In 1967, the late Richard Brautigan published "Trout Fishing in America'' — a novella that wasn't so much about trout fishing, or for that matter any kind of fishing, but instead was a sort of treatise on American society, comically observed.

On Saturday, when the regular trout season begins in Minnesota, this state's anglers will tangle not so much metaphorically with brown, rainbow and brook trout, but rather the old fashioned way: with hook, line, sinker, bait, lure and fly.

Trout fishing in Minnesota has become so popular that last year 108,000 fishing licenses with trout validations were sold to anglers, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reports, the third consecutive year of record sales.

And why not? Minnesota is home to about 3,800 miles of designated trout streams, and each year the DNR stocks more than 1.7 million fingerling and yearling trout.

Still, Saturday's opener in some ways will be less celebratory than it once was, because winter stream-trout fishing is allowed widely now in Minnesota, albeit restricted by catch-and-release and other regulations.

So anglers during the cold months who wanted to wade and cast instead of laze on a couch dreaming of the mid-April opener could do so.

Still, particularly in the southeast, where more than 700 miles of designated trout streams divide steep bluffs and meander through picturesque meadows, angler-toting cars and trucks aplenty will head toward the region's many stream accesses Saturday morning.

About an inch of rain is expected across the southeast Friday, and showers also are expected Saturday. But barring downpours, opening-day fishing conditions generally should be good.

More on Minnesota trout fishing can be found at

Confiscated gear auction

Been busted by the DNR and had your hunting or fishing gear seized?

If so, it will join what the DNR says is a "large inventory'' of forfeited outdoor equipment to be auctioned April 29.

The auction, beginning at 9 a.m., will be at Hiller Auction Service Inc., 10785 261st Ave., Zimmerman. For sale to the highest bidders will be 387 firearms and 100 bows, as well as 280 other items, including tree stands, fishing rods and reels, tip-ups, traps, trail cameras, spotlights, scopes and spears.

A list of the firearms and bows is online at Sale items can be previewed April 28, 1 to 4 p.m., and at 7 a.m. the day of the auction.

Equipment will be sold as is and can't be returned. Proceeds go to the DNR Game and Fish Fund.