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Winter Fishing Reports

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It has been pretty nice out lately, but other obligations have kept me off the water until today (January 13). Granted, I would have rather had the weather from a few days ago, but it was pretty nice today anyway.

Fished from 10:30-1:00 and managed a dozen or so browns and a smattering of rainbows. The nicest fish was a very healthy 14 inch brown; most fish were 8-11 inches.

I fished an orange scud all day and didn't even attempt anything else. I fished in an area that is pretty heavily vegetated, so I did donate a few scuds to the trees...Most of the fish were not in the heads of the riffles but in the tailouts where the water was deeper.

I fished a 7'0" 3 weight, a new rod from St. Croix I picked up this fall in the bargain cave at Cabela's. It's optimal for heavy cover, but not much for ripping through the wind. I wouldn't say my casting was great today, which probably also accounted for spooking numerous fish - the wind and figuring out a new rod combined with some heavy obstruction are my excuses this time.

To me, the water level in the streams looked a bit low and the water was not gin clear, probably due to some melting and run off in the past few days.

Good luck to all if you get out.

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Sarge

So orange was the color!

I also made it out this weekend on saturday. The weather was great, about 36 degrees, at 2pm when I headed out.

The fish were extremely spooky, and were "schooled up" in the deeper parts of the runs, they were not in the shallow heads of the runs, but saw several in the shallows beside the holes. Polarized glasses are a must to get an idea of what the fish are doing.

I started off with a small floating rap. But I couldn't get any trout to come off the bottom to chase after it, So I switched to a 1/8 white rooster tail, and let it fall to the bottom before starting to bring it back, then worked slow, just fast enough to keep the blade working.

Managed two browners in about an hour with the rooster tails. And had a herd of 7 or 8 deer try to sneak past me ( you should have seen there reaction when I whistled!) all were does unless the bucks have already dropped their antlers. But it was a great day to be out and I didn't see as many other fisherman as the previous time out.

Did anyone get a water temp where they were fishing?

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Guest

I own two pairs of polarized glasses and am in the market for a third pair specifically for cloudy weather (a yellow shade). I would rather forget my favorite fly box at home than to forget my polarized glasses.

I too was sruprised at the lack of fishers out on Sunday - it certainly wasn't as nice as the previous days, but it was still pretty nice for January.

I bet you had to work at a pretty deliberate pace if you were throwing hardware (not necessarily jigs) to get the fish to strike since the water temperature was about 38 degrees.

Stick to scuds for all of you fly anglers. They have been producing all winter long, and will continue through the spring months.

P.S. On a sidenote, we just completed the second annual fly swap through my web page. Click on my profile to get to it. It's under the link of "On The Fly Swap Meet." Check out the Realistic Stonefly imitation. It will absolutely blow your mind! I have never seen anything quite like it ever!!

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Sarge

Smaller jigs may have been a better way to fish right now. As I said the fish would not move up to get a lure, and they would not move far to the side to get the lure. It had to be right in front of them moving pretty slow.

As far as losing tackle goes, It can almost be harder to fish around obstacles like trees in the winter, IMO, I always seem to catch that little twig that I didn't see, where in the summer there is usually some leaves on it to let you know its there.

Right now I have settled for a light amber polarized glasses. Pretty good over all. The darker ones make it really hard to see on cloudy days, and as long as you have a hat with a bill on it, the amber color have always been enough for my sensitive baby blues.

What specifically is a orange scud imitating?

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Guest

Scuds are a pretty dominant invertibrate - pick up some watercress in an area stream and chances are that you'll find some. They look like tiny freshwater shrimp, which they are. They proliferate like rabbits and are a great year round food source for trout.

They turn orange when they are dead. I like orange since it shows up well in dirtier water - somehow I think trout are attracted to it visually. Other popular colors include scuds in a natural state - cream, olive, gray, tan are common live scud colors.

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Sarge

Hopper, checked your site out, very nicely done!

