The KIAP-TU-WISH Chapter, based in Hudson and River Falls, are conducting their annual Spring Fundraiser and Silent Auction. You can find everything from a guided Musky trip to a box of hand-tied flies to a tour of a bamboo rod workshop. To see everything on offer, click here.
Our friends at the Gitche Gumee Chapter are raising funds by raffling off a piece of history: a bamboo rod with a reel seat made from an oak tree that was on the property where TU was founded. Help them support native brook trout in the Northwoods, and protect the migratory fish that inhabit Lake Superior! $10 a ticket, with a cap of 250 tickets. Sounds like the odds are pretty good.
Last night, TCTU's board passed a resolution to support removal of the two Kinnickinnic River dams within the City of River Falls, Wisconsin. Long-term monitoring has shown that the dams contribute to downstream warming of the Kinni, putting stress on this renowned coldwater fishery. The lower Powell Falls dam is the first planned for removal, possibly within the next two years if funding allows. We look forward to working with the Kinni Corridor Collaborative, the Kiap-TU-Wish chapter of Trout Unlimited and other partners to support this effort in the coming months. Stay tuned to learn how you can help!
TCTU will hold elections for the Board of Directors during the Annual General Meeting scheduled for January 25th at 7 pm. To participate in the meeting and vote for Board Members, you must be a chapter member in good standing with dues paid.
If you are a chapter member in good standing, you should receive an email invitation to the meeting by January 15th. Due to the spread of the Omicron variant, the meeting will be held over Zoom. If you feel you are entitled to vote but do not receive an email by January 15th, please contact email@example.com. If you would like to join TU or renew your membership so that you can vote, please visit https://www.tu.org/memberships-and-giving/
by Evan Griggs
Winter trout catch and release season is right around the corner! Both Minnesota and Wisconsin seasons open on Saturday, January 1st 2022. Dodge, Goodhue, Fillmore, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Wabasha, and Winona counties in MN, and all of Wisconsin will be open for catch and release fishing. Whitewater, Forestville, Beaver Creek Valley state parks, as well as in-town sections of Preston, Lanesboro, Rushford, Spring Valley, and Chatfield, MN- and northeastern Iowa- are all open to fishing year-round. This is a wonderful time to fish and explore our driftless streams, and fishing can be quite good. With a lack of foliage and angling pressure, this is a great time to try new spots and enjoy the scenery. There are some special tips and tricks I’ve found over the years that anglers should keep in mind to ensure success and safety while fishing during the winter.
First published in April 2020.
If you can’t make it out on the stream, the next-best way to connect with trout during the pandemic is by reading a good book about fishing. We enlisted Jim Holden, a former high school English teacher and trout fishing nut, to put together a review of his favorite books about Midwestern trout fishing. Jim has himself written a gem of a book about trout fishing in Minnesota. Titled “Heron Thieves, A Bat Out of Hell, and other Fly Fishing Stories, Essays and Poems”, it is a delightful selection of stories that will make you laugh and teach you a few things about the personalities involved in developing the sport of trout fishing in Minnesota. If you’d like to order a copy for ten bucks plus postage, contact Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1785 Scottish poet Robert Burns penned these words which seem particularly relevant in this time of the great pandemic: “The best laid schemes o’ Mice and Men gang aft agley.” Translated into idiomatic English the words “gang aft agley” might read “go often askew/awry.”
First published in November, 2018.
It used to be that Minnesotans who wanted to fish for trout from October through December had to head to Iowa until the special catch-and-release season opens on January 1 in southeastern counties. But since 2014, year-round catch-and-release fishing has been available in three state parks: Whitewater, Beaver Creek and Forestville. And in 2017, the regulations were extended to streams within the city limits of Chatfield, Lanesboro, Preston and Spring Valley.
Although I haven’t yet fished the towns or Beaver Creek, I have made a few trips to Forestville and Whitewater this fall, and found good fishing.
First published in Sept. 2018
Patches of mist hung over on the water on a late August morning as a bald eagle flew upstream on an unknown mission. A doe and her nearly grown fawn stepped into the water to drink. Small black duns began to rise from the water, accompanied by rise forms in a pool upstream. I replaced my beadhead nymph with a #22 Trico dun, waded carefully to the tail of the pool, and began making short casts, silently willing the fly not to drag. After several botched presentations, I finally found a trout gullible enough to take my fly, and, after a short fight an 11” brown was in my net.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a tippet was originally “A long narrow slip of cloth or hanging part of dress, formerly worn, either attached to and forming part of the hood, head-dress, or sleeve, or loose, as a scarf or the like.”
This delightfully anachronistic name is accompanied by an equally anachronistic measurement system. Until the mid-20th century, tippets were made by drawing strands of silkworm gut through progressively smaller die holes. Sizes ranged from 0x (undrawn gut), at 0.011” down to 5x (drawn five times) at 0.006”. For reference, a human hair is approximately 0.001”. With the invention of Nylon in 1938, synthetics quickly replaced silkworm gut, and tippet sizes now range as fine as 8x, at 0.003”, although I’ve never heard of anybody fishing anything finer than 7x. I’ve also never heard an angler refer to a tippet size in inches, and I suspect there are only a few hard-core gnurds who know or care about the actual size of tippets.
For a cool 16-minute video showing restoration work being done on Trout Run Creek in Southeast Minnesota, click here. It shows the importance of connecting the stream with the floodplain, and the coordination involved between all the different actors in a successful restoration.