Author: Chris Hansen

Spring Trout Fishing Trip to SE Minnesota

A foot of snow fell in southern Minnesota this week, seemingly ruining my plans for a recon trout trip I was going to take with Savannah.  I figured the runoff would have blown out all the streams, but somehow it melted off slowly enough for the streams to be flowing clear.  A call down to Whitewater State Park confirmed that the snow was mostly gone, and the streams were in good shape.  I used to fish the Minnesota streams a bit, but never as much as the Wisconsin streams.  But since the past few outings to Wisconsin have been...

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Any day on a trout stream is great…but some days are just…greater?

    It troubles me that I am going into this trout season with a genuine lack of enthusiasm.  I’m still looking forward to walking the creeks, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells, but I just know the trout catching is going to be off.  For reasons I’m not going to get into here, my two favorite streams [the Upper Kinni and the Willow] are seriously hurting in the trout population department, and it’s going to be a few years before it improves.  So for catching, that leaves the Rush, or maybe the lower Kinni.  Not that these...

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Lake Mille Lacs — A New Beginning?

While the Minnesota Walleye Council isn’t going to officially release the new walleye regulations for Mille Lacs until next week, I was lucky enough to arrange an interview with their spokesman, Carl Marques for a sneak peek. A little background on the Mille Lacs fishery. Minnesota has more anglers per capita than any other state.  And while many of our anglers pursue bass, muskies, trout, or panfish, walleye fishing is what comes to mind for most when you mention fishing in the North Star State.  You could name off any number of walleye destinations in Minnesota, lakes like Leech, Winni, or Gull to name a few come to mind.  But none of the 10,000 lakes in our state can hold a candle to Mille Lacs when it comes to representing our iconic walleye fishing. “Mille Lacs” is French for “1,000 lakes”.  This is a pretty accurate description, since Mille Lacs sprawls over 132,000 acres–about the same size of 1,000 small lakes, and it has been estimated than when it was at its peak in the 80’s that the walleye population was as high as 1,200 per acre, which equated to a walleye population of over 15 MILLION WALLEYES!  Fast forward to the 20-teens, and the population has dwindled to less than a tenth of that number.  No one seems to know for sure who or what is to blame...

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2015–a look back

2015 — a look back It seems like I’ve got it in my head that 2015 was a terrible fishing year for me.  As a dad, a homeowner, a landlord, an employee, and an actual grownup, I sure don’t have the time to get out like I used to.  Although part of that is that I don’t NEED to catch fish like I used to.  What the heck, Wisconsin trout season just opened, and I haven’t even considered going, and probably won’t for at least a month.  The fact that favorite trout stream went to crap doesn’t help, but more on that later. And for someone who doesn’t “fish that much anymore”, I sure do fish a lot.  I was explaining to an old friend, “It’s frustrating to not get out much anymore.  I only made it out one night last week, and only one half day on the weekend.  I did go on a short trip out of town the weekend before that, but otherwise…”  Now I notice my friend has a WTF look on his face that says “You still fish more than anyone I know”. Fish smarter, not harder might be my mantra now.  I don’t do a lot of exploratory stuff anymore, and really try to focus on what I can depend on.  But I somehow still manage to add some new spots to the...

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A Product Whose Time has Come?

I had this emailed to me the other day, Sounds like these guys have done their homework–I think they’re on to something.   November 23, 2015 From the offices of Specialty Products International, Latrobe, Pennsylvania For Immediate Release: At last a truly new and unique product for the fly fishing community, and we are extending an offer to be a part of it. Our passion for fly fishing is like a flame that cannot be extinguished—in fact it grows larger each day, no matter the weather, no matter what is happening in our personal lives, there just isn’t anything as important to us as fly fishing. And since we are already established in the business world as masters of manufacturing and procuring unique, high quality goods, it is only natural that we expand our expertise into the world of fly fishing. Our organization, Specialty Products International, has dedicated a considerable amount of research to this, and after many days of research, interviews, and focus groups we have settled on a product that is a long time in coming. Obviously, we are active in all the forms of social media—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and countless message boards. One thing we have noticed is that there seems to be something that fly fishermen love more than getting pictures of their fish–it is getting pictures of themselves with the cork grip of their...

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