Trout Fishing - Summer 2001

I traveled to S.E. Minnesota to trout fish on Tuesday June 12, 2001.

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a.jpg I arrived about 1 p.m. Jim had given me directions to East Beaver Creek. There had been recent rain, and the dirt road I followed was nearly washed out at several points. I drove all the way in and parked in this little lot the DNR provided - the car is pointed toward the way out. Notice the puddles? I was nervous about being able to drive out later because it was threatening to rain again. After I took this picture I drove my car back past the worst part of the road, parked, and walked back to the stream.
d.jpg Here is the part of the stream I am looking for - this derelict bridge. I am guessing it is an old railroad bridge. The Milwaukee Road came through this part of Minnesota on its way to La Crosse Wisconsin. I got up on the bridge on the right side and crossed over - only one half of the bridge is intact. There is some sort of mowed path running on each side of the bridge, I suppose a hiking trail. The water is pretty clear in spite of the recent rain - if you enlarge the photo you can see the stream bottom in the foreground.
e.jpg This is the kind of ground cover I have to go through. The hip boots help protect from potentially itchy weeds, but I have a short sleeve shirt on and my elbows are exposed. It is very hot and the back of my shirt quickly becomes soaked. My fear is stumbling over large bare tree branches on the ground that I cannot see. I run into them often as I plunge along.
f.jpg I haven't found very good water to fish in. The high weeds that choke the bank would make it difficult to cast anyway. The thick cover does allow me to surprise the local creatures living along this lush stream. I have flushed a muskrat, several deer, and a fawn. I flushed the fawn right here, which crossed the stream ahead of me as I approached.
g.jpg Here is a close up of some sort of berry - gooseberries I suspect. I like this new camera - it has handled the light under the tree canopy well, and handles close ups.
h.jpg This stream does not have many good pools or ripples to fish for trout in. I decided to get away from the stream and take an easier walk along the tree line and try my luck upstream another 100 yards or so. Most of the length of a trout stream in this part of Minnesota is lined with trees. Most often farmers' fields butt up to the stream. In many cases the State has purchased and easement so trout fishermen have access to fish. Here along the East Beaver the farm fields seem to have been left unworked to return to the wild.
i.jpg Look at the mud flats that make up the bottom of the stream. This zone of the stream is holds no fish - they may swim upstream or downstream through it but never stop.
j.jpg The rain has held off and here some sunshine filtering through the tree canopy produces myriad levels of light. Once again I left the vicinity of the stream to take an easier path out along the treeline. Suddenly, I heard the familiar 'cuk cuk cuk' of a rooster pheasant. I got out my camera and armed with that instead of a gun I try and get a picture of him as he flushes.
k.jpg He's there - can you see him?
k1.jpg The small area he is in blown up. His wings are at their most downward point. The rooster looks brown, doesn't he? Sometimes when I am hunting I end up letting roosters go because I can't be sure they aren't a brown hen. I won't shoot at a pheasant that I have any doubt about being a rooster. It is usually not a problem, though. This one flushed quite close to me and his brilliant red/dark orange color was easy to spot.

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