October 25, 2019
Welcome Back to the NTC’s The Voice of the Driftless.
By Jeffrey S. Broberg
Trout fishing in SE Minnesota is now closed to angling except in the five cites and three State Parks that have continuous seasons. Wisconsin Driftless trout fishing also closed Oct 15, but Iowa is open for trout all year.
The water is still 30% higher than usual for the end of October and is mostly clear and fishable in the smaller streams that are still open (Mill Creek, Camp Creek, Rush Creek, and Spring Valley Creek), but is high and muddy in the larger rivers.
This past week, I fished the South Branch of the Whitewater. I landed and released four beautiful rainbows and saw many, many fish. My phone camera was too full to take new pics, so you have to trust me.
Wednesday, I fished SBRR in Lanesboro below the dam where I got zippo – high, fast muddy water was flooding the banks and overspilling both ends of the spillway. It was cold as hell in the strong gusty winds, and the spray from the dam created a roaring mist that filled the gorge as it billowed downstream. A pair of adult eagles looked like they were napping and hiding from the wind. Even for the eagles, the water was too muddy to fish. Fish were trying to jump the brown water roaring over the dam.
When I approached the water, the eagle pair glided downstream, where other perched eagles chattered and voiced their mixed greetings and objections to the intruding pair. I thought there must be fish here, and when the water clears, the eagles will hunt the fattest spawning trout on their redds and stalk the jumping fish in the plunge pool. I was cold but contented that I had shared the stream and my desire to catch fish with the eagles, so I retired to the High Court Pub
I also stopped in Preston to look at the SBRR, where the water looked better than Lanesboro and then visited Mill Creek in Chatfield which was fishable if you could tolerate the wind.
Seasonal Shifts at NTC.
The NTC is now closed for the off-season, except for special events. Kelsey Hoffmann finishes her 2019 work after the Citizen Stream Monitoring Training on Saturday. Rich Bain is no longer with us, and Intern Bailey completed her job after the fall bus tour. I want to thank all of them and thanks to all of our volunteers and all of you who make the NTC possible.
At this time of year, NTC is in a re-tooling and budgeting mode for the 2020 season. We hope we have helped you in your angling and helped you have a good time in all your outdoor pursuits. We hope we have gained your continued support.
The NTC Board is looking for ways to keep the center open year-round.
For now we will continue to provide weekly updates and watch here for announcements about upcoming events or new hours.