September 5, 2019:
Welcome Back to the NTC’s “The Voice of the Driftless.”
By Jeffrey S. Broberg
Fall is on the way. Cooling temps and mostly clear streams and only a chance of rain moving in on Sunday make for another great weekend for outdoor fun. I can almost guarantee great trout fishing conditions ahead!
A WNW/ESE/line of thundershowers muddied the waters in a line 15 miles wide running from west of Rochester to Harmony and into NE Iowa. The North Branch Root River and the upper tributaries and the headwaters of South Branch Whitewater Rivers got rain Monday night and were muddied, but are clearing quickly.
Again, this week the fly fishers will do well on terrestrials, muddlers, wooly buggers or nymphs. Dry fly fishers might find a hatch of blue-winged olives or midges. With the cooler weather most of the summer inverts are gone. Go to the Wayne Bartz SE Minnesota Hatch Chart.
A RAINY “WATER YEAR” HAS LED TO AN ABUNDANCE OF EDIBLE MUSHROOMS.
Sometimes you just can’t fish all day or go fishing all the time to the exclusion of everything else. For me mushroom hunting fills my time and brings home some truly delicious treats. I grab my hiking staff, my basket, a sharp knife and a bunch of paper bags to keep my mushroom finds separate.
The NOAA precipitation map for the “Departure from Normal Precipitation” for the 2018-19 water year shows part of the story. All of the Whitewater and Root Watersheds have had 125-150% above normal with 8-16 inches of precipitation. The mushrooms grow and the streams flow.
A word of caution: Some local mushrooms are DEADLY. Never, never eat any mushroom that has not been positively identified and verified by reliable sources who are experienced in the mushrooms of Minnesota…Uncle Don might say he is an expert, maybe he is, but unless he eats mushrooms often and can show you both the good mushrooms and the poisonous, don’t take a chance! Always verify the species using a good book or reliable web source before you eat anything.
Good Book: Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest: A Simple Guide to Common Mushrooms, by Minnesota authors and mushroom experts, Teresa Marrone and Kathy Verich.
Good websites: University of Minnesota Mycology Club has “Flash Fungi, Identifying Local Fungi” flashcards with good photos and descriptions that you can print yourself.
I love the website Forager Chef from Twin /cities Chef Alan Bergo. He has great mushroom info about finding, identifying, storing, cooking and preserving your find. If he has your mushrooms on his site try the recipes
This last week mushroom hunting was particularly good where I forage in both the Whitewater and Root River Watersheds; I found an abundance of seven different edible mushrooms..
On the left clockwise from top: Lobster Mushrooms, Shrimp of the Woods, Honey Mushrooms, Fawny Funnel Caps (inedible) and Elm Oysters.
On the right clockwise from top: Chicken of the Woods, Pheasant Back Mushrooms, Hen of the Woods and Honey Mushrooms.
Please see our website for information about our Fall Bus Tour through our beautiful Driftless region, October 12.
Remember: Traditional catch and keep trout season ends on September 15.