Casting for Brook Trout Ghosts

Just keep your feet wet,” my grandpa told me. I was 12, and he’d just handed me my first fly rod. He was explaining how I could explore the trout streams of northern Minnesota, even when they passed through private land. Minnesota’s “wet feet” stream access law is a positive relic of our troubled timbering … [ Read more]

Trout Run: Trail race meets fishing tournament at the Driftless Area Flyathlon

Social media swirls with events in the fall, like so many maple leaves on a windy sidewalk. The trick to capitalizing on these short and perfect autumn days is to choose activities that blend multiple interests together. Like the 2017 Driftless Area Flyathlon, a trail race with fly fishing along the route and craft beer … [ Read more]

Anglers are tying flies (and tying one on) at Twin Cities taprooms

Minnesota fly anglers can always go to the liquor warehouse, buy a six-pack of domestic, and go to the big-box outdoor store and buy a blister pack of mass-produced flies. And sometimes we do. Sometimes that hits the spot. But on some rare special dark winter nights in the Twin Cities—cold, clear nights with blazing … [ Read more]

Raising hackles: The prized chickens at the center of fly fishing

Nine hens and a rooster scuttle through the straw in a large pen in Steph and Eric West’s backyard in Grant, Minnesota. These are three-month-old Whiting True Blues—a breed that’s been selected to lay gorgeous blue eggs. The birds give a cockeyed warble to the Buttercup chickens rooting through the grass on the other side of … [ Read more]

The first cast: A fly fishing essay

7am • Friday The coffeemaker does its thing just like every other Friday morning, perking away automatically at seven. But this is not any other Friday. There’s work ahead of us, of course—unloading, paddling, at least one serious portage—but this work is eagerly anticipated. Work that brings sweat, physical progress, distance made from city and … [ Read more]