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mapache

Overwhelmed Newbie

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mapache

Hello folks, recently came across this and other MNfishing forums and have been driving the family crazy spending too much free time reading/learning so thanks for that. I have been playing around with fly fishing the last several years exclusively south of the border on baby tarpon, bonefish, permit. Still learning to cast worth a darn. Anyway, recently moved to MN and am very interested in the science, equipment, technique, etc of river fishing for trout, salmon in these parts. Info available seems a bit overwhelming and curious if there is one or two "perfect" books I should read to point me in the right direction. I need to figure out what rod, reels, waders, boots, vests, etc I really actually need and what is easily done without. Very interested in the entomology but not sure I have the desire to get a phd so something to dumb it down appreciated.

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so haaad

Welcome to FM, mapache. What area of the state will you be doing most of your flyfishing?

Everyone will have their own opinion as to rod selection, but if you are beginner and it's southeast MN flyfishing, then a 4, 5 or 6 weight rod in the 8-9 ft length is about right.

As far as books to look for, there are lots of "intro" books that you can find either in the public library or your book stores. I believe Orvis & L.L. Bean both have one out, but there are lots out there.

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mattbass

i'd like to tag along on the newbie fly fishing. i just got a 8'6", 5wt st croix rod last friday. i live in st paul & am looking for some places to fly fish. i know of a few in the river falls/western wi area but i'd be interested in some other ones. thanks!

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DEADhead

welcome mapache! to add to what so haaad said, if you are going to plan on fishing the trout and salmon streams in NW MN and NW WI you'll want a 9' or 10' 8 weight rod. There are several accomplished steelheaders that frequent this forum. I'm sure they'll chime in with some good info.

You might have your heart set on salmon and trout, but it might be worth considering fishing for other species. MN has some great pike and muskie waters, bass and panfish on the fly can be a blast, and my personal favorite is targetting roughfish like buffalo, redhorse, carp, and other suckers on the fly. With so many waters and different species in MN, why limit yourself to just a few species? ;\)

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DinkADunk

Well, start hanging out at some of the area fly shops. Bob Mitchel's in Lake Elmo is good for the W. Wisconsin streams (Rush, Kini) - good info, fly's that work, and a decent way of spending a Saturday morning. For Steelhead fishing go up to the Fly Angler (aka Thorne Brothers) and hang with those folk's. You'll also see them up on the Brule when it's time to play with the chrome critters. The SE Minnesota streams are covered on a lot of internet boards besides this one. Bently's is a pretty good place to press the flesh on SE info. For trout fishing W. Wisconsin and SE Minnesota I prefer a slower action 4wt (or a 1wt for Trico falls), and an 8wt when I'm up on the Brule. The 6wt usually comes out for transitional water (i.e. trout upstream, bass downstream), lake fishing, or playing with bass and panfish which are a hoot on a fly rod.

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DEADhead

if you want good info on north shore streams talk to the guys at the great lakes fly co. (brian) porter frequents this site and is a guide there. a bunch of stand up guys over at that shop...

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mattbass

once i get the casting down, i'd love to go bass fishing with my fly rod. i'm really looking forward to fly fishing. after a few years of walleye fishing with one of my friends, i'm ready for something else!

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Nate McVey

I took a midnight float with the above mentioned Porter (illtakewhaticanget) and Kent (quickstrike) near Duluth last year chasing smallies with the flyrod. All I can say is what a blast!!! Nothing like huckin' buggers and poppers at the bank under a full moon and listening to the smallies attack the fly. Like deadhead said, check out that shop if you are looking for info. up this way.

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Muddog

Go to http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/index.html click on fishing. At the bottom of the page, click on Trout streams. then click on the area you want to look at. The DNR was handing out books with all the maps in it a Cabelas last weekend.

When casting, remember that the speed of your line comes from the last part of your cast. In other words when bringing your rod forward just get your line going forward untill you hit 12 o'clock then add the power snap to the 10 o'clock position. If you do this to early your leader will hang low and hit flyline (Tailing loop) and tie knots in your line. Remember if you start your loop on the way up your loop will be high. This I think is the hardest thing to reprograme. Try not to sweep the rod tip in a big arc. nice short movements from 10 o'clock to 1 o'clock.

I know alot you already know this. If you have something to add I'm sure there are people out there willing to read it.

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mapache

Thanks for the comments. As far what area of the state, it depends. I live in Mpls, have cabin near Walker, friends with Cabin on North Shore and in Michigan UP so hope to fit in time when possible at all of the above.

Couple more questions:

1. My bonefish road is 8wt, Any reason that won't work for trout/salmon?

2. I'm all for collecting equipment, one of my downfalls actually, but what is a reasonable range of rods/reels? i.e. 8wt, 6wt, 4wt, or do you "need' every one depending on the situation. Currently also have a 5wt cabelas rod I've used for panfish but it's a bit soft.

