2021 Driftless Pictures and Reports

Unknownflyman

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It very well could be, Sweetandsalt posted an article on mayfly hatch declines which I believe is true, but its different every year as well, sometimes its insane hatches other years typical and some years less. It could be the places you are fishing, but I thought they had such a hatch last year it showed up on Doppler radar.

EDIT_ ADD--I had to run to a meeting. Sure environmental impact plays a part, I had read about caddis numbers fading too, I dunno obviously we all want clean rivers and bugs, but many times with hatches its you should have been here last night! just like fishing.

To really know what to expect on any river is to fish every afternoon to evening throughout the hatch season to get an idea of what is average and prolific. IF there isn't much or anything hatching, I`d find a new river or stream, Like Ard said, winter, floods, run off or something, possible even marginal trout water could be cause.
 
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Ard

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You guys know I'm not there but the fluctuations in mayfly numbers year to year can have many causes. I remember one from my past....

Back in the winter of 1994 / 95 north central Pennsylvania had a run of -25 degree weather. The entire winter was cold and our small streams all developed anchor ice which effectively wiped out both fish and bugs etc. in all but the deepest spots.

I understand you have spring creeks there but during severe cold I'm sure you have shelf ice forming along shore and in shallow areas. Depending on the species of mayfly they may be deep dwelling - burrowing - or they may be shallow environ clingers and such. If they actually freeze for extended periods they are done for. Flooding is another thing that can disrupt normal bug populations. If them manage to only be blasted down stream they come back when they hatch with the upstream flight. If they manage to be on the underside of large rocks or strata that does not get scoured from the creek they come back. If they are carried over the streams natural levees and then stranded in the surrounding woods and fields when the water recedes they are gone.

I get the chemical thing but I'm a glass half full guy at heart. I like to look at natural causes before I think the worst ;)
 

ontheflymn

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I dunno obviously we all want clean rivers and bugs, but many times with hatches its you should have been here last night! just like fishing.

I disagree. In southeast MN, it has been scientifically proven that invert numbers in area streams are on the decline. Winona State's Neil Mundahl has extensive research to prove that they are declining, and it's related to a variety of factors. Big Ag is a major offender. Caddis is about the one real reliable hatch we have left. For those of us who journal our outings from year to year, it's interesting to look back and see how things change: from frequency and timing of a hatch, to it just disappearing in general.

I get the chemical thing but I'm a glass half full guy at heart. I like to look at natural causes before I think the worst ;)

Sure, there are natural cause that play into this, flooding being that largest variable. I would argue if you look at precipitation data trends over the last twenty years, they have changed dramatically. 30" of rain in the month of August in one southeast Mn county a few years back is not the norm.
 

Reachcast76

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Sure, there are natural cause that play into this, flooding being that largest variable. I would argue if you look at precipitation data trends over the last twenty years, they have changed dramatically. 30" of rain in the month of August in one southeast Mn county a few years back is not the norm.
This coupled with modern ag practices, i.e. tiling, which have virtually removed all natural flood plans. The SE MN streams get blown out, and scoured over and over again from the spring melt throughout the entire summer. Then throw the pesticides into the mix and the mayflies don't stand much of a chance.
 

Unknownflyman

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I dunno obviously we all want clean rivers and bugs, but many times with hatches its you should have been here last night! just like fishing.

I disagree. In southeast MN, it has been scientifically proven that invert numbers in area streams are on the decline. Winona State's Neil Mundahl has extensive research to prove that they are declining, and it's related to a variety of factors. Big Ag is a major offender. Caddis is about the one real reliable hatch we have left. For those of us who journal our outings from year to year, it's interesting to look back and see how things change: from frequency and timing of a hatch, to it just disappearing in general.
I`m not sure what you disagree with, I address and agree with decline in my post, I acknowledge environmental impact. I do think we all want clean rivers and bug hatches, I think that some farmers in the area believe they are doing less damage than they are, and some dont care, its about the bottom line and complain about regulations. Ive listened on how the buffers were tyrannical and people care more about the trout than their farms. Personally I support organic farms as much as I can.

