All afternoon I sat and stared at The Weather Channel on the idiot box, and the NOAA radar on the other idiot box. Just a bunch of green on the radar, no yellow, no red, no cells. The plan was to hit the road by 4pm, and be at Paradise by 5pm. Just as I was throwing a couple barley sodas into the cooler, along with some pulled pork, I noticed the dreaded yellow and red within the green on the radar. Thunderstorm cells were forming north of the cities all the way down to La Crosse. I do not mind fishing in the rain, I actually enjoy it, but waving a long piece of graphite in the air when the possibility of lightening exists is just asking to go a few rounds with Darwin.
I decided to go anyways( no one ever compared me to a brainiac), figuring the cells would deteriorate by the time they met the thermal flux of the metro. Heading down 61 I realized, again, that I might be an idiot. The rain was torrential. It soon mellowed though, and the rationalizing could resume.
As I got to my spot there were three other cars there. Damn! But as I rigged up, two left, and the other guy was already talking himself out of it. An hours worth of driving had me convinced fishing was now an obligation. I mean standing in a river, getting wet, what's a little rain added to the mix?
The trout weree rising to emerging bugs, a mix of march browns, midges, and baetis. In order to get it out of the way I tied on a yellow and partridge soft hackle with a pheasant tail trailer. Nothing. Good, I wanted to fish dries anyways. It was difficult at times to distinguish the rises from the rain drops, but after a bit you got used to it. The rain came in cycles, heavy, the nothing, then steadily building again. By 7pm the fish were becoming very active. I had a heckuva time figuring out exactly what they were hitting, but an adult midge with a black body and a little white cdc wingcase seemed to be the ticket. Sulpher klinks with a shuck also worked. I won't say I caught a lot of fish, but I did catch some nice wild brownies.
The rain will be great for the rivers. Both the Kinni and Rush have been very low, lower than I have seen in awhile. It's going to be that time of the year where the terrestrials will start being more productive, and the hatches a bit more reliable. Summer is going too fast already.
On a side note, the many chapters of Trout Unlimited in Minnesota and western Wisconsin have a ton of projects that can use volunteers.