Driftless Trout Anglers

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Southern Minnesota Trophy Trout 8/28/13 Options
#1 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 7:39:49 AM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
Kschaefer3 invited me to go exploring some new trout water in Southern Minnesota with him this last Sunday and it was an opportunity that I felt would be hard to pass up. I am really glad that I accepted his offer and was there to meet Sunday morning shortly after 4am at our prearranged meeting point in Inver Grove Heights. If you are ever in a position where you need to park your camper for the night, sleep in your car, or leave a vehicle for the better part of a day; I have found that there are few better places than a Wal-Mart parking lot.

I remember a sunny spring day that occurred in Southern Minnesota on the 2012 trout mouth opener. I had fished a short section of water in the early part of the day with one of my close friends whom I've known since the 6th grade when we struck up a conversation about fishing while paging through the latest issues of "In Fisherman" and "Field and Stream" in the Chisago Lakes Middle School Library. I remember when we were leaving to go visit another place I glanced back over my shoulder and imagined to myself what might be beyond the next bend as that water disappeared into some nearby hills.

So when Kschaefer3 informed me that this place that is so ingrained in my memories was the place that he had in mind I was ecstatic. "There's gold in them there hills!" I remarked so positive that my friends choice would result in our simultaneous induction to the Freshwater Fly Fishing Hall of Fame. Not to mention seats at the first table at the National Streamer Fishing Congress. I could see myself sitting beside Kelly Galloup discussing the finer points of hook selection in relation to streamer design while Kschaefer3 would be sitting across from me conversing with Bob Clouser about streamer stripping methods for weary trout.

We arrived at our destination shortly after first light. This place was just like I remembered it except for that the last time I was here there wasn't all these seven foot tall weeds everywhere. Venturing upstream I swear I could detect the smell of trophy browns as the cool morning air circulated into and out of my nostrils.

It was less than two years ago while on a visit to the Fly Angler in Blaine Minnesota I remember a conversation I had with one of the friendly gentlemen that work there about what flies would be a good choice for that time of the year on the Kinni. He rattled of some names of dry flies that could have included Pale Morning Duns and Blue Wing Olives. Then I think he mentioned a few of the more popular nympths like Pink Squirrels and Red Copper Johns. I was probably thinking that my question was one of every fly shop workers favorites. "Some guys are catching them on streamers" I recall him saying as I could tell he was already getting bored with the sound of his own voice. There comes a time in probably every persons life when they feel that they should probably know what something is but they don't. It is at this juncture when they can either pretend to be smart or reveal their naivety by asking a question that they know will make them look like an idiot. The word "Streamers?" exited my mouth and before I had a chance to figure out something cool to say I uttered, "What are streamers?". I could tell that it took all the energy he could muster not to roll his eyes at the combination of words I had just voiced. He went on to inform me "You know like Wooly Buggers and Muddler Minnows. Pretty much anything that resembles a bait fish in some way" If I remember correctly after hearing what he said I probably pretended that I knew what streamers were and I must have just been really tired and out of it that day. At that time I probably owned at least ten wooly bugger and 3 muddler minnows as well as an assortment of 15 more various patterns. Somehow it had escaped me that this group of flies was collectively known as Streamers.

Owning flies and knowing how to fish them proficiently are definitely two separate things. After what I've learned during the last four months of my transformation from, "Streamer Dreamer" to "Streamer Dream Teamer" I can easily see that "how" one fishes a streamer is of greater importance than "what" streamer is used. Not to say that things like color and size don't matter because they do but, "movement is the groovement that entice the fish to strike".

When fishing alongside people like Kchaefer3 I still feel like an apprentice watching a journeyman work his craft. I pay close attention to the whop of the plop as the streamer slaps the water then quietly study the subtleties of the stripping motion as the streamer is retrieved. Kschafer3 would not be the only one I have learned from this summer. Even though I probably only absorbed about half the things that Kojdads taught me earlier this season while fishing the Kinni I consider the lesson he gave me as one of the keys to my modest success. Kelly Galloup and Bob Linseman also shared a vast treasure trove of knowledge with me as I read their book, "Modern Streamers for Trophy Trout". That book along with the purchase of Kelly Galloup's streamer fishing videos are probably some of my wisest purchases in the last year.

