Author: Chris Hansen

Muskie on a Fly? Totally Doable. Right in your backyard.

You want to catch a muskie on a fly?  No one said it was going to be easy.  Or did they?  Be sure that I didn’t.  You want to catch a lot of fish?– I suggest a trip to one of our fine local spring creeks, this time of year the hatches will keep the trout feeding and your four weight bent all day.  Or consider a foray for panfish in one of the thousand lakes within a couple of hours of the Twin Cities—if you tried you could get into triple digit numbers in a half day of...

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Since I’m a Guide…I Think I’ll Just Guide Myself!

  “PLOP” I watched one of my last jigs disappear into the swirling green water I was standing in.  It had slipped through my shaking fingers when I was retying after releasing the biggest snook I had ever caught.  I should have been mad, but I just chuckled and barely even considered trying to recover it out of the thigh-deep water.  Still thinking about the big snook, I pulled my jig box out of my pack and selected a similar model, and my fingers were still trembling a bit as I knotted it onto what was left of my...

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Middle Dam

There is a special place not far from here, known by many as Willow River State Park. Before I had ever been there, I knew it as Middle Dam.   My grandpa was a retired teacher who fished a lot, and often talked of this place.  Surprisingly, for how much he fished, he never once set foot in a boat.  His fishing haunts were comprised of various locations in western Wisconsin, mostly in the Hudson/River Falls/ Somerset area.  For a shore fisherman, it is hard to do better than this area, there is a multitude of streams, rivers and lakes offering access to good fishing for the boat impaired.  Grandpa lived in the Twin Cities, and I would spend much of my summers at his house, and we would travel to the various Wisconsin haunts on many summer days.   On the trips there and back he would often tell tales of fishing with his son or with some of his students, many of the stories I had heard so many times I think I knew them better than him.  One common theme from these old stories was fishing at a mythical place called “Middle Dam”.  Based on the info from these stories [these stories mostly took place in the 60’s], Middle Dam had populations of fish beyond what a ten year old could comprehend.  I imagined what a mecca this fantastical...

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DNR Announces Celebrity Fundraiser to Combat Invasives

 As we enter the year 2015, we need to realize more than ever how important it is to keep our great state free of evil aquatic invasives.  I’m sure by now you’ve heard the horror stories of how some of these organisms have already fouled our waters.  The Eurasian Milfoil in some metro lakes is so bad that it isn’t even safe to swim anymore.  The weeds are so thick that fishing has become impossible, and no one is even sure if there are even any fish left living in some the more infested lakes.  You can’t launch a...

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Is this the Final Fly Fishing Frontier?

 Are you out of fish to catch? What’s left on your fly fishing bucket list?  Steelhead, pike, striped bass?  These are pretty simple, you could probably catch all 3 on one trip without a boat if you planned it right.  How about things like tarpon, king salmon, muskie, sailfish, or other commonly pursued trophy fly rod trophies?  These are a little tougher, but still easily accomplished with minimal resources and a little time.  What about marlin? Trevally?  Taimen? How about a tigerfish? These are the kinds of fish that we’re talking about!   Fish that really require a high level of commitment—both physical and financial.  If you are seriously running out of fish to target on your next big trip, or just really want to have one up on your fishing buddies, have I got a trip for you!   What if you could target a trophy fish with a fly rod, that is still off everyone’s radar?  It’s not going to be easy or cheap, but most things worthwhile aren’t. Success is far from guaranteed, your personal safety may be in danger the entire time, and the budget of this will surely exceed that of the last several trips you’ve gone on combined.  A hundred years ago, this fish was unknown to man.  Many people have still not heard of it, very few have actually seen one, even fewer...

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