Picking Up Where I Left Off – January 2, 2013

  • Stream Location: MN Driftless
  • Air Temperature: 20 °F
  • Water Temperature: 40 °F
  • Distance Snowshoed: 3.25 miles
  • What Worked Best: Dead drifting nymphs


After having to cut the day short on January 1st, there was no question where I’d be going on January 2nd.  I got an early start and targeted two different streams for the day.  First, I wanted to pick up where I left off which was the stream that I can still so clearly hear, “Snap!”.


There was no way I was going to let that perfect hole go unfished and there was still a lot of that stream that I needed to explore.  After selecting my fly and fixing my tippet, I strapped on my snowshoes and made a beeline for you know where.  I meandered my way through the fallen trees and carefully avoided the slippery log.  Once arriving to the hole, I noted the many obstacles both around and above that would inhibit my cast.  Taking that into consideration, I shortened my flip cast but still giving it enough power to send it into the lane I was targeting.  Just as anticipated, this produced the first trout of the day on the first cast of the day.  Almost on consecutive casts, I landed another couple trout out of this perfect hole.  There was a lot of stream to cover today, so it was time to move on.


I’m really impressed with this stream.  It’s got a solid flow, good runs, riffles, and deep pools.  It should be a strong performer during all four seasons.  I had some more luck in the holes upstream and decided it was time for a coffee break.  This picture to the right really captures the winter Driftless Area fly fishing experience – open stream, fly rod, coffee, and snowshoeing.  It’s stuff like this that truly makes me feel wealthy beyond measure.


It was about 1:00 PM, so I packed up and moved onto stream #2.  This one was narrower and colder.  It had a solid flow and good runs, but I believe most of the trout moved from this tributary to the main stream during winter.  There just wasn’t enough of the deeper pools to justify holding a decent number of trout.  No doubt though, this one will be a regular season producer.


The highlight of this stream was seeing two trout rising to midges.  Yes, trout rising on January 2nd.  It’s a beautiful thing; I could sit here and watch them keep picking the midges off all day.  Midges are one insect that hatches year-round.  If you’re out fishing during the winter, often you will see them crawling on the snow.


I continued snowshoeing upstream so I could get a good feel for the stream and then retreated back to the car.  Broke down my rod, packed up my stuff, and hit the road.  A nice, long drive back home reflecting on another winter day well spent along the Driftless Area streams.


– Spirit Streams

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