July 4, 2019:
Welcome Back to the NTC’s The Voice of the Driftless :<)
Sometimes you think you are in for a treat and all you get is lemons, so you need to make lemonade, or lemon meringue pie. That’s what I did after most of the Driftless area was hit by another week of heavy rain. A week ago SE Olmsted and Western Fillmore County had 508 inches of rain and major flooding but eastern Fillmore, SE Winona and most of Houston County got only ¾”. So I headed out to Choice and found that the South Fork was muddy from heavy rain in the headwaters, but the local first order streams were clear and the trout were hungry.
I fished Maple Creek, a small first order stream that feeds into the South Fork last Sunday and caught 23 trout in 2 hours including a 16” and two 14” big fat, beautiful browns. On the way home it started raining again, this time a more wide spread pattern. By early Tuesday morning we had 4 ½ inches at the Elba Farm and all the streams were at flood stage again with muddy water for the next 5 days, if it stopped raining. Unfortnuantley more rain is predicted almost every day through the weekend, some locally heavy or sever leaving only Gilmore Creek, Stockton Creek and Garin Brook, and a few small stream around Caledonia as fishable..So I took off for the North Shore. I’m writing this post from the banks of the Baptism River near Finland hoping for better weather, better water and maybe catch the famous “hex hatch” on the local trout lakes. I’ll let you know how this works out.
Fishing Tips: The Hex Hatch
To many trout fishing friends in the Midwest the Hex Hatch is a thing of legend, to others an annual ritual in June and early July when the large mayfly Hexagenia limbate emerges off the muddy bottom and the trout abandon all caution. The Troutnut.com tells the life cycle and story: http://www.troutnut.com/hatch/32/Mayfly-Hexagenia-limbata-Hex
This article by outdoor writer Sam Cook about my long-time friend Dave Zentner of Duluth tells the story: https://www.bemidjipioneer.com/news/4294252-hallowed-hex-hatch-holds-deeper-meaning-some-trout-anglers
I’ve only heard the stories. Maybe tonight is the night. I loaded up the handcrafted Cedar strip canoe made by Ray Ricketts, brought my fly fishing gear ( a rare occurrence for me), and hopefully while the SE stream are still muddy I’ll have some stories to tell.