3. Muddog, appreciate the comment on the tailing loop. I think I have this problem. But also have fly or line too often buzzing my ear on the forward cast. Any easy answer to that, suspect I am getting my rod too flat on backcast vs stopping at 1o'clock.

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erickol

Welcome. As for local books that might help:

Upper Midwest Flies that Catch Trout, by Ross Mueller (Amherst press)

Wisconsin and Minnesota Trout streams, Humphrey and Shogren (Backcountry)

Trout Fishing in Southeast Minnesota, John Van Vliet (Highweather Press)

I cant spell the name or remember book names, but Rich Osthoff? (sorry I butchered it) his stuff is awesome!

These are a good place to start.

Humphrey and Shogren for flavor and an interesting cross section of angling possibilities with plenty of wittisiscm and observation. Mueller has a great detailed approach and is very effective in getting accros the detailed observation and skill needed to really fish smaller spring creeks fully.

Bentley's is a great resource and should have some or all of these books. Bob Mitchell's fly shop in lake Elmo is another great place for a person to go. It's my favorite shop in town, even though I only get there sporadically at best.

The 8wt rod might come in great for steelhead on the north shore, but shoot for an 9ft five weight if you want a go to rod for 95% of MN trout and general fishing. I fish a 3wt on most of the smaller spring creeks, but a 9ft 5wt is money.

Although gear is great to have and I like stuff when I can afford it, but you can really fish the [PoorWordUsage] out of most of MN trout streams and rivers with a pretty low input of funds. If you want to spend money wisely, try treating yourself to a casting lesson or clinic. Sounds corny, and I should probably head my own words, but that is a heck of a way to get going on the right foot and meet some great contacts! Flyangler, bentleys and Bob Mitchells all offer these I believe.

And although trout are awesome, in Minneapolis you aresurrounded by so many warmwater flyfishing possibilities it is boggling! The Mississippi river alone can keep you occupied for the rest of your days. Don't forget the carp and others that swim nearly everywhere around here! Man... I'm getting all sweaty thinking about it.

Anyway, Welcome to MN fishing

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so haaad

Yep, lots of people use 7 or 8 wt rods for steelies.

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Muddog

If you stop yor back cast at the 1 o'clock position to keep your line up high and give your line that little power flick on the way down to 10 o'clock you should have the buzzing of your ear licked.

Just remember, At the point when you would let go of the line on a spinning or casting outfit is where the flick and speed of the line occurs. The tailing loop will tell you if you started the flick to soon. It sound easy but the only way to program this is Practice, Practice, Practice. 15 min a day for a couple weeks and you should have it down. I wouldn't Practice over 15 min though!

I just love 3-4wts. A 12in rainbow can put on a real show on a 9ft 4wt. That fish has speed.

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UncleKes

Mapache: The State of Minnesota DNR used to have a Trout Kit listing all the trout streams and lakes and such in the state. All you had to do was mail or phone in and ask for it. I would suggest you call them or write them and ask them if it is still available and have them send it out to you.

I concur with the others about hanging out at Either Thorne Brothers or Bob Mitchell's.. Both are excellent places to get lots of good info.

Having said that, The bad news is this. Minnesota is NOT really good trout water. Trout are mostly a non indigenous specie in this state. The reason for this is simple. Most of the lakes, rivers, creeks and ponds in Minnesota are Prairie water and the water in them is just a bit to warm to support trout.

However, as you know their are areas of the state where we do have trout. The Northeast corner of the State and the limestone streams down in the South Eastern part.

I cannot think of a better way to perfect your casting then on panfish. Sunfish, crappie, perch, rock bass. Panfish are a real trip! They fight hard and are easy to catch. Even the small ones will give you a real tussle.

After you had learned to catch pan fish you might want to consider casting for bass. This is big boy fly fishing though so if you are not prepared for broken tippets, lost flies, and fish waving goodbye at you as they break your heart my advice is to stay home, read a good book and drink lots of hot cocoa.

Bass are as addictive as trout and easier to come by in Minnesota. You don't have to drive great distances to fish them either. Both smallmouth and largemouth are available probably within a few miles of where ever you are in Minnesota.

And they make excellent practice for when you do go after Trout.

Talk to the people at Bob Mitchell's or Throne Brothers or one of the other Fly Fishing shops mentioned above. The Pro's who work their will steer you right!

Good Luck!

Tight Lines;

Uncle Kes

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mapache

You've all been very helpful. Will keep my eyes open for a 3 or 4 wt at the fly fishing expo. Have never tried bass with fly but good suggestion. Still like catching them big ens though.

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mattbass

how are some of the city lakes for fly fishing (nokomis/harriet)? i live real close to those & the ford dam. i fish the ford dam area a lot from shore. i've fished nokomis a few times with no luck. but never fly fished

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erickol

I live between Harriet and Calhoun, so tend to spend some time there. They are both great, and both get enough people so that when shore flyfishing you need to watch your back casts. You can find spots, and wade too. A canoe is a great way to flyfish these lakes too. Bass, crappie, bluegill, pumpkinseeds, muskie carp are are able to be had on the fly rod here.

