Late Season Trout.
Late season trout angling in Minnesota is a prime opportunity for catch and release anglers to hunt trout. Minnesota's late season trout angling runs from middle to end September. An angler can catch and release trout with an artificial lure with a barbless hook. All of the designated trout streams are open during this special season. An angler can choose to fish their honey hole or to seek sight-fishing opportunities at places that hold late season Rainbows that average nine to 14 inches.
Rainbows are typically stocked in streams that receive most of the region's angling pressure throughout the harvest season. Rush Creek (Rushford area), the Whitewater System streams (Elba area), South Branch Root River (Preston and Lanesboro areas) Preston, and Duschee Creek are fishing well with 30 catch and release fish days awarding skilled anglers.
Anglers can expect success with a good drift and a good fly. Drifting your fly properly is imperative to fool a trout with your fly. If you have a good drift and a bad fly you catch fish. If you have a bad drift and a good fly you will catch very little.
If I only had one fly it would be the Pink Lab. The Pink Lab is similar to the Pink Squirrel however has its own esoteric aspects.
Firstly, a Pink Lab is tied on an offset scud hook when a Pink Squirrel is tied on a straight shank hook. It is believed that many anglers loose fish because of a barbless hook. Anglers can increase their catch rates by using a barbless off set hook.
Secondly, a Pink Lab's body material is collected from living Yellow Labrador Retriever's. This is the secret ingredient that has fooled countless trout.
The great thing about the late season is that harvest pressure for trout is non-existent. An angler can truly find himself on a creek, in the middle of the forest, two miles from the car, and alone. This is southeast Minnesota backcountry paradise.
Further, the majority of the Rainbows are not very spooky. An angler keeping a low profile can sneak up on pods of fish.
I suggest to all catch and release anglers that fish being caught for sport are best left in the water at all times. This includes when unhooking the fish and photographing your catch. It is known that an angler can catch the same fish multiple times over multiple days. This is dependent on the fact that the fish was properly handled after being hooked. Playing a fish to exhaustion is not recommended. Squeezing a fish is also discouraged.
Please consult Minnesota's Department of Natural Resources Minnesota fishing regulations for more information on Minnesota's late season trout angling opportunities.