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Seeking Trout in Houston County.

  • Blog Post by: Heath Sershen
  • May 4, 2009 - 1:30 PM

2009-04-28 Houston County, Minnesota.
Conditions: Sunny, 65 degrees, light breeze. 

    I accessed the creek at a bridge on a gravel road that shoots east off the highway.  My intensions were to scout the creek downstream to the confluence with the river.  This hike is about three quarters of a mile.
    I know the upper section of this creek intimately.  I have fished it several times.  Near its headwaters the creek winds through an active pasture.  The trout habituate in undercuts and log jams.  There are enough trout however one or two is about all you will get per trout house.  The water runs fine and clear.  The creek bed is white sand with gold cobble rocks mixed with grebe watercress.
    The section I am on today has a sand bottom and log jams.  There is no watercress.  The sand is a different color and the logjams are comprised of large mature trees.  The creek is 15 feet wide in this lower section.  It is a mere five feet near its headwaters.
    The farmer has been felling trees on the creek bank.  They appear to be Boxelder.  There is sign of recent rodent activity which is apparent through visible gnaws found on the trunks of some trees.  The farmer is winning the tree-felling contest with the rodent.
    The trout habitat is less frequent in this section compared to the headwaters section of creek.  There are few dark pools.
I had one hook-up with a decent sized Brown Trout in the pool above the log dam.  Other than that I saw no signs of fish and only a handful of caddis.
    The thicket on the creek bank was so thick that I ended up wandering through a grove of Elms.  The wildflowers are blooming here.  There are Spring Beauty, Virginia Bluebells, Birdsfoot Violet, and Swamp Marigold.   My keen eyes were glued to the forest floor.  I found no morel mushrooms.
    The confluence with river is plain.  It is a sandy creek that meets a sandy river.  It is marked by a 25 year old sugar maple.
I spooked a 10-inch pike out of the hole at the confluence; with my #2 Ugly Tom streamer fly.  Bottom fishing with crawlers awarded me with one 8-inch White Sucker.   
    I did manage to pull two trout out of logjams.  They were both Brook Char (trout) over 14-inches.  One of the trout was missing a large section of his lip, which is a sign that it had been caught and released before.  I am guessing that an angler caught it with barbs on the hook because fishing barbless does not have that effect on fish lips.  It is best to leave lips the way they were before catching a fish.  This goes for all species of fish and there are viable techniques available to a keen angler to do just that.

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