Early morning is a real nice time to hit these lakes or crumby weather as the number of other folks is lower.

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mattbass

now that i have some waders i'll definitely be fishing harriet/calhoun/nokomis more, even if it's just with a normal rod/reel. . i don't have a canoe :-(

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JoshM

Hey deadhead what kind of flies do you use for carp i want to try that this spring can you explain some patterns for me thanks.

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DEADhead

look at the fly patterns thread. Every one of those flies I posted will catch carp. They will take most nymph patterns, as well as wooly buggers, crawfish patterns, even a clouser minnow.

Probably the best thing to do when starting out carp fishing is to work on the accuracy of your casts, especially in the wind. Presentation is just as important with carp as it is with carp, so try to avoid splashing the fly on the water when casting.

Go look for some backwater areas, especially in sloughs and in river systems where carp are present and look for tailing fish. Cast a nymph in front of them, using an indicator is helpful, and keep an eagle eye for any movement of your line or indicator. Sometimes you just need to guess and use your sixth sense to set the hook. If you connect set the fly hard using a strip strike, if the carp misses your fly there's a good chance it will come back to hit it again. If you do connect with a carp, hang on! Once you hook a carp, there's no going back ;\)

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erickol

JoshM,

Check these threads out from CAG on flyrod carping. The swap and swap patterns threads are the ones I mean. Many have fishing and tying instructions too.

[Note from admin: Please read forum policy before posting again. Thank you.]

\Sorry about that.

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UncleKes

I live in Fridley just north of Minneapolis on the Mississippi River so I wade the river for smallmouth bass and sometimes pike and panfish. I don't keep the fish I catch out of the river although the river has been cleaning itself up since they have started enforcing the water quality standards. I even will occaisionally see a crayfish along the banks and that is something I have not seen in that stretch of the river since I was a boy back in the 1950's.

This stretch of river runs from the Coon Rapids dam to the 694 broige and has a surprizing number of species in it from carp to catfish to walleyes, pike, muskies, you name it! If it swims and eats and is native to this area, you can find it here.

That plus the fact that Thorne Brothers is 3 blocks from where I live and Bob Mitchell's just a short drive makes it quite attractive for Fly Fishing.

I also have lots and lots of lakes nearby and the Rum River at Anoka is just 13 miles North of me. I see few people fly fishing this stretch of river. Lots of people drowning minnows from shore but few people casting flies!

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Muddog

Erickol, Thank you for the tip on, Upper Midwest Flies that Catch Trout, by Ross Mueller (Amherst press). It will come in handy and cut down the learning curve considerably. It's a good thing I have new glasses. A size 16-18 Blue-Winged Olive isn't easy to see. Looking at one of them you start to wonder if a 3wt might be to big. \:D

I went to Canfield Creek (Forestville State Park) Sunday. I had a hard time finding a place to shake a stick but learned alot. Next time I'm there I'll have to walk up to the Big spring. My guess is the water temp will be 52-54 :/.

Thanks again.

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erickol

Yeah, I opened a box this winter with my size 20-26 sz BWO patterns. Cripples, parachutes etc..... I only tied them a couple of years ago, but my eyes have gone south enough that trying to discern the detail on them was tough~! getting old sucks. I'm gonna have to get a threader someday too.

Glad to hear you got out on the water. Funny how small some of those streams look when you are trying to fish them. Especially in late summer when the brush is all the way up. Sure helps to remind me how creative one can get to fish certain spots, and how "traditional" casting doesn't prepare you for all the situations you'll encounter.

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macgruber

your 8 weight will work fine for trout/salmon near superior..... your five weight will undoubtedly work fine for trout in se mn.....

you can get by fine with an 8 wt. and a 5 wt for the salmonids.... i'd stick to the 8 wt. if you choose to go for bass and rough fish, 5 will work for pannies (slightly overmatched for bass-- you throw big flies), though it's a little on the heavy side...... when you feel like you are getting the hang of it, go and grab a 4 or 3 weight for trout and panfish..... makes the fighting part much more fun.....

good luck..... have fun

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      I got out on the Cass Lake chain this weekend with a group of 10.  We found walleyes still hanging out shallow and scattered.   Jigging with shiners or gulp in 4-10 fow got several walleyes in the livewell.  With the heavy wind we also had a good daytime crank bite.  In the evening trolling cranks was productive as well.  Saturday morning I stuck a 43" musky trolling for eyes. Not a great photo but I was fishing by myself and wanted to get it released quickly. Panfish were hard to pin down with them bouncing shallow and then disappearing with each weather change.  With wind gusting to 25+ miles per hour finesse presentations were difficult. Water temps ranged from 53-60 degrees.
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