Month: May 2014

The Stream Less Traveled

A fine day in May, what to do?  I love trouting this time of year, the streams and the woods are alive with all kinds of life.  The contrast between the streams when I start out in March and what they look like now is amazing.  Looks like someone was turned loose with a green paintbrush, with a few yellow, white, and purple accents.  Trouble is, the really good streams will be crowded today, both with anglers AND kayakers.  [I have a pretty good rant against kayakers building up, but I’m going to save it for another time] With all my years on the streams, you can be sure I have built up a few secret spots.  One such secret spot is where I pointed my truck on Sunday.  This stream is known for marginal water quality, and plenty of non-trout species, but at least it is not on most anglers’ radar.  I have fished this stream on and off for many years, and know the subtle nuances of its waters. On the popular “name-brand” streams around here, [you know, the ones that start with “R” or “K”] every likely spot probably has a dozen or more fish in it, and it is easy to find a lot of fish.  But this creek is a place where you had better plan on covering a lot of water, as there just isn’t a high trout population...

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Now for my Next Impression…I’m a Walleye Guide!

There may not be any other event that defines Minnesota fishing like the Walleye Opener. Although the Minnesota fishing opener is a tradition long held sacred by many Minnesota anglers, for a variety of reasons I often skip it. I don’t skip fishing, of course, but usually in May I have North Shore steelhead to chase, bass season is open in Wisconsin, and this is just a magical time to be on a trout stream as the woods green up, the birds carry on with their birdy debates, and the trout rise freely. This year would be different. Word came out through social media this winter that additional “fishing hosts” were needed for this year’s “Governor’s Opener” to be held on famous Gull Lake at Nisswa.  Being someone who is often overly confident of his ability to fill the boat with fish in any situation, I offered up my services.  What the heck, I have lived in Nisswa before, and I’ve fished on Gull Lake a number of times.  [I realized when I got to the lake that hadn’t been there in at least 10 years, and couldn’t remember if I had ever actually caught a walleye there….] Thursday evening found me at the first meeting for all of us “Fishing Hosts”.  There were some nice, short speeches, and a great meal.  I couldn’t believe how many people I...

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Trout fishing is a family tradition

I can’t say for sure what the first year was that I fished the Wisconsin Trout Opener, very early 70s though.  Grandpa took me every year, and for the most part I haven’t missed an opening weekend since.  Grandpa has been gone for a while, but I do my best to keep the tradition going. At this time I  should say that if you are against fishing for trout with worms, or keeping some trout to eat on occasion, please read no farther.  I catch and release hundreds of trout a year on flies, that’s not what this day is about. I would really like to be out on the actual opening day [Saturday], but with two little girls there’s always gymnastics and birthday parties and such, so we made it out on Sunday.  The oldest one, Savannah, is a veteran trout angler by now, this is her 4th year of trouting.  This was the first year for Skylar, and the first year for Dad taking two kids to a trout stream.  A year or two ago, Savannah suffered some low to moderate emotional scarring after having to do a number 2 in the woods near a stream–tales of this episode had made it to Skylar, and she had a certain amount of concern over this possibility.  Just to be safe, we took our time getting  going on Sunday morning, allowing time for...

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