First off—- Don’t forget the Wisconsin trout season closes for one week beginning Sunday, April 26th at midnight. Yes, you can fish on Sunday, up until midnight. This one week closure should go away in 2016 when the new regulations take over. The new regulations and season lengths are not 100% approved by all of the DNR yet but it looks pretty darn likely. The harvest season will begin on Saturday May 2nd this year.

Second off— The annual Kinni Clean-up is tomorrow April 25th

Kinnickinnic River/KRLT Clean Up

When: Saturday, 4/25
Where: Glen Park Main Shelter, River Falls
Start Time: 9:00 AM
Lunch Provided

Reminder: Dress appropriately for the weather, bring work gloves and water proof footwear, hip boots or waders. Have Fun!


Lack of meaningful precipitation coupled with no spring run-off event has left the streams in Western Wisconsin in ultra clear conditions. Even the deeper holes are almost all visible to the bottom. Cuts and slots, even in broken water, are difficult to approach without the trout seeing you first. sediment is visible covering the rocks in all but the most high gradient runs. Given that fish counts are low it is making the catching even more of a challenge. HOWEVER, FISH ARE BEING CAUGHT EVERY DAY. A few guided trips into the season and my clients have not been skunked ,,,,,,,  yet. Anglers who have never held a fly rod before have found a few fish. I have to admit the low catch rate continues my anxiety, especially in my business, but it also has caused me to THINK about all the variables that must be considered to still come away with a successful outing. Fly Fishing Is The Ultimate Puzzle. When catching gets tough, you can adjust and learn, or go home. Over time I have made both choices on different days. All good!

After my trip, I sat on the bank for a while contemplating. By 3PM temps had finally risen to 40 something and windy, after a 31 degree blue bird start. I was sitting on a popular, flat as a pancake fork stick hole, where I knew a boatload of fish were cuddled up in. Sure enough a few crept out of the depths into a 3 foot rocky slot. Then there were 20. All in clear view, un- affected by my presence and they knew I was there.  The trout began rising and feeding below and above the surface. Splashy rises, bulging rises, pure below the surface takes. It was awesome to watch the show. I puffed up my angler chest and started investigating. Midge pupa, mayfly nymphs, adult BWO’s and another small tan adult mayfly, were all in the scum  downstream of the trouts location. A complex hatch, sparse at best, in crystal clear water, great!

About then an old friend strolled up. An excellent tier and dry fly fisher, he asked me if I had gotten my fill of frustration yet. I smiled and told him I had yet to engage. We both watched the show and conversed of the difficulty of the situation. Needless to say we both took shots with common patterns and secret flies from other rivers stowed in the corners of special dry fly boxes. After 20 minutes of watching and another 30 minutes of taking turns casting, there was one, “almost take”. The trout stayed put, but wanted nothing to do with any of our offerings. We did not have what they wanted. Lesson learned.

Yesterday’s protocol was move, move, move. Water that is thin and clear was not producing so we moved. We covered all the different water types and drifting techniques. Swinging, dead drifting, twitching, stripping, dry flying. Fast, slow, broken, flat. Good presentations through likely spots were given only a handful of presentations. Slots and cuts up to waist deep were waded through after fishing, to see if fish were even present. Don’t beat a dead horse(sorry to all the animal rights folks, just using an old school analogy), move along and try something different. My angler worked hard and plucked two fish from the waters. This was his second outing with me in as many years and I could tell he was wishing for more. He understood though, this was not his first rodeo.


Well we did not find an owner to the last lost box but there has been two more requests. One a lost fly box on the Rush, south of Martel. Did anyone find one. Second a found net on the lower Kinni. Did anyone loose one?

Have fun if you go out this weekend and shoot me a report.

No images on this post. My web page is misbehaving.