Throughout this process I have latched on to some of the finer points of fishing streamers and seeking out trophy trout. If I look at the number of trophy brown trout I can attest to catching up to this point I can see that for me to write about this subject is like, "A one year old who just learned to walk writing an instruction manual on how to successfully train for and compete in a marathon". Nevertheless I have never let lack of experience prevent me from opening my mouth before and right now doesn't seem like a good time for change. You are probably wondering what I am getting at so without further delay I am proud to reveal the, "12 F's for Trophy Trout".

Fate, Fortitude, Focus, Flesh, Fluid, Fantasy, Fare, Fidelity, Fashion, Funds, Foundation, Fun

I will now go on to list the definition and describe each one in no particular order with regard to importance.

1)Fate-the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.

Have the fishing Gods smiled upon you before? Is it as if you have a "Four Leaf Clover" in your pocket every time you go fishing? For you the cards are stacked in your favor. For others it is just not meant to be.

2)Fortitude-courage in pain or adversity.

Do things like log jams and venturing far from roads and population centers scare you. Twenty three inch brown trout may not be in your future.

3)Focus-the center of interest or activity.

While some prefer to focus their efforts within a specific stream or county I prefer to focus my efforts withing a slightly larger area. The "Driftless M Quadrilateral". On a map draw four strait lines connecting Minneapolis, Menomonie, Madison and Mason City. The quadrilateral you have created is the "Driftless M Quadrilateral". I believe that this area contains as well as many other streams and rivers that are chock full of 23 inch or better trophy trout.

4)Flesh- the soft substance consisting of muscle and fat that is found between the skin and bones of an animal or a human.

Are you a man or a mouse? If you are a man go to your nearest fly shop and purchase a "Moorish Mouse" pattern mouse imitation fly. When the clock strikes nine head down to your favorite trout river and give mousing a shot. This is probably one of the fastest ways to go from trout fishing zero to Fly Fishing hero. There are still a couple of open seats at the first table of the National Streamer Fishing Congress.

5)Fluid-a substance that has no fixed shape and yields easily to external pressure; a gas or (esp.) a liquid.

Trout live in water and thrive in specific temperature ranges. Get a thermometer and read up on this subject. Apply what you learn. Water temperature can play a key role in the location of monster trout.

6)Fantasy-the faculty or activity of imagining things, esp. things that are impossible or improbable.

How big can you dream? The bigger the better I'd say! This will serve as a motivational force to make your dreams a reality.

7)Fare-the food and drink that are regularly served or consumed

Knowing what big Brown Trout need to eat in order to grow large is very important. If you see things like Chubs and Crayfish in a stream that also contains trout the chances are good that you may have found a good spot to throw streamers for lunker trout.

8)Fidelity-faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support.

Are you constantly wavering by switching back to dry flies and nympths every time you go ten minutes without getting a follow? There is a difference between Wavering and Weaverling. If reading Andy Weaverling's blog doesn't inspire you to push the limits of what is possible with a fly rod then you may need to find a new hobby. Have you ever tried Checkers?

9)Fashion- a popular trend, esp. in styles of dress and ornament or manners of behavior.

The number one thing most people do after landing a trophy trout is to attempt to get a good photo of themselves holding the fish. Remember that you will probably be showing this photo to everyone you know and it may just circle the world several times over via the internet. You are not going to have time to comb your hair and change your shirt so I suggest looking good upon your arrival to the stream. You never know when you might run into babes :)

10)Funds-a sum of money saved or made available for a particular purpose.

Do you cringe at the thought of spending seven dollars on a streamer but regularly drop eight bucks on your daily visits to Taco Bell. Prioritization of your spending habits can pay dividends on the trout stream.

11)Foundation-an underlying basis or principle for something.

While nymphing and casting dry flies may not provide you with your best chances of catching trophy trout my years of practice with these methods helped form a foundation of skills that aided my transfer into streamer fishing.

12)Fun-enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure.

Why so serious? Fishing is supposed to be fun. If you think catching 50 fish in a day all under 17 inches is a good time then more power to you. That will leave more trophies behind for the Streamer Dream Team and it's affiliates widely known as the "Hardware Chuckers" and the "Crawler Danglers". When I run into people who use different methods to hunt for trophy trout I see it as a opportunity to exchange knowledge for the betterment of the sport. Knowledge is power. The more knowledge you possess the more fun you can have.

