Is There Good Fly Fishing in Minnesota?

Minnesota is one of the most popular destinations for fly fishing in the U.S. With a multitude of rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds filled with trout, bass, pike, and panfish, Minnesota offers a wide variety of fishing opportunities for all levels of angler. The state is home to some of the best fly fishing in the Midwest and has been dubbed by some as the “fly fishing mecca of the Midwest”.

Rivers & Streams

Minnesota has more than 1,000 rivers and streams that offer great spots for fly fishing. The Mississippi River is one of the most popular places to cast your line in Minnesota.

The river is home to a variety of species including smallmouth bass and walleye. Other popular rivers found in Minnesota include the St. Croix River, which is known for its brown trout fishing; the Root River in southeastern Minnesota which attracts many anglers due to its abundant populations of rainbow trout; and the Rum River near Minneapolis which is known for its great walleye fishing.

Lakes & Ponds

Minnesota also has hundreds of lakes and ponds that are great locations for fly fishing. Many of these bodies of water have abundant populations of bass, pike, panfish, and even muskellunge (also known as muskie). The state also has several well-known lakes such as Leech Lake which is renowned for its trophy-sized muskie; Lake Vermilion which attracts anglers due to its abundance of walleye; Mille Lacs Lake which provides excellent bass fishing; and Gull Lake which offers great smallmouth bass action throughout summer months.

Fly Fishing Gear & Tactics

When it comes to gear selection for fly fishing in Minnesota, anglers should choose a rod that is appropriate for their style and Target species. For example, if you are Targeting large trout or salmon then an 8-weight or 9-weight rod would be ideal.

If you are looking to Target smaller species like panfish or bass then a 5-weight or 6-weight rod would be better suited. In terms of flies, there are several patterns that work well in Minnesota such as scud patterns for trout; woolly buggers for bass; streamers for pike; and nymphs or poppers for panfish.


In conclusion there are plenty options available when it comes to fly fishing in Minnesota – from rivers & streams full of brown trout to lakes & ponds with plenty bass & pike – so there’s something here for everyone! With an abundance of fishable water bodies throughout the state along with easy access to gear & tactics needed to catch them – there’s no doubt that Minnesota offers some great fly fishing opportunities!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet