Things to explore in the river valley

Last weekend, we had an awesome time revisiting some local spots we saw last year. We headed to Brownsville, mn to look at all the migrating birds which included hundreds or maybe thousands of tundra swans. It is a great bird watching spot and lots of opportunity for bird photographers.

Next we made our way to Baristas Coffee House in Houston, mn. They have an awesome selection of tasty pastries, soups and sandwiches (paninis are superb) and of course coffee so we can keep up with the kids.

From there we headed over to the international owl center. We were able to see a great presentation sharing and showing us all about owl. They have many great birds and my son sat, jaw dropped, for them entire talk. Uhu the big Eastern European owl flew silently overhead and David got to inspect his poop on the floor 🙂

It is so fun when you can find the little spots that make a community great. This was perfect little morning trip.

Oh and on another note, a guy I know from Virginia is selling his fishing/camping mobile. Man, this thing rocks. I stared at his Instagram post for a while daydreaming about this van. The #vanlife sure can look glorious at times.

Have a great day!


New Video: Beaver Creek State Park, Minnesota

The standard Minnesota (and Wisconsin) trout season closed Sunday and I realized I hadn’t gotten out for about 6 weeks. Monday afternoon, I sometimes find a few hours to fish, so I seized the opportunity to jet over to Beaver Creek State Park. Recently, Minnesota started running a catch and release season in several Southeastern state parks (Whitewater, Forestville, and Beaver) plus a section of the South Branch Root River outside Preston, Mn.

I’d never really fished Beaver before, but I’ve heard good things. It is an obscure park that doesn’t get much traffic relatively, but also is hard to fish for several reasons. There is really only one main fishable section in the park that runs for a fair distance, but the water is absolutely crystal clear. We had rain the two previous day and you would have thought this water was born yesterday. Ah, the beauty of spring creeks.

The further downstream you go the better the holes, but the more dense the stream side brush and obstacles.

I really rushed to the downstream section and only fished up about 1/4 mile fishing pretty slowly. Temps were in the 60s and the valley and bluffs were sporting Martha Stewart’s finest fall colors.

The trip was fast, so the video is too. Enjoy!


Driftless Area Classics: Beaver Creek State Park from My Leaky Waders on Vimeo.


Seasons up.

It’s crazy. Trout season in Minnesota and Wisconsin is just about over. There is a chance I’ll get out later today but it is possible I’ll let he seasons slip away without much to speak of.

That being said, the Iowa season stays open year round and I always have musky to chase….

If I get out one last time, I’ll be sure to share some photos!!!!!

For those fishing the driftless, enjoy the last hurrah!!!

New Water and New Faces

Stu is a pretty cool guy. He is high energy and always thinking both on and off the water. Stu is the creator of TroutSpotr, a web based application mapping out the basic regulations and access points of trout water in Wisconsin and Minnesota. It is an awesome app. It makes finding new accessible trout water much easier.

We had an awesome morning in Southeast Minnesota on a well known stream that I’d never fished before. We arrived by 7am and were greeted by foggy streams and a friendly puppy. After a quick chat with another fisherman walking the opposite direction, we made our way up the stream. We fished “tandem style” in Stu’s words. Switching off every time we caught a fish. We took 6 or 7 out of the first pool and success continued most of the morning. Right when things seemed like they were cooling down and I was about to head out, we hit a slow run of rising trout.

It was a picture perfect scenario. We were sight casting 40-60 feet to picky rising trout. Eventually, we learned all we could get them on was size 18 Adams and 20 Griffiths. So fun. Great way to end a morning.


Hopper season has arrived in the Driftless

Had an awesome couple hours on the water last Monday afternoon. The cloud cover was good. Air wasn’t too warm. And a breeze made for good upper conditions. It isn’t at its peak, but hopper season has well begun here in the Wisconsin Driftless.


We saw plenty of fish. Only a few rising.

Throwing a hopper/dropper combination we caught fish on top and bottom. They aren’t quiet into their fall feeding frenzy, but it is coming.

The trout are starting to put on their fall colors.

I tried to get a shot of Hot Dish setting the hook on a rise. I got the set, but not the rise 🙂

This was an ambitious trout with big eyes for a big meal.

We did manage a few 14-15 inch fish. Gorgeous.

A day with Dad. Canoeing the Root

I’m a pretty lucky guy. I have an awesome dad. Last winter, I asked him if he wanted to do a father son activity of some sort. Something outside. He is pretty fit, so we talked about the different options and finally settled on a day of canoeing.

We live in Southeast Minnesota and have some great rivers for canoeing. We decided to do a 5 hour paddle on the Root River.

That morning, we stopped in Houston, Mn at Carlson Roasting Co. for fresh coffee and some fancy mini donuts. Fuel for the trip!

Next we stopped in at Root River Outfitters who set up with canoe, paddles and life vests.

The Root River is gorgeous. All sorts of wildlife. The only catch is that by the time you get to the last hour of the float from Moen Bridge, the tubers start floating down as well making a peaceful paddle an active game of dodging the floating drinkers. Of course, I’ve been the tuber too, but it is just something to be aware of depending on what type of experience you are looking for.

I also caught a few small smallmouth bass on the fly. A nice bonus to an already awesome trip.

The 1916 Root River Power Plant stands tall and quiet.

Can’t wait until our next paddle, Dad.

Going Glass for $25

I’ve never ridden the fiberglass train, but I’ve always been intrigued ever since I read this post from the Fiberglass Manifesto. It was there where I learned about the featherlight. Well, I finally decided to pull the trigger. Unfortunately, when I went to Eagle Claw’s website, I learned they don’t produce the same series. They have the new #Fishskinsflyrod which is a heavier weight than I wanted.

So what do most people do next? Head off to Amazon.


Low and behold, Amazon can have this rod at your doorstep in no time! And the rumors were true. $24.99. Now that I’ve even given you the link, you too can have this rod in just a few clicks. So to quote this year’s Nobel laureate for literature, “Don’t think twice babe, its alright (to buy the fly rod).”

only $25?!?!?!


I’m hoping to christen her this weekend on the Root River. Here’s to a great weekend!


I think I’ll name her Anna.