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Se MN River & Stream Fishing Reports

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I won't be able to make it up to SE MN for any more trout-fishing before the season closes, so here are some (not very good) photos from my last outings in Fillmore County two and three weeks ago.

This was a nice 15" Brown with a great kype; in my hurry to get him back in the water I didn't get a good picture.



Here was a 12" Brown who deserved a photo because of his outstanding color; again, the picture does not do it justice:



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  • 3 months later...

12/31/12 - Winter Trout Opener Eve


Jan 01 Sunny 15°/5°

Jan 02 Mostly Cloudy 26°/15°

Jan 03 Partly Cloudy 17°/4°

Jan 04 Partly Cloudy 25°/11°

Jan 05 Mostly Sunny 25°/13°

Jan 06 Mostly Cloudy 29°/21°

Jan 07 Partly Cloudy 30°/19°

Look for tough, bitterly cold conditions and a very limited number of people on the streams for tomorrows opener. That will likely all change over the next week or so with temperatures and conditions expected to improve over the next week

You can expect the streams to be low, and very clear. Trout will be finicky, likely holding in deep pools and the slower runs. With temperatures where they are, you will have a good chance of seeing a few midge hatches if you time it right. Keep your eyes on the snow for signs of any midge activity.

Long leaders, in the range of 9-13' are your best bet for good results. Heavily weighted nymphs, or small, slowly stripped streamers can be expected to produce well. Carry an assortment of nymphs and midge patterns such as Hares Ears, Brassies, Pheasant Tails, Copper Johns, Scuds (orange tends to work best). Also, if you find trout sipping bugs off the top, make sure you have a couple of simple midge emerger patterns or griffith gnats (18-22).

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Does anybody know of some streams with a lot of rainbows in it either MN or western WI? I fish for brooks and browns a lot but have only caught a couple rainbows before.

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Some of the larger streams in southeast Minnesota are stocked with rainbow--here is a list of streams in Fillmore County that got them in 2010:

Camp Creek

Rainbow Trout - 1,000 yearlings weighing 470.5 lbs.

Duschee Creek

Rainbow Trout - 2,400 yearlings weighing 1,081.0 lbs.

Lanesboro Park Pond

Rainbow Trout - 7,000 yearlings weighing 3,123.0 lbs.

Sportsmen's Park Pond

Rainbow Trout - 1,325 yearlings weighing 520.3 lbs.

Spring Valley Creek

Rainbow Trout - 1,250 yearlings weighing 590.0 lbs.

Willow Creek

Rainbow Trout - 400 yearlings weighing 182.9 lbs.

Wisel Creek

Rainbow Trout - 4,979 fingerlings weighing 69.3 lbs.

That information comes from the DNR Lake Finder site, which says no rainbows were stocked in Fillmore County in 2011: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/lakefind/showstocking.html?year=2010&county=Fillmore&species=RBT

If you target rainbow, keep in mind that they prefer live bait to artificial lures like spinners, more so than Brookie and Brownies.

I myself have not caught a rainbow in SE Minnesota in probably fifteen years, which is about when I stopped using nightcrawlers to catch trout.

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Do you know if hay creek, root river, or the whitewater river would give somebody a good chance for rainbows. there are some videos from jan 3rd of somebody releasing rainbows in SE MN on youtube. does any body know the name of that stream. this is a link to the guys blog it has some cool pics on it. http://onafly.blogspot.com/

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Hay Creek isn't stocked with Rainbows.

The Whitewater and Root are both stocked with rainbows though. Just pick a section and work it. Nearest the populated areas will give you your best chance at catching one. Remember though, it's C&R only on SE MN streams.

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  • 4 months later...

I got in about twenty minutes of trout fishing last Saturday morning in southeast Minnesota, so I am finally on the board for 2013. cool

It was a productive twenty minutes, though, as I caught probably twenty brook trout. Here are a few pictures from the fifty yards or so of small headwater stream I fished:

My first trout of the year:


My best fish of the morning, a brookie that went maybe 11":


I was hoping to get in more trout fishing last weekend, but between the rain, the morels, and various chores a twenty minute stop was all I got. Still a good start to the season for me.

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  • 1 month later...

Lots of changes after the floods. Hooked a new PB non-steel rainbow today and a mess of browns with a couple brookies. Roads looked worse than the streams where I was. Nice day to get out and wade in the hot weather.

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  • 1 month later...

A not-quite-random photo of a nice 15" brown I caught out of a small, less-heralded stream in Fillmore County last month:


I was up there again a couple weeks ago, but between the low clear water and the grasshoppers and small leopard frogs the trout-fishing was a little more challenging. I still caught some fish, but not like I did earlier in the summer.

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  • 1 month later...

A few pics from my last trout-fishing trip of the year a few weeks ago. The first few are from a trip to my favorite brookie headwater. The first one had a really nice red belly--I wish I had gotten a better picture of him.




