Andrew Fiskness

Andy Fiskness is a devoted fly fisherman from Maplewood.

Posts about Trout

Greatwaters Fly Fishing Expos

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: January 30, 2010 - 9:03 AM

For fly fisherman the winter months are often a time of reflection, time of hope for the new season and time for fly tying to restock the empty fly boxes. This weekend is the Chicago Greatwaters Fly Fishing Expo. Events like this fall into all three. I have been joined by three other members of the St. Paul Fly Tier's and Fisherman's Club at the expo to help promote the sport and our club. This is my second year attending the Chicago Expo with Club. The Chicago Expo runs from Friday January 29th through Sunday January 31st. The weekend of March 26th to March 28th is the Minneapolis Greatwaters Fly Fishing Expo.

Both of the Expo's give fly fisherman and fly tiers of all experience levels a great chance to get together. There are numerous vendors, lodges, outfitter and guides present at the shows who can help people with their fishing destination. There are also classes and presentations covering a wide range of activities all related to fly fishing and fly tying. The Chicago Expo has quite a few local fly tying clubs with members present giving tying demonstrations and tying lessons. At this year Expos the St. Paul Fly Tier's members are again manning the fly tying theater, where expert and professional fly tier's show how to tie some of their favorite flies.

The St. Paul Fly Tier's will be at the Minneapolis Expo where we will be conducting the learn to tie booth and we will have members tying and answering questions for visitors of the show. I strongly recommend anyone interested in getting into fly fishing and fly tying to attend one of these shows. I hope to see you at the Expo and then out on the water.

Summer fishing in California

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: July 22, 2009 - 10:50 PM

The Mammoth Lakes area gave us several options for rivers to fish.  I decided that Hot Creek sounded like a good one to try as it is spring fed and should be like the driftless rivers that I am used to fishing.  Hot Creek is a warm water spring (50 to 60F) with some sections that are even scalding hot.  Hot Creek is catch and release and only barbless hooks are allowed. 
After a day long drive I arrived at the river for an evening of fishing.  The river is composed several sections.  It starts at the Hot Creek Hatchery which is located below the headwaters and main springs for the river, then flows to an open meadow portion that is owned by the Hot Creek Ranch and continues downstream into a canyon.  I started at the canyon following the trail down to the river. 
Once I arrived at the river bank I watched to see if there was a visible hatch and nothing was seen.  I started fishing with an elk hair caddis and a pheasant tail soft hackle.  After a few casts and skating the caddis across surface I enticed a nice ten inch rainbow to take the caddis.  I worked downstream skating the caddis and landed two more brown trout one 14 inches and the nice fat 17 incher.   I also missed a few other fish and lost a couple more.  It ended up be a very good evening of fishing. 
The following day my wife and I fished in the morning and the evening for a couple hours each.  We again fished the canyon section, with what seemed to most of the other licensed fisherman in Mono County.  The morning fishing was very difficult.  I think this was in part due to the very clear water and all of the fishermen walking up and down stream bank spooking the trout.  
The evening fishing was like much the day before.  This meant skating caddis across locations that should be holding fish, hoping make something to take the fly.  We had good action on both caddis and the pheasant tail.  A nice variety of rainbows and browns were caught.  Once the sun was no longer visible above the canyon rim we decided it was time to call it a night. 

Evening trout fishing

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: June 19, 2009 - 1:04 PM
Last Friday my wife Sue and I decided we would go fishing in the evening after work.  We assembled the waders and fly rods and headed over to western Wisconsin.  After a quick bite to eat we got to the river around 7:00 allowing us a couple hours of light.  I had decided to go to one of my favorite spots, which must be a few other fishermen’s favorite spot as there were a couple cars there when we arrived.  I chose this spot since it had been a season or two since Sue last trout fished and I knew it was an easier location to fish than others.  She is a novice and enjoys fly fishing, but has only cast to trout a few times so hopes were high for good conditions. 

We walked down to the river and watched for a minute or two as the trout were eagerly taking flies off the surface.  We decided to try a sulphur dry fly to start.  I coached Sue through a few casts to warm up and refreshed her memory on reading the water.  Soon enough we were each catching fish.  Most fish seemed to like a nice dead drift with no drag on the surface, but there were a couple fish that seemed stimulated by a little drag.

We fished a couple pools working our way up stream slowly.  The combination of low light and a strong hatch also seemed to prevent the fish from getting spooked to easily.  There was many times that when casting to specific fish a different and unexpected one came up and took a fly right next to the fly line.   We also didn’t need to rest the pools after a hooked brown zig-zagged it way through.

The night came to an end when we could no longer see the fly to tie a new one on.  This seemed like a sign to call it a night.  I probably could have planned better and brought a flashlight, but I will save that fishing for some other night.  We both had a lot fun and this evening got us both excited for our upcoming trip to fish for rainbows in California.

Casting to Rising Trout

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: June 10, 2009 - 10:17 PM

Right now is one of my favorite times of the year for trout fishing.  I like so many other trout fisherman love casting to rising trout.  Being able to see the fish actually take the fly definitely makes it more exciting for me.  This past weekend I was out at the Rush River in Wisconsin in the cold and drizzle and the weather did not slow the hatch down at all.  There were quite a few sections of the river where fish were constantly coming up to the surface. 

When I started out on the river many dun mayflies were floating on the surface, which appeared to be blue wing olives and sulphurs.  So I decided to start with a sulphur dun pattern.  After catching a few nice trout it appeared that the fish were taking emergers more than duns, so I switched to a sulphur emerger.  The emerger seemed too worked well for a while, but not the magic fly.  Even though the hatch was fairly prolific and constant, what the fish were taking definitely varied throughout the day.  I found that I was changing flies often from duns to emergers with varying color and all of them seemed to produce a few fish.

I ended the day not remembering how many trout I did catch.  It was a mixed bag of some small colorful brookies and the rest were brown trout.  It was a fun day of fishing and I hope to be able to get out soon and enjoy some good dry fly fishing. 

Brule River

Posted by: Andrew Fiskness Updated: May 5, 2009 - 10:13 AM
This past Sunday I made the trip up to the Brule River with a couple other members of the the St. Paul Fly Tiers and Fisherman's Club.  We arrived on the river mid-morning to a beautiful sunny day, not the image that comes to mind when you think of steelheading.  We decided to start fishing downstream of US 2 even though the whole river is now open for fishing.  The first spot we stopped at had one other car in the lot.  We suited up and hiked down to the path to the river, which was at good flow, but still a little off color. 

The three of us started fishing our way up stream.  We were using yarn flies and smaller x-legs or stoneflies.  We fished a bunch of holes on one side of the river with no luck and then fished our way back to car on the other side of the river with the same results.  We continued on to a several of other spots mixing up colors and sizes of the flies, it just wasn't our day.  The day resulted in no fish, but it definately was not for lack of effort.  We talked with several other fisherman on river who had similar reports.

So now I guess I will put away the steelheading until fall and concentrate on trout.

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