Minnesota has year-round catch-and-release, artificial-only trout fishing in all three state parks (Whitewater, Beaver Creek and Forestville/Mystery Cave), and in waters within the city limits of Preston, Chatfield, Spring Valley, and Lanesboro. Winter catch-and-release season on all streams starts January 1 and goes until the traditional, second Saturday in April when the regular season begins until September 15.
Smallmouth bass varies in dates from May through September and catch-and-release into February.
Wild brown trout and native brook trout grow large on the cold, clear streams dense with caddis, mayflies, stoneflies.
Rainbow trout are stocked regualry in areas with more pressure and give opportunities for youth and beginners to catch trout.
Smallmouth bass are great fun on a fly rod in nearby warm-water streams like the Upper Iowa and North Branch of the Root River.
Hundreds of springs seep from he limestone bluffs of SE Minnesota and provide consistently cold, clear water for the ultimate trout habitat. Hardwood forests and towering bluffs create the unique beauty of the Driftless region. Through efforts of Minnesota DNR and organizations of anglers, public easements on private land provide access to the hundreds of miles of awesome trout water in SE Minnesota. This type of bio-dense, highly-oxygenated water is rare in the world. Bicycle trails follow many of the waterways on old railroad routes for the non-angler or bicyclist who wants to bring the rod along.
Spring: March-May. Can be cold, might snow, very few anglers and hungry fish.
Summer: Warm days, cool nights, very few mosquitos due o mostly moving water. Can be hot and humid but streams remain cool due to springs.
Fall: September-November. The colors are breath-taking and hopper time can be the best chance for trophy fish on a dry fly. Cool weather but great fishing.
Winter: December-February. Year-round winter fishing can be challenging but the beauty and solitude of spring creeks in winter can be worth it. Above-freezing days make it bearable and sometimes produce midge hatches and rising trout.