Spoiler alert: I got skunked. If you decide to stop reading now I understand. If you want to hear excuses and other jargon fisherman say when they don’t catch fish then by all means read on. I typically omit field journals on uneventful days, but since fishing this section eluded me all season I felt it deserved a cursory review.
The stream/river is the Cannon River just outside of Red Wing Minnesota. I’ve fished pieces of it and did alright so I began to explore other stretches. I first scouted it online (see where in my entry Creating a Fly fishing Map) and visited it over winter.
It collects water from several tributaries before depositing into the Mississippi. All the rain kept it high and muddy throughout the spring and early summer. The USGS data from the night before indicated dropping water but still running well above average. Not knowing when another opportunity would arise I decided to give it a go.
I arrived around 6:30am and was immediately greeted by a swarm of mosquitos. Good thing I brought repellent; a Macanudo Cru Royle.
As I surveyed the stream it had all the signs of fishy water:
So I tied on an Autumn Splendor then eventually changed to a Clouser, then a Murdich minnow then a bunny leech. After a couple unsuccessful hours sub-surface I switched to a diver to finish out the morning.
- It was a new stream
- The water was high
- The water was muddy
- Solunar table said it would be slow
- The guy drinking Coors and fishing worms caught’em all
Jargon Fisherman Say When They Get Skunked (read in a sarcastic tone):
- At least it was a nice day out
- I learned a little bit about some new water
- Got to test out some flies
- Broke in my boots
- Good casting practice
- That’s why they call it fishing and not catching
- Bad day fishing is better than a good day of work (and so on)
When I had my fill I hiked back to the vehicle through the deposits of mud left by the receding water. I almost fell several times, but was saved by my trusty new wading boots and cat like reflexes. The rest of the afternoon was spent at the water park with the fam where I had more fun and caught just as many fish.