Some basic knowledge to get you through the early season.
Normally this time of year I would be writing about late winter tactics, but with the weather we have been having it’s more like early spring. Most of the snow melted off early in the month. Also with the lack of heavy late winter snow the streams and rivers are in real good shape for fishing. Streamside vegetation is sparse and dead. It will be a while yet before it hides our approach to the water. Trout are easily spooked this time of year so tread lightly and stay low. Use what little cover there is.
Chances are you’ll find good numbers of insects on the water through the day. For dry fly action watch for midges, stoneflies, and blue winged olives. Nymphs will work year round. Streamers will also take fish, but you may need to fish them slow. If you find water temps in the mid 40’s and above you’ll find the trout will readily chase down and slam a streamer.
In the Twin Cites area we’ll typically see black crane flies and caddis around mid to late April. Another one to watch for is the Dark Hendrickson mayfly. It’s rare that I run into these in most of the places I fish, but some areas have good numbers of them. The places I have fished good hatches of them have been south of the Cities during April. If the fair weather continues we may see an early progression to the insect hatches. Keep that in mind when deciding what to bring along on future outings. Good luck.