- Stream Location: MN Driftless
- Water Temperature: 45 °F
- Distance Hiked: 4 miles
- What Worked Best: Dead drifting nymphs and stripping streamers
There is nothing like the intimacy, quietness, and solitude that you receive when fly fishing the Driftless Area streams alone. It truly is a magical place. On the other hand, fly fishing alongside a good friend has its incentives as well. You’re able to bounce off ideas, improve your tactics, and share new experiences together.
My friend, Darren, and I set out to explore a new stream. Darren just picked up fly fishing last season. He was eager to learn, but more importantly determined to succeed. It is no secret that fly fishing has one of the highest dropout rates of any sport, but like many things, as long as you listen and observe, you will succeed. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him grow and improve each outing we have. It’s exciting and motivating, and we always have a good time on the stream regardless of the conditions.
We arrived at a year-round catch & release section around 10:00 AM. The wind was howling, so we quickly put on our gear and rigged our rods. We worked an open section for awhile, making our way toward the area that’s closely shielded by two bluffs. This quickly cut down the majority of the wind.
This stream is loaded with quality trout-looking water and the temperature was a nice 45°. We promptly started seeing several hits on our nymphs and streamers. It was amazingly active for a cold winter day, no doubt being helped by the higher water temperature. As we continued working our way downstream, I received a positive strike. This one was decent size and fought hard. I worked him close to the bank and was just about to land him before he broke free. Oh well, less time spent releasing him and more time covering this great stream.
We came across a real nice hole that for sure had to hold some trout. Received hits on a few consecutive casts and landed a lil’ guy. We continued downstream, hitting the likely holes and still seeing action. Eventually we stopped to refuel and then headed back upstream to re-cover some runs. There’s a real neat run that bumps up to a long rock formation. It never gets old seeing the unique Driftless Area rock formations as you make your way along the stream. Sometimes, it’s these formations that’s the highlight of the day.
Continuing to make our way back to the car, we saw a bald eagle overhead, soaring above all else and following the path of the stream. It’s hard not to feel inspired and revived after a day on the stream.
– Spirit Streams