Hatches vary from day to day from thick mayflies to sparse, and rising trout vary in feeding from frenzy to complete refusal.

I agree with Ard with natural factors. I have a journal and fished extensively from year to year. I would have to find the report on caddis declines but I was worried about that as well.

To what degree of the impact from natural or mad made causes, I cannot define, There are still prolific mayfly hatches where I fish.

It would be a sad time if I saw no mayflies or caddis hatching in my local streams and rivers, certainly I support groups that support clean water.

Sometimes I should not bust out a post quickly, it could have been worded better. Looked at the clock, damn I gotta go, and then on the edit, the phone rang. gotta go again. LOL
 

ontheflymn

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My point was that it isn't just an angler "missing" a hatch. The hatches are really missing, as in gone. Light hendricksons and dark hendricksons have taken a major hit in the last ten years.
 

pickadrake

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My point was that it isn't just an angler "missing" a hatch. The hatches are really missing, as in gone. Light hendricksons and dark hendricksons have taken a major hit in the last ten years.
It seems like I'm spending to much time on the water, quality water, to be 'missing hatches'. I don't think they are happening. I've talked to others who have made the same comments. To be clear, I'm talking Mayflies. I'm getting in on some very good Caddis activity.
 

dpnoll48

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I was able to get out yesterday for a couple of hours on a creek not far from home. I never checked the water temp but it was incredibly gorgeous outside. The fish were fairly cooperative too. It looks like it will probably be a couple of weeks until the weather is agreeable again.
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Unknownflyman

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Gentlemen we have achieved shelf ice! I like fishing shelf ice. Its pretty frozen over out there on the larger waters. It won't be long unless another cold snap.
 

dpnoll48

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I got out both Tuesday and today and checked out 4 streams I had never fished. I've decided most of Feb and March is for exploring new water. Fish caught will be a bonus. Yesterday we fished 2streams and the water temp was 40 degrees in the 1st and48 degrees in the second which was smaller and near the headwaters. The snow was deep enough to make walking tough. All the fish caught were browns. Today I fished another pair of new streams and the only time I checked the water it was 48 degrees. Only rainbows today. It was really to get out again.011D7413-792D-4206-9A42-28C6CC480D1C_1_201_a.jpeg11995714-8D0D-4169-BD02-96EB9A1A7F4C_1_201_a.jpegF3E3C6A5-6E7E-401A-93D0-00B2CBEB2E8B_1_201_a.jpeg54EC181A-5F31-4A15-8E3C-43FC2567DFE3_1_201_a.jpeg94D9B651-B614-4889-B3DD-7A3F00A93619_1_201_a.jpeg
 

dpnoll48

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I've been spending my time checking out new streams. It's been interesting. Some I'll go back to and some I'm glad I got back out with all my gear in one piece. I've still got 9 or 10 more streams to check out. Hopefully I'll finish by the middle of April. Each of these fish were caught in different streams.

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dpnoll48

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I went out with a friend Friday to check out a blue line in SE MN. It rarely got more than 10' wide. I don't know if I've ever seen more fish in a single day. The water was gin clear and went from 49 degrees in the morning to 53 by 3:30. Most of the fish we caught were either in fast water or in pools. We saw a lot of fish rising but for the most part stayed with either nymphs or wet flies.
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Unknownflyman

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I haven't been out, so busy, I hope to soon! Word on the street is, Blue wing olives, Caddis, Stoneflies, Midges, and crushing wets and streamers. Nymphs always work so I dont mention those. January/February is over- nymph season for me. Seen some nice fish pics out there, a few in the 24-26" range.

Large hungry wild browns on dry flies, go find some action, and treat them nice please, so there's one in there for me.
 
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