Minnesota Cabin Fever

In Minnesota, from November to mid-March, it’s rare that I’m able to spend quality time fly fishing on the river. And even then, it’s rare that I’m able to have a really enjoyable day due to the fierce winter conditions of Minnesota. This is why I plan a trip during the late winter or early springtime each year to visit some friends in North Carolina. It helps bridge the gap between “fly tying season” and “fly fishing season”. Whether it’s the Nantahala River, Duke’s Creek or the Cherokee river, or even some new water I’ve never fished in North Carolina, it’s always a fun way to ring in the new season.

In 2022, it seemed that Mother Nature had different plans for me. My friend and I were checking the weather reports in advanced, and it was predicted terrible conditions for the 36 hours we planned to visit. While it was 60 degrees every day for three weeks leading up to my fishing trip, for the short time I would spend in North Carolina, the temperatures dropped into the teens overnight and peaked at about 24 degrees during the day. What luck eh?

Well, us Minnesotans are a tough breed, and I was still going to make the trip. At the very least, it would make for a good story. And I had company with my friend John joining for the adventure.

Here’s a video I made to show the harsh conditions we had to endure.

March 12, 2022 in the southern mountains of North Carolina.

Even when comparing this to fishing for steelhead in the early Minnesota springtime, my friend John and I both agreed this was comparable or even worse than the harshest conditions we’ve fished up on Minnesota’s North Shore. What’s the worst weather conditions you’ve ever fished through?

3 thoughts on “Minnesota Cabin Fever

  1. My “PB” (personal best) story of fishing in harsh winter conditions was a few years ago, during a January cold snap here in the Driftless Area of the Upper Midwest. I went out one Saturday afternoon when temps only climbed to 7 degrees above zero! I was dressed appropriately and was actually pretty comfortable. The hardest part of the experience was that ice kept on accumulating on my fly line in an elegant “string of pearls” configuration. I had to strip the ice off every 10 to 15 casts. That being said, I was able to bring a few beautiful brown and brook trout to hand. You know what they say, “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at the office!” But to that end, this was actually a great day of fishing!

    Liked by 1 person

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