The Driftless Fly Fishing Company

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter in Preston, Minnesota


The Driftless Fly Fishing Co. is located in Preston, Minnesota, known around the state as "Minnesota's Trout Capitol". The South Branch of the Root River has been designated as one of Trout Unlimited's 100 Best Trout Streams in the USA and flows right through town just a block from the fly shop. Mel Hayner, owner of Driftless Fly Fishing, has been fly fishing for over 40 years and stalking trout in the Driftless area for 25 of these years. His passion for the spring creeks and the streams of Minnesota started the first and only Orvis— Endorsed guide service and fly shop in the area in 2013. Since then, the shop has grown into a gathering place for like—minded people and recruited a top notch crew of guides who grew up in this area and know the water better than anyone. This year, his sister Monta will be the first female guide out of the shop. She has mentored many other women anglers in Fly—Fishing Women of Minnesota, Becoming an Outdoor Woman with Minnesota DNR, and Trout Unlimited.

Located in a restored 1905 building in downtown Preston, the Driftless Fly Fishing Co. supports local chapters of TU and the National Trout Center in youth education and habitat improvements. Special regulations and a growing catch—and—release ethic continue to improve the fishing in these streams often called "undiscovered gems." Join us for the experience of a lifetime in Minnesota's Driftless Area.


Sample of Typical Itinerary

Start about 9 AM early and late season, earlier in summer. According to ability some casting instruction, talk about reading water, flies, bugs presentation and on a stream suited to the skill level of the customer. As skills progress during the day will try more difficult situations etc. Streamside lunch provided along with flies, loaner gear, tackle etc. Mel will stay until dark or the client chooses to stop.


Species You Fish for by Season

Trout: We now have year round fly fishing in southeast Minnesota.
New seasons are as follows:
Catch and release January 1st through April 15th
Open season April 16th until September 15th
Catch and release regulations start again September 16th until October 15th.

All trout streams within the boundaries of State Parks (Forestville, Whitewater and Beaver Creek ) are open year-round for catch and release.

Smallmouth Bass: Season varies from year to year.


What Should Customers Bring?

Minnesota Fishing license with trout stamp, any personal gear, comfortable clothing that blend with the surroundings. Any special bug spray, sun screen etc. preferred


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are trout wild in Minnesota?
A. Yes many streams support natural reproduction. DNR has designated which streams in their map book. Some area are stocked that get heavy pressure. The only native fish is the brook trout.

Q. When is the best time to come?
A. Early season in April and May can be the best for dry flies and big hatches but good fishing all season due to constant temperature of spring creek’s underground springs.


Melvin M. Hayner
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Outfitter
208 St. Paul Street, PO Box 573
Preston, MN 55965

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