I didn't see no hook in that stonefly, you sure you didn't take a picture of a real one? LOL

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Guest

Sarge,

Thanks for the kind words. I try to work at it to make it fun and informative. It's certainly not as fancy as this site or many others, but it's there as a fly fishing source for the area. I don't have a problem with any angling method, it's just that I prefer fly fishing.

That stonefly is so real, it's scarey. The guy who tied it is big into patterns, probably more than I am. I'm not patient enough to try those realistic patterns yet - I just tie what works.

With the onset of some reality based weather, I'll probably stick more to tying and less to fishing in the next week to ten days. I like the winter season, but not when the weather isn't somewhat cooperative.

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Sarge

I made it Saturday for a couple hours of trout fishing. Fishing was a little slow, but I managed two nice browners on spinners, and once again did not have any luck with raps.

Also brought the fly gear along to give the orange scud pattern a try. I missed two and landed one with this, and also lost two of the scuds, one to a tree and one to the bottom. So it goes. But it was a wonderful day to be out. There wasn't another person fishing in the whole park, SWEET!

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Guest

Fished one of the winter streams today from 10:30-12:30 and had good luck with an orange scud. A few midges began to appear as I was leaving, but there were no rises.
My travels took me to Lanesboro where there were plenty of people around. Did manage to find a piece of water to myself and had made about 10 casts when a canoer went through. Needless to say, I packed up shop and left. I understand canoeists have as much right ot the water as anglers, but it's frustrating to deal with them when you're trying to fish.

I drove out to Trout Run for a look around - many fish were visible from the roadways and a few were taking nymphs or emergers of some kind - midges or BWO perhaps.

The water was crystal clear, low, and roughly 42 degrees when I first started this AM.

Enjoy the great weather.

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Jimmy

If anyone needs a flyfishing partner I frequently flyfish the root myself.

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Much to my surprise, there were few people out on streams south of I90 today. I started on Camp Creek and ran into two guys with Illinois plates who were already leaving at 10:00 AM. Fished orange scuds there although there was a midge hatch by the time I left - didn't see many rises (water temp. at 10:00 was 44 degrees).

Went to the Root (water temp at 12:00 was 40 degrees) and finally got to fish it in solitude. Caught browns on Prince Nymphs, olive woolly buggers, and several on my own black stonefly creation. It began to rain as I finished up on the Root, but the wind subsided a bit compared to the AM hours. Fished my trusty five weight the entire day as the winds made casting something smaller a bit difficult.

All of the creeks that I have seen in the past two days are very clear and a bit below normal flows. The Root was not crystal clear but it was very clean.

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Jim W

Hopper,

Thanks for the continued reports throughout winter. I (I 'm sure others as well) am looking forward to your reports this "Season".
Still wouldn't mind an extra hand at Trout Day?? LEt me know.

Jim W

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Sarge

I took Leah down to Forestville this afternoon for a couple hours. There were quite a number of cars at the anglers parking at the upper end of the park.

So we headed down stream to find some less pressured water. And we had a Blast!! The water was fairly cloudy, the perfect conditon for spinners and raps. Water temps were between 43-45 degrees where we were, and the trout were hungry!

Had the first trout after 3 casts, and they just kept coming. Leah even got into the action, she had several nice follows and "zoomers" and lost one in the 15-16inch range which is pretty nice for this strech.

I don't know how the fly fishers faired in the cloudy water, but the trout went absolutely crazy over the flashy artificials(definately the best action this winter so far). So if the weather holds for sunday, there should be some excellent fishing again, so if you have been waiting, don't wait any longer, get out there!!

Get your lures deep and work them at a slow to moderate pace. The active fish were in the faster water 1 to 3 feet deep,with near by cover(rocks,and downed trees) Didn't catch any in the larger, slower pools. Instead of casting up stream, cast across or down stream, and keep it in front of them as long as possible. And if you go I may see you down there, we will probably go again sunday.

Good Luck!!

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