Welcome Back Friends of Preston’s National Trout Center (The Voice of the Driftless)
Yesterday I started to worry that the 2019 trout fishing season was going to be a repeat of 2018 when it rained almost every Thursday, muddying the streams and making SE MN unfishable for most of the summer. The forecast was for 2” or more of rain.
I’m happy to report that most of our area got less than ¼” with heavier rain and runoff only in the Whitewater and in a line from Red Wing east to Eau Claire. This weeks’ 7-day precipitation map clearly shows how anglers can choose an area unaffected by the heavy rains. Fillmore and Houston County Streams look like they will be fine. Most of our streams stayed clear this week and warming temps will improve fishing. Of course, the North Shore is a different story right now. If you are pursuing steelhead, the water temp is reported to be about right, but the Arrowhead might get another foot of snow today.
Last week the trout fishing in SE MN was superb. The water was “severe clear”; you had to be stealthy, conceal yourself and take long casts, but the fishing was great. Caddis and blue wing olive hatches were a thrill for the dry fly anglers. Spin fishermen, me included, using small spinners and the smallest Rapala Brown Trout patterns reported great fishing.
*** Fishing Tip ***
Matching the hatch: Fly fishermen have the notion of matching the hatch ingrained in their psyche. They know the importance of presenting flies that look like the bugs that are on the stream at the time they are fishing, and they pay close attention to the bugs caught in spider webs, or the live bugs emerging from the water.
In clear water, spin fishermen need to do the same—match the size, color, habits and motion of the small fish, frogs and crawfish that the trout eat.
A spin fishing friend told me yesterday that he was not having much success with his Raps yet this year. At the same time, I have been catching lots of trout. The difference: It turns out he is using the 4″ long lures and I was using small 1 1/2″ lures and tiny spinners. I was matching the size of the trout fingerlings; he was showing larger lures that are best for late in the summer.
The Minnesota Trout Association Kids Fishing Contest is this Saturday, May 11, at Mill Creek Park, Chatfield, MN, from 10 until noon. Fishing, free lunch and tons of prizes. Kids 2 to 12 are eligible.
Jeffrey S. Broberg, President, National Trout Center, Preston, MN