Charles V. Dawley

Charles V. Dawley has been fly fishing in Southeastern Minnesota for over twenty-six years, as well as having fly fished in Montana, Wyoming, and the Northeast United States and Alaska. In addition, Mr. Dawley ties and fishes all his own flies.

In addition to providing guide services in Southeast Minnesota, Mr. Dawley is also a licensed Psychologist. Mr. Dawley owns and operates Healing Rivers, LLC; a practice which combines fly fishing and psychotherapy, and Riverside Psychological Services, LLC.

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The Driftless Area

Driftless Area Map

The Driftless Area is a unique treasure, unscarred by the glaciers which covered much of the Midwest at one time. Made up of more then 24,000 square miles and covering parts of four states; it is an area of deep caves, cold water springs and icy, clean streams. It is a remarkable area that impressed me significantly when I first entered it in the late 1970s. Its steep sided ridges, towering limestone bluffs leave one feeling they are in a different time and area, particularly when leaving the relatively flat corn field covered plains.

I first came here to fish the cold, clear streams, which were said to be full of wild and cunning trout. While my knowledge of how to do so was less back in the early days, time and opportunity to be on the streams has changed that. While I have fished many of the streams in the SE, the Whitewater drainage has become my favorite.

The streams were once the home of native brook trout, which thrived in the cold waters. While there is an effort to introduce brookies back into their native haunts; the streams are now primarily the home of the German brown trout, which in many streams are now naturally reproducing and the planted rainbow trout.

Many articles talk about the damage that was done to the area as a result of over harvest of timber and poor farming practices. The once crystal clear, cold streams suffered and so did the native trout. Extensive flooding worsened the situation.

Ultimately, the government stepped in and over the course of the next few decades, improvements were made. This again allowed the streams to run clear and the successful stocking of trout (brown/rainbow) to continue. Today, in my opinion, we have some of the best trout fishing in the country, with good access and plentiful trout.

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