Erik asked:rob-on-rush              

Hi Andy– I am glad to see your new projects are coming together so well. I love reading all the questions and comments and seeing what others in the area are up too. I have a question for you. I want to start winter fly fishing. I will be fishing in the SE MN area by Rochester. Do you have any suggestions to what flies I can purchase or tie myself?I usually fish with dry flies but have recently fished wet flies while steel head fishing in Idaho. Any information that you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Erik

Trout fishing in the southeast of Minnesota can provide winter anglers with a wide variety of results. From willing participants to lock jawed and lethargic, the trout can change their behavior in a heart beat. I believe locating the fish and then presenting the fly to them can be just as important as what you’re trying to feed them. Flies like Pheasant tail nymphs #16-18, Olive or orange scuds in #12-18,  soft hackle hares ears, caddis larva and Prince nymphs are all good choices for this time of year.  The real challenge will be having your sub-surface setting correct to get the fly right on the fishes nose. Then, detecting the strike will be the next hurtle to clear. Anglers fishing the winter season can have trouble detecting strikes because they can be ever so subtle during the winter. Focus on the movement of your indicator and BELIEVE there is a fish biting at the slightest movement. This is a skill anglers develop over time. If you set the hook enough times you will eventually hook up and understand what to look for and how soft these fish can mouth you’re fly. I re-learn this skill every winter. I hope this helps, and have a great time out on the water.