- Stream Location: MN Driftless
- Air Temperature: 28 °F
- Water Temperature: 38 °F
- Other Conditions: Sunny, no wind, not another angler seen all day
- Distance Hiked: 3.75 miles
- What Worked Best: Today was the breakthrough performance by The Red Storm. Later in the day, letting dries fly high was the name of the game.
The chosen stream for today was one that had been on my radar for some time. To be honest, I mainly wanted to pursue this stream to see the supposed large rock formation that parallels the stream for a decent distance. If I caught a few trout, that would be nice but the formation is what lured me in.
I awoke early on Saturday, March 23rd wanting to get a good start to the day. Made some oatmeal and filled the Stanley thermos full of coffee. It was over an hour drive to the stream in Minnesota, but the anticipation made the drive feel like half that. After seeing the first glimpse of the stream in my car, I began searching for this rock formation. I followed the road upstream for quite a ways then saw the road curve to right in between a tall rock on either side of the road. As I drove through this rock cut, I looked to the right then the left. Yep, that’s it. Got out of the car, pieced together the rod, threaded the line through the guides, tied on The Red Storm, threw on the pack, situated the lanyard, and hiked upstream. While approaching the stream, the rock formation became more and more impressive. It not only reaches great heights, but it also stretches down a good length of the stream. I don’t know what it is, but fishing alongside rock formations like these just puts you in a zone; focus is so clear. I didn’t know it yet, but today would be a banner day.
The second hole hit of the stream was a nice deep pool that developed into a solid run. If I was going to get a trout anywhere, it would be here. On the first cast, I worked The Red Storm along the closest bank and quickly a brown attacked it. On the next consecutive three casts, three more browns were landed. Before moving onto the next hole, yet another brown was landed. Wow, that was some start!
Continuing downstream I realized additional strikes and landed more browns. I followed the rock formation all the way until the stream changed course and curved to the left. This opened up to a clear pasture containing more perfect trout holes. One in particular was an amazing run that had an undercut bank closest to me. I worked The Red Storm along this undercut bank and suddenly a large brown appeared and tried slamming the fly allowing its big mouth to emerge from the water. Dang, that would have been a nice one! I followed the meandering stream enticing trout after trout to nail The Red Storm. This fly was like candy to these trout today. It was something else.
Later in the day, I moved downstream to cover a different section. Eying the first hole I saw trout rising, many trout rising. I sat on the bank and added some 4x and 5x tippet to my leader and tied on a Miracle Midge. I sent a few false casts then let it rest on the surface. Carefully watching the size 18 fly float into the feeding ground I saw a rainbow, almost in slow motion, work it’s way up to sip the fly. Next I sent a cast up into the current where it was pushing the trout feed into the stream trough. Immediately a large one took. This one was nice. The speckled black spots placed perfectly down its entire length. The olive-green hue. The red bottom fins. The pink stripe. Yes, that is perfection that only nature’s brush can paint.
In the zone. Completely in the zone. Today was a banner day in so many ways. To find the giant rock formation. To land just shy of thirty trout. To entice just shy of ten trout on a dry. To be in awe of the colors and patterns and perfection that only a trout can have. To be fly fishing. Nope, nowhere else I’d rather be.
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