This pool kicked out probably twenty brook trout. None were large, but they made up for it in numbers:


I also hit a Brown trout water, and did pretty well there, too. The water was still low and clear, but the fish were hitting far better than when I was there a couple weeks before. Here is one the fish I took there--my camera battery ran low, or I would have more pics:


It was all in all a nice way to end this year's trout season in southeast Minnesota.

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  • 7 months later...

With morel season still a few days off in Fillmore County, at least in my spots, I went to my backup plan and went trout-fishing this weekend. I had better luck with that than I did in hunting mushrooms. cool

Last night I hit one of the less productive streams in western Fillmore County because it was closer to where I was looking for morels. I found the fishing there a little slow. The trout seemed to be slurping stuff off the surface, but showed little interest in my spinners and small Rapalas until the sun was on the horizon. Then there was a little burst of activity that gave me three eating-sized Browns. Before then I only caught small trout and chubs.

This morning I hit a better stream east of Preston for the first time since it got tsunami'd last summer. The flooding definitely changed some things, but the trout were still there, and in a cooperative mood. I rounded out my limit, and threw back some more Brown trout in the eating range. They were quite eager to chase my silver and black spinner.

The streams were very low and clear for this time of year. That made for good fishing conditions. Ankle-high weeds on the bank and few bugs were nice as well. grin

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  • 3 months later...

And, my last trout-fishing trip of the year to Fillmore County this past weekend:

Plenty of nice Browns, with some males starting to show fall colors and kypes. Still no camera, so pictures will have to wait until I get them from my cell phone.

I owe the DNR an apology of sorts: I finally caught a brook trout out of Gribben Creek after years of catching only brown trout there. So there is at least one brookie in that stream. cool

The streams were pretty clear despite the recent rain. It was one of those outings where the tighter action of a small sinking Rapala in natural colors made for more hook-ups than a spinner. That is not unusual with clear water. In dirty water the spinner always outperforms a small crankbait for trout, in my experience.

I hit my favorite brook trout headwater, and found the action to be slower than normal. I didn't get there until mid-day, which may have explained that slump. There were plenty of fish in the stream--in the clear water I could see them--but they were not in a hungry mood. I caught four that were big enough to keep, so I had some deep red trout filets to grill that night. cool The bad news is that gill lice have definitely taken hold in that stream. frown

And, that will be it for trout fishing for me until morel season next year.

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  • 7 months later...

Since there have been no new posts on this topic for a few years, thought I would take a shot at getting it going again. (Or, has it changed names or locations?) Anyway, I was on the Root this past week and had a great time. Typically a nymph fisher, I finally gave in to all the rising trout and took the time to cut off my nymphs and tie on a couple dry flies. After trimming them to the "right size", I started getting take after take. A dozen nice sized rainbows and browns in an hour. Did the same thing the next night. Water levels are perfect. Maybe there have not been any new posts because no one fishes this area any longer; I saw no other anglers on the water. Perfect!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here's my first contribution for the 2015 trout season in southeast Minnesota--two trips under my belt so far.

I was up in Fillmore County to tend to some business a couple weeks ago, and found time to hit a small stream. I had to fish at mid-day under a bright clear sky with gin-clear water, which made for tougher fishing than normal. I still managed to keep three Brown trout while throwing back some smaller fish. Here is my first trout of the year:

This past weekend I made a day trip back home to the Harmony area to look for morels. One of my morel spots happens to be on a small headwater that holds a thriving Brook trout population. Attached are pictures of my first brookie of the year, and the largest of the day, an 11" fish. I kept a limit of brookies from there and will be grilling some deep red filets in a bit. I also found enough morels and asparagus to go with them. 

4-22-2015 11 Brownie.JPG

5-9-2015 First Brookie.JPG

509-2015 11 Brookie.JPG

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  • The topic was unpinned
  • 3 weeks later...

A few pictures from my last trout fishing outing for the season in SE Minnesota a couple weeks ago:

I had to work more than normal for the Brown trout, possibly due to the very low, clear water. Nothing remarkable about them.

I hit my favorite brook trout stream as well, and had a good morning there. No big fish, but some 10"-12" fish, plus plenty of smaller fish. One of them had a fiery red belly that was well worth a photo.

And those will be my last trout until morel season in 2016.

9-12-2015 Red Brookie.JPG

9-12-2015 10 Brookie.JPG

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  • 3 months later...

Worst trout season I've had in a long time this year. :crazy:

I couldn't get up to SE Minnesota much this past spring and summer, and when I was there constant rain made fishing difficult. I wasn't able to get out for one last hurrah before the catch and keep season ended last week, as the streams were unfishable.

Here are a few pictures from the two outings I did make in Fillmore County this summer to tide me over to 2017.

8-6-2016 Brownie C.JPG

8-6-2016 Brownie A.JPG

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  • 3 months later...

New to the forum. Glad I was able to find a good forum for trout fishing in the SE area! I had probably my best year of trout fishing this year on the whitewater. Here are a few that I managed to get throughout the year. The first one was in the 16" range and the second one was about 18". DSC_0321.jpgIMG_0137.JPGCSC_0308.JPGDSC_0369.jpg

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