Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fly Fishing Guide to the Whitewater River in Minnesota
The Whitewater River actually has four main sections that are different. They are the North
Branch, the Middle Branch, the South Branch and the Main River. You will find that the main
river has most of the rainbow trout. They exist just about everywhere but the Middle Branch.
The headwaters of the Middle Branch contains most of the brook trout.
This river has a lot of access points. It flows through a large wildlife management area. It also
flows through two State Parks with plenty of access. There are many places along public
easement areas where you can fish. The state publishes a guide to all the access points. It can
be found on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website along with lots of other
The North Branch can be accessed in Carley State Park located near Plainview off County
You can access the river along Highway 74 at Weaver to Whitewater State Park. Much of the
river parallels the highway. The three branches, North, South and Middle come together at the
little town of Elba. just south of Elba and parallels the river the entire way. The town of Elba is
where the North, South and Middle branches come together to form the Main Branch.
There are a few areas of small riffles and runs but most of the water meanders along from slow
to moderate speeds. One of the most effective ways to fish the Whitewater River is using strike
indicators and nymphs. The bottom is fairly level in many areas and you can adjust the depth
of the fly fairly well. Of course the fishing is best just before or during a hatch. Dry fly fishing
can also be excellent.
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