National Trout Center

A nonprofit organization

24 donors

The NTC seeks to conserve our natural & cultural heritage of trout & their coldwater environments through educational public programming.


Who We Are & What We Do 

 The National Trout Center (NTC) provides hands-on activities to engage the public in awareness of the environment and coldwater fishery resources of the driftless region and the arts and crafts related to trout fishing. Students and groups meet at field sites or the NTC where experienced instructors lead activities of various durations. The NTC also offers seminars,lectures, and workshops on-site at the NTC or prearranged on location at schools, community centers, or other public meeting sites. The NTC provides retail merchandise related to our mission through website sales and in our gift shop.

Your contribution to the National Trout Center will support our educational and outreach programs for families, groups, and individuals of all ages and abiliities.

TROUT BIOLOGY & ECOLOGY CLASSES  The National Trout Center (NTC) offers field trips by appointment for individuals, families, and groups to study hydrology, geology, water chemistry, water quality, trout habitat, and life history. Reference material, worksheets, sampling gear, and field equipment are provided by the NTC. Instruction is geared to student grade levels.

Clinics & Workshops are available on scheduled dates or by appoinment with NTC instructors. Sessions include reference material, demonstrations, oral and video instruction, hands-on casting with our tackle or yours, and internet links for after-class follow-up. 

Introduction to Fishing includes spinning, bait-fishing, and fly-fishing. Novices of all ages will learn about lines, lures, reels, gear assembly, outdoor clothing, fish handling techniques, nets, waders, and safety.

Fly-Casting:  Students learn basic fly-casting techniques taught outdoors or streamside for individuals and groups, weather permitting.

Knot- Tying:  Students learn about leaders, lines, backing, loops, line-to-line connections, and terminal tackle.

Fly Tying: Identify and tie dry flies, wet flies, nymphs, attractors, and streamers. Start with our materials, including hooks, feathers, fur, and synthetics. Learn to use tools such as vises, bodkins, hackle guards, whip finishers, and bobbins. Sessions convene at the NTC with follow-up instruction via websites and commercial providers.

Streamside Fishing Techniques: Students will discover how to read the water, find fish, and match the hatch. Novice and intermediate fishers in these classes will learn tips for special casting techniques, mending the cast, and prolonging the drift.


Visitors at the Trout Center in downtown Preston can expect to find: 

• Exhibits on trout & stream ecology 

• Information on local stream & fishing conditions 

• Printed stream maps 

• Fishing literature 

• Live trout & aquatic insects on display 

• Outfitter and guiding information 

• Information on tourist accommodations 

Lectures, Travelogues, Seminars and Cultural Events are also scheduled by the NTC at regular intervals throughout the year.  Our newsletter and website will inform visitors of the calendar of events for talks, art exhibits, book signings and other activities of interest to fishers, residents and visitors to the driftless area.

The unique geological and post-glacial history of the four-state Driftless area of southeastern Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois and northeastern Iowa also provides outstanding tourism opportunities encompassing hiking, biking and skiing trails, state forests and parks, limestone bluff lands and pastoral agricultural scenery. The NTC will provide an additional dimension in environmental education, complementing established environmental learning centers and public and private colleges in the region. 

Please contact us for additional information:

National Trout Center 

(507) 765-2452

120 St. Anthony Street 

P.O. Box 512

Preston, MN 55965 



Organization Data


Organization name

National Trout Center

Tax id (EIN)





PO BOX 512 PO Box 512