be more about seizing opportunity when it presents itself rather than planning an outing well in advance. I’ll confess to not having my gear in battle-ready mode yet as it is typically during the bulk of the season. I’m not in grab ‘n go mode yet.

Southeast Minnesota Winter Trout Season

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Winter Trout Season is now open in southeast Minnesota. Just go! And layer up. And don’t keep any fish – it’s only open for catch-and-release. If you’re new to the idea of winter fly fishing for trout, I recommend not getting your hopes up for the catch rates of spring and summer. While springs keep our trout streams open, even on the coldest days, lower water temperatures this time of year mean a lower metabolism for fish. Midges, scuds, small PT’s are the usual, winter fare.

Make sure you know the regulations and which streams are open. There are still only select streams open for winter trout season. Have you heard Trout Run is open for winter fishing? It’s not. At least not the one you’re thinking of in Fillmore County with the famed Bucksnort Dam. There is a little stream in Whitewater State Park also named Trout Run – that’s the only Trout Run open for the winter season.

If you want to know exactly where you can fish, it’s very easy. Here are the maps of streams open for Southeast Minnesota’s winter trout season.
Fillmore County
Winona County
Houston County
Goodhue County

Stream conditions? The usual winter fare. It’s a rare winter’s day that our trout streams are anything but low, clear, and cold. If you’re uncertain, check here or here to see if there’s an update.

Reports, pictures are always welcome on the message board.