Monday I was able to get out for a few hours and choose to visit one of my favorite streams for Fall fishing. North Branch Creek (listed on map as Forestville Creek) is a special stream with a few special regulations. This is a small stream located about a dozen miles Southeast of Spring Valley Minnesota.
North Branch Creek is relatively short in length; its source is a massive spring flowing from a large cave in the side of a cliff, and than winding through a valley of pasture, woods and meadows, until the stream ends at Forestville State Park, where it empties into the South Branch of the Root River.
North Branch Creek is easily accessed via Maple Springs Campground, which is located right on the bank of the stream. Maple Springs Campground has a well stocked store and tackle shop, and it is run by some very friendly folks, making it a great place to stay as well as fish. (MSCG Ph-507-352-2056 or maplespringscampground.com)
One of the aspects that make North Branch Creek special is that all of its trout are wild, that is to say, there is no stocking in this stream, all the fish have spawned and grown up naturally. During the fall of the year when the trees are turning and the trout are in full spawning colors, an outing of fishing for these wild beauties can be a real treat.
It was 4:30 when I stepped into the water, with only about three hours before dark, if I wanted to make it up to the source/cave I would need to move fast. I selected a barbless Black Pearl Silver Super Bow spinner.
Though the stream is narrow in width, because of past improvement projects, the entire length of South Branch is a series of deep pools banked by bunkers and rock overhangs. These deep pockets make a large spinner like the Super Bow the ideal tool to get down to where the feeding trout were holding.
With little time, I was only able to make a few casts here and there, and even though I past up a lot of great looking pools, I found good action on most of the casts that I made.
I caught trout of all sizes up to about 13 inches including a few little guys, giving evidence as to how successful past spawning has been.
The light was fading when I arrived at the cave with a C/R count of 9 fish brought to hand, and though I seldom find fish holding in virgin spring water (usually low in oxygen) I had to make a cast into the mouth of the cave. After only a couple of turns of the reel, my spinner was nailed by a small Brownie that seemed very intent on rounding my count off at an even 10.
After a snapshot or two, I returned the small trout back to the water, unfastened the spinner and placed it in the quiver, and with the serenade of a Great Horned Owl echoing through the still trees, I made my way back along the darkening woodland path, back to the van and home.
Until Next time;
Keep it low, slow, and with the flow, and don’t go without your Bow!
Todays hot spinner.
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