Before you get too exited about this nice looking fish she was foul hooked which means I will not be adding her to my grand total of spring creek trophy fish of 20 inches or better. As I was walking around a bend in the river I saw what looked like an elongated football darting towards the bank. I gained my composure and launched my White Sex Dungeon Streamer into the general vicinity and immediately started my, "Jerk Strip Retrieve". Three strips in bam!! It reminded me of the days in my youth when we would break into the zoo and grab tigers by the tail because that's exactly what it felt like. Kschaefer3 was there in an instant after hearing my wild shouting. It seems like we both noticed the foul hooking below the right pectoral fin at about the same time and it took some of the wind out of our sails but we still had to land this fish. On the third swipe Kschaefer3 was able to contain this wild girl within the confines of the rubber net basket. We took a couple of quick photos and released her.

Bye Bye Baby :)

Kschaefer3 switches streamers for another shot at the title.

Here is the hatch chart you requested.

#2 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 12:55:46 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 2/13/2012
Posts: 1,016
Location: Chaseburg, WI
always enjoy reading your stuff Eddie ... you have a way of taking us with you on your quests with just the right amount of entertaining humor or self deprecation.

Fly Me A River
#3 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:43:34 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 4/9/2012
Posts: 1,173
Location: Sauk County

The way you bring together different members of this forum (both literally and in your writing) is highly entertaining. This was such a good read. Thanks!

Driftless M Quadrilateral...LOL
"My position is, we should have a clean, healthy, diverse natural environment so I can go fishing. Because fishing makes me happy." - John Gierach
#4 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:52:32 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
Thanks Dan and Mike! Smile I was up until 3:30am this morning putting this one together and it's great to be able to wake up to some favorable reviews.
#5 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 1:59:28 PM
Rank: May Fly

Joined: 8/7/2013
Posts: 45
Location: Middleton
Great Post Eddie. I really enjoyed reading the story. I hope we all have your luck this year. I will be looking for the "elongated football" as soon as the temp drops a little on the thermometer.

Use a rubber net. Handle your fish carefully. More trout are killed each year by facebook photos than most anything!
William Schlafer
#6 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 2:33:04 PM
Rank: Super Fly

Joined: 7/25/2011
Posts: 2,726
Location: Sussex Wisconsin
Great stuff Eddie! I see you have the smaller version of the Tilly hat that I use. Best brimmed fishing hat you can buy, I believe.

“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
#7 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 5:33:57 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 8/20/2010
Posts: 580
Nice fish either way! but i do hate it when fish roll on your fly and get caught up on a fin.
#8 Posted : Wednesday, August 28, 2013 8:13:47 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 7/27/2012
Posts: 1,123
Location: New Brighton MN
William Schlafer wrote:
Great stuff Eddie! I see you have the smaller version of the Tilly hat that I use. Best brimmed fishing hat you can buy, I believe.


I cannot agree with you more William. In the song, "Frosty the snowman", when the children place the old silk hat they found on Frosty's head he began to dance around. The same thing happens to me whenever I place my Tilly on top of my head except for the tune that I dance to is one power ballad that the great Tina Turner is known for singing. Just like how the Tilly is, "Simply the Best", the song, "Simply the Best" by Tina Turner will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

I am going to try to link to that song here. I hope it will work.



If anybody knows how I can make the YouTube video box for that song show up right here I would appreciate your assistance. My efforts have failed and I have run out of time and patience.
Mark Dahlquist
#9 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:19:33 AM
Rank: Administration

Joined: 2/27/2010
Posts: 4,797
Location: Minnesota
Congratulations. Looks like you found the Holy Grail. Keep the stream tight to your vest. You put in your time and you earned it.
Board Owner

#10 Posted : Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:38:12 AM
Rank: Dragon Fly

Joined: 6/30/2011
Posts: 491
Location: River Falls, WI
Great post Eddie! Keep up the great work and fishing. I hope to read more of your articles before the end of the season.
What was big was not the trout, but the chance. What was full was not my creel, but my memory.
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac, p. 40 (Oxford University Press, 1949).
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