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Headwaters Fly Fishing Company Stream Reports - Southeast Minnesota Driftless

Current Reports for Southeast Minnesota Driftless:
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1/16/2021 - Winter Report from John Goplin 1/16

MN & WI report -
Minnesota Early Trout Season opened Jan. 1st in certain counties in SE MN and Wisconsin Early Trout Season opened Jan. 2nd (be sure to check the regs. before heading out).

With the lack of snow and mild weather, fishing has been really good and getting around the rivers has been easy. If you're thinking of heading out, probably the most important thing to remember is that the hatches are during the warmest time of the day. So no need to get out at the crack of dawn. Look for Midges and small Black Stoneflies this time of year. You'll see them crawling on the snow near the river or watch for birds eating them along the shores. If you see rising fish, try a Griffen's Gnat (size 16-20) and either traditional tie or parachute tie. For nymphs try the Zebra Midge (size 18-20) and mainly black. Also, try a two nymph rig with a larger lead nymph to get down in the deeper runs. Bead headed Pink Squirrels, Pheasant Tail etc. (size 12-16) work great. If you're looking for some larger fish, try throwing some streamers. I like to fish a Bead Headed Turkey Marabou Bugger or any dark colored bugger. Remember to fish streamers slow and deep this time of year. During this time of day the fish will be the most active whether you're looking for risers, nymphing, or throwing streamers.

Some early season tips -
1. Look for deep pools with a good run of fast water feeding it. Also, look for springs that will actually warm the water this time of year.
2. Slow down your presentation. Fish are not as active in the colder waters.
3. Dress in layers and use rubber sole wading boots (felt soles absorb water, freezes, and cracks off the boots). Warm socks are a must!!
4. On extremely cold days, try a Tenkara rod. No guides to freeze and can fish with mittens on.
5. Rig the outfit at home if possible (I've also put my waders on....and off....at home on the really cold days).
6. Remember Hand